For the record, I am not blindly anti-corporation, in that I believe any company that has over a certain number of employees is automatically evil. I'm simply not capable of exhibiting that level of illogical idiocy with a straight face.
However, when one mixes any form of art or creative expression with a big business mentality, things can get strained. Just ask former Electronic Arts developer and World of Goo co-creator Ron Carmel, who described working for EA as "working for a machine."
"The reason I left EA was because it really was a machine. There was the designer/producer who came up with the design document–it’s literally this packet of paper that’s 50 pages deep–and it was handed to me.
It was my role as an engineer to implement the design document, and so I could steer it maybe one or two degrees in any direction. But I really felt like I was a factory worker more than a creative worker."
The bottom line is that Carmel says he wasn't able to be as creative as he could be, even though he felt he "had a lot to contribute." He also added that such conditions aren't only found at EA; in fact, they can be found at most any large company. Carmel said that working for a big company makes you a "specialized tool," but it's the opposite when you're creating something independently with a small team.
So is it fair to assume that as video games have become more mainstream, innovation and originality have fallen by the wayside too often due to corporate suffocation? Suffocation of individual thinking and creativity?