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Molyneux: The industry must expand or die

Molyneux: The industry must expand or die

Tue 18 Jun 2013 7:17am GMT / 3:17am EDT / 12:17am PDT
PeopleDevelopmentE3 2013

In part 2 of our talk, the 22Cans boss discusses the lack of growth in consoles, how Nintendo's hardware "gets in the way" and more

Last week during E3, we caught up with 22Cans' Peter Molyneux to get his unbridled opinion on the show and the next-gen console war between Microsoft and Sony. Today, in part two of our interview, we're happy to bring you the rest of Molyneux's comments about the industry's need to expand, the impact of cloud gaming, Nintendo's stance on hardware, and of course, his own ambitions for Project Godus.

Since founding 22Cans, Molyneux has found himself gravitating more and more towards mobile and tablets. He's a big fan of Supercell's Clash of Clans, and he has serious questions about the validity of the console business if it doesn't change its ways.

"In terms of audience and engagement, I'd argue [consoles] already have [been overtaken by mobile and tablets]. What this show's all about is making products for a core audience," he told GamesIndustry International at E3. "This audience is kind of fixed, we know who it is, we know how many people are going to buy Call of Duty, whether out of habit or excitement. Is it really cutting edge? Do consumers out there think, 'Wow there's another console generation coming' or is there an irrelevance to it?"

"In 10 years time, are we still going to be making games for 10 million people? I'm not sure we can afford that luxury"

"It's interesting how while the Microsoft conference was going on, so was the Apple conference. And they announced that they would start supporting wireless controllers [for iOS]. All they have to do is flick a switch and your Apple TV becomes a console. You don't have to invest 400 quid. It's already there, it's already plugged in. And this industry seems to be oblivious to it. This show's completely oblivious to it. That's fine if we're happy making games for this core audience. In 10 years time, are we still going to be making games for 10 million people? I'm not sure we can afford that luxury."

One of the problems with the console industry, he continued, is that it's not supportive enough of indies. While Sony's making a bigger push, Microsoft just doesn't seem to care. If anything, though, Microsoft should be able to leverage its PC and Xbox ecosystem to the benefit of independent developers, but it's just not happening.

"This drives me crazy. You think of Microsoft. They've got two amazing platforms. They've got Windows and Xbox, and you would think there would be an ecosystem that encompasses both of those platforms in a truly encouraging way. And I think it's a wasted opportunity. That being said, I think when you're doing something like manufacturing a console there are so many things you've got to be careful of in terms of security and secrecy, which is very scary coming into a conference like this. It's all about pulling back the curtain, and if you tell indie developers [in advance] there are risks of leaks. So I kind of understand it, but it doesn't seem right, that they have an ecosystem that doesn't really encourage small development. They've had their try at it, but it doesn't seem like it's part of their DNA," Molyneux, a former Microsoft Game Studios executive himself, lamented.

Regarding Nintendo, Molyneux reiterated what many have said in recent months: the company could fare a lot better if it got out of the hardware business. Molyneux doesn't necessarily buy into the idea put forth by Shigeru Miyamoto that Nintendo must create hardware to cater to the needs of its own development talent.

"Nintendo are brilliant about bringing people into the industry, and I think their hardware is starting to get in the way of that"

"What Miyamoto says defines things in this industry. What I say just upsets people," he cautioned, before continuing. "When Nintendo is making truly world-changing hardware, I totally see his point. But I do wonder about the Wii U - it seemed to be a kind of reaction to SmartGlass. And it's very chunky, doesn't really feel like it's cutting edge. That's when we start saying, 'Why not spend some of your unbelievable talent on these devices?' Because there's a billion people out there," Molyneux said, pointing to his iPad.

"You know what Nintendo did - this is a fascinating thing - Nintendo created gamers by the software they made. They created millions of gamers with Donkey Kong and Mario - they were the birth of gamers. That exact same thing is happening on this platform today. Millions of new gamers are being created almost every month, and they're being created with titles not from Nintendo, not from Microsoft, not from Sony, not even necessarily from Activision or EA. They're being created by companies like Supercell and Rovio. They're the ones that are bringing and creating new gamers. And now there are millions of people interacting with franchises, which Nintendo won't even touch, which seems a shame to me because Nintendo are brilliant about bringing people into the industry, and I think their hardware is starting to get in the way of that," he said. "But I caveat all of this by saying that they are a factor more intelligent than I am, and they've probably got a plan, and you should never underestimate Nintendo. We'll probably be sitting here in a couple years saying, 'Oh that's what they were doing'."

The console technologies out there may not be very exciting for Molyneux, but the former Lionhead boss does see a lot of potential in the cloud, just not for the reason you might think, and not for the reason Microsoft would have you believe.

"To me, the cloud is more than just more computing power," he said. "That's typically something you can do. You can say, all those distance shots I can render off in the cloud. If it's interrupted or something then it just doesn't render that distance stuff. Ok, I get that, but to me - and this is what Curiosity experimented with - what Curiosity tried to do is say, 'How can we use this cloud stuff in a couple of interesting ways?' and the first thing was making an experience where tens of thousands of people could concurrently come together and do something simultaneously. You could see other people tapping, and at the end there were hundreds of thousands of people on that experience simultaneously. That to me is something that couldn't exist without the cloud. That's what I want to see from the cloud: games or parts of games and new genres that couldn't exist without the cloud. So I think the cloud is an important thing and it may lead to some very influential changes in gaming."

That idea of leveraging the cloud for simultaneous interactions with gamers across the world is something that will continue with the launch of Molyneux's Godus.

"We cannot just sit around and think we'll use the cloud just to do more rendering. We cannot sit around and define this industry by making first-person shooters!"

"It's amazing... every single game of Godus is connected to every other single game of Godus. What you do on Godus is you sculpt your own living world - it's the most delightful, simple thing - but because they're connected, we can do some really interesting stuff," Molyneux noted. "This 18-year-old kid [Bryan Henderson] who got to the center of the cube [in Curiosity] - he won that prize - he can now be the moral compass for everybody's game. That is unbelievable. Then what we can do with that power, every week he can make some decisions about the game, we can say after six months, you or your clan that you formed in Godus can challenge Bryan. If you win, you or someone in your clan can become god of gods. That means you are the moral compass, and you also get royalties from 22Cans as god of gods. And if this game is successful that could be a substantial amount of money."

"When you challenge Bryan, that will be on Twitch TV. That moment where you dared to challenge the god of gods, we're going to look at social media to see who's following which faction. That's like a reality TV show. This is how we use stuff. It's a bit insane, I have no idea if it's going to work, but that's what we should be doing in the gaming industry. We cannot just sit around and think we'll use the cloud just to do more rendering. We cannot sit around and define this industry by making first-person shooters! We have not got that luxury. We will lose our consumers. This core audience we have will get smaller," he continued.

The passion that Molyneux exhibits is fun to observe. What's he going to be working on next? That's not clear. He believes that Godus will require his attention for quite some time as games become more like services.

"It takes a long time to get over the addictive nature of making console games. That's all about, 'you've got two years, make this' and you move on to something else. That's not how it works anymore. I think of the launch of Godus as being another day of development, and our passion and fanatical focus should be on Godus for at least a year after launch," he said.

"Being able to put all the hooks in there and being able to continue to innovate and charm people is what it's all about. That's like making a TV series; you don't say when you're making Breaking Bad, 'what are you going to do next?' You say, 'What's going to happen next in Breaking Bad?' That's the way I'm thinking at the moment. I've got one focus, one passion, one fanatical objective and that's to make a great game of Godus and to continue making it a great game, to continue to evolve it, because people are playing games on this format and this format not for 20 hours as they do on console games but they're playing it for days, weeks, months and sometimes years," he continued, pointing to his phone and tablet. "That's what I want as a designer... that's incredibly exciting."

29 Comments

Christophe Danguien
games developer

67 82 1.2
Hmm, I think he's just defending the platform he works on at 22can, sorry but the conversion rate from never been a gamer and playing on Ipad games, to buying a console must be something like 0.1% and I think I'm being quite generous there.

I don't know any one, who wasn't a gamer beforehand, who decided to get a console to play on other games. I don't know millions of people, but that's still saying something.

Nintendo brought hardcore gamers, Ipad doesn't, it doesn't bring the hardcore guys who will buy the console day one, etc.. it brings 99.9% of time casual gamers who will play on the tube, or while traveling, but those people won't go and buy the PS4 for example.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,153 935 0.8
It is expanding but I'm not sure where the doom and gloom comes into it. I don't think the industry is current at risk of dying, even if expansion slowed. Unlimited growth isn't necessarily the best policy for everything.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Tameem Antoniades
Creative Director & Co-founder

196 164 0.8
Popular Comment
I don't think he's suggesting they will migrate to console. For most of these new gamers, I suspect touchscreen devices could be their first real taste of gaming and it will likely be their only one going forward.

Thinking back in time, i witnessed the withering of arcades once personal computers/consoles took off. Convenience won despite inferior graphics and play experiences. My beloved C64, and Amiga collapsed at the hands of the convenience of inferior and limited consoles.

We are probably witnessing something similar with mobile and tablet. Convenience always seems to suffocate what is regarded as "superior". Then it settles for a while and no one remembers what the fuss was all about.

Our gaming space is used to cyclical upheavals that decimates entire genres of games and the way we play games while opening up new ones. I think Peter is merely pointing out that this is happening all over again.

We still have PC's, arcades, theatre, TV so I don't see this as the over dramatic declaration of "death" that others put forward. Not by a long shot, or at least not for another generation at least, but there is compelling evidence that a major shift is taking place.

Posted:A year ago

#3
ONe day we will have probably in built entertainment feeds as consoles/mobile/ integrated into our skin.
wonder what kind of turmoil that will cause.

Do we insert ram packs into our sockets? or will we digitally download film-game titles into our brains?

Posted:A year ago

#4

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
The man is right.
Consoles have been marginalised into a niche with a limited number of titles and a very limited range of genres.
Other platforms, Steam, mobile, Facebook, tablets, MMOs etc, have exploded. Low barriers to entry have encouraged an revolution in creativity. And without the huge cost of supporting a platform holder they are able to give customers far better value for money. To the point where there is now very strong public resistance to the $60 game. Hence console has been in steep decline since 2008.

The really bad thing is using plastic and cardboard to distribute IP. This creates huge costs and inefficiencies. The platforms that don't do this are booming. The platforms that do this are failing.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Sandy Lobban
Founder and Creative Director

314 206 0.7
The only barrier to growth for the consoles and associated mobile devices is simply a multi-functional operating system. Consoles are in the dark ages when it comes to the user interface and device integration. I fully expect the new generation to be exactly the same in that they are utterly useless at providing a web experience and connecting to your mobile devices. This is why the PC is the king. Excluding fan boys, people really don't see value in a games only machine when the entertainment elsewhere is comparable getting better, and better value for money.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sandy Lobban on 18th June 2013 12:56pm

Posted:A year ago

#6

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

556 607 1.1
I'd argue that we don't make games for 10 million, but the big titles make games for 25+ million. Is that a bad thing? do we need to make games for 500 million?

Console and mobile can and should sit side by side. let developers and publishers make games they want to make, it does not have to be a battle or confrontation. We are not competiting for the same time slots. i work in AAA and i play AAA, but i also play plenty of mobile and social games - just in different time frames of my day. I don't think i would ever sit at home on a cold winter's sunday, when i have 4 hours to fill, and play a mobile game. At times like that i would make myself a nice cup of tea and play Skyrim. Likewise, i would never carry my xbox or ps3 on an airplane - that's when i pull out my tablet and play warhammer quest.

As for next gen consoles and console games: this E3 has shown (at least to me) that they are absolutely relevant.

http://notplayed.com/2013/06/16/e3-2013-aaa-games-and-consoles-are-here-to-stay/

Posted:A year ago

#7

Ruben Monteiro
Engineer

70 157 2.2
My beloved C64, and Amiga collapsed at the hands of the convenience of inferior and limited consoles.
That was due to Commodore's mismanagement. They sitted under the shade of the Amiga500 and failed to keep innovating at a fast enough pace after that.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Im just gonna throw thougts around. Nothing more. I think there is a golden opportunity people are just not taking advantage of. Games like Mass effect and Metal Gear have started to take this direction. But if you dont want to read my long post... just read this.

----Short Version
Im just explaining how game developers need to explore the interactive aspect of games more, tap into peoples feelings in order make game expiriences more personal and finally change development methods. This stuff of creating a world from scratch for every single game has got to stop. I think games should focus on writing and interactive aspects more. However this does not apply to all games, like puzzle games, social games or games whose end goal are simply different. More to that AAA expirience or were realisim is an important factor.

---Long Version
I think the way foward for games is not in making the visual aspects of graphics better, but improving peoples feelings towards the expirience they have with games. Make it more personal. Games that impact the player on a deeper emotional level. Now graphics have obtained enough realism where they can achive those things. I belive certain things like writing in games can improve because graphics are so realistic.

I would also work the physics aspects of games. And have things be less linear with random happenings that can ocurre depending on your actions. For example a 3rd person shooter game where I can choose to blow up an entire building killing the enemies inside vs, waiting till they come out to simply point and shoot at them. Or I can blow up a wall with a plastic explosive or shoot the lock of the door to get in an area vs finding a key to open a door, that I can simply destroy with the right equipment, weapons or tools in hand. I'd like to cause fires, to get enemies out of cover.

Id like stories that branch out in different directions and games in which you can define your relationship with other characters in turn affecting how they interact with you. That you can actually play a part in a characters rivalry or friendship with you. A game version of the titanic in which your realtionship with other characters and events in the story is shaped by how you play. A movie cannot provide these expiriences, much like Photography cant provide movement and voices like movies can. I think Video games are an evolution to movies, as movies were to photography and radio. Movies are basically photographs in motion with audio feedback added.

Games offer interactive opportunities not provided by movies. And this potential has not been fully realized. This is ultimatly what i think game creators should tackle. Because honestly take every first person shooter out there. It really is just pointing at something and shooting.

And you can change the format it a game is played on, console, mobile, PC or Virtual headset, 3D, 2D... the expirience will always be the same. Right now its really just making it from point A to point be or fullfilling a certain objective in order to move foward. The expirience still feels dettached and not personal.

In a movie an actor has to be in character effectivly becomming the character in order to make a better acting performance. Gamers arent actors. However a good game, will put you in the characters shoes, effectivly making you feel like the character does in a given situation and putting you in that characters shoes, in which you no longer see yourself as you, but as the character your playing. Its like what an actor does but backwards. An actor turns into the character, a good game turns you into the character.

As the character inside this virtual world your choices matter. You are effectivly a part of this world. And if you dont make the right choices, your friends, family and millions of people could effectivily die. The magic of this would be determined by its openess and versitality of the amount of ways to approach a given situation and the out comes that can happen with each choice. Id like to see RPG's take on the tone of Game of Thrones. The difference would be that you are no longer a spectator but an actual person in that world.

The range of choices and outcomes cannot be static, but should be random, not predetermined by the game creator but decided by the gamer. The creator however determines all the the complexity and versitality of the space in which the gamer can make choices and the results produced from his actions. The physics and AI of the game should allow random ocurrences in order to be effective and allow more control in the gamers choices. The characters AI for example would be fixed with certain characteristics, such as likes dislikes, preferences, habits and these characters will behave accordingly. However there part in the game is not predetermined.

When games can do this I feel they have moved foward. I find all this talk about PC vs Mobile vs Console pointless., I think the real problem for games lies elsewhere. At the end of the day, most movie and game formats are played in a 2D image in front of you. There is not much difference in viewing a movie in a theater on a huge movie screen that is far away, versus a TV in your living room that is right in front of you or a mobile device in which the screen is in your hands up close. We percieve them with our eyes and ears. I think until we have a real live holodeck that can reproduce live tactile senses in a room with 3D images or reproductions that behave and act around you in a 360 degree enviroment, we cant ask much from games moving foward in terms of which format they are played on.

However games are a step up in the evolution of Photography and Movies with the fact that they are interactive. However game developers need to also change how they create games, and this is where I think middle where can be efficient. Middle where can play the part of virtual movie studios and props. Video game props can come in the for of physics characteristics that can be applied to objects in video games, such as weight, volume, density and different material behaviors and characteristics, that a game developer can simply click drag and apply to a 3D model or portions of it, rather than create the physical properties of the entire world from scratch for every single game. And a library of textures.

Another example could be a glass window. The shape behavior and fisical properties ofa window can be premade, stored ina library and resused in different games. You can ncrease decrease its density, how it will shatter, how light goes through it, its tint and these properties can be edited like a photoshop filter.

Im aware that these things are probably called game engines. Like Unreal, Luminouse, Frostbite etc.

On a business end, this is probably just a fantasy, but it really is a way foward. We need the hollywood equivalent of video games, in which you decide in which studio to film your movie. Virtual filming locations, in which a forest is already created which all the physical properties of wind, gravity, the blades of grass and trees fitted with all the attributes the behave naturally and these enviroments can in tern be edited by game companies to meet there graphical needs, you can even have a set of filters and create your own to give the visual style you desire, like celshaded, realistic, ink brush look etc. These virtual studios and enviroments should have a wide range of editing options for developers.

But anyway, regarding Peter Molyneux and his new game Godus and the reason of the game with the cube (curiousity) and why he needs to pick a single person to play God. It all makes sense to me.

I also like this statement:
"But I caveat all of this by saying that they are a factor more intelligent than I am, and they've probably got a plan, and you should never underestimate Nintendo. We'll probably be sitting here in a couple years saying, 'Oh that's what they were doing'."

Edited 6 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 18th June 2013 4:26pm

Posted:A year ago

#9

Petter Solberg
Freelance Writer & Artist

63 40 0.6
I think you really need to take the 'war' out of the console war in order for the platforms to keep evolving. All these people insisting on doing the same things in different ways - and that's before you even get to the actual game development.

C'mon guys. At least try for a peace treaty and see how you like it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Petter Solberg on 18th June 2013 9:26pm

Posted:A year ago

#10

Bryan Wiegele
Owner/CEO

6 1 0.2
Hey Peter, tell us more about the release of "Milo", you remember, that genre-revolutionizing game that was all REAL and not completely put together with smoke and mirrors to hype Kinect. This guy seriously needs to go away. "Dramatic exaggerator for attention" is describing him nicely.

Posted:A year ago

#11

David Serrano
Freelancer

299 270 0.9
@Andreas Gschwari

"I'd argue that we don't make games for 10 million, but the big titles make games for 25+ million."

This is not entirely accurate. The only core game which sold 25 million or more was Black Ops 2. Black Ops 1 and the MW sequels fell into the 17 to 23 million range. And the other big shooter and sports franchises typically fall into the 10 to 15 million range. However, if you remove those big franchises from the equation, core game sales stats drop off a cliff. The average game sells between 1 to 5 million copies with the majority selling 3 million or less. So the big franchises may be a gold mine for their developers and publishers, they in no way reflect the profitability, mass market appeal or long term viability of the core game market as a whole. And this is the problem.

"Is that a bad thing? do we need to make games for 500 million?"

The core industry may not need to make games that can sell 500 copies, but it must make games that can reach a much larger percentage of the existing audience. Because the combined PS3 and 360 installed base is approx. 140 million, So no titles from the big franchises have reached more than 20 percent of their potential existing audience. And every year for the past six years, core games have reached a smaller percentage of the installed base than in the previous year. Making matters worse, the games which core developers constantly reference as the gold standards to be followed and emulated only reached 1.5 percent or less of the installed base. Which means as sales continue to tank, a majority of core developers and publishers aspire to fail to reach 98.5 percent or more of the potential audience.

While I don't agree with his suggestions for how to go about doing it, Molyneux is correct in stating core games must reach a much larger audience for the market to remain viable. So perhaps finding ways to appeal to a majority of the existing audience would be a good place to start...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Serrano on 18th June 2013 6:43pm

Posted:A year ago

#12

Charles Herold
Wii Games Guide

35 74 2.1
Popular Comment
Uh, how can the Wii U be a response to Smartglass when Smartglass was announced after the Wii U?

Posted:A year ago

#13

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,153 935 0.8
Uh, how can the Wii U be a response to Smartglass when Smartglass was announced after the Wii U?
lol! ^.^

Posted:A year ago

#14

Lee Hewes

11 10 0.9
I think that the console isn't going to die any time soon. One of the main problems in my opinion is the way the industry has socially engineered gamers. Take the COD series, the game did so well due to its strong multiplayer, a game that encourages player interaction is typically going to sell more, it's one of the reasons there are less single player games around. The problem is that many games are competitve rather then co-operative and focus on the best graphics or new mechanics as opposed to the emotional impact it can cause. For me, gaming has always had far more impact emotionally then any other medium due to its ability to allow the player to interact with the story. If you truely want a game or a platform to sell, you need to make sharing this with others as easy as possible and consoles allow that buy streamlining the process of connecting with others. How many times have you brought a product as a consumer because a friend or family member has it and you want to share that experience? Games like Minecraft or Wow did so well not because of graphics or gimmicks but instead allowed and encouraged people to interact. The industry needs to reflect more than expand and remember why we all picked up that control pad in the first place.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

556 607 1.1
@David: depending on budget for the project 1 to 5 million copies is still profitable.

I agree with you that most titles only hit a fraction of the installed user base, and i also agree that some titles can probably do more to hit a wider demographic. The key is to sell enough units to make a profit and keep the studio making games. i don't think we need to hit 20% of the installed base. 10% or even 5% is more than enough for most releases.

I think we will see similar, if not higher, lifetime sales for the PS4 and Xbox one, as we did for current gen. So i would expect them to reach 140 mil or higher insalled units. Both consoles are moving in the media centre direction, which i think will open a wider market. Additionally games will be looking better and perform better than ever before in the living room - which will be a big draw for many (perhaps even lure some PC gamers away to come over to the dark side).

Posted:A year ago

#16

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Andreas Gschwari

How much of the 360/PS3 installed user base is still actually active? 50%? 30%? 25%?

Posted:A year ago

#17

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

556 607 1.1
@Bruce: honestly don't have the numbers for that, but it's an interesting question. Still at the end of the day it does not really matter i think, if the sales numbers for a game are still high enough in relation to the budget used.

Posted:A year ago

#18

Justin Biddle
Software Developer

156 477 3.1
The only thing I can go on is those I know who have a PS3/360 (and I know quite a few) and they are still very active. Some of them also like to play facebook/mobile games. None of them have abandoned the PS3/360 to only play mobile games though. There are probably a couple of friends I know who don't play their consoles anymore but tellingly they don't play mobile games either. Could it be that the two aren't mutually exclusive?! Nah! Let's not allow sense and reason to enter into this ;)

Posted:A year ago

#19

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Justin Biddle

But your friends are hardly likely to be representative of the installed base. You are a software developer, so your peer group is going to reflect this.

Posted:A year ago

#20

Justin Biddle
Software Developer

156 477 3.1
I have friends outside of being a software developer. The split is probably far more skewed away from I.T. related. That said in no way even then do I claim it to be representative. I don't think it's indicative of mass interest or lack of. I do think it's indicative of some form of viable market when scaled up. My one friend who does exactly what I do as a developer is heavily invested in mobile gaming and does not own a console I should add.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Justin Biddle on 19th June 2013 12:55pm

Posted:A year ago

#21

Christian Keichel
Journalist

635 867 1.4
It is expanding but I'm not sure where the doom and gloom comes into it. I don't think the industry is current at risk of dying, even if expansion slowed. Unlimited growth isn't necessarily the best policy for everything.
It's not the expansion of the industry slowing down, it's the industry as a whole shrinking. I think this is something different.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 19th June 2013 3:30pm

Posted:A year ago

#22

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,229 1.0
But is it really shrinking, Christian?

Did we not just have the largest, most prosperous and profitable video generation in console history? All that in the face of the greatest threat to home consoles since the crash of 1983.

Posted:A year ago

#23
I dont think the Games industry needs to do anything too radical.
It doesnt even need to expand. Its growing at a nice rate.
It doesnt need to diversify, its already quite diverse.
There isnt even a console vs something war.

What we're just seeing is like a natural movement of technology, and niches that overall provide a wider reach for a variety of audiences. The Games industry is doing just robustly fine, and the next gen will cater towards the core (and some more) just in time for the holiday season.

Games will triumph (and will see more vs Movies contestation of sales/boundaries) as we move (probably, most likely) towards a more singularity type interactive entertainment. Thats what I reckon :)

Posted:A year ago

#24

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

642 250 0.4
Did we not just have the largest, most prosperous and profitable video generation in console history? All that in the face of the greatest threat to home consoles since the crash of 1983.
How many publishers/studios went bankrupt during the current generation? Which ones are still thriving ?

Posted:A year ago

#25

Heloise Thomson
Research Analyst

3 6 2.0
The primary reason software sales have declined in the US (according to NPD figures) is because of the Wii effect. In 2008 the Wii accounted for 45% of total unit sales (using company data) in that year globally and declined thereafter. In fact, global console software sales for Xbox 360+PS3 (excl. Wii/U) peaked last year at 303m (VG Chartz), while global Xbox 360+PS3 hardware sales peaked in 2011. Contrary to popular belief the console market has not been in catastrophic collapse for years.

Nonetheless, it's true that $60 is a deterrent to buying new games; NPD Q1 data for 2012-2013 show a 6% increase in used&rental games sales and 9% decrease in new physical software sales. Sadly for us NPD doesn't break out their digital sales for the general public, but 'digital' (mobile, social, online, subscriptions, microtransactions, DLC, add-ons, expansions) shows 15% year-on-year increase.

Posted:A year ago

#26
Solution: Make a console game retail at $35, Digitally at $29.99
Done!

Posted:A year ago

#27

Heloise Thomson
Research Analyst

3 6 2.0
Result: no profitability for software developers or hardware manufacturers. The retailer takes about half the cost of boxed software, and the dev and manufacturer split the rest. Making it that much cheaper would not make people buy that many more games, I don't think. The initial price of $60 lasts briefly in the key launch window before dropping a month later when the price is diluted by lots of used games floating the market. You shouldn't devalue AAA content.

Posted:A year ago

#28

Mo Henry Bug
Writer

4 1 0.3
xbox/pc/ps = film
tablet games = TV
Facebook games = Jersey Shore

Posted:A year ago

#29

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