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Slitherine: "Strategy games can be ideal for consoles"

Iain McNeil responds to Roy Meredith's earlier claim that it's a problematic platform for the genre

Following the earlier story on GamesIndustry.biz in which Beautiful Game Studios boss Roy Meredith expressed his opinion that "strategy games don't work on console," Slitherine director Iain McNeil has responded, claiming that the platform is suitable - but that a "paradigm shift in people's thinking" is required.

Talking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz, McNeil explained the reasons behind his beliefs.

"While I agree, up till now there has been a real dearth of good strategy games on consoles, I think this is for historical reasons rather than because consoles are fundamentally not suited to strategy games," he said.

"Historically the PC was the home of the strategy game and when people tried to make console strategy games they used PC game designs as a starting point - to try to apply those rules and ideas to consoles.

"This rarely works because of two main reasons - the screen space and the mouse. The large screen space of a PC monitor that allow text to be displayed crisply and small means if you want you have large quantities of text and other information on screen you can.

"While this does not matter to some strategy games, to existing football manager games this is key. For real-time strategy games the mouse gives great control over your troops, which is hard to replicate with a controller.

"What is needed is a paradigm shift in peoples thinking," he added.

McNeil went on to make the point that it's important to tailor specific control systems to specific platforms, and that while the company had made some mistakes in the past, it has learned valuable lessons: "But rather than give up, we've come up with some really interesting ideas that we think really work," he said.

"If we can do this for real-time and turn-based strategy games I'm sure someone can do the same for football manager games - it just takes some creative thinking.

"For these reasons I have to strongly disagree and say that strategy games can be ideal for consoles," he finished.

The full text of the interview with Roy Meredith is available on GamesIndustry.biz now.

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