In 1998, one of the most influential PC games of all time was released. It won over fifty “Game of the Year awards,” held the record for best-selling PC first-person-shooter ten years after its release, and changed the way games tell stories with its fully immersive experience. It spawned mods which went on to be huge financial successes in their own right, and its sequel catalyzed the digital distribution of games.
That game was Valve's Half-Life.
A tough question to answer is, “Would Half-Life be greenlit today?” Half-Life was a brand-new franchise. It had no microtransactions or in-game purchases. Expansion content (today's “DLC”) was released a full year after launch. While multiplayer was included, it was not a focus of the game’s community until the aforementioned mods — maybe you’ve heard of Counter-Strike? — started popping up years later. The main draw was the 8-15 hour single-player campaign. Through today’s lens, the pitch would be a non-starter.
It’s not hard to find negative press about the current state of the video game industry. Studio employees face unrealistic schedules and unattainable sales goals, often leading to layoffs and closures. Meanwhile, consumers receive games in broken and incomplete states while being nickel-and-dimed by microtransactions and loot boxes. Publishers prefer safe bets at the expense of innovation, leading to homogenized genres, while fan-favorite franchises languish on shelves providing no value to the company or its consumers.
Twenty-five years ago, it was possible to make games that were both experimental and polished, without huge budgets, hyper-aggressive timelines, and exorbitant sales targets. Since then, the consolidation of the game industry by major studios has served to create a hard divide between massive “Triple A” titles and small indie projects.
Bringing back that middle ground is a significant opportunity, and one that we intend to achieve with Rensa Games.
We aspire to create a platform that gives smaller developers access to high-quality content through a decentralized asset marketplace, empowering them to create titles on indie budgets without compromising on graphics, animation, or sound. By reducing barriers to entry through our flexible and transparent royalties and licensing system, we hope to spark a renaissance of creative collaboration and innovation in a stagnant industry.
We look forward to building with you.