Some time ago now, i’ve seen an article at Gamasutra about game quality scores as distributed by the major game publishers, and the striking trend is that the quality window is BIG (all of them having both good and not-so-good games).
But anyway, the article makes a comparison that kinda bothers me:
Today’s chart analysis studies average review scores to determine if video game publishers are becoming more like movie publishers, focusing less on game quality and more on publishing profitable titles.
What bugs me is: Movie Publishers are just dirty money diggers that want your money but care not for movies. Well, they kind of are, but… just let me put one grain of salt there!
Well, OK, they are on that for the money mainly, and stuff, all they want is another Titanic or something, and they definitely can do their thing as well as, whether this be a great movie or a sucky movie. It’s just business as usual. Yes. It is.
But i don’t think this hinders movie quality. I do not think that the “industry” as a whole being very focused on “safe” movies (as in certain to sell) bears much on the difficulty of making good movies. I mean, the avalanche of shit-movies does not make life harder for quality movies.
It might seem unfair that stupid movies have all the cash in the world and a good movie doesn’t, but let’s not pretend that the shit movies are taking money away from good movies. This distinction is very important.
It is difficult to find money to make a film. Mainly, this is so because films are very expensive things to do. And they have always been so. Both expensive and difficult.
Good movies just more so. In the old days it was a pain to find money enough to make any movie at all, and the difference between doing a good one and a shallow one might be smaller, but the money was short and that was a fact. Now there is more money for the movies, both good and bad. There is also a bigger incentive for the stupid movies: easier to do (not cheaper, tough), easier to cash. That’s just the way it is, but they are not taking the money that ought to go to better movies. There simply is no ought in there.
Making this a moral issue out of this (as it implicitly is) just muddies the water. Hollywood is not in a crisis because it has too many inane movies, nor because those are taking the space from good movies. (If i had to risk a cause there i would say things just got too easy).