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Tough economy is "good for the industry"

Paradox boss looks forward to innovation coming from new, smaller companies

Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester believes that the current tough economic climate can be seen as a positive influence on the videogames industry because although it may mean some short term pain, the result will be an increase in innovation coming from new, smaller companies.

"I think a lot of lay-offs from the big companies will result in smaller, independent companies, where innovation really comes from," he told GamesIndustry.biz. "I think it's good for the industry that there's a shake-up.

"Maybe gamers might suffer in the coming five to six months before things shape up again and we're over the worst, but it will get better for gamers and for the industry."

Wester also outlined his view that companies need to focus less on creating games to tick business-related boxes, and more on why they're making them in the first place.

"I think people need to think more about what kinds of games we're creating, and why we're creating them. I think a lot of people just need to fill their cash flow schedules with a new release... that's why they release titles," he said.

"Gamers are getting smarter and smarter at picking the games that are really good, the market is getting more polarised, but I don't think creativity will suffer.

"Something I think is overrated in our industry is being revolutionary about games - I'll take Blizzard as an example, they've never been very revolutionising with anything they've ever released, but people love the company and they're doing great business. It's because they just create good products."

The full interview with Wester, in which he also talks about merchandising and the evolution of games media, is available now. He will also be a panellist in the upcoming BAFTA Presents: Digital Distribution event, in association with the GamesIndustry.biz Network, taking place in London on April 28.

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Phil Elliott