Screenwriter and novelist Alex Garland says that the rapid growth of videogames means that some types of games may never get made.
Garland, whose works include Sunshine and 28 Days Later and more recently helped write Ninja Theory’s Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, thinks that videogames have missed a few important steps in their development.
Garland thought that videogames had jumped straight to “bloated Hollywood megabucks, mega-resources-type products,” and said that such a development was dangerous because it influenced the type of games that got greenlit. He made a comparison to his next movie, the new Judge Dredd film, saying that it had a budget of $30 million, but that it was very hard to get such a relatively small budget, because studios only were only interested in $200 million super-blockbusters.
Drawing on another film analogy, he said that he couldn’t see how anyone could make the videogame equivalent of Taxi Driver – the 1976 Martin Scorsese movie which stars Robert De Niro as a depressed former marine – with the videogame industry focused so much on huge AAA titles. He hoped that if someone took the risk and made a Taxi Driver-esque game, people would investigate it and buy it, but he didn’t think that was very likely.
Videogames have grown so much faster than any other medium; it’s unsurprising that their development has taken an unusual path. Whether games will go back and fill in the gaps left by this rapid growth is anyone’s guess, although with digital distribution changing the way games are made and making it easier for smaller, indie titles to get noticed, maybe in a few years that Taxi Driver inspired game won’t look so risky.