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"We forget the value of £40" – Sumo dev

"We're competing with sex with your gf."

The game industry often forgets how important £40 is to gamers, the developer behind racing game series Project Gotham Racing and Blur has said.

Ex-Bizarre Creations design manager Gareth Wilson, who is now chief games designer at Sheffield based Outrun Online Arcade developer Sumo Digital, said at the Develop conference this afternoon that one of the reasons launching new games in the current market is incredibly tough is because developers compete not just with games, but with non-gaming activities, such as playing football in the park and having sex.

"As we're in the industry and games are our life, we sometimes forget how important £40 is to someone," he said.

"£40 could get the shopping for a week. It could pay for petrol for work. It's two tickets to a gig. It's a couple of nights down the pub. It's going to the cinema three times in the week.

"What economists call this is product substitution. We're not just competing with other games. And we're always thinking, oh, no, we don't want to come out when Split/Second comes out, oh, we don't want to come out when Red Dead Redemption comes out.

"We're competing with all other forms of entertainment. We're competing with TV, cinema, with Facebook. We're competing with going to the park to play football. We're competing with having sex with your girlfriend. We are competing with all of these things."

As a result of competition with all these forms of entertainment, Wilson said, developers must ensure they create experiences gamers consider to be better.

"When someone is going to spend £40 on a game, they need to be pretty sure it's better than going to the pub for two nights," he said. "That's what you're up against. It's pretty tough."

Wilson saw how difficult a time new IP can have first hand with racing game Blur, which launched in May last year backed by a huge marketing campaign.

It failed to set tills alight, however, leading publisher Activision to close Bizarre down.

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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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