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Paradox: Next generation probably the last

CEO Fredrik Wester sees a social, mobile and PC based future for industry

Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester has shared his doubts over the future of the console and boxed products.

"The next generation of console hardware will probably be the last," he told attendees to the Paradox annual showcase, reported StrategyInformer.

"I'd be surprised if we see another generation after that."

He explained that the future lay in digital products and open platforms like PC, mobile and social networks, while revenue from boxed products will continue to fall.

The comments were backed up by Paradox's own rise in digital revenue, from 1.5 per cent in 2006 to 97 per cent in 2011. They also reported a growth in revenue of 75 per cent for 2011, and a 250 per cent growth in profit.

Paradox Interactive is based in Sweden, and its games include Crusader Kings II, Victoria II: A House Divided and Pride Of Nations. In 2006 it launched digital distribution service GamersGate.

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Latest comments (15)

Michael Wiessmuller Managing Director & Business Development, Indie Games Services Ltd4 years ago
And I would agree with him.
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Roberto Bruno Curious Person 4 years ago
I actually think it makes a lot of sense.
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Leon Tilbrook Tech Team QA Engineer, NaturalMotion4 years ago
I agree but not that I will like it to much, I always love to see new tech and Developers pushing it as far as it can go before better hardware is needed.
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Show all comments (15)
David Tse CEO & Co-Founder Subsurface Games 4 years ago
I don't think consoles will ever die because there is alot to gain from being able to get down to the metal and program for a fixed platform, and mainly because of piracy. Consoles won't die because it's the only real way to combat piracy on the pc, but I do agree that physical media will die and the future consoles, not next generation but the one after, will rely on digital distribution.
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Michal Bayerl Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
Consoles will not die, they will change, transform into small pieces of hardware, that will require 24/7 connection to the internet. There's already one example - OnLive console. In the future, these consoles could be integrated into TV sets, which are already capable of online services.
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Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 4 years ago
I also think the next generation will be the last generation, but it will be replaced with services like OnLive where you don't need good hardware locally. Especially teh gaming industry will be happy as then it will be hard to find a copy you can run as all AAA games won't be available outside those services..
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Tamir Ibrahim Programmer, Rodeo Games4 years ago
The next generation will be the last generation of "consoles" as we know it. That doesn't mean there won't be developments or other new forms of gaming. There will still be new "consoles" be it they small streaming portals like OnLive or upgrade chipsets you can buy for your TV or something else entirely. If you take the life cycle of this generation of consoles and assume the next will have a similar length then we're talking 10-15 years from now.
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Roberto Bruno Curious Person 4 years ago
@David Tse:

Someone has to face it sooner or later: there's no effective way to combat piracy. And fightingpiracy apparently never translates in more sales.
Ironically the problem with PC sales wasn't piracy, it was the raising popularity of consoles that drove away a large chuck of core gamers from that market (even if the tendency is inverting now and the PC digital market is growing faster than ever).

Playstation 3 was the most effective piracy-proof console released by Sony and it was also their first console unable to completely dominate the market.

Of course, lot of people in the industry look at download numbers on PC and they may think "That's scary, we are losing a lot of money here" but actually a few researches pointed that roughly 84% of piracy network traffic comes from China (77%) and Hong Kong (7%).
On top of than that, recent statistics suggest that in the industrialized world many "pirates" are in fact far more active customers than the average.
It's also worth noting that, always according to these reports, many of these pirates already spend pretty much all they can realistically afford in consumer goods, no one is hoarding the money he's saving with piracy.
Which essentially means that even in a hypothetical scenario where you could stop them from downloading illegal stuff, all you could hope to achieve would be to make them spend roughly the same amount of money in a slightly different way.

Long story short: your software having poor sales could have more to do with you having an ineffective way to attract customers, to give them value for their money and to gain their loyalty than with people eventually downloading for free your software from torrent sites.
Pirates are not a pleasant sight for those who work in the industry, and that's easy to understand, but they are also not very relevant, as preventing them from pirating could hardly make them magically spend more money.
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Having spent half a decade making mobile games, I will be most frustrated if that becomes my "main way to get games"

Mobile is a supplement. Not a replacement!
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@ Roberto Bruno
I concur with all of that, going after pirates is just throwing good money after bad, they're better off spending all the money they spent on it on making better product's that actually can earn them more money.
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I would be surprised if there isn't console generation after the next one. These consoles will just be adapted to the current trends. Digital distribution will no doubt continue to increase its share compared to boxed, but will it completely take over boxed products by the next-next generation? These things just tend to take longer than expected because there are various forces keeping boxed products in store shelves.
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Tin Katavic Studying MSc-Games Technology, University of Abertay Dundee4 years ago
Consoles have an advantage that they are easy to set up, require low maintenance and simple to use. And you dont have to worry about OS.

If I were to try and guess the future I would think that its more likely to go the oposite way.
Meaning:
For serious gaming - consoles
For mobile gaming and most work (thinking stuff like word, excel, powerpoint, mail and internet) - tablets
For power users (programers, 3D artists ... all the people who USE their machines CPU and RAM) - PC

Taking a risk and pulling a number out of thin air I dont think that more then 25% of all computer users know more then the standard Microsoft office and mail/internet.

Things like OnLive are a wild card of sorts. Only thing I can say for sure (IMHO again) is that OnLive would reduce the need of heavy duty PCs for gaming. Other then that - too many variables.

Also - it needs to be said - digital products are not limited to PCs so that is not a valid argument.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tin Katavic on 21st January 2012 9:20pm

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Maybe the next after the current generation of console will not be comparable to the actual structure of platforms. MS and Sony changed their platforms a lot over those years that we can't compare the actual state to the release day1. I think the next console hardware and structure will be a lot more adaptable, something we're not used to today.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany4 years ago
"He explained that the future lay in digital products and open platforms like PC"

And wouldn't that be another generation after all?. Paradox has a really harsh and attention-seeking way of saying things.

Take for example his "We don't really need retailers any more". Tell that to the high percentage of people that rather buy a physical format for a game... or to the gamers in countries with slow internet connections.

I thing he needs to see the wide picture or use a bigger perspective.
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Roberto Bruno Curious Person 4 years ago
@Alfonso Sexto: well, except they have numbers for the "high percentage" of their customers who still buy in retail, as the article clearly states, and that's roughly 3% of their user base.

So yeah, I guess they can safely claim they have very little need of retailers right now.
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