Gears of War creator admits FarmVille 'did something right'
The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles is wrap, and one of the games conspicuously absent from the three-day event was one of the largest in the world -- FarmVille. Even at the big-budget press conferences for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, there was ne'er a peep about the farming game, and it's not clear whether video game companies don't see Facebook games as competition or they just don't know what to make of the simple farming simulation with over 60 million monthly players.
We found at least one person who was willing to acknowledge FarmVille, however. Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski, who, ironically, heads up one of the bloodiest shooters currently on the market. We asked him if he has any plans to take the best-selling game franchise to any other platforms, including Facebook, and while he says that's uncertain, he gives props to the new social gaming segment that has exploded in the past year.
"Gears of FarmVille?" he jokes after we pose the question. "You know it's fun to hate on FarmVille, but they obviously did something right. I think the rest of the industry is looking at this as far as their game design -- reciprocity and how to have everybody else publicize your game, whether they want to or not. Skip! Skip! (mimics skipping friends' FarmVille requests on Facebook).
Our [game] engine is up running on iPhone and iPad... but we'll see as far as our actual games, and what happens in the future. It's hard to ignore those numbers, and it's hard to ignore the fractured market, which it is right now. A few years ago it was like 'Oh yeah, there's Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC.' Now we have PC, MMOs, browser-based games, Facebook-based games, iPad games, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox and then Kinect, PlayStation Move, PlayStation 3 and it's like there's 4 million different categories, which quite frankly terrifies me, and I think the industry is a little bit nervous about it. "