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Monday, August 13, 2007

Madden and The Democratization of Video Games

Madden 2008 Trailer

Sure I hope Madden 08 doesn’t suck and that it lives up to all the hype but what I really want to see is the video game industry opening up to the independent producer the way video has. Maybe just maybe that can happen but two things have to happen first.

According to Wikipedia “Madden NFL 08 is an upcoming football video game that will be published by EA Sports and developed by EA Tiburon. It will be the eighteenth installment in the Madden NFL video game franchise. The game is set to be released August 14, 2007 for several platforms, including Xbox 360, Wii, Playstation 3 and PC.”

I’m sure more kids will be hurt playing Madden NFL 08 with the Wii but the people really hurt are the ones that have creative ideas for video games but can’t afford the cost of admission to be able to produce a video game. It’s the same thing the Motion Picture Industry went through. It wasn’t until two young dudes named Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda made a little movie with Jack Nicholson called EASY RIDER that Hollywood had it’s first Independent cannon ball fired across the bow of it’s armada. EASY RIDER broke through the closed studio system and paved the way for independent filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh and Ryan Johnson. I’m not sure who will break through the video game wall and get past the video game mafia first but I do have an idea of who could if anyone could. An Insider.

Take a look at the guys that made Flektor . They built a website where anyone can upload video, edit it, mash it up and then share it with anyone. Flektor was built to be bought by MySpace and was sold to MySpace / Fox for an “undisclosed amount”. According to the Flektor website, “The Flektor founders have spent the bulk of their adult lives creating media and entertainment. Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin co-founded legendary game developer Naughty Dog, creators of Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter before selling the company to Sony Computer Entertainment in 2000. Jason Kay spent four years at Home Box Office, working as a consultant to the EVP of Business Development.” If anyone can break down the "Studio Gates" of the closed video game world my money is on the guys from Flektor.

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