In the wake of OTK announcing their partnership with Notorious Studios to create new indie games, and Dr Disrespect with his own gaming studio, content creators could drastically shift the status quo of the gaming industry, from the inside out.
While influencer partnerships normally draw skepticism and raise eyebrows, when I heard entertainment conglomerate OTK was partnering with Notorious Studios (a developer largely comprised of former World of Warcraft staff), my reaction was anything but a scoff and an eye roll – in fact, it was pure excitement.
Throwing their collective hats into the game development ring alongside fellow org, 100 Thieves, and streaming titan, Dr Disrespect, the emergence of content creators in the behind-the-scenes side of creating all-new playable universes marks a change in the gaming winds.
With OTK and Notorious’ Project Honour and Midnight Society’s Project Moon pegged for releases in the near future, YouTube and Twitch influencers moving into the development sphere will enhance the quality of future titles, pushing boundaries and shaking up the gaming landscape as a whole.
The One True King
The most exciting part of this announcement is the fact that the self-professed professional neckbeard himself, Asmongold, will have a hand in creating what OTK are calling “High-Fantasy open-world games.”
Given Asmon’s strong takes on, well, pretty much every single MMORPG that has ever existed, it’ll be interesting to see if these collaborative titles seek to rectify the likes of World of Warcraft and Diablo Immortal‘s past mistakes – especially given that he’s discussed at length how no MMO has ever created the perfect PvP experience.
Lending his own ideas to a project that he’s so passionate about is bound to yield some amazing results. Imagine a WoW without all of the grindy systems, a Diablo Immortal not enveloped in microtransactions – wherever Asmongold ends up in this virtual world, I know for a fact I’ll follow.
I also believe that OTK won’t be releasing a poorly designed product; it goes against the very fabric of what the org stands for. I’ve watched their streams, I’ve bought the merch; and their hoodie is one of the sole reasons I didn’t freeze to death after refusing to pack a jacket to go to New York City.
Quality is the name of the game, and I trust OTK to deliver it in droves.
Games for the people, by the people
One of the other pluses about having influencers involved in video game creation is that they’re the ones who actually play these games. For example, one of the reasons WoW players were so excited that Mike Ybarra was made President of Activision Blizzard was because he actually plays WoW.
Due to their extensive history as gamers, as well as their knowledge of what the general public do (and do not) want in a new release, influencers are in prime position to advise studios – after all, one of the reasons players lose faith is because the suits just don’t listen.
Imagine a game that actually encompassed fan feedback and acted upon it, molding the world to suit the majority. Of course, there’ll always be outliers, but being on the front line streamers know exactly how to create systems that will sate most players’ woes.
To quote Abraham Lincoln (although he was talking about matters a little more important that video games), a game made “for the people, by the people” is exactly what we need to fill the personality void big business is struggling to plug.
I trust not just OTK and Midnight Society to create games that have a heart and soul, but any influencer-based project. Why? Because they’re gamers, just like us.
A global audience
Speaking from the developer’s perspective, teaming up with influencers is not only beneficial in terms of product quality but, of course, monetary gain. Streamers have vast audiences that hail from every corner of the globe, all of whom would be game to try out Doc or Asmon’s new release.
But it wouldn’t just be the partnered streamers sharing it; it would likely be others, too. YouTube and Twitch have created networks of icons that play together and promote one another. Doc’s game will probably get some airtime from close friend TimTheTatman, who also plays with the likes of Myth who plays with… well, the list goes on.
Tug one string and it reverberates, amplifying the brand, the game, and its creators. From a business perspective, everything slots perfectly into place.
Whether or not we see the first-ever influencer-influenced game appear in 2022 remains unseen, but the future of game development grows ever more exciting with every new partnership.
Streamers are just gamers at their heart, and seeing their world finally collide with the design universe sends shivers down my spine. From parallel coexistence to full-scale cooperation, I can’t wait to see OTK and Doc’s finished products.
Until then, though, the well-trodden shores of Azeroth, Sanctuary, and Eorzea will remain my home away from home; I’ll see you there.