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Game Developers - They Do More Than They Have To

by Squall Fong Wong

[author's note: All referenced made to the original version of Lunar on the Sega CD are made by what I have heard about the game, since I was never fortunate enough to play that verion]

I've had enough of all of these complaints about a game developer's only goal being to make money.

Yes, many games have been made only to get money, but there are some classic games that truly could not have existed had its creators only wanted money, or if they did they wouldn't have been as good as they are.

The best example is Lunar: The Silver Star Story Complete. Working Designs could've just done a straight translation from the Japanese version to the English version, but isntead they decided to just keep the original story line and re-make the rest of the game, just so that the characters would talk just like the American gamers would, instead of sounding like Japanese people who have taken English as a second language.

Did they have to do this? Of course not! They could've just said "Here's Lunar" and left us with a Final Fantasy Tactics-quality translation, but they WANTED to make the game equally enjoyable for the gamers in North America as it was for the gamers in Japan, even though it most likely almost doubled the production cost.

Nor did they have to enhance the story at all, but they did that because just as with the translation, they wanted the game to be as enjoyable as possible.

The same can also be seen with Xenogears. While many agree that most of Squaresoft's translations could be better, Xenogears shows some real care and prooves that it was a labor or love instead of a labor for money in other places. One of those places was the story. Square researched information for that story for almost two years before any production ever began. Would anyone who cares more about making the money than making the game go through that much trouble just to research on the topics the story touches? Of course not. And no one told them that they had to give it two different battle system (three, if you count the arena).

And after sales like the FF7's, do you really think that the people at Square had nothing but money on their minds when they created Final Fantasy Tactics, a game almost the opposite of FF7? It had corny graphics with super-deformed characters, and had a medievil setting. Once again, Square was thinking more about how much the players would enjoy the game.

For the longest time, simply the fact that an organization even bothered to make an RPG was a sign that they were aiming more to make the player happy than for money. And guess who made most of those - Square.

Square has always been taking HUGE risks that could loose them a lot of money. Every time they make a game, they always warp some aspect of gameplay beyond what others would dare to do. They look at what sells the most as far as gameplay is concerned, and they try something else. Nobody who cares about just money and nothing else would ever take risks like that.

Nintendo also occasionally comes out from behind their defensive walls to make a game for some purpose other than money, as seen in their Zelda series.

I know I sound like the message I'm getting across is that if something is an RPG, then it was made to satisfy the players and if it isn't an RPG then it was made strictly for the money, but I have seen a lot of non-RPGs that were obviously made for other reasons than money.

The most popular is the original version of Tetris. I know now that so many Tetris clones have been made that you can't tell one from the other, but I believe that the very first version of the game, the real thing was made just to entertain.

Nowadays, making a game is just like making a movie. If you don't want to make it, there's a good chance that will be so bad that nobody will want it. While making money is a concern, it isn't the only one.

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