2K Games President: Strategy Games "Not Contemporary"
One wonders why one bothers making a game like, say, Civilization V at all.
Speaking with MCV, 2K Games president Christoph Hartmann explained the decision to resurrect X-COM as a shooter rather than a strategy game thusly: "Every studio we had wanted to do it and each one had its own spin on it. But the problem was that turn-based strategy games were no longer the hottest thing on planet Earth. But this is not just a commercial thing – strategy games are just not contemporary."
Okay, we get it. Hartmann feels that it's easier to make money as a shooter rather than a strategy game. He may well be right, though you can debate the specifics around a game with a built-in audience like X-COM (not to mention the sweeping generality of calling an entire genre lame and old). Still, it's a single quote and we shouldn't burn the guy at the stake. It's not like there's a shortage of executives greenlighting action-packed shooters over more cerebral fare – or consumers buying them.
No, where Hartmann gets hard to parse is in this followup: "I use the example of music artists. Look at someone old school like Ray Charles, if he would make music today it would still be Ray Charles but he would probably do it more in the style of Kanye West. Bringing Ray Charles back is all fine and good, but it just needs to move on, although the core essence will still be the same."
I'll leave it to the comments section to plumb the depths of this line of reasoning. Meanwhile, I'll be playing 2K Games' Civilization V, which performed admirably and made no small amount of money by all accounts.