Is Kanye West a Legitimate Indie Game Dev?
If you haven’t heard already, it was announced awhile back that Kanye West intended to create a video game focused on his mother’s journey to heaven. Of course, since Kanye West is an extremely polarizing A-list superstar, he and his wife Kim Kardashian are seen more as caricatures and punch lines rather than living breathing human beings. Admittedly, when I heard the rumors months ago, I passed it off as a some sort of joke, and very few people in the gaming media took it very seriously.
Last night during a live stream promoting Yeezy’s new album The Life of Pablo, he decided to also use the platform as a method of giving the world a look at the first teaser trailer for his upcoming indie game, Only One. The title Only One comes from a song he released last year featuring Paul McCartney, in which ‘Ye sings from the perspective of his mother, who passed away in 2007, as she looks down on him and his daughter from heaven. At the streaming event last night, the trailer for the video game appeared wildly out of place and Yezzus looked like he realized this, and decided to explain briefly some of the difficulties he has ran into in developing the game followed by a second showing of the trailer.
“No, you don’t understand. Like, I go out and meet with everybody in San Fran, and they diss the fuck out of me. And I’ll be like, ‘I wanna make a game,’ and they’ll be like, ‘FUCK YOU.’ That was hard to do, bro!”
Video games in general have made amazing strides in becoming a forum for creativity that is inclusive. Game devs, especially independent, have been able to craft games that appeal to new audiences using exploration, narrative, and art more so today than any other time in gaming’s short history. While his audience seemed a little stunned by the game in general, what we got was a pretty solid teaser that legitimately grabbed my interest. Assuming Kanye isn’t planning on making this game $59.99 and selling a season pass and DLC, this game has the makings to fit right in with like.. dare I say LIMBO?
The point is, game development is not an easy task, and the fact that Kanye West has come this far in developing a game is praiseworthy. Infinitely more people will sit on the couch and contemplate making a video game only to come up with excuses and have their dreams fall through. Do I think Mr. West has been spending sleepless nights coding this game himself or working out bugs? Probably not. Odds are, that while Yeezy is a talented dude, this game won’t be ‘Game of the Year’ and he will not end up the new Hideo Kojima. At this point there is no release date, or list of available platform’s for Only One.
It may be a tough pill to swallow for some, assuming this game gets released to the public, Kanye West is a legitimate indie game developer. And as mentioned before I don’t personally see him being the next Kojima, who is to say he can’t be the next Peter Molyneux?