In the world of video games, there are the companies that take risks and the companies that keep doing what they’re doing because they’re afraid to leap. There are also the companies in-between that do what they’re told or do whatever the fuck they want (excuse my French).
In the case of Insomniac, they did what they were told and it cost them (and us gamers) what could’ve been a damn good video game.
Insomniac’s Overstrike was rebranded, re-skinned and basically restructured because it was too cartoony. It was also renamed Fuse. The result we got was the somewhat terrible, military-standard game called Fuse that tried to replicate the military vibe that all other shooter games give off (like CoD, Army of Two, all those Tom Clancy games, Spec Ops: The Line etc). I haven’t played Fuse but I did enjoy the demo a little bit. I just wish it had that cartoony style. I and plenty of others were disappointed at the change. It had so much potential, cartoony or not.
ENTER OVERWATCH: 2016
OVERWATCH is cartoony as fluck. It looks like Pixar amped up its tactics and made a shooter. It has plenty of characters that are cartoony but each of them have heart and depth. You can’t simply judge them by how cartoony they look. OVERWATCH looks like what Overstrike could have been. Look at the trailer with the two boys and the characters! There’s a freaking Gorilla for god’s sake!!!!!! OVERWATCH has gained plenty of fans and people love it’s cartoony Pixar style.
Do you see this, Insomniac? You didn’t have to listen to the higher ups (or maybe you had to for legal reasons). You could have made Overstrike into the game you wanted. If it’s possible, you could still do it. At this point you could even sell the IP if you don’t want anything to do with it (which would be a shame since its your game).
This is also a lesson to all creative people. Do something you want to do. Create the way you want. If you have to “go indie” just to do that then it’s worth it. It’ll be harder to promote yourself without all that corporate money backing you but you’ll be staying true to yourself. Let the beauty of OVERWATCH and the (still possible) dream of Overstrike serve as a real life lesson.
Stay true to you.