Dennis Detwiller

Creative Director, Game Designer, Writer, Artist

Clients Include: Activision, Electronic Arts, Viacom, Lightstorm Entertainment, Wizards of the Coast, Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Sierra, Vivendi Universal, Ocean Pacific, Radical Entertainment, Emerald City Games, Darkhorse Comics, White Wolf Games, Steve Jackson Games, Hothead Games, PlayFirst, Green Ronin and more.

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Email: dennis.detwiller@me.com
Cell: (415) 999-7402

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Posts tagged Video Games

New Consoles: The End of the Road

Nintendo released the Wii U console in September, and since then, less than 3 million people have bought it. It sold less than 57k in January, making it the worst preforming console to date. 

Many consider the Wii U console already finished. 

Sony announced a console that promised “more of everything” without actually showing anything that couldn’t have been shown at the PS3 announcement in 2005. Microsoft will of course follow suit, chasing the living room crowd with a machine that apparently does it all, but mostly deals with media and TV in a grab for eyeballs.

Except, the world has already moved on. 

Markets always do this. They discover a niche, become as streamlined as they can to earn money in that niche, and then the niche shifts or vanishes altogether. Meanwhile, the stalwarts who occupied it, hang on to the past as a predictor of the future, and go down with the ship. They have no choice. They can’t change. Even the dwindling returns (or growing returns on a market that’s collapsing!) are too valuable not to pursue.  

When a business becomes big enough, its biggest threat is its own inertia.

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The Vancouver Video Game Apocalypse

As many have heard by now, my alma mater Radical Entertainment closed its doors this month. I had many good friends still employed by them and their parent company Activision, and my heart goes out to them. It’s a terrible situation. But I believe the die has been cast, that too many factors have piled up against the business in Vancouver, and some of them are simply beyond anyone’s control. 

When I first arrived in Vancouver (in the early 2000’s), it was sparkling with video game developers. Dozens of them, big and small: Next Level, Radical, EA, Ubisoft, Slant 6, Relic and more, they were all over the place. You could chuck a rock in the fledgeling area of Yaletown and hit two developers in with a single throw.

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Video Games, My Perspective


I’ve been working in video games now for 11 years. Wow. Even before that really, providing art for Magic: The Gathering games a couple years before my entry to the industry. 

So far so good. I’ve shipped products on XBox, PS2, PS3, X360, Wii, PC, XBLA, PSN, iOS and Android. I’ve launched my own IP from scratch on X360 and PS3 for Activision, [PROTOTYPE]. I’ve done HUGE games ([PROTOTYPE] took almost 4 years!) and I’ve done tiny games (Cell Bound took 3 months!) I’ve covered a lot of ground in a relatively short period of time. 

I can honestly say I love all types of video games, but I think we’ve reached a point in their life-cycle where the intersection of technology, play style and production costs may cause another huge shift akin to the Atari die-off of the early 1980’s; so that the video game world 5 years from now might seem completely alien to us today. 

(I’ll also note that I’m going to largely ignore PC gaming here and focus on mobile and console, specifically)  

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