Wednesday, 5 October 2011

All New Codemasters Games Will be Considered for OnLive – Interview with Benjamin Bateman of Codemasters

Codemasters, one of the oldest British video game studios, has brought two of their more popular games to the OnLive service. DiRT 2 and DiRT 3 are some of OnLive gamers’ favorite titles on the entire service. In the future they plan to add F1 2011, and Operation Flashpoint: Red River to OnLive as well. OnLiveFans recently had the opportunity to interview the Community Manager at Codemasters, Benjamin Bateman. In the interview they asked him about his company’s relationship with OnLive, the ease of working with them, and what the future holds for the two.
Here is the complete interview that OnLiveFans had with Benjamin Bateman: You were one of the original few companies to partner with OnLive. What made you decide to take a chance on putting your games on the service?

Benjamin Bateman: OnLive wasn’t just another games console, or digital download service, it was offering something completely new that no other company was doing, and the players were at the forefront of all their design decisions. There’s a lot of potential in what OnLive can become and you’re only seeing a fraction of what they ultimately want to be able to offer gamers. Also as a partner, they’re incredibly easy to work with. Was it easier to put DiRT 3 on OnLive then it was to put DiRT 2 on the service, since you have had previous experience doing so?

Benjamin Bateman: You learn a lot the first time round, but actually bringing games to OnLive is a very smooth process. Once the agreement to bring a game over has been finalised, they then help us every step of the way, to make sure that the game works perfectly with their infrastructure. There’s a lot of work involved, but they’re very professional and highly talented. Do you have future plans to bring more games to OnLive? If so, which ones do you plan on bringing to the service?

Benjamin Bateman: Currently we treat every game separately and decide on a case by case basis. We’re not currently looking to retrospectively add older games from our library, but every new game we make will be considered for OnLive. But we take our cues from our Community, so if there’s a big demand to make certain games available, then this holds a lot of weight in any of Codemasters decision making. Do you ever visit the OnLiveFans forum? If so, do you pay attention to what games fans want you to bring to OnLive?

Benjamin Bateman: Listening to our fans is one of the most important parts of a job as a Community Manager. It’s important that we relay the needs and feedback of the players so that we can make better games and offer a better service. We also love to just talk about games (being gamers ourselves!). So you’ll find us all over the place, on the Codemasters forums, OnLiveFans, other communities, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Feel free to say ‘hi’ to us and start up a little chat! Can we expect to see F1 2011?

Benjamin Bateman: We are currently in discussions with OnLive and all the key stakeholders. Should we have any news you’ll hear it first on our facebook page. Do you think that one day, all of your games will be ported to OnLive?

Benjamin Bateman: It’s certainly possible. Currently we’re focusing only on a game by game basis. But we’ll be listening to feedback from the players, listening to demand, watching OnLive’s development, and change our plans accordingly. From your experiences with OnLive, what do you like the most about working with them?

Benjamin Bateman: They’re extremely easy to work with. Porting a game to another platform is never as simple as it sounds. Luckily they’re there every step of the way, doing a lot of heavy lifting! From my personal point of view, they’re also really keen on supporting the community and are always looking for us to get involved, from running swag competitions, to holding gaming sessions with developers. What do you like most about the OnLive service from a gamers’ point of view?

Benjamin Bateman: Two things really stand out (apart from the ability to play games on my rubbish laptop!). It’s really cool to be able to just jump on the arena and watch people playing the games you’ve been hard at work on. Having a chat with them, and seeing firsthand how people approach and enjoy your games. But my favourite feature has to be the Brag Clips. With DiRT 3 we added YouTube functionality as a great way of sharing your favourite moments. With brag clips you can capture your antics online, a feature that we weren’t able to include. So if you do something cool in split-screen, or 8 player outbreak, you can now share it with all your friends. Do you foresee OnLive as being “The Future of Gaming”? Do you think they have what it takes to survive in a very large gaming industry?

Benjamin Bateman: It’s definitely got a lot of potential. People like Steam have shown that players are keen to have a portable library of games that they can take anywhere, and OnLive takes it one step further. The future is never certain with new technology emerging on a regular basis, but OnLive certainly has the tenacity and potential to make a name for themselves.
There are a few things to note here. Bateman emphasized more than once that Codemasters uses player feedback as a strong indicator in deciding which games to bring to OnLive. Just as many OnLive executives read the OnLiveFans forums to see what features and games OnLive fans want on the service, Codemasters does the same.

SOURCE: OnLiveFans.


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