Kixeye: Big studios lack 'in the game design and creativity department'

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The folks at Backyard Monsters creator Kixeye sure have a way with words, namely CEO Will Harbin. During an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, the head of the San Francisco-based Battle Pirates maker said that big social game makers rely too heavily on metrics and user data gathered by player clicks, and that his studio only uses such information to inform specific game enhancement decisions.

"So we definitely do not design our games around data," Harbin told GI.biz. "We try to make improvements around data, and actually I had to give this speech to my team yesterday about being a little bit less reliant of A/B tests and data and trusting our intuition and instinct, since it seems to be more effective at moving the needle at a larger scale than doing a lot of micro data analysis."

Harbin then gets down to explaining why he harps on the need for his team to not use such information too often or weigh it too heavily against more natural or creative game design decisions. Who knows what could happen if that were the case? Kixeye could--gasp--become another Zynga or Playdom.

"I think they're lacking in the game design and creativity department to be honest. Playdom is essentially just a Zynga rip off," Harbin said to GI.biz. "They've tried to do some other things and now Gardens Of Time is relatively successful and Zynga's copied that, but I wouldn't say that's a super creative approach to gaming." (Keep in mind, however, that Kixeye has seen its fair share of copycatting claims. Our gut tells all: This is far from over.)

[Image Credit: Social Times]

Are you growing tired of the copycat accusations in the social game world? What is it going to take for the issue to stop altogether? Is that even feasible? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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