Interviews// June Industry Insights: Tore Blystad, IO Interactive

Posted 20 Jun 2013 15:18 by
Games: Hitman: Absolution
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: Tore Blystad
Job Title: Game Director
Company: IO Interactive
Best Known For: Hitman Absolution, Kane & Lynch, Mini Ninjas

IO Interactive doesn't mess about. The Danish studio is best known for its gritty action and stealth games, in Kane & Lynch and Hitman respectively. The latter franchise is one that has lasted for over a decade on the strength of its unique and engrossing gameplay.

But the developer has the potential to surprise, as well as satisfy. Mini Ninjas was a game that was hardly expected from the creators of Hitman: Absolution - colourful, cheery and utterly charming. But it still maintained a familiar gameplay hook that IO is famous for.

We spoke with Hitman: Absolution's game director, Tore Blystad, on his feelings about next-gen, Ouya and Oculus Rift and E3.

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

It feels like this console generation has lasted a really long time, but it?s also been the most diverse time for game development. It is always hard to squeeze all possible powers out of a system and I think with the multi platform studios, catering properly for the console players and for the high end PC players require a lot of work.

I think the most important difference with the new consoles will be the way we consume and purchase media. The app stores have really changed the way we think about media, the convenience and speed have made us all pretty spoiled and this is something the new consoles will have to be able to compete with.

I?m hoping that we will see a far larger spread of both game types and business models, from the biggest, most epic games ever made to tiny, knife-sharp indie titles sitting side by side.

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?

I think it?s amazing to see so many new gaming devices coming out, the Rift and Ouya are probably the two most interesting ones. It?s very hard to predict what will happen when they enter the market, but I am really hoping it will be two new sustainable systems with good unique titles to support them.

How excited are you for E3? What kinds of announcements or showcases would surprise you, as both a developer and as a gamer?

I have a hope that this E3 will be more exciting than the last couple of years, with the new consoles and a number of promised exclusive titles being revealed. I don?t know what would surprise me though, as I am expecting to be surprised... so I guess if this year?s E3 ends up being nothing more than a fad I would be surprised!

Thanks to Tore for his time.

Industry Insights Series:
Jun 2013: Dan Griliopoulos, Journalist
Jun 2013: Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
Jun 2013: Dominic Matthews, Ninja Theory
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
Games: Hitman: Absolution

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Matt 11 Jul 2013 01:35
Please say Tore Blystad was one of the people who lost his job at IO Interactive recently? He is the WORST game director in the history of gaming. I will never forgive him for killing the Hitman franchise with Hitman Absolution. That game was the biggest disappointment in gaming history. And i've been gaming since gaming began! People want a big open world with lots of freedom and choice, not some crap linear story driven game. This is why games like Far Cry 3, Assasins Creed 3 and GTAIV are extremely popular. Please leave IO Interactive if you weren't fired Tore Blystad, i will even PAY you to leave! Hitman must go back to Blood Money.
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