Rodney Greenblat is a name likely to be familiar to Sony gaming enthusiasts, as he was the designer and artistic creator for PaRappa the Rapper on PS1, as well as the sequel on PS2. Even those who've staunchly stuck with Nintendo all of these years have probably encountered these rhythm games while playing with friends; they're particularly well known for their distinctive visuals and humour.
In a recent interview with notenoughshaders.com, Greenblat argued that a perceived lack of creativity and originality in video games is perhaps the fault of consumers, not developers, and highlighted that Nintendo's approach varies from that of its competitors.
I don’t find any lack of creativity in the game makers, but there is a lack of creativity in the game buyers. I think developers would like to make a wide range of interesting games, but they are difficult to sell, so they don’t get made. So it is a problem of economics. The question really becomes how to open up video gaming to a wider audience. Nintendo works on this question 24/7. Playstation and XBox have little incentive to do that. The frontier right now is phones and tablets, but once again it comes down to the buyers. What are people willing to pay for a game on a phone or tablet? Will these fees generate enough income for the publishers and developers? I hope so.
Some Wii owners may have come across Greenblat's character design work in Major Minor's Majestic March on Wii, though the game was poorly received and he was less than happy with the outcome; he also admits he's a fan of Nintendo, though those who dislike its 'kiddy' image should look away now.
No, I was not happy about MMMM. Pretty much everything went wrong. I could write a book about the compounded mistakes made by hardworking and talented people. Yes, I am a Nintendo fan. Their history and tradition of fun games for kids, family and party games is awesome.
What do you think about Greenblat's views on creativity and originality in video games? Is Nintendo the only major console manufacturer prioritizing this, or do Sony and Microsoft do their fair share? Let us know in the comments below.