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Pac-Man creator wants games to remember

Laments "flood of very simple games".

Toru Iwatani, the developer who created Pac-Man in 1980, has called on designers to create more games that will stand the test of time.

Modern games, he told GameCareerGuide.com, are fleeting, and often "very simple".

"When you look at games coming out today, it's doubtful that any of us will be talking about them in ten years' time," he said.

"We have to focus on making games that people will remember a decade from now, or else we'll lose our audience, probably.

"You've had this flood of very simple games on the iPhone and social networks. They're very 'easy' games, and by easy I mean easy to design and to pump out by the dozen.

"I think more thought needs to go toward how games present themselves to the user, to how they can be made more fun."

Iwatani, who is now a lecturer at Tokyo Polytechnic University, knows a thing or two about creating long-lasting games. Pac-Man is still going strong over 30 years after he created it.

"Developers are creating a work, while publishers are creating a product out of that work," he continued. "And you can say, 'Well, games that try to sell themselves as 'works of art' don't make money,' but really, both sides of the equation need to be functioning. Making 'products' isn't something developers should have to worry about - they need to concentrate on making good games, on really pouring their souls into them."

His comments echo those made by Nintendo and Sony executives, who in recent months have questioned the 50 pence gaming App and expressed concern over its impact on the industry.

In widely-reported remarks made during his GDC keynote in March, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata claimed that "game development is drowning", hitting out at the volume of free and low price games on "mobile or social network devices" – which was seen as a thinly-veiled swipe at Apple.

And last week Sony Computer Entertainment US boss Jack Tretton dismissed the threat from the likes of the iPad and iPhone, instead calling tablets and smartphones "an opportunity" for the PS Vita.

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About the Author
Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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