Right now, you can observe the tumult over Infinity Ward. It's basically understood that they didn't want to make Modern Warfare 3; they wanted to work on their other game. At the same time, Activision turns around and says, "Yes, we wanted to let Bungie do whatever Bungie wants, because Bungie are geniuses."
TS: That's a question for Activision.
CB: I do want to say something about that, and I have said this one before. The Infinity Ward guys, you know, they worked on Medal of Honor, and then they weren't happy with how things were going, then they went on and created Call of Duty.
And now they weren't happy with how things are going, so I have a feeling they're going to create something special, because ultimately you need to value people over process.
When you look at whatever's happening in social games pulling in these huge audiences, and also about the Wii with making games more accessible, there's a lot of talk.
Do you think that we're running down a road with making games too complex, and endlessly making them more complicated, and shrinking our audience?
CB: Just because a new section of the market opens up doesn't mean that a previous section of the market has disappeared, right? The PC is a device that is built fundamentally for work, but people will always find a way to blow of that work and do something else on it.
I don't want to make FarmVille. I respect what they did. They have done a great job of that, but there's a huge market there for people playing these kind of turn-based kind of... you know... game designs, that are based around envying somebody's stuff online, right? As well as farming people's social networks in order to kind of continue the growth of the product.
That said, I think there are very key lessons to learn from what Zynga has done -- same thing with Blizzard as well, by the way, in World of Warcraft -- that we can apply to games that are traditionally seen as more hardcore while also continuing to do things like make easy easier and better tutorials to expand our audience base.
Well, you take Gears, for us -- it's very easy to just jump into this world, come to terms with it very quickly. I have over 20 years of gaming grammar in my head already, but that's already probably a little bit complicated for people, which has been illustrated by people's reaction to the Wii. At the same time, to add like now another layer of complexity...
CB: Possibly, but I think the human mind is capable of so much if you tease it in right.... I always like to use driving as the example, right? Like when you first sat down and turned on a car and got used to driving, it was very, very scary.
And then before you know it, like five years later or however much later, you're on your phone texting, going 90 miles an hour on the highway, changing lanes while eating a cheeseburger. It becomes second nature, right?
It's the same thing with typing on the iPhone. I first saw that, I'm like, "I need buttons. I'm a Blackberry guy." Six months later, I see my friend just going brrrrrrrr [makes quick tapping gesture]. The human mind can adapt as long as you properly teach people's things.
So, you look at... World of Warcraft is a very complex, deep game that takes so many hours to master, but they have, what, 10 plus million subscribers on a regular basis, who are incredibly drawn to that world. So, people are not dumb, and you will only lose money by assuming your customer's an idiot.