Games Should Be Fun Rather Than Realistic, Claims Gabe Newell

Gabe Newell

Gabe Newell, an American businessman and Valve president, has shared his views regarding the game’s direction in the Valve’s 25th anniversary.

He reiterated a quite important point about games in the documentary on the development and history of the studio’s beloved game Half-Life.

Reflecting the realism in gaming he had the following words.

“I have never thought to myself that realism is fun”

The CEO of Valve is not a big fan of realism in gaming, rather he prefers realism to fun in a game.

However, it does not mean the CEO is against realism as fun elements can coexist with realism as seen in some games like GTA 5 and Last Of Us though Gabe Newell would never be in favour of compromising fun for realism.

Looking at the Half-Life development, he reiterated that in the design review of the game, there would be points where people will say it is unrealistic; however, he says that it doesn’t matter as long as unrealism is a trade-off in exchange for fun.

He argued if it’s not realistic then let me ask what’s interesting in realism as in the real world we face bizarre situations like having to go to the grocery to get a list of items; he ended with the following words.

“I have never thought to myself that realism is fun  I go play games to have fun”

Meanwhile, he also asserted that fun is something that is different for different people; for some action is the main fun while for some exploration and adventure are the main fun while some do not ever bother with these elements, and for them, simulation experience gives them a euphoria.

Prioritizing fun in games over realism has always been the choice for many developers as previously Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime stated regarding this with the famous quote.

“If it’s not fun, why bother?”

Meanwhile, another developer stood out supporting the words of Gabe Newell. The Dusk developer Dillon Rogers retweeted the Gabe Newell interview and stated that something being engaging is preferable to something being more realistic.

Nonetheless, in the documentary the CEO also mentioned the concept of delays in games stating that a delay is better than a poor launch due to rushing it as a poor launch is going to spoil the game forever while a delay would just push the dates of the game forward but has a good outcome of getting a fully polished game.

He described that with the following accent.

“Late is just for a little while, Suck is forever”

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