Respawn Entertainment's Vince Zampella has been rather quiet since his termination from Call of Duty series creator Infinity Ward, but this week at the 3D Gaming Summit the well-respected developer shared his thoughts on some of the hottest gaming trends.
Discussion about both his pending lawsuit against Activision and the company's unannounced debut game were, as expected, off-limits, but Zampella spoke frankly on the importance of creative control, on 3D gaming, and on the industry at large.
On Creative Control
Zampella's almost parental protectiveness toward his team's projects was a huge reason for forming Respawn, he explained.
"In my opinion, the deal we had -- had it been honored -- was a great deal. But you need control. If you want people to be invested, you have to put something into it. It's an industry that demands that you put a lot of yourself into it; it's creative, it's driven by what you're going to put into it, the end product.
"So if you want people to be invested, who are putting their hearts and souls into it, they need to feel like it's protected, and what they do means something."
Despite keynoting the 3D Gaming Summit, Zampella says Respawn isn't ready to make the leap into the third dimension.
"It's not something that's a focus for us, but it's still interesting," he said.
"With the next generation of game consoles coming some time in the future, the horsepower's certainly there to do it," he added.
"I love the idea of digital content and delivery," Zampella said, referring simultaneously to downloadable content and in-game microtransactions.
"You can now log in at night, see your friend playing something, and now, instead of saying, 'I wish I had a copy to play with them,' you can download it and be on and playing with them. I think that's huge," he said.
"Free-to-play is here to stay; it's part of the landscape, but I'm wondering where that breaches the AAA game? There's still a gap between free-to-play games and a $60 title, but we need to keep an eye on what happens.
"Will we hit a point where people say 'I can get a game that's 90 percent as good for a fraction of the cost?' It's possible."
Though Zampella seems open to a rise of higher quality free-to-play content, he's not so sure that they're going to replace the hardcore gaming experience. Zampella believes that in the gaming ecosystem, there's a place for both.
"There's a place for them, and it's a different type of game that fills a different hole,' he said, adding that "there are mobile games that complement console, and experiences where my wife can play something that complements what I'm playing on my TV."