Industry Insights: Stewart Gilray, Oddworld Inhabitants

Industry Insights: Stewart Gilray, Oddworld Inhabitants [Hosted by SPOnG]

Date: 25/03/2013

Interviewer: SPOnG

Interviewee: Stewart Gilray


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: Stewart Gilray
Job Title: CEO
Company: Just Add Water / Oddworld Inhabitants
Best Known For: Oddworld series

Stewart Gilray is the CEO of Just Add Water, the british development studio tasked with revitalising the much-loved Oddworld brand. With digitally distributed versions of Strangers Wrath satisfying fans, and a remastering of PS One classic Abe’s Oddysee coming soon, it seems like the outfit is on track to fulfil its mission.

Let’s see what Stewart thinks about the latest trends taking place in the industry.

Q: Do you feel that an always-online future would be a positive one, for both developers and gamers?

Stewart Gilray: I think it’s a pain for DRM types, like we’ve seen with SimCity, and I’d actually say that that’s a terrible step for both customers and the industry. But having an always-on system that can update in the background, or give new features to benefit the player is definitely welcome. I do question if the internet access infrastructure is where it needs to be yet.

Q: Following Sony’s PlayStation 4 reveal event, how successful do you think next-generation consoles will be in capturing the indie and mobile gamer?

Stewart Gilray: I think if Sony carry on as they have, and Microsoft decided to follow suit then it should be great. Sony have been extremely positive with their support for indies in the recent years, and long may it continue.

Q: How important is it to create new intellectual properties for existing platforms? Should the final years of a console generation consist of already-established franchises?

Stewart Gilray: Interesting question, and not one I’m sure I can answer fully, but I’d imagine it shouldn’t matter too much. Unless of course you’re investing MEGA bucks into the project and your customer base has hopped to the new platform, then that is a problem.

However, it’s not as if every PS3 or 360 is going to be binned overnight with the PS4/new xbox replacing them, so there will be a relevant market for a decent amount of time at least.