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Larian: Consoles must adapt to survive

Mon 30 Jan 2012 8:55am GMT / 3:55am EST / 12:55am PST
HardwarePublishing

Swen Vincke says platform holders and publishers must adapt to suit the changing needs of developers

Swen Vincke, the founder of Larian Studios, believes that the platform holders need to relinquish control of the next generation of consoles to ensure their survival.

Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz in an interview published today, Vincke describes in detail Larian's decision to publish, market and distribute all of its future products.

The current generation of consoles makes it difficult for developers to release products with different business models and at a variety of price-points. In Vincke's view, this has to change.

"I think that if they don't, they're dead," he says. "Simply, they don't stand a chance of survival if they can't adapt as fast as the other platforms can."

"Imagine the moment where you have an iPad streaming to your TV and it's as powerful as a console. What's the USP of an actual console at that point? If you think of OnLive, and they solve all of their logistical problems, why do I need a console?"

"If I was a console manufacturer, and luckily I'm not, I would be asking myself a lot of questions of what I'm doing now, with the market still being so heavily controlled, and asking if that's really such a good idea."

Imagine the moment where you have an iPad streaming to your TV and it's as powerful as a console. What's the USP of an actual console at that point?

"If you put the console growth curve next to the growth curve of what's happening at Mac, for instance, I know which side of the battle I want to be."

Vincke sees this process as one of several major changes happening throughout the industry, including a shift in the balance of power between publishers and developers.

"There's a reason why Activision and EA have a monopoly on AAA development. As a matter of fact, I think they are actually making it a lot more expensive than it should be, because there's so much waste going on."

Larian - the creator of the Divinity RPG series - is attempting to address that "waste" by assembling an in-house publishing team that will give it full control of its future products, without sacrificing its presence in the vitally important physical retail market.

More importantly, it will give Larian access to a greater share of the revenue, which is greatly diminished with a publisher involved.

"There's an enormous difference between the revenue being made on a game if you do it direct, versus what you get as a developer on a royalty," Vincke continues.

"But if you can get access to the straight revenue that is being made per unit on a game that sells at 39 or 49, and you sell a million units, you have sufficient money to make a AAA game."

In the future, Vincke believes that, in the future, publishers will be structured in a similar way to EA's Partners scheme - a range of services from which developers can choose and tailor a deal.

"You need marketing, you need PR, and you need distribution, and the rightful model would be that you could employ these services. If I need PR, I go to a PR firm. If I need marketing, I go to a marketing firm," he says.

"The big shift, and it's actually already happening, is that instead of the revenue being kept in a bank called 'the publishers' the revenue is now going directly to the developer, who is going to employ all of these."

"So it's a radical power shift that's going on, and I think it's a very good thing for our industry."

35 Comments

Nick Parker Consultant

290 161 0.6
An interesting take on the future role of publishers - a one stop shop or a pick and mix service. Publishers will have to adapt, acquire then cut costs to survive as developers across all games experiences, even the triple A titles gain direct access to consumer facing platforms. Looking at the browser games model; quality is improving as the tool chain improves which means that, soon, browser based games can be less casual and more immersive. With the number of connected devices growing through smart TVs, Blu-ray players, STBs and mobile devices, as well as consoles, there will be triple A quality browser games available everywhere and at anytime (not to mention true cloud distribution). As long as the UI is compatible with core gamers needs on all these devices, a console controller is still seen as the best way for some to play games, then the console manufacturers and publishers better keep a keen eye looking over their shoulders.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
"I think that if they don't, they're dead," he says. "Simply, they don't stand a chance of survival if they can't adapt as fast as the other platforms can."

So we just had a generation of record breaking home console sales and portable consoles sales and yet the next generation of consoles is dead if they don't play by your rules. Do you really expect core gamers to jump ship to mobile devices just because your studio will be publishing elsewhere? Tone down the arrogance, please.

You know, I'm really getting tired of this unnecessary divide in our industry. The mobile sector has jumped onto the scene the past few years and is driving the biggest damn wedge I've ever seen right between the 2 factions. "Be like us or die"....is that what we want in our industry? Baseless, arrogant propaganda aimed at convincing investors for your own self serving interests instead of unifying to meet the desires of the market.

Is this video games or politics?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 30th January 2012 10:46am

Posted:2 years ago

#2
This is Video Games politics (because even between a party of two, there is always a balance of power, throw in a mother in law, things get interesting, and chuck in a baby, inheritance and a video game - it can get dice)

Or rather, I dont think one can escape politics (or the brinkmanship of join us or die attitude).
The matter of fact is, the global games pie just got bigger, and there is a place (in the sun) for a nice slice (s) of pie for all.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Sandy Lobban Founder and Creative Director, Noise Me Up

315 208 0.7
All in my own personal opinion.....

@Jimmy. Spot on. :)

In the end, people will go where the best entertainment is. Thats all you need to know if you aim to make games.

Also...consoles need to adapt to survive?? lol. How about iOS devs need to adapt to survive? If you havent read this, then you might find it interesting:

http://thegamebakers.com/money-and-the-app-store-a-few-figures-that-might-help-an-indie-developer.html

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Sandy Lobban on 30th January 2012 10:37am

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Antony Cain Lecturer, Wakefield College

263 21 0.1
Very interesting read Sandy, thanks

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Anthony Gowland Lead Designer, Outplay Entertainment

203 689 3.4
iOS devs are adapting to survive, hence the experimentation with, and take up of, new business models.

And these "record breaking home console sales" don't seem to have done much good for anyone but the top of the AAA ladder - how's that cost/income spreadsheet going to look with next gen production costs typed in to it?

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Even the current generation consoles are teetering on the edge of viability for big swathes of the gaming ecosystem. Witness the large number of studio closures and the significant number off development staff re-skilling to work away from boxed console products. If we get to the logical conclusion of where the console industry is going then there will only be a couple of releases each month, but they will be massive blockbusters that cost $100+ million each to do, creating an immense barrier to new entries.

The PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles have remained too expensive for too long, preventing the mass market breakthrough that comes with an impulse purchase price point. Because of this we have had a console platform generation that has not expanded the user base like previous generations.

The platform holders have missed the magic moment now that we have platform proliferation. Smart TVs, connected to the interwebs, are going to sell by the billion and will provide an excellent gaming experience. Add that to what smartphones and Facebook are already doing and it will remarkable if consoles become anything other than secondary gaming devices used by core gamers. Basically they did not adapt fast enough to the interwebs and allowed other platforms to take their market from them.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Ben Cousins General Manager, Sweden, ngmoco:)

3 0 0.0
@Sandy, you are wrong to suggest that people go to where the 'best' entertainment is. Every consumer decision is a combination of an assessment of quality, price and convenience.

The 'best' way of playing lots of FPS games is with a 3000 dollar PC and three wraparound LCD screens with 3D glasses, but most people opt for the cheaper, more convenient, lower quality console experience.

Consoles sit in the middle of the 'quality' spectrum, and other platforms encroaching on that area of the spectrum naturally put the console's position at risk, especially if they can offer cheaper, more convenient experiences at a competitive quality level and if they are backed by the world's biggest company...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ben Cousins on 30th January 2012 12:52pm

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
Ben, there is some truth to that but there is also a level of standard that gamers expect to have in their experiences and will not settle for a mobile device to replace their console or PC level of experience in spite of convenience and affordability.

And that portion of gamers is still very, very large. We need to stop looking at our industry as a the same sized pie from 2004. Cannibalization of console markets by mobile devices is not 100%. The pie is now much larger meaning that the 2 ecosystems can easily coexist.

Mobile suggesting that console change it's strategy just to stay alive is no different than the console market suggesting that the mobile segment focus solely on M rated, hardcore titles just to stay alive.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Console needs critical mass to work as a business model.
This is why it costs over $1 billion to launch a new console. Early adopters get things going then hard core gamers, but the model really needs lots of less committed purchasers. This is why the Wii was so successful.

The facts at Sony, for instance, as very stark.
PS1 105 million, PS2 150 million, PS3 60 million. As a graph it looks even better. Will Sony even make a lifetime profit out of the platform?

Consoles are so expensive for their users to feed, because they are so expensive for the platform holders to produce, that they only really work when there are no other kids on the block. They only came to prominence because they served as an anti piracy dongle. But now there are other ways of dealing with piracy they have lost much of their purpose in life.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

528 788 1.5
"The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console of all time, having reached over 150 million units sold as of January 31, 2011.[6][7] This milestone was reached 10 years and 11 months after the system was released in Japan on March 4, 2000."

Come back with that argument in 2017, Bruce.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
@ Jimmy Web - I liked your post.

I really hate these articles. Like the ones that say casual gaming is the future of gaming or mobile devices will replace consoles.

I personally enjoy playing games on a huge HDscreen in my home. The screen itself is not portable, meaning there will ALWAYS be a space for consoles to exist. Second I dont play games on the train, bus stop or when Im driving.I dont play when im walking around the city or crossing a street. I usually play my mobile games much like I do with a console. At home plugged into a wall.

I think the mobile game space and console game space will always be two distinct markets. By the time tablets have the strength of consoles, consoles will already be hardwired into the web becoming a multimedia entertainment hub for the entire house. Consoles will evolve in there own way.

I believe the future of gaming is in Digital distribution to any device. The used games market is hurting retail space and I honestly dont mind developers taking a step towards digital distribution the way they are doing. Game retailers like gameStop are really pushing there luck.

Consoles will always exist because you cant take a 50" - 60" screen anywere. Consoles also lend themselves for long play sessions, In mobile games, battery life is an issue, I spend most of my time plugged in a awall anyway, and you can only enjoy graphics in a small screen to a certain extent. I doubt a game like Killzone 3 would look better on a mobile device versus a HD 60"screen.

I personally also enjoy consoles because they are a gaming dedicated device meaning I dont have to spend 3000$ on a gaing rig for the latest game. Consoles are pretty affordable gaming alternatives. And if Digital distribution can increase the number of game sales, developers can cut prices down, making the console games more appealing. Making AAA gaimng expiriences affordable.

I also believe Nintendo is SPOT ON with the WiiU concept, in which the console controller itself in the future may become a mobile gaming device that is an extention of the console itself. Meaning you can probably take the controller around away from the console, and play games that actually add to the gameplay expirience of the game at home. For example like an RPG, I can play the story and main game on the console at home, but when I go else where I can continue to level up my character even if Im away from the console, at, buy and costumize certain aspect of the character that would normally take afew hours anyway, but Im not required to be glued to the TV screen as when im playing through the story.

I think if approached correctly the Wii U, at least in concept can bridge the Gap between Home gaming and mobile gaming. In the future PSP's and DS's may not be necessary, the controller itelf can be a gaming device that you can take away and the console can be a hub where you can download mobile games or play portions of console games on the go. Certain games cannot be enjoyed on a portable gaming device, simply because of the size of the screen.

What im trying to say is that consoles will evolve in there own way and will cater to the mobile games market just as they have with online gaming and digital distribution. I think the biggest hurdle is the cost of the games themselves, which im sure can be reduced if the developers can find a way to prevent used games market. I think console games should come with an activation key, like games on PC. DLC helps as well. If done correctly it can make console games even more profitable. Im still pumping money into Saints Row the 3rd new DLC.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 30th January 2012 2:02pm

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@David
Compare lifetime sales graphs and you can see that PS3 just isn't going to make it.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Sandy Lobban Founder and Creative Director, Noise Me Up

315 208 0.7
@Ben, fair point. I'll rephrase that to say "in the end people aspire to go where the best entertainment is". Why would game piracy, movie piracy and second hand sales exist otherwise? Its because its considered must see content surely?. As long as you aim to make the best content as a developer then its a good long term strategy. How that gets to the customer and on what device is up to you the creator.

My point with this is, I wouldnt get too caught up in what technology will do in the future. Its totally obvious that all businesses need to evolve in every industry in the world. Is there a business that never evolved and survived? To cut through though in the entertainment world, its all about the brand in my opinion, and that takes time to build. This is maybe something existing well focussed entertainment companies are better placed to do going forward. I think its more about the content than the delivery method basically.

If you think getting noticed in the app store and maintaining a viable business from it is difficult, then wait and see how difficult it is to get noticed in a smart TV store with millions of products, instant movie streaming, strong brand tv content and programming all on tap, on the same screen!. I think you need to be a pretty well focussed game brand and would have to be pretty unique to come through all of that.

It could just be that amongst this malaise of tech and content, a console can still stand out amongst the crowd which says "this device plays your games by the way, and when you play a game on it you know the entertainment is great". I'd personally take that any day, because I know the alternative will be a messy and fragmented world of channel hopping.



Posted:2 years ago

#14

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
Bruce, it doesn't have to make to 150 million sales. Profitability and unit sales are not 1:1. Look at the GC and Xbox. Sold 21 and 24 million respectively but which one turned massive profits and which one turned massive losses? How a console maker generates profits is a matter of many factors. Looking at sales alone tells no story.

You also have to factor in that the X360 and Wii pulled a lot of PS2 market gamers. X360 pulled many hardcore gamers while the Wii grabbed many of the formerly PS2 casual gamers. Take a look at the markets as a whole: DC, PS2, GC and Xbox = 205 million units. Wii, PS3 and X360 = 220 million units.

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Felix Leyendecker Senior 3D Artist, Crytek

183 202 1.1
@Bruce
according to wikipedia:

sixth gen total worldwide sales (ps2/xbox/GC): 192 milion
seventh gen total worldwide sales (ps3/xbox360/wii): 215 million

if you want to include handhelds, the growth has been from 85 million (GBA) to 125 million (DS)

All these numbers are counting until today, if you would only count the first 5-6 years for each gen, the disparity would be larger.

So you can't say there's no growth anymore.

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Felix
Seventh generation includes the Wii, which with about 95 million sold (in preference to the more hardcore gamer consoles) rather helps make my point.
For casual Wiii type games a smart TV is perfect.

Posted:2 years ago

#17
@felix exactly when the ps1 and ps2 were out playstation had like a monopoly now with the ps3 there is the xbox 360 both of which are basically the same so it is obvious that ps3 numbers will decrease but in total it just shows that consoles are more popular. I dont imagine myself playing on piece of tablet with a touchscreen... real gamers use buttons and play for hours not little games like those on tablets

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
Consoles will evolve in there own way. So far they have managed to adapt to online gaming, casual gaming and digital distribution. So I imagine they will also find a way to adapt to the needs of the mobile gaming comunity, wether its decreased prices or becoming multimedia entertainment hubs. The Wii U controller is probably a hint about how console games can take a part of mobile gaming market place.

Posted:2 years ago

#19

Sergei Klimov Director of Publishing & Business Development, Snowbird Studios

18 0 0.0
@Jimmy

OT: it's fun to read rather arrogant comments about someone making arrogant comments.

You write, "So we just had a generation of record breaking home console sales and portable consoles sales and yet the next generation of consoles is dead if they don't play by your rules."

What you forget is the technological leap that the hardware is now making every year. At the time of launch for the current gen, it wasn't possible to get the same quality anywhere except for high-end PCs. Right now, my iPad is already awesome, and there will be a new version of iPad coming out not every FOUR YEARS but every four quarters, if not more often.

Clouds, and streaming, did not exist massively back then. They are still far form massive even now, but they will give next gen a good run by the time next gen launches. OnLive, Gaikai are willing to take care of my game's demanding engine. PS, Xbox are on contrast trying to make me adapt to fir their hardware limitations.

Finally, Valve is doing a tremendously great job as a platform holder on Steam. Steam is dominant because Valve does the right thing, not because Valve invested billions in a factory in Kyoto and now we all have to pre-pay DS cartridges six months in advance.

So what you're saying is, forget the customer service of Valve, forget the streaming progress of OnLive and Gaikai, forget the immense power of Apple and similar "lifestyle" device makers, and just go and look at the '90s and early '00s and follow the same logic.

What's next, then? The revival of printed newspapers? Surely bloggers must sound arrogant to your ear, when they claim to make more money blogging than writing for a games magazine or a newspaper.

Heck, even right now, right here, we're talking on a web site, how about that. GamesIndustry adapted to the changing context of the industry and as a result I read them every second day, I read their emailed summaries, and I will pay a subscription fee if/when they introduce it, but there must have been some critic some time ago who must have told them that if they "expect core industry to jump on a frigging web site for industry news, they must be arrogant".

Coincidentally, Nintendo's going to have losses above previous projection, but I gather you will just tell me to go and develop for Wii U and whatever happens afterwards. I hope you forgive me when I won't.

Posted:2 years ago

#20

David Vink Freelance

19 16 0.8
I think the point of the article is being misunderstood by most of the commenters on here. It's not about mobile devices replacing consoles. It's about offering more opportunities for developers to get their products out on consoles using "different business models and at a variety of price-points". Right now the possibilities and different ways to get your game out for a console are very limited, while on pc and mobile anybody can get their game out to the public using whatever business model they want.

Posted:2 years ago

#21

Sergei Klimov Director of Publishing & Business Development, Snowbird Studios

18 0 0.0
@Tom

"Publishers are massive and draw in funding and investment to one place, they are a risk aware service and because they have multiple projects that will be hits, they can afford to fund some riskier things. "

It is fairly difficult to find the traces of these "riskier things", won't you agree?

I have a hard time believing in the survivability of a system where a talented developer (A) needs to make less money because of an amateur developer (B) just because their publisher (C) takes the profits generated by A's projects to cover losses generated by B's projects.

Someone on Swen's blog brought up a comparison with the music industry which sounds quite well-fitting to me: what if someone owned the CD format, and the DVD format, and you'll have to pre-pay your stock, and you'll have approval rights? Say, Bono sends out a master tape, and it's green-lit, and he's all right, but Bjork sends a tape and the executives say, this is way too wrong, ma'am, we won't really sign this product for our platform. Wouldn't that be a disaster?

I believe that the power at this moment in time shifts to the teams, and the people, who actually create stuff. If you're doing quality games and if you have experience/track record, getting funded form outside of the industry is not rocket science these days. And when you take away the funding... what remains is the marketing, and the distribution.

Distribution = logistics = always solid companies out there who can take care of this for reasonable margin. What about marketing, then? Well, one good example is Diesel, the fashion label, taking on small, boutique, new ad agencies and achieving excellent results - on contrast with people paying millions to the bigger net agencies for the same thing.

Publishing is a service. Content is king. Sure, marketing can make or break the product, and talented marketing people will always be in demand. But it has to start from the content, and then roll onwards to the consumers, I simply do not see sustainability in the situation where a company like one of the modern top international publishers is responsible for the development of the market & the industry. They will just drive it into the ground, won't they.

I believe in Warner backing up Supergiant to make Bastion huge, but I don't believe in Warner making Bastion in-house. Maybe someone can show me examples to the opposite?

Posted:2 years ago

#22

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
Sergei,
People aren't going to buy a new iPad every quarter every year, the increase in graphical capabilities year on year is not sustainable, some people like buttons and some people like a large fixed location TV.

OnLive and Gaikai, while noble and ambitious, do not meet the standards set by many gamers. It's sluggish, video is compressed, there are issues with policy and the whole thing requires an infrastructure that few places have in every home. Will they get better? Certainly, but being at the mercy of an Internet connection doesn't sit well with many people. And for $500, I can buy a PC that greatly exceeds the quality level provided by OnLive and Gaikai. For $160, I can buy a home console to do the same.

You mention Valve as though home consoles do not offer digital distribution services. Valve themselves are even talking with the console makers to put Valve on their console networks.

No, I'm not saying forget progress at all. I'm saying it is ignorant to suggest a market that works, that's profitable, that's growing to redevelop itself into a similar market as a competing industry segment in order to maintain business. It's like the truck industry telling all 4 door sedans to implement tail gates or face extinction in the automotive market.

And did I not just get finished saying the two markets can coexist? You are calling me arrogant for assuming that I don't want the console market to change which is a false understanding on my ideas to begin with. What I claim to be arrogant is the idea that the mobile market will kill off the console market if the console market doesn't change to become more like the mobile market. This in spite of the fact that there exists a very sizable market segment that wants console style gaming.

Nintendo's losses: We already covered that in a recent story. 75% of their losses came in Q1 and Q2 because of the foreign exchange rate between the Japanese Yen and the US dollar. Nintendo holds vast amounts of their assets in dollars hence the major damage. They already made a profit in Q3 and will again in Q4. The only reason they expect greater full fiscal year losses above initial projections is because the initial projections were made before the Yen appreciated to where it is now.

Posted:2 years ago

#23

Matthew Handrahan Staff Writer, GamesIndustry.biz

124 115 0.9
@David - Thanks for your comment there, and I agree.

As always, it's good to read the original interview to get the full discussion, but Swen's comments were about consoles becoming more accessible to more developers, regardless of budget, business model, or target retail price. If you've got under 10 or more than 35 to spend then the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have a lot to offer, but there's a lot of space in-between. Steam, on the other hand, has a game for practically every price-point, and allows a greater diversity of developers and products to thrive as a result.

The majority of our discussion was about the changing nature of the developer-publisher relationship, but Swen wasn't suggesting that iPads will make consoles obsolete. However, he was suggesting that Microsoft and Sony had better be taking notes on what makes it so popular as a gaming platform and incorporate that into whatever they have planned, because iPads will almost certainly be taking on more console-esque functions in future.

Posted:2 years ago

#24

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
All consoles already have digital distribution models. Some with multiple price tiers that fill in various pricing segments.

Are they as open as iOS? No, and no platform holder should ever be expected to be that open either. But if utilizing as many points of entry into a market as you can and at price points well below retail, all consoles have already move din that direction. The difference is open or closed...go with either, go with both.

The difference in open and closed platforms is a whole different story but it seems to be the underlying problem at hand. But open will work for some while the benefits of the closed platform will work for others.

Posted:2 years ago

#25
@Matthew: Thanks for pointing that out ;)

@Jimmy: I'd be interested in comparing net revenue via digital on consoles versus net revenue from digital on "open" platforms. Most data I have on that is informed hearsay, so maybe you're better placed to comment, but from what I can see, digital on closed platforms is not doing that well at all. Actually, if the numbers I've seen are representative, it's hardly worth the effort, considering how much more you can make on the other platforms.

Posted:2 years ago

#26

Sergei Klimov Director of Publishing & Business Development, Snowbird Studios

18 0 0.0
@Jimmy

"being at the mercy of an Internet connection doesn't sit well with many people"

I'm one of the few people who actually still buy The Economist, paper version, in my neighborhood. Others already embraced "being at the mercy of an Internet connection" and read it via their iPad Apps.

If you book hotels quite often, I'm certain that you would agree with the statement that WiFi went through a very quick evolution of being first a service, and then a necessity.

I have now flat screens in most of the hotel rooms. And I have WiFi. I'm willing to bet good money that with Steam TV, or OnLive, or Gaikai, I will soon be able to run from my iPad the app that will bring my current games up on the wall of my Radisson Blu hotel room, so that I can start playing in Moscow, continue in Berlin, and finish in Los Angeles.

"You mention Valve as though home consoles do not offer digital distribution services."

I think you misread into my post. Valve is great not because their offer you downloadable content. Valve is great because they work so well with the DEVELOPERS. They are open to new ideas, supportive of their partners, and accessible for new talent.

Try publishing on XBLA and on Steam, and see which is easier these days?

I've seen companies selling their XBLA slots but I haven't seen companies selling their Steam slots, just because Valve doesn't have a barrier which new teams have to jump over.

"I'm saying it is ignorant to suggest a market that works, that's profitable, that's growing to redevelop itself into a similar market as a competing industry segment in order to maintain business."

I remember when Blackberries were all the rage, and when RIM said that they are not concerned by Apple's efforts. I'm seeing the same now with Apple being not too much concerned about the Android market. People who succeed once, tend to take the success for granted at some point, that's just the way that it works.

It's been great with PS3 when PS3 vs. PC had the argument of, "start up and start playing versus start up and start working on your videocard settings and patch downloads". But with Steam, I don't care about patching any longer, I just start up and start playing on Steam. Give OnLive some time, and I won't care about PC or Mac, Acer or Samsung, I'll only care about the screen.

"You are calling me arrogant for assuming that I don't want the console market to change"

Nope, was calling you arrogant for calling Swen arrogant :-)

Anybody who calls somebody else arrogant points a finger back at himself, in my book.

He has a point, you have a point, why don't we compare the points - and not the labels that we can put on each other? Heck, it's an industry site.

"What I claim to be arrogant is the idea that the mobile market will kill off the console market if the console market doesn't change to become more like the mobile market."

That wasn't Swen's message, in my book. He's talking about the level of access to, and control of, platforms. PC is open. Consoles are less so. Whoever has the content, will win the hearts and the wallets of the consumers.

"Nintendo's losses: We already covered that in a recent story."

Can you please remind me of Nintendo's success rate in EMEA?

Can you please explain what's the state of the NDS market in Europe nowadays? I somehow fail to see an abundance of titles, and assume that the rigidity of the platform is at the core of this.

Gated communities will lose to a free market. Just look at the film business.

Posted:2 years ago

#27

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,138 1,179 1.0
Books were not killed by movies. Performing musicians were not killed by the Radio. Movies were not killed by TV. TV was not killed by the Internet. Consoles will not be killed by tablets. Nothing is that good that it can really kill something which works on such a scale as the things listed above. At best it absorbs and evoles, much like Apple products do.

Yes, future platforms are going to change the way content is delivered. Yes, it will impact the format in which content is presented. Yes, due to growth, a smaller percentage of gamers will know any single product. Yes, there will still be the same type of games and controls. Yes, this will be us playing the same old games 50 years from now: [link url=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/845/14sherammo.jpg/
]http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/845...[/link]

Posted:2 years ago

#28

Farhang Namdar Lead Game Designer

75 47 0.6
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I was in the other room giving an awesome presentation of DRAGON COMMANDER when I heard Swen giving this interview... It sounded quite innocent from a distance but it has apparently created quite a buzz!

ROCK AND ROLL BABY!!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Farhang Namdar on 30th January 2012 10:00pm

Posted:2 years ago

#29

Sergei Klimov Director of Publishing & Business Development, Snowbird Studios

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I'd like to take the opportunity to go back to the original quote form Swen:

"The current generation of consoles makes it difficult for developers to release products with different business models and at a variety of price-points. In Vincke's view, this has to change."

@Jimmy et co.

Can someone really disagree with this statement?

Will someone please write that the current generation of consoles makes it EASY to release products with different business models and at a variety of price points?

And if we all agree that the current generation is not that much accessible, than maybe someone can argue that it's all fine, and doesn't have to change?

I mean, come on, there's a lot of steam in this thread, but I think nobody really can say that we're having a perfect layout with the current gen, and that the industry rules as we see them are the golden age of the industry and should continue unchanged into the future.

Posted:2 years ago

#30

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

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Sergei, I wish this were in a more common forum setting so we could debate this subject with better structure. With that in mind, my reply will not be as long as I want it to be.

"At the mercy of the Internet" for news is vastly different than "at the mercy of the Internet" for streaming a video game. The news on the newspaper and the news on the Internet are largely the same data, readable at the same pace, but neither has issues that hamper your reading experience over the other. "At the mercy of the Internet" with regards to video games means you are subject to lag, reduced texture and picture resolutions, frame rate drops and more compared to playing from a local machine. This is not acceptable for a large portion of the market.

"I think you misread my post"' No, you misread mine. I was speaking of console digital distribution services. Valve is not a home console DD service (yet). Does not each console offer a digital distribution service with multiple pricing tiers? Do they need to be more flexible with their service? Sure they do. But don't suggest consoles need to mimic a different market segment to survive and ignore the fact they are already expanding in that direction.

Apple and RIM compete for the same market. Angry Birds and Call Of Duty do not compete for the same market. Let's not forget that mobile devices will never equal the power of home consoles. Battery life, heat dissipation, form factor and other aspects simply will not allow a mobile device to be graphically as powerful as a home console. Unless you are OK with a 5 minute battery life, a case that burns your fingers to hold it and a system lifespan of no more than a few weeks, you cannot match a home console with a mobile device form factor and heat dissipation capabilities.

Now you are talking about the difference in close DD services and open DD services. Did I not already cover that? I even said, "This seems like the underlying problem at hand". Are you reading my replies in their entirety?

Nintendo's success rate in EMEA is doing quite well. Perhaps your individual markets of Russia and the Ukraine are poor (Nintendo never did have good distribution in eastern Europe). The DS sold over 50 million units in Europe and the 3DS is now over 4 million units (ahead of the pace set by the DS back in 2005).

I think by now you can see that I agree that all 3 console makers need to be more flexible in their digital distribution models. I never disagreed with that. What I disagreed with is the notion that if they don't change their accessibility, that the home console market will die.

Posted:2 years ago

#31
Why do people seek to make Fish Fly indefinitely out of water?
Surely it is plain to accep that Fish swim (in general), Birds (fly in general), there are Flying fish and swimming birds but in the main, both are happy being in their respective medium.

Thus if there is a ecology of Net/TV streaming, Portables (for people who absolutely need to play whilst walking blindly and crossing the road without being brained by oncoming transport) and Consoles (for folks who want high fidelity without the fuss of the latest hardward) and PC/Mac owners (for all things MMO, casual/social, browser, and customizable)

so be it....

Posted:2 years ago

#32

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

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Thank you, Dr. Market demand dictates that the individual market segments can coexist. One segment demanding the other segment mimic itself to sustain their business against the demands of the consumer just doesn't make any sense to me.

Does the market want mobiles games? Yes.
Does the market want console games? Yes.

Do we need to stop the infighting between mobile and consoles? Yes.

Posted:2 years ago

#33

Farhang Namdar Lead Game Designer

75 47 0.6
Honestly Jimmy from a developers point of view selling units and getting your money is more important than waisting money through an insane amount of procedures to get your game on the shelves. Consoles won't die out but its going to be hard to get (independent) developers to create fresh games for a platform that requires the printing cost of the games upfront. Unless you own a platform or are a key publisher it doesn't seem lucrative to make games for consoles.

COD 13 anyone?

Posted:2 years ago

#34

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

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Farhang, I think you just touched on the missing point that I've been waiting for someone to finally say. Independent developers.

Independent developers have never had an easy access to consoles. With the advent of the DD services on the consoles, it did become easier but certainly not as easy as an purely open service.

What is really needing to be said is (from an Independent developer point of view), lower your accessibility or I will die (if open services didn't already exist that is

Posted:2 years ago

#35

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