Dishonored dev: "It's been a poor, poor five years for fiction" for the industry

Viktor Antonov talks about the lack of variety in the industry's creative works

Dishonored visual design director Viktor Antonov is best known for creating Half-Life 2's City 17, but in the years since that title, he feels that the industry has stagnated creatively. Antonov told Eurogamer that the industry could do more to branch out into more genres.

"It's been a poor, poor five years for fiction in the video game industry," Antonov began.

"There have been too many sequels, and too many established IPs that have been ruling the market. And a lot of them are war games. And they're great projects and great entertainment, but there's a lack of variety today."

"So, when you step out of this established genre, people cannot grasp it, or the press tries to find a match. There's a place for thousands of different sub-genres and genres. Imagine the times when you were in the '40s and there were Westerns in Hollywood cinema: there were so many of them that none will be compared with another one, because there was a genre," he said.

Antonov's closest comparison to what Arkane Studios and Bethesda are doing with Dishonored is Irrational's BioShock games.

"We're doing a historical piece, a retro-futuristic piece, which has pretty much nothing to do with BioShock except for the fact that it doesn't take place in the far future, but has references to the past. And, unfortunately, BioShock and Dishonored are the only two games that go into that fiction for the past - how many years?" he questioned.

"So, lack of variety in what's in the market leads to associations like this. There should be more historical realistic worlds out there. And too bad there are not; I was expecting there to be 20 games like this."

Antonov called on developers to push the boundaries farther.

"I'm extremely happy of where technology has gone. But artists and art directors should make their own life a little bit harder by pushing management to take more artistic risks, and use the technology to a better, higher level. That's what I've been doing and suffering by - I've been spending as much time creating, as convincing the people who are financing games how important it is," he said.

"Games should sort of split up and specialise and assume that there's such a thing as genre, and they shouldn't try to please everybody at the same time and try to make easy, diluted projects. Let's go for intensity and quality."

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Latest comments (3)

Maarten Brands Director, Cook & Becker7 years ago
Dishonored is looking very impressive Viktor. Can't wait to experience the final product.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 7 years ago
From what I've seen and from talking with Viktor, Harvey and Rafael, they've really created a game world that's impressively detailed as well as a compelling story to go with it. I love the art direction in the game- even though it's not open world, you want to go read all those posters put up on the walls or search every nook and cranny for all sorts of treats. Can't wait to get into the final version and experience more of that innovative gameplay, too...
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Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer 7 years ago
I went to the shop for a game last weekend, and I though about all comments I read about the lack of variety.
It's true! 7 games out of 10 are about shooting at/killing people. 2 are about Races or sports, and 1 is about something different (Ico kind)

Dishonored is following that trend in a way, you still have to kill people. I think innovation should be more about gameplay than about universe

PS: Can't wait to look at it, Find this title very interesting :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Hugo Dubs on 19th July 2012 2:18pm

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