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Insomniac: Social games influencing our AAA products

By Matthew Handrahan

Wed 02 Nov 2011 9:57am GMT / 5:57am EDT / 2:57am PDT

Ted Price says Insomniac is learning lessons from its social division

Insomniac Games CEO Ted Price believes that the company has gleaned valuable lessons from its move into social games.

Speaking to Gamespot at the IGDA Leadership Forum, Price said that the experiences of Insomniac's Click division, which was formed in March this year, will inform its AAA products.

"Things are changing every day in that space. I think that is what's so exciting about dipping our toes into that particular ocean," he said.

"We are learning lessons that we probably wouldn't have learned if we were purely focused on our console games."

"I think it's opening our eyes to the necessity of more social hooks. And when I say that, I mean more focus on community, more focus on sharing within and across games. These are big topics that we discuss frequently at Insomniac when it comes to looking to the future, and we want to make sure that we are not stuck in the traditional console development set of rules."

Price believes that games have evolved, "faster than any other entertainment medium in the past 50 years." However, the pace accelerated considerably with the explosion of mobile and social games, and the limits of what's possible in these new markets still haven't been defined.

"There is no right way to do it," Price added. "That's what is exciting about it."

Price identified the persistent nature of social games and the importance of reacting to customer feedback as a challenge to traditional working practices in AAA development.

"Designers on the team are supposed to be able to anticipate what players are going to find the most entertaining, but you have to swallow your ego a little bit, and understand that we may not be the experts here."

Insomniac is currently working on Overstrike with EA Partners, the first game in its sixteen year history to be released on multiple consoles.

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