Interviews// June Industry Insights: Dominic Matthews, Ninja Theory

Posted 20 Jun 2013 15:16 by
As part of an ongoing series, SPOnG gets the unedited, open and highly informed opinions of developers, producers and more in the vast world of computer games.

Industry Figure: Dominic Matthews
Job Title: Comms Manager
Company: Ninja Theory
Best Known For: Fightback, DmC Devil May Cry, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Heavenly Sword

It's hard not to appreciate the artistic creativity of Ninja Theory. The UK studio first made its mark on the PlayStation 3, with launch title Heavenly Sword. While it had its gameplay quirks, what really blew gamers away was its interesting environments and flair for the dramatic.

Since then, the developer has created some very beautiful, critically-acclaimed games - Enslaved with Namco Bandai, and DmC: Devil May Cry with Capcom. Now it is exploring the mobile space with traditional brawler Fightback.

We spoke with Dominic Matthews from the studio to find out his thoughts on E3, the console generation and emerging technologies.

Do you feel that we are entering a new console generation too soon? Or can it not come soon enough? And why?

It canít come soon enough in my opinion. The current generation has had a fantastic innings but rapid hardware development in other areas of entertainment has left the two main consoles feeling a little out-dated. Weíre ready for new hardware to get our teeth into.

People now want boxes that do everything for them, not just play games. If the transition from games console to entertainment box isnít made now I think there is a genuine risk that consoles could be pushed out of peopleís homes.

Ouya and Oculus Rift have generated a lot of positive buzz. How disruptive do you think these products will be when they are released to the public?

Oculus Rift is really great and could be genuinely disruptive in my opinion. It offers a new way to experience games and takes emersion to a new level. But I do wonder how freely a mass audience would take to having the unit on their head. Itís also a very difficult concept to message to people, I think it is a case of people needing to try it to actually get just how cool it is.

So, what of E3 for you as both a developer and as a gamer?

With both of the new consoles now fully announced its going to be really interesting to see just what a lot of studios have been working on. Last yearís E3 really did feel like the final show of a generation to me. There was a real lack of innovation and big announcements.

Iím looking forward to seeing what new IP is coming to the new consoles, this seems like the perfect time to be breaking away from the comfort of franchise and trying to establish new and fresh ideas. Iíd be very surprised if we didnít see a lot of new IP.

Thanks to Dominic for his time.

Industry Insights Series:
Jun 2013: 'Peter Molydeux', Gaming Genius
Jun 2013: Ste Pickford, Zee-3
Jun 2013: Andy Payne, O.B.E.
Jun 2013: Gordon Midwood, Different Tuna

Apr 2013: Nathan Fouts, Mommy's Best Games
Apr 2013: Andrew Smith, Spilt Milk Studios
Apr 2013: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
Apr 2013: Peter Molydeux, Gaming Genius
Apr 2013: Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
Mar 2013: Gordon Midwood, Different Tuna
Mar 2013: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Mar 2013: Dan Webb, X360A
Mar 2013: Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water / Oddworld Inhabitants

Mar 2013: Alex Neuse, Gaijin Games
Feb 2013: Blazej Krakowiak, Techland
Feb 2013: Gina Jackson, Women in Games Jobs
Feb 2013: Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water & Oddworld Inhabitants
Feb 2013: Dominic Matthews, Ninja Theory
Jan 2013: Dan Webb, X360A
Jan 2013: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
Jan 2013: Andy Payne, O.B.E.
Jan 2013: Gordon Midwood, Different Tuna
Jan 2013: Andrew Smith, Spilt Milk Studios
Jan 2013: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Jan 2013: Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios

Jan 2013: Peter Molydeux, Genius
Jan 2013: Andy Payne O.B.E.
Jan 2013: David Jaffe
Jan 2013: Jon Lander of CCP
Dec 2012: Martyn Brown, InsightforHire
Dec 2012: Steve Lycett, SUMO Digital
Dec 2012: Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
Dec 2012: Ted Price, CEO Insomniac
Dec 2012: Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
Dec 2012: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx

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