"Creating good games is difficult and risky; creating successful MMOGs is orders of magnitude harder, as evidenced by the 50 percent (or higher) mortality rate of MMOG developers. Add to these levels of challenge the mixing of different cultures, different languages and different work practices, and the project becomes even more complicated and difficult. The first stage in collaboration is to address the challenges of communicating with each other."
"There had been futuristic racing games before - Powerdrome on the Amiga and Atari ST (later unsuccessfully "remade" later for the Xbox and PlayStation 2) being a prime example - but it was Wipeout 2097 that suddenly charged the genre. It seemed to matter, and would become one of the era's psychic landmarks in gaming. It was an experience that everyone remembered from that time in their lives, like the biggest pop records on the charts, or the loudest Hollywood movies in the cinemas. It was spectacle, an event to be recorded.
"And then there was nothing."
"Take Bally Technologies and WMS Gaming (formerly Williams). Though Bally has built slot machines since its start in the 1930s, both companies found their early fortune making pinball machines. In the late '70s, coin-op video arcades devoured the pinball market, and these scrappy multi-million-dollar corporations (along with a new startup, Konami) adapted to the new business. (Bally/Midway: Space Invaders, Tron; Williams: Joust, Robotron; Konami: Gyruss, Time Pilot, Super Cobra.) They all made big bucks until the arcades dwindled, and then, as before, they moved on - to the richest field yet."
"One person I talked to only passed his GCSE French because of a pirated game. Because he couldn't stand the rote memorization required to learn a language, he was trailing in the subject, before acquiring a copy of the legendary action-game Flashback. He was obsessed with its rotoscoped glory, but there was one, small problem: It was only in French. He played through the entire game with a French-to-English dictionary beside him and somehow ended up with a functional enough vocabulary to scrape through. Saving the world and his education. That's some doing."
"Not long ago, I had a conversation with Doug Church, secret master of gaming, where he said something like this: A story is constructed of sentences, strung together in a coherent, dramatically significant order. Game "sentences" are the actions available to and selected by a player. The more sentences we allow players to construct (in other words, the deeper the pool of options we offer), the cooler and more numerous the story possibilities will be. To that extent, a robust world and character simulation - both made possible by next-gen hardware - will allow us to tell a better story. But there's a hitch: all the graphics power of the new platforms."