Facebook Files: What Western Games and Developers Do You Like?



Welcome to Facebook Files, where we sometimes secretly ask questions to see what our readers like, while pretending they’re "discussions." Here’s a rundown of how things work: Every week, we look through our Facebook group for the best community discussions. The ones that stand out are published on Siliconera as part of this feature every weekend. If your topic isn’t chosen one week, don’t lose heart…it might get picked up the next!


We’re all obviously fans of Japanese games, but something that doesn’t get discussed on Siliconera very often — unless it’s very unique — are western games and developers. What western games and developers do you like? Is there a particular developer from the West that you think can capture the same kind of charm that appeals to you in the way Japanese games do? Fire away, we’d love to know!


Here are some opinions from the usual Facebook thread:


Fabio wrote:

I used to be a PC gamer (I started gaming on a C64 and then moved to a PC, only started getting consoles in 2002), so of course I had to be appreciative of what western developers had to offer. Some of my favorites were id Software because of their awesome Quake series, Activision for complex games like Mechwarrior 2, Acclaim for their great shooters and Shadowman, Cyan for the Myst series, Infocom for their humor, and obviously the gods at Bullfrog for the awesomeness that was Magic Carpet. Overall, though, there are too many to count.


Granted, things change with time. Infocom is long dead. id hasn’t made a good game since Quake 3. Activision has become kind of like EA. Bullfrog got destroyed by EA (cannot forgive them). Acclaim went bankrupt, and their latest games sucked anyway. Cyan isn’t really making games anymore, I don’t even know if they’re still alive.


Ishaan wrote:

Haha, it’s funny you should mention Acclaim…I still love playing Extreme G-2 and XG3 whenever I can. Still among the best racing games for me. Crystal Dynamics were also fantastic with their Legacy of Kain series.


Haha, there’s just something very unique about European developers that I love. They’ve never been scared of tackling issues like voice-acting, giving personality to their protagonists etc.

Tim wrote:

I picked up Dragon Age: Origins when it was released and has introduced me to Bioware. I love the game and how much thought and story is put into the characters and world. The characters are wonderful, voice acting is great as well, though lame voice acting is getting harder to spot nowadays. I haven’t played Mass Effect, but I have been reading about a lot of it. I plan to play it, but I hear it can be very long if I want to experience the most out of it.


Valve is another current favorite, pushing games like Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, and Team Fortress 2; nice fast paced, multiplayer games that are a lot of fun to play, and most of the time don’t have the annoying elitist gamers you get in COD or Halo games.


Mattias wrote:

Llamasoft. Jeff Minter makes the best western shooters available! Charlie at www.charliesgames.com is quite the bundle of joy too.


If we put aside my shmup fetish I do fancy Bioware because of their epic RPGs, Double Fine because Tim Schafer’s a genius and RARE because they’ve still got it after all these years.


I’m always interested in knowing what western games our readers like because some of them are very unique and we’d love to be able to talk about them occasionally on the site (we do cover quirky games). For example, Epic Mickey got a great response from everyone. There was demand for Scribblenauts coverage, too, which we couldn’t do, unfortunately, because we were all tied up at the time.


[Next week: Game titles: Which ones are awesome and which ones suck?]

Ishaan Sahdev
About The Author
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.