Christian game developers have toiled in obscurity for all these years largely because we’re broke and making a video game is an expensive proposition. With little access to capital games have struggled with older technology that doesn’t compete with current expectations and anemic (…or totally absent…) marketing budgets. The two factors make the whole enterprise of building a Christian game a daunting task. The Catch-22 of course is that investors want to see some proven indication that a title has a reasonable chance of making a profit but it’s been next to impossible to prove the point when nobody can make a realistically funded effort. (Left Behind notwithstanding…ahem)
But two recent releases have me smiling about things to come. The first is Heaven The Game (which we reviewed here) and the other is Adam’s Venture. Neither game is what you would really call a AAA title and neither plays on a console which is where most of the gaming market is right now, but neither title could have been cheap to make, and that means somebody is starting invest some serious dollars into this niche I’ve been talking about for years.
Heaven includes some of the coolest sets and 3D models I’ve seen in a long time – truly fantastic stuff that must have required a gob of man-hours to create and render. Adam’s Venture apparently runs on the Unreal 3 engine, not the current $3 gozillion version but still a non-trivial expense.
I’m really excited to see these games come out. Not because they are perfect (full disclosure: I haven’t played Adam’s Venture) but because they are DONE. They are both real, functioning products in the marketplace and show all the indications of products that required significant time and money to complete. And I’d say they both represent a raised bar in the space that bodes well for everybody in the little room called Christian gaming. As investors start to see a momentum building in this space and a market that demonstrates a willingness to buy products that reflect their values, I expect we’re going to see more and more titles with bigger and bigger budgets – a rising tide lifts all ships.