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Feature: 'Can Nintendo Breathe New Life into Adventure Games?'

Feature: 'Can Nintendo Breathe New Life into Adventure Games?'

February 5, 2007 | By Brandon Boyer

February 5, 2007 | By Brandon Boyer
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More: Console/PC



For today's main Gamasutra feature, adventure game veteran, Wii developer, and AWE Games project director Scott Nixon (Agatha Christie, SpongeBob Squarepants franchises) steps up to the Gamasutra Soapbox to give his positive outlook on the future of traditional adventure games on Nintendo consoles.

In this excerpt, Nixon says that the ball may be firmly in Nintendo's court to revive the adventure genre both with the DS and, more properly, the Wii -- ironic when it was Nintendo itself that Nixon says contributed to the genre's downfall:

Many gamers and game writers today refuse to dignify adventure games as an official genre at all, and each year the category slips quietly from the dockets of more and more publications, or gets appropriated by the dreaded catch-all that is the action-adventure. As public interest wanes, fewer companies are willing to risk development costs (or is it the other way around?), and those that do are slashing budgets with the ruthless abandon typically found in FPS enthusiasts.

Despite this seemingly hostile climate, there is a ray of hope. A rapidly growing movement - plainly visible on sites like Adventure Gamers and in the sales figures of games like Phoenix Wright - is throwing their support behind Nintendo to get the ball back into the adventure gamers court.

Along with tycoon and real time strategy games, adventure games have been, by and large, stranded on the PC. One look at console sales figures is all it takes to realize this is not where the action is. A symbiotic relationship between consoles and PCs is beneficial to both sides; consoles offer a much wider user base and its accompanying revenue, and PCs offer an easy development platform where risky IP can be tested before the cross-platform SKUs run budgets into the millions.

It is no secret that adventure games need to break into the console market to remain (some would say become) viable. There is no reason to think Nintendo couldnt help usher in this era if they chose to do so; after all, theyve changed the rules before. Ironically, they may have done much to seal the fate of classic adventure games in the 80s by creating the aforementioned action-adventure genre. You can keep your Link - Ill take Guybrush, thanks.


You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, with more from Nixon on both the joy of adventuring the Wiimote could bring, and the inherent problems of using the Wiimote to interact with adventure games as we've known them (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).


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