Innovation lesson from Rockstar Games: Getting it right is more important than being first

grand theft auto 5

In an industry that has been declining in the last few years, Rockstar Games is always pushing boundaries. Whether it’s pushing the technological boundary of existing game consoles, utilizing storytelling, creating game mechanics that enhance game play; they’re the Christopher Nolan of the game industry.

Everyone is eagerly waiting what they come out with next!

I wrote about how Rockstar Games is true innovator in the gaming industry a couple of years ago. Their Grand Theft Auto franchise is now a well know name around the world, and not just in gaming. It has moved into pop culture, as well as redefining the entertainment industry.

Yesterday, they released their next take on the series: GTA V.

I haven’t played it yet, but from what I’m hearing, it is a beast. Some are calling it the best video game ever!

I’m not going to talk about the game here, but I do want to make reference to the fact that Rockstar has been shaping the video game industry for a long time. And, how they’ve gone about doing that, is quite similar to what happens in other industries…

What is interesting about Rockstar Games GTA series, is that they didn’t pioneer the genre of open world gaming, as well as many of the other features in the game. They just put the pieces together differently, and came out with something better.

Sound familiar?

There are a lot of tech companies (Apple) who didn’t pioneer what they are known for. They redefined it, and got it right.

Innovation is not a set event, it is process of evolution and revolution. Rockstart Games GTA revolutionized a game design tactic that started in the 80’s, and have been evolving that tactic to this day.

Bottom line: Innovation is a marathon with sprints in between. Which means that you don’t have to do it first, you just have to get it right.


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