The man who helped create some of the most influential shooters ever made says that popularity isn’t a bad thing.
Rage developer and id software co-founder John Carmack is tired of first person shooters coming under fire for not being innovative or creative enough. He says that a developer’s job is not to make things that people have never seen before; it’s to make something that they enjoy.
Carmack said that some people – particularly indie devs with an “auteur” perspective – seemed to think that popular meant bad. He said that he really didn’t like that “snooty attitude,” and that while he was happy that Rage was different from the other shooters on the market, there was nothing wrong with games like Call of Duty. “That’s still a proven formula that people like, and it’s a mistake to [discount that]. As long as people are buying it, it means they’re enjoying it,” he said. “If they buy the next Call of Duty, it’s because they loved the last one and they want more of it.”
While it’s a very different series from any of id’s games, Call of Duty’s success has actually made Carmack rather happy. “Call of Duty, which is also a 60 fps game, which would validate some of my [thinking],” he said. “That was one of our big arguments internally as we were stressing over [Rage’s frame rate], like, ‘Y’know, I think some of the success of Call of Duty is because of how good it feels.'” On a larger scale, he said that he was happy that FPS games – a genre that id helped push into the limelight with games like Doom and Quake – were so popular, as he had thought that third person shooters would wear the action crown.
The kind of snobbery that Carmack describes isn’t limited just to videogames; you’ll find the same kind of people in the worlds of music, film, books, and every other medium. While there’s definitely a discussion to be had about how much creativity it is reasonable to expect from triple A games, Carmack’s point about popularity not being an intrinsically bad thing has a lot of merit. Hopefully, no one is letting videogame hipsters ruin their fun.
Rage comes out for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on October 4th.
Source: Industry Gamers