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Pac-Man creator warns against "easy games"

Toru Iwatani argues games need to be memorable as well as profitable

Industry veteran Toru Iwatani, developer of the arcade Pac-Man, has criticised the focus on quick, simple games at the expense of more memorable projects.

"When you look at games coming out today, it's doubtful that any of us will be talking about them in ten years' time," said Iwatani in a recent interview. "We have to focus on making games that people will remember a decade from now, or else we'll lose our audience, probably."

"You've had this flood of very simple games on the iPhone and social networks. They're very 'easy' games, and by easy I mean easy to design and to pump out by the dozen," he explained. "I think more thought needs to go toward how games present themselves to the user, to how they can be made more fun."

He also discussed the importance of developers' focus, suggesting that "making products isn't something developers should have to worry about - they need to concentrate on making good games, on really pouring their souls into them."

Toru Iwatani created Pac-Man in in 1980 while with Namco. He is now a lecturer at Tokyo Polytechnic University.

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Latest comments (4)

Robert B. Healy III Writer / Blogger 5 years ago
I agree wholeheartedly. The quality of games this generation has been slipping further and further, and it saddens me. :(
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Tony Johns5 years ago
The quality of games on the iPhone and iPad are slipping as the cost is cheeper to make.

However the quality of the games on consoles and handhelds are still relatively high.

I would not jump to conclusions to say that the quality of games this generation has been low, because already there have been some really good top quality games of the HD generation.
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Alex Comer Games Developer 5 years ago
"Your games are too simplistic" says creator of Eat Dots, Avoid Ghosts.
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Kieran MacGough Studying Computer Games Design & Programming, Staffordshire University5 years ago
@Alex I think he means that we need more games like Portal. "Shoot Portals, Solve Puzzles". But the game as a whole is so memorable and playable by anyone. Basic game ideas are fine, making them into a memorable experience is what's lacking in the industry.
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