Written by Stegofreak; PSHG Guest Contributor
Lockwood, Granzella, Codeglue; for many gamers these names mean little, but for those of us who’ve made our home in Home they resonate with the power of names like Sony, SEGA, Nintendo or Microsoft. When it first opened its world to us Home was little more than a nexus, a seed just waiting for the right nourishment to grow and develop in the most unlikely of places. And grow it did, firstly through Sony’s own efforts, followed by tie-in spaces from the wider gaming community and then they came; nDreams, Hellfire Games and Wrangler – companies who helped shape Home into the service we know and love today.
I guess it all started with Xi. Though interactive spaces were nothing new to Home by the time nDreams’ ambitious project rolled onto the scene, Xi was like nothing else we’d seen before. It expanded the boundaries of what Home was and could be, even as the infant service was changing our perspectives on what could be done on a gaming console. Ask anyone who was there when Xi was handed to us and to a person you’ll get a gushing, enthusiastic recollection. If this was any indication of things to come, Home was going to be more than just a flash in the pan; it was going to be something that other companies needed to take notice of.
Since Xi hit our screens we’ve welcomed a casino, fossil digging, battling robots, new worlds and of course Xi: Continuum into our lives, each in turn challenging our preconceptions of what Home can be. Suggesting that the idea pool is set to dry up is a discredit to the companies who’ve put so much work into Home to date. Projects like Lockwood’s Mercia: Fractured Realms and Hellfire Games’ Home Tycoon have shown that there’s room for a substantial game within the Home universe whilst Xi proved that Home need not be confined to its digital service.
To focus just on the activities and games of Home, however, is to set our sights too narrow. When the service first emerged there was little means to stand out from the crowd. Offered generic clothing options and a smattering of costumes, the chances to create a unique look were limited. Now though the Home fashion industry is doing vibrant business. Codeglue’s U Love Green collaboration continues to turn heads with their latest collection, whilst Lockwood’s Drey collection remains the height of fashion. Wrangler too has found a market on Home, the clothing giant offering some of the most stylish looks available on the Home market.
For those whose fashion sense tends toward the wacky, Home’s costume offerings have expanded with as much vigour as its more traditional counterpart. Companies like nDreams, Granzella and Sony themselves have led the charge in this respect, ensuring that every visit to the Home universe is a unique and enjoyable experience.
When I first entered Home all those years ago I was one of the inhabitants (surely now we inhabit rather than play Home) who could see beyond what the young service was to envision what it could be. Thanks to Sony, to nDreams, to Lockwood, Granzella and Codeglue, Hellfire Games and Wrangler, and to all the companies whose names I’ve omitted from this article, Home has developed beyond anything I thought possible. On behalf of the Home community I offer a hearty Thank You.