Various online sources have reported that Toronto-based console game studio Pseudo Interactive has crumbled after their latest project was cancelled by their publisher, Eidos. Strangely, all sources point to 1Up as the root of the rumour, but i can’t seem to find the item over there.
If it’s true, it would be somewhat of a shame. The Ontario government has been trying to kickstart its very small, lowkey games industry lately. With so few Ontario companies in the business, it hurts to see one go.
i also find the nature of the business very interesting. Pseudo was one of these studios that would spend a few years on a single project for a single publisher, for delivery on home consoles. It smacks to me of a business model where you put all your eggs in one basket. If that basket decides to cancel egg collection altogether, you wind up having to close the whole thing down.
i much prefer working for a company with smaller projects. i like the fluidity. If one of our contracts was cancelled, Flash developers are in high enough demand that we could easily scare up some new business up the street. Rich media games and applications cover a wide spectrum of fields, including entertainment, education, training, and marketing. Everybody needs Flash development right now.
That’s why when i advise colleges on their game design programs, i strongly encourage them to beef up their Flash course offerings. It’s not because i’m after teaching jobs – it’s because i find that online rich media development is a far more forgiving, multi-disciplinary and potentially more lucrative venture than the console gaming juggernaut.
The trouble is that casual online games aren’t “real” games. i’ve had many people ask me what i do, and i when i say i make games, they say “ooh! Like Grand Theft Auto? i like Grand Theft Auto.” i say “No – i make online games, not console games.” Their faces fall. “Oh. So not real games.”
If the perception persists that the only valid type of game creation is console development, then colleges will forever be stuck offering courses in Unreal Engine 3 to attract people to the program. What we’ll end up with is a province full of unemployed level designers … if we’re not there already.