Civilization Creator Sid Meier Says Games Shouldn’t Focus on Monetization
Sid Meier, the creator of the Civilization franchise, says video game companies could lose their audience if they continue to focus heavily on various monetization tactics such as microtransactions and NFTs. IN BBC interview, Meyer explained, “People might assume that the game is going to be fun and that it needs more cinematography or monetization or whatever to be successful, but if there’s just no core with good gameplay, then it won’t work.” The thing is, games are supposed to be fun. Gameplay is critical to keep players happy and interested in the product.
Over the years, the business models of games have changed, with some of them now relying on microtransactions as well as in-app purchases. Recently, some companies such as Ubisoft have embraced NFTs as a new way to make more money, despite strong backlash from the gaming community.
Meyer said that gameplay development is relatively cheap and doesn’t require as many chefs in the kitchen compared to all the aspects that go into making a game. As a result, the importance of gameplay and game design can be overlooked. He further explained, “I think we need to make sure our games are still high quality and fun to play – there are so many forms of entertainment now.”
He also said that companies should not expect constant growth, noting that entertainment trends are constantly changing. “There are many other ways that people can spend their free time… I think the way the Internet works, as soon as the shift starts, everyone runs to the other side of the ship,” Meyer said.
For him, the gameplay is what makes video games a unique form of entertainment. As soon as companies start to think that games are just investment vehicles for further monetization, they lose sight of what is really important: making games interesting.
Meyer’s focus on entertainment seems to have worked as Civilization continues to be a popular video game franchise with core gameplay dating back to the very first game in the series. Read IGN’s review of Civilization 6 here.
George Young is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey.