The people behind Resistance, Ratchet and Clank and Spyro the Dragon think video games are getting so complex that they're leaving a huge potential audience behind. Their solution? A Facebook game.
"Spyro was a two-button game," said Brian Hastings, chief creative officer at Insomniac Games. "Ratchet and Clank was an eight-button game. Resistance was an analog stick and eight buttons.
"You need to be a good game player to be able to get in there and have any fun."
But for those who didn't grow up gaming, the learning curve for many modern games is too high, Hastings says. That's where Insomniac Click comes in. Unveiled at South By Southwest earlier this month, Insomniac Click is a small studio inside Insomniac that will concentrate on making social games for web and mobile platforms. Their goal is to create games that can help introduce people to gaming and eventually lead them into the more complex, more deep gaming experiences of console gaming.
Their first game, which they hope to release this year, will be a Facebook title.
"There are a lot of other avenues we could have taken," Hastings said. "We think Facebook is one of the most exciting ones. There is such a large pool of people to reach."
In a story on Insomniac Game's website, Hastings promised that the games they make will be based on a "contract with our audience." That contract promises that their games will be fun for both players, be focused on the player experience, deliver the "richness of gameplay" expected in a console title, be easy to learn, but hard to master and finally be fun to play.
"We want to make games where the player comes first, where we are not using you as a tool to market our game," he said. "You can make money by having a good gaming experience."
While Hastings declined to say what the game will be about, he did say that it will be an entirely new game, one based on a new property that could make its way onto consoles one day.
"We are trying to make something different here," he said. "We are trying to make something that you would want to play. We want to make something that will be reviewed by console websites."