Speaking of licensing, the debate framed by Warren Spector’s 2003 GDC speech and Greg Costikyan’s GDC lament may have less to do with the economic rigors of our business than I originally thought. While reading a book called What Einstein Told His Cook, by Robert L. Wolke, I ran across the following quote:
GE’s market research [on microwave cooking] discovered that 90 percent of all American Consumers’ cooking entailed only 80 recipes….
Familiarity may breed contempt in human beings, but in what we eat, and in what we choose to do with our playtime, it may be a much more important ingredient than we’re admitting. While that kind of oversight isn’t surprising given that many of the people doing the commenting, like me, are creative types who get their enjoyment from pushing boundaries, it’s at least a reminder not to dismiss the choices of the masses outright. From their point of view the question isn’t whether there’s enough new stuff being made, the question is whether there are enough choice available so they don’t feel like they’re playing the same thing all the time.
On the off chance that the entire interactive entertainment industry may only have room for eighty licenses, you should probably lock one up today.
— Mark Barrett