Big Controller is Scary
Yeah, so we’ve all heard this one before, right? People saying video games absolutely need to ditch controllers in order to become popular. Just writing this gives me the giggles at how ridiculous that statement seems. Somehow, Ubisoft producer Jade Raymond believes that gaming still isn’t mainstream because the controllers are scaring people away.
For OXM, Raymond voiced her opinions about modern day controllers. “I still think one of the huge barriers is the controller, and even people who played games when it used to be just one big red button and a D-pad can’t play games now. You have to master face buttons, triggers and they all do different things.”
“So obviously we’re never going to get to that really mass-market place where we’re touching a really broad audience with our messages with controllers, so Kinect and other more natural ways to interact with games are incredibly important. I think we can go further.”
Honestly, I’m not real sure how much farther you would have to go to hit that mass market in her mind. More often than not nowadays, the video game industry is able to outsell other forms of entertainment. As for her idea of a controller acting as a barrier, I wonder when the last time she saw a television remote was? Those things can be a real challenge to use.
Don’t get me wrong here, Raymond was one of the minds behind Assassin’s Creed and I really do like the idea behind motion and integrated gaming. Unfortunately, there’s just no feasible way to make a good playable, hardcore game like she probably imagines. If she has any doubts, I challenge her to play Steel Battalion. The idea was great, but playing it will probably result in the player shooting their kinect and burning it in the yard.
Raymond tried to make her argument on the side of a hardcore gamer to defend the use of controller free interfaces. Sadly, she needs to just wake up and look at what the consumer wants. They want a sturdy, familiar controller, completely optional voice commands, optional motion controls for small things, and an enjoyable experience. Until big developers get that picture in their minds, I’m afraid we’ll be seeing more and more games follow the failure of Steel Battalion.