Multi million selling video game series Grand Theft Auto "had" to be made by Brits because "Americans would have taken themselves too seriously", UK gaming legend Charles Cecil has said.
Speaking to VideoGamer.com in a mammoth interview, Cecil, who heads up York-based Revolution Software, the developer behind cult point and click adventures Beneath a Steel Sky and Broken Sword, added that he believed that from now on gamers will only get "around half a dozen $100 million GTA 4 style games a year", because of the impact of second hand games.
We caught up with Cecil in London following the launch of Raise the Game, a £450,000 campaign which aims to drive growth and innovation in the UK games industry.
Cecil described Rockstar's epic as "quite extraordinary" and slammed those in the mainstream media who have attacked it for not having "the first clue" about it.
He said: "GTA which I think is quite extraordinary, it probably had to be done by a British developer because the Americans would have taken themselves much too seriously. The charm and the joy of that game is the fact that it is tongue in cheek. People that attacked it as vigorously as they did in the wider media did so because they haven't got the first clue what it's actually all about. There are a number of games that are really quite offensive and do rightly give us a bad name, but GTA is certainly not one of them."
Unfortunately, however, Cecil sees a future where big budget GTA style games will be in short supply, citing the second hand video game market as the biggest culprit.
"I think they're (games) too expensive," he said. "And, while I'll be very unpopular for saying that because the industry is based on it, I think there's going to be seismic shifts. People will only pay for the landmark releases and the hundred million pounds or dollars, you can only afford a few. You look at some of these huge projects at some of the publishers, they're obviously funding their own internal development to produce enormous games that then fail, and then losing tens of millions of dollars, it's all a bit screwed up. At some point there's going to have to be a reality check. At that point there's going to be a real shake up between big titles."
He added: "There's no reason why a game shouldn't sell fairly cheaply, becomes successful and then build up. But with the exception of Assassin's Creed, which sold because it was good, there are very few examples of original IPs that... you look at Kane & Lynch for example. I hate to think what revenues they had. Publishers are finding it very difficult to get original IP and then force it into the market. So you're going to have to build up a reputation going forward and those big games are going to be based on sequels. I can't imagine anybody going forward is going to spend $100 million on a new IP without any indication whether it actually works or the market actually wants it."
You can check out our massive interview with point and click legend Charles Cecil right here.