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Industry has grown too large, says 100 Rogues developer

Keith Burgun feels shrinkage will improve quality, but will smaller industry happen through choice or crash?

100 Rogues lead designer Keith Burgun has told GamesIndustry.biz that he feels that the games industry has become over-inflated, causing a drop in quality and an over reliance on franchises and licensing.

As part of an interview published today, Burgun said that he felt that smartphone titles, and the industry in general, would eventually trend back towards quality - but only once the industry had shrunk a little, either organically or due to a collapse.

"Eventually, eventually, we're going to go in the good direction. One way or the other. We'll either go because people chose to go that way and there was a nice, smooth transition - or there's going to be a lot of serious turmoil, and something like a crash, then eventually out of that will rise a smaller industry," said Burgun.

...there's going to be a lot of serious turmoil, and something like a crash, then eventually out of that will rise a smaller industry

Keith Burgun, Dinofarm

"I think that the industry, in the future, will be a lot smaller. I think that video games have achieved, in the last 20 years, this bizarre, rockstar status in our culture. Because of that, our industry has become way bigger that it ought to be.

Burgun acknowledged that big publishers' approach to iOS and portable gaming - take an existing franchise and experiment with smaller games and multiple, varying business models to find a result that works - was the right thing for them to do in such a huge market.

"That causes a lot of problems because when the industry is that big, and you get studios that are that big, you have to do the sort of stuff that (EA CFO) Eric Brown was talking about. It's not their fault, they're right. When you get to that sort of outrageous size, you do have to do that sort of stuff. Everything is going to get smaller. Games are always going to be important, they're always going to be huge, but they're a little bit crazy right now.

"If you look at board games - it's an industry that's doing pretty well, but there's a lot of quality. It's mostly people who are really into games who are into it, it doesn't have the same status as video games, where everybody is supposed to be super into it. I think that the way that the boardgame industry looks is something like the way we can imagine a future video games industry looking."

For more of Burgun's thoughts on the App Store, caring for games and the future of the industry, read the full interview on the front page.

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Dan Pearson