If you ever follow the video game industry, there’s a saying going around these days, “Content is King.” For the past 10 years, technology has been what drives the games industry. The reach to get the most realistic environment for your story became what drove the industry. Nowadays we’re close enough. There are still those going for the last 10%. But on has given up goals oon graphics in one iteration to focus more on content. That company is Nintendo. They reduced their R&D on technology and cranked it way up on interactivity. The result is the Wii. And by the way they’re printing money these days, I think they made the right choice.
So going back to the original topic where “Content is King.” The realization is that games need great design and gameplay over great graphics. Good games sell because they’re fun. It doesn’t matter the medium. If it’s stick figures or hyper-realistic graphics, fun is fun. The same goes true with movies. Whether it’s a stick drawn video on YouTube or real kung-fu action sequences, if it’s good, we enjoy it.
So I believe the truth is that content is king regarless of medium. People say that the movie industry is dying because of piracy. I’d ask Pixar how the movie industry is doing. Ask Joss Whedon how the industry is doing. Both groups are being successful in a medium where others are floundering. Why? Because they have better content. Stuff that is so good, people don’t want to miss it. Whedon is a prime example of someone who grew by word of mouth (WOM) and ended with one of the strongest followings. People love his content. Not because of him (well a little bit), but mostly because it’s good. Best in class of any product, whether it’s a physical product (SimpleHuman), application (gmail), movie (WALL-E), or game (GTA IV), if you make the best product, people will buy it.
So the idea of “Content is King” is not a new one, it’s just that the competition has gotten much stiffer, so you have to do much better, just to survive.