April 29th, 2011
Tom Ohle likes video games. As a gaming PR guy, it's his job to like games. But he's also saddened by the fact that so many low-profile games go unnoticed.
"The games industry is a massive beast that churns out billions of dollars in revenue each year, much of which is generated by big-budget titles that become torchbearers for the medium itself: Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Mass Effect and so on," he writes. "These games exude quality, with top-notch production values and extensive marketing budgets with flashy CG scenes, licensed music and exclusive launch parties with high-profile celebrities. On the sidelines hundreds of games come and go with the weather, cast away from the public’s awareness for a vast array of reasons. Many never stand a chance to succeed.
"Some of those games are dead in the water – awful gameplay, unpalatable themes, derivative stories, bugs and more can spell certain death for a game," he continues. "But what happens when a great game hits the market lacking the marketing muscle of a major publisher, without an identifiable brand that fans can rally around or from a developer that’s never been able to make its voice heard?"
As Ohle puts it, most of the good low-profile games go unnoticed. Games like Anomaly, Osmos, Call of Juarez (pictured) and others we try to profile on Alienware Arena, often fall on deaf ears because bigger games make so much noise. The take away? Seek out and embrace great games, regardless of their visability.
"In an industry that so often complains about derivative sequels, soulless big-budget productions and a lack of risk-taking, isn’t it about time we started focusing on quality?" Ohle concludes. "Shouldn’t those companies looking to push the boundaries of the medium begin to reap the rewards? If things keep going the way they are, we’ll never shed the $60 price point, we’ll get sequels to major franchises every year, and we’ll all keep complaining and wishing things were different."