Devs Discombobulated Over Gaming Future

A British games developer is unsure of his answers, in the 1850s.
Develop are reporting that a survey of 80 British game development studios shows that developers really don’t know what’s going to happen to gaming. Develop spake: “a quarter (24%) believe the demand for console games will decline over the next year. As much as 42 per cent, meanwhile, believe that PC games are in regression,” on the other hand it also shows “…32 per cent of UK developers expecting an increase in console games business, and 20 per cent expecting an increase for PC games.” Conclusion? Confusion!

At least they’re all certain about mobile and casual games, though: “Eighty-nine per cent believe said mobile games demand will climb, while 88 per cent claim the interest in casual games will continue to rise.” Are they right, or are they just wildly ticking boxes on a questionnaire before getting back tot he business of actually making games? We may never care know.

82 Comments

  1. DrGonzo says:

    That pretty much sounds how this questionnaire would have gone if it had been done at any point over the last 10 years or so.

    • Shuck says:

      The mobile/casual bit is relatively new, though. Plus the game industry only notices trends when they’ve become glaringly obvious, so it wasn’t until the casual/mobile section of the industry was eating everyone else’s lunches that the industry as a whole started realizing how big it was.

    • DrGonzo says:

      That’s very true. But, the inconsistency is quite consistent.

    • Shuck says:

      Actually, I think if you asked that question six years ago, for example, you would have seen a far more consistent (and consistently wrong!) set of responses.

    • Vagrant says:

      I dunno, mobile games were limited to Nibbler at the time, but Bejeweled was around 10 years ago. That’s the original case study for modern causal gaming. Before that were Tetris and The Sims, for a different take on casual gaming.

      And I remember 10 years ago phone gaming being hyped up as the future, but Nokia pushed it back another 5 years with the nGage.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      The original case study for casual gaming was surely Solitaire, Free Cell, or Minesweeper.

    • luckylad says:

      Minesweeper is not casual… That game is serious business.

    • MD says:

      The little-known world of competitive Minesweeper: link to secondpersonshooter.com

  2. vader says:

    78.2% of all statistics are made up.

    • Balobam says:

      but that means 21.8% are entirely factual. You should think about these things before you go posting such reckless comments

    • Llewyn says:

      No, the other 21.8% could be derived with good intentions but still be entirely incorrect.

    • Valvarexart says:

      I am 97.14% sure that both those numbers are made-up.

    • westyfield says:

      I’m certain that your results have too many significant figures.

  3. Asherie says:

    I foresee rise in demand for console games. A rise in demand for PC games and a rise in demand for casual/mobile games. One might think it’s to do with population increasing hmm. :D

  4. Cunzy1 1 says:

    Urgh. This strays into territory that makes my blood boil. It’s pretty clear that game developers have no idea. They are mostly intelligent enthusiastic hard working people but they don’t know about retail or marketing or trends.

    Now, of course I’m not saying we turn over the industry to the marketing people. The risk aware bland palate of big game releases is already a bit staid.

    Perhaps, we shouldn’t be asking developers in the first place.

    • Llewyn says:

      The marketing people have no idea either, the only difference is that it’s part of their job to estimate these things. And let’s be honest, this is not a games industry issue, it’s something that’s common to any industry servicing a market that’s not yet fully mature. Ask the commercial directors of a hundred IT services companies and you’ll see similarly disparate views of where their sector is headed over, if not the next year, at least the next three years.

    • Cunzy1 1 says:

      I agree with you but with so many studio closures, silly failed experiments like Kinect and Move, the struggle of the 3DS, the middling performance of the PSP and the collapse of the high street game specialists when games are apparently bigger than ever really seems like a lack of foresight.

      I understand that there needs to be some testing the market but at the moment some of the industry seems to be technology driven or completely reactive. Not so long ago it was the Wii that was the hottest thing in the gaming landscape so everybody jumps on board that boat and wonders why Wii Sports clones aren’t flying off the shelves, then there was Zynga and now it seems that the success of Angry Birds is being read as “any ol’ crap on a smartphone should sell in the multimillions”.

    • Shuck says:

      I don’t know if my experience is unusual or not, but most of the marketing people I know in the industry are actually more clueless than most of the devs. The devs I know are not only very smart, but they have to be hyper-aware of the trends if they want their skill-set to be appropriate for the jobs that will be out there next year. When you have to find new jobs every couple of years, that becomes quite important.

      The industry is in a serious transition right now, and trying to figure out what the future looks like depends on a lot of unknowns, such as: when the next console generation will arrive, the future state of the economy, whether players will finally get sick of playing variations of the same exact Facebook game, who the current best-performing development company is (something that can change at the drop of a hat), and what sort of companies the venture capital money is supporting right now (but, as exemplified by the MMO boom of recent years, the VC money often goes to the wrong places).
      As you say, the industry is very reactive, but I’ve always seen that as a result of marketing (and venture capitalists). My experience with marketing, as a developer, was that I had to sell my game concepts to them by explaining how they were like previous hits, rather than arguing that we could carve out a new niche.

    • simoroth says:

      You’ll find most the Devs you meet are on the ball. Its the people who wear suits to work are the clueless ones. Not to mention the guys who made a cool game or two, two decades ago, yet everyone still looks up to like gods or something.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s the case in every industry. I think the only reason marketing guys or barely-graduated-from-college businessmen have such a huge sway in companies is because there’s no one on the planet who actually gives a crap about money as much as they do.

    • theleif says:

      I’ve seen the future, brother: it is murder.

    • cjlr says:

      Rock the Cohen.

  5. xavdeman says:

    My guesses are:
    Consoles: game sales will decrease because of over-saturation, prices and longer games. This will not be true for titles like MW3 and BF3, both will have extreme sales.
    PC: game sales will stay roughly the same because the prices have decreased in comparison to the consoles. I imagine casual games’ income for games like FarmVille etc. will decrease because people get sick of the grind.
    Mobile: mobile gaming needs a GTA-like blockbuster or else it will stay at roughly the same level of market penetration, only the smallest, easiest, cheapest of games will sell. Things like Wordfeud, Angry Birds etc. Android will overtake iOS and WP7.
    Portable consoles: Mobile gaming will eventually (you see, I am betting that this GTA-like blockbuster WILL come to the mobile market) obliterate this market segment. There’s no reason for a 3DS to exist if all phones start carrying 3D screens with better graphics chips.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Just traded in my Android phone for a Windows Phone, just starting to learn the SDK too. Android already is miles ahead of WP7 sales wise. I reckon over the next few years MS will close the gap. It really is wonderful to use.

    • SlappyBag says:

      I aboslutely love my Windows Phone, my two best friends have an iPhone and Android and I totally prefer mine as a Phone.

    • Tams80 says:

      Mobile gaming:

      Dedicated controls, a separate device that if stolen won’t prevent you from contacting most people, a separate device that should it run of power you can still contact most people and some good franchises.
      I think mobile gaming will be fine. Not as big but still there. Then again I could be clueless and making predictions when I really have no clue what will happen.

      Lots of people seem happy with just Angry Birds though. D=

  6. deanb says:

    I don’t think anyone can truly say with fair certainty what the future of gaming on console and PC will be like in the next 5 years or so. In the past it was nice and simple. Every 5 years new consoles would come out and PC just trundled alongside. But now you have consoles extending their life span, PC gaming going F2P, mobile phones just doing their own thing and very well, cloud gaming coming out of the left, social gaming making an awkward and unstable bubble shape.

    For us gamers it’s a pretty damn interesting time. But for developers and publishers with millions at stake it must be shit scary. Is it worth investing in consoles at this stage, is F2P really the way to go on PC, is social only good if you’re Zynga. Do you bet it on Duke?

    • psyk says:

      360 was going for a 4 – 5 year run but ps3 somehow made them strecth that out by going for 11 years, only problem the 360 already needs an upgrade.

  7. HunterZ says:

    Developers are probably feeling conflicted because consoles have a much wider audience, but the latest generation of consoles is old enough that they’re starting to fall noticeably behind the PC in terms of technical capabilities.

    In other words: I’m sure that the perception of console importance will leap-frog that of PCs as soon as the next generation of consoles arrives.

    • Shuck says:

      I wouldn’t count on it. Recently the console audience has shrunk. The next generation of consoles, with their higher tech specs, will mean that dev costs could easily double. If your dev costs for this console generation are already so high that you’re lucky to make your money back with sales, a doubling of dev costs isn’t at all an attractive thought, especially if the sales numbers are likely to decrease. This is part of why this console generation has lasted so long.

    • joel4565 says:

      You talk as if the general population cares about graphics near as much as us geeks do.

      Listen to the way most people describe games like Modern Warfare or other games that we feel have sub-par graphics.

      Several of my good friends think that the PS3 version of Black Ops looks fantastic, and they are amazed at how well it looks. They boast about how well it looks on their 42″ lcd tv. I just smile and nod, because I know how that conversation will go.

      Ignorance is bliss. If these people have never seen a modern game run on a newer computer, they have no idea how far behind the consoles are.

  8. Cinnamon says:

    I bet that a fair number of major game developers in the UK are making Eastenders games for phone things or downloadable shoes for characters who dance around annoyingly on console dashboards.

  9. Fierce says:

    After what happened with Rage today, I’m not certain of a damn thing anymore.

    Next thing you know, BF3 retail build will be worse than the Beta, Arkham City will be delayed until 2012, dragons landing in Skyrim PC will cause unavoidable BSODs and Saints Row 3rd won’t make anyone laugh.

    Also, one of the most glaring things I find no one really talks about when it comes to mobile gaming and smartphones as a gaming platform is battery life and its severely disappointing position on the curve of diminishing returns. And I’m not talking about the recent PSP Vita news either, that’s just icing.

    The delicious, vanilla hinted cake batter, tastes like this: Battery life is very quickly reaching a point of inadequate return. The very power needed to run the games on these mobile platforms can barely power the platform, and its many facets of communication hardware, itself.

    For this reason, I disagree with the idea there will be less AAA huge budget games, at least under the context of “huge budget” being as subjective as it is. There will always be an increase in Angry Bird type development due to its minimal development cost dropped into a market of millions upon millions of casual subway / plane travelers, but for those of us who have been gaming since Super Mario Land circa 1989, there will also always be demand for the blockbuster summer movie version of videogames both from consumers who crave them and from artists who aspire to create them, and those simply cannot be enjoyed on a mobile platform for any extended period of time without diminishing the usefulness of the platform for other things… like phone calls.

    • Fierce says:

      Also, one of the most glaring things I find no one really talks about when it comes to mobile gaming and smartphones as a gaming platform is battery life and its severely disappointing position on the curve of diminishing returns. And I’m not talking about the recent PSP Vita news either, that’s just icing.

      The delicious, vanilla hinted cake batter, tastes like this: Battery life is very quickly reaching a point of inadequate return. The very power needed to run the games on these mobile platforms can barely power the platform, and its many communication hardware, itself.

      For this reason, I disagree with the idea there will be less AAA huge budget games, at least under the context of “huge budget” being as subjective as it is. There will always be an increase in Angry Bird type development due to its minimal development cost dropped into a market of millions upon millions of casual subway / plane travelers, but for those of us who have been gaming since Super Mario Land circa 1989. there will also always be demand for the blockbuster summer movie version of videogames both from consumers who crave them and from artists who aspire to create them, and those simply cannot be enjoyed on a mobile platform for any extended period of time without diminishing the usefulness of the platform for other things… like phone calls.

      I’m not saying there isn’t a pull for developers to develop casual games over blockbusters, what I’m saying is the creative bankruptcy of casual games mixed with the aspirations of true artists, now flush with cash from Angry Bird-like projects, are going to naturally lead to development of the bigger and the better. A space where the mobile platforms simply don’t have the energy to keep up.

      Damn, I want some cake.

  10. Spinoza says:

    Based on anecdotal evidence (my friends web devel. ,programmers , pub strangers etc.) , yes looks like the mobile app markets will grow and thats where the money are. Most of so called professional dev. people I spoke to while very enthusiastic about mobile app ,less so about casual games , had scant or no interest in console or PC gaming.

  11. Nallen says:

    About 70% of those studios surveyed lead on consoles, but about half of both camps think that their market wont grow due to the rise of mobile and casual games.

    Think that just about covers those numbers doesn’t it? :)

  12. Gothnak says:

    I work at a British Development Studio and i say:

    Console Games Will Decline (You can use a service like OnLive to do it in the future and mobile platforms become more powerful)
    Mobile Sales Will Rise (Phones get more powerful, more people grow up with gaming on the go)
    PC Sales will likely stay stable (PCs are the easiest to develop on. If you are developing for anything else, you can always do a PC version for very little extra cash.)

    Other predictions:

    Less AAA Huge budget games (All media will be virtual and people won’t like downloading 10gb to play a game)
    More niche markets appear (Everyone has a internet connection and will have access to indie games more easily. Already happeneding with iPhone etc)

    GAME will go bankrupt (I hope)

    • Fierce says:

      One of the most glaring things I find no one really talks about when it comes to mobile gaming and smartphones as a gaming platform is battery life and its severely disappointing position on the curve of diminishing returns. And I’m not talking about the recent PSP Vita news either, that’s just icing.

      The delicious, vanilla hinted cake batter, tastes like this: Battery life is very quickly reaching a point of inadequate return. The very power needed to run the games on these mobile platforms can barely power the platform, and its many communication hardware, itself.

      For this reason, I disagree with the idea there will be less AAA huge budget games, at least under the context of “huge budget” being as subjective as it is. There will always be an increase in Angry Bird type development due to its minimal development cost dropped into a market of millions upon millions of casual subway / plane travelers, but for those of us who have been gaming since Super Mario Land circa 1989. there will also always be demand for the blockbuster summer movie version of videogames both from consumers who crave them and from artists who aspire to create them, and those simply cannot be enjoyed on a mobile platform for any extended period of time without diminishing the usefulness of the platform for other things… like phone calls.

    • Tams80 says:

      But… but… where will I seek refuge on the high-street and pretend I’m going to buy something if GAME closes?!

  13. psyk says:

    Most RPS commenters boast about buying games from steam sales, nice audiance to sell to.

    • RobF says:

      Yes, madness! Imagine selling games to people who buy them.

      That’s literally insane.

    • psyk says:

      What’s insane is continuing to sell to a platform where you don’t get full profits.

    • RobF says:

      I’m not *entirely* convinced you’ve thought this argument through:

      Develop for console: 2nd hand sales net you nothing.
      Develop for a phone: get about 40/50p per sale.
      Develop for the PC…

    • Freud says:

      I think what you will find is that those who buy games on sales, buy more games than they ever have.

      I have probably bought 40-50 games in the last year, more than I realistically can even play. If I only bought full price games I’d buy fewer. I still buy the odd game on day 1 (Fallout New Vegas, Witcher 2, Deus Ex: HR, Dragon Age 2, Amnesia in the last year) but that’s only part of my game diet.

      I spend more on games than I ever has. Sucks for the industry and their profits, eh?

    • psyk says:

      Console games have started putting one use multiplayer codes for that reason. Want to play online you have to pay.

      “I think what you will find is that those who buy games on sales, buy more games than they ever have.”

      Makes no sense

      “I spend more on games than I ever has. Sucks for the industry and their profits, eh?”

      Also makes no sense

      And buying 15 games for the price of one is good for you yes but dosen’t even out buying games from sales compared to full price.

    • Freud says:

      I buy more games than ever. I spend more on games than ever. Yet, I spend less on average on each game I buy.

      Because of sales I try games I would never have bothered to try before. Because of sales I buy games I might never even play.

      Sales are an excellent way to extend the life of a game. It’s an excellent way to get additional income for publishers.

      It makes perfect sense.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Psyke is now arguing for the sake of arguing.

      How much money do you think publishers see from the sale of a 5 year old console game with the existence of the second hand market? Yet on the PC, we have Steam and GoG selling plenty of old games in sales that people otherwise wouldn’t have bought. When Crysis was up for a little over $2 in a recent sale, how many people do you think missed that opportunity? If these sales weren’t profitable, why do devs continuously let Valve put ’em up? Have you forgotten the enormous lists people made of all the games they bought in he Steam summer sale?

    • Wulf says:

      Someone here has money to waste.

      Anyway, Steam sales actually allow those of us who aren’t rolling in it to actually afford a decent spread of games. It’s quite sane to find games overpriced today, unless one is wearing a money hat, and sitting on a boat made of money. :P Really, it’s ridiculous to say that sales are bad, patently ridiculous, completely ludicrous. I dare even say cockamamie!

      Really, think about it. You have a large amount of people who can’t afford to buy games at their overpriced AAA launch amounts, so then there are sales. If you don’t have to pay bills, or you have so much money that all of your costs become negligible (good for you, I suppose), then certainly sales are an evil thing. But if you do have to contend with living costs on a daily basis, saving £20 on a game that was £40 is definitely something worth looking at.

      Now consider that not everyone is lounging in a chair made of money. What happens with these sales is that you get an influx of cash, a burst of money that you otherwise wouldn’t have. And what a number of developers/publishers have said in the past is that they make more money via sales than they do with their game at its full price, on any platform.

      So there you go.

      (Yes, this was meant to be tongue in cheek. I hope that was obvious. But really, I kind of find it silly to see someone attacking sales, and I had to stress just how silly.)

    • DiamondDog says:

      You sell your game for £30 and never, ever lower the price and the people that can afford it will buy it and be happy. The people who can’t afford it won’t buy it and be unhappy, or pirate it and be happy anyway (but go to Hell for all eternity). You will never see their cash.

      Sell your game for £30 and then put it on sale later on for half the price and those who can afford it will still buy it for £30 to play it day one. They can afford to! Those who can’t afford it will wait and buy it at a cheaper price. Hurrah! You now have the poorer groups money also. Unless the poorer group still decided to pirate it, even while it’s on sale. But then we already know they go to Hell so, whatever.

      Also, people do still pay full price for some games. I don’t have a lot of spare cash, but there are games I’ll pay full price for because it’s something I’m particularly excited about. I want to play it as soon as possible and I’m willing to pay for that. Many games only mildly interest me. If they never went on sale the developer wouldn’t see a thing from me. Put them on sale, you might very well tempt me in. If it’s a good game chances are plenty of people are more than willing to pay full price at launch. If they get my cash at a later date through a sale, that’s a bonus.

      So, when someone buys a game at half-price don’t look at it as lost money, look at it as a bonus, because they were never going to pay full price anyway! If anything you should mock them for being so weak willed they couldn’t stop themselves paying £5 for Alpha Protocol, even though they never wanted to play it in the first place. I mean, I’ve got this book to read and everything, but if you’re just going to get silly with those prices… just give me the stinking game already.

      (I know nothing about business btw, for all I know I’m talking utter nonsense)

    • Josh W says:

      I had a brainwave the other day, when I was considering buying a book and looked at the price. £7

      I’m not sure how average that is for a paperback now-erdays, but my goodness, imagine how much enjoyment I’ll get out of it, for such little cost! I’m going to enjoy reading it for a week, think about it for another fortnight, then it’s going to sit on my shelf and about two years from now I’m probably going to read it again.

      This book being sold to a niche audience, made out of physical paper they’ll have to ship to me, can support an author and maybe half an editor. With that in mind, surely games can be about £15 at the most and still do fine?

  14. Memphis-Ahn says:

    2) Don’t say “we may never care” or any kind of words to that effect (this also includes ‘old!’ and related). If you don’t care about the subject of a news piece, it’s openly absurd that you’ve made the effort to write a post on it instead of just moving on to a story you are interested in. So this post should be deleted.

  15. tungstenHead says:

    Wildly speculated conjecture here, but these numbers seem to line up with a belief that $60 big box titles are on the downswing whereas free to play, low cost indie, and cheap mobile and social games are on the rise. There’s no reason for me to be right, but it seems plausible.

    • Shuck says:

      Well that has been the obvious trend in recent years, so yeah, I think it’s safe to say that’s what people are thinking about. It looks like some people are hoping the trend will reverse itself, though.

  16. mmorpg games says:

    Real developers companies (non public corporation shit), dont even read those stupid statistics. They work on a budget to make the games they think it will be fun, and on a niche where they can sell it. While big corporations wonder why don’t make anymore gazillion dollars on crappy products.

    Best example is CD Project, tho they had the smart idea with gog.com which brought them money to sustain themselves.

    Consoles are a plague for game design at the moment, with a few exceptions, while mobile phones can only bring small, casual games. PC is still the king for immersion and challenging games, and when tjhe PC games will die, half of the gamers will stop playin games, and it only remain the console clueless market.

    As for statistics, cmon just look at Steam, Gamersgate, Gog, PC is doing fine. Is just bullshit from huge corporations, when they dont make the income they predicted with their horrible products.

    EA, UBI, THQ, etc, etc, they can all die in pain.

    Hello viral article for comments and debates…

  17. sinelnic says:

    Isn’t the question deeply irrelevant for a games developer, at least compared to the more important questions regarding the future of the games themselves? I mean, surely platform specialists will always be few and be in demand, while generalistic developers will always be evaluated on soft skills other than platform specifics?

  18. woodsey says:

    Quite bored of the obsession in this industry with the casual market. Yes, they are games, but no one’s being stolen away from The Witcher 2 to play bloody Angry Birds.

    • sinister agent says:

      Except they could be. People only have a limited amount of time and money to play games, and plenty of people are interested in all sorts of games, not just one niche. The money people spend on new formats or genres or whatever has to come from somewhere.

    • Vagrant says:

      Ah, but what about developers being stolen away to MAKE Angry Birds?
      There’s been a few that have flocked to greener, less stressful pastures.

  19. nihilocrat says:

    “Are they just wildly ticking boxes on a questionnaire before getting back tot he business of actually making games?”

    This. This is most likely the case.

  20. sinister agent says:

    This lack of consensus may actually be a good thing for everyone. It’s certainly better than everyone deciding to pull the plug on a popular platform just because they can’t be arsed with it anymore.

  21. Muzman says:

    For more confusion ask them if DRM works, named and on the record. Then ask for anonymous developer contributions regarding the question.

  22. MythArcana says:

    If most developers (and their corporate bloodsucking counterparts) would simply not worry about marketing trends and simply make the best game they possibly can, they would MAKE the future instead of wondering how XBOX sales will affect them.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’d love to agree with you, but video game history is littered with good to excellent games that simply disappeared due to factors other than game quality.

  23. The Pink Ninja says:

    I study International Relations where one of the main purposes of the discipline is to construct theories to help us predict the future and even then the best minds fail to predict really massive things like the collapse of the USSR. In the 1980s it was expected to still be around for the entire lifetimes of the people born in the 1980s. One of the first things we studied was an article by John Mearshiemer published in 1992 or so saying that by now Gemany would ahve a huge military, hundreds of nuclear weapons and that the USA would need to support Poland and the USSR to balance them out.

    Basically people whose job it is to predict the future rarely get it right.

    • Kaira- says:

      This. There is no surer way to make a fool out of yourself than to make statements about what the future will be like.

    • Llewyn says:

      Indeed. It’s hard enough to make accurate statements about much of the past. As Niels Bohr is often quoted as saying, “Det er svært at spå, især om fremtiden.”

      (Commonly translated as “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.”)

    • sinister agent says:

      This. There is no surer way to make a fool out of yourself than to make statements about what the future will be like.

      You won’t be saying that in a few years.

  24. Bensam123 says:

    Difference between leaders and followers. They’re the ones that are supposed to decide where things go… if even they don’t know, then there is nothing helping them. The only reason they’re certain about mobile gaming is because it’s been doing well. So they somehow understand that SOMETHING they’re doing is going well.

    I think this is a far cry from the visionaries we used to have as game developers. Then again I can’t really blame them for vacating game development, it’s a truly terrible line of work to work in.

    • sinister agent says:

      I don’t really see how they can decide where things go. It’s the public who buy the games, therefore the public who decide where things go. Sure, the industry can influence that, but no more than producers in any other part of the entertainment industry.

    • Consumatopia says:

      It’s a two-player game, and the producer moves first while the consumer reacts. If the first player could predict what the consumer would do, then the consumer would have complete influence–the producer wants to make something that will sell as much as they can possibly sell. If the producer has no idea what the consumer will do, then the consumer has no influence–the producer would have no idea which idea would sell more than any other idea.

      Reality is somewhere in the middle–but I suspect it’s actually closer to the ignorance side. If the industry has this much disagreement on the overall direction, is there much reason to think that they would do better at predicting individual titles?

      Moreover, in all forms of media and products, the set of ideas that died on the drawing board or were simply never conceived is much, much bigger than the set of ideas that see the light of day in the market. Yes, there are many good ideas and products that consumers just failed to notice. But there are orders of magnitude more good ideas that consumers never saw.

  25. Tams80 says:

    I just want to say ‘discombobulated’ is a most magnificent word. It should not be used more.

    What’s that, pell check didn’t have it in its dictionary? That’s it spell check; your turned off forever now.

  26. SoggySilicon says:

    Figures lie and those that lie figure, as the old saying goes. Being able to predict things such as this with any accuracy is great, if your a financial consultant.

    If for anything, the cost of production of these “widgets” has done two things, increased and decreased. That is to say that AAA games have had soaring cost, while cheap’o games such as terraria or gratuitous space battles have demonstrated a product that will earn some loot without breaking the bank. Back in the day 3000 or so games where being ‘released’ and I do not think that number has gone anywhere, but I can’t name them all, neither can anyone else, so there are some sink holes out there… in fact, a lot of sink holes.

    Somewhere in the middle I figure is where the industry will end up as a whole, which makes it no different than any other industry. A lot of middle ground, with a good bit of cheap on the low end, but always a couple units on the high end. Games I figure will be a lot like the cosmetics industry, even in bad times, it’s a pretty safe haven to put investment. However, the long development times for games like Rage I think may end up being a thing of the past or at the least trend away and then come back in a couple years.

    Now if Rage had been developed by any other company than ID or J.C. it would of been barely a blip on the radar, but that company and brand is like Nike Shoe. It is what it is, does not make it good or bad, but it has street credit for whatever that is worth.

    Personally (again) if I saw a working Terraria 2 but it was short 50-100K US I would toss em some coin, cause I “think” it will make the money back. If someone asked me for the same coin to do a WoW 2 I would look somewhere else. Thus the conclusion could be “where would you put your money if you where selecting a company to support as an investment”.

    So a brief games list…

    Mechwarrior reboot – no (to niche to do right so why bother)
    X-Com Reboot – no (see front mission evolved)
    Gran Turismo X – no
    Grand Theft Auto San Andreas 2 – yes
    Grand Theft Auto (insert generic guy) – no
    Alpha Centauri reboot – yes
    Civ X – no
    FF7 reboot – yes
    Terraria 2 – yes
    Angry Birds X – yes
    Diablo Clone – yes (on a budget)

    Goes without saying that advertising and media can have a dramatic influence on sales and public perspective so there are those factors as well. If there was a call to make, maybe a “cool off” over the next year or so, with a surge of independent developers chipping away at the AAA sales that will in turn require the larger studios to address dev times and budgets even closer than they have in the past.

    So many “game design” schools churning out waste of space degree people, probably just more of the same “Havok engine, Unreal, Source, whatever” with artist especially those with engineering and or architectural backgrounds being in even more demand than they already are. Everyone else playing script kiddie and hacking out mediocre stories.

    Sequels won’t be going away anytime soon, and gameplay will continue to give ground to aesthetics at least in the main stream. While Bladerunner tanked at the box office, the legacy of the aesthetic will sell it in Prey 2. So more of that me’thinks.

    One of the more interesting aspects of computer “stuff” in general is the number of enthusiast putting out the “kerbal space programs” and other goodies, and these freebie concepts in many ways put a squeeze on the marketplace in as much as piracy does. Competition is good though, else the industry would simply crank out Madden XXXXX just like Ford cranks out “Mustang” every year.

    As an aside on the consoles, not really seeing anything happening there until the Wii U comes out… just the announcement of the investment in the project knocked 10 percent of the Nintendo stock… so “money” is not really interested in spending any more money. This may be the trend across the board the next year or so as well… hardware stagnation, which is indicative of software stagnation.

    Food for thought anyways… props if you read this whole thing… ;)

  27. wodin says:

    Silly browser games and mobile games played by office workers or bimbos killed the PC game…eventually…

  28. WJonathan says:

    I am shocked -SHOCKED- that 1% of developers believe there is a significant difference between rising and climbing. I’m not sure I can continue playing games.

  29. ResonanceCascade says:

    That’s a big number of people who think PC gaming will decline. I wonder which ones checked that box, and what the quality of their games/ports/DRM is? THAT would be a nice correlation to see graphed.

  30. fusbun says:

    Has nobody mentioned Star Ruler yet?

    Infinite ship scale, the use of stellar collapse as a form of attack and you can even throw giant engines onto planets and use them as your flagship with giant planetary cannons.

    Size of the galaxy is as big as you want it to be, can be 100 star systems or 10,000,000 (your computer would die, most likely).

    Research can be increased any number of times and is exponential in both research times and effectiveness.

    There’s no ship limit either, and there’s already a few large mods out for it

    link to starruler.blind-mind.com

  31. drewski says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I kinda think mobile gaming has already jumped the shark, at least in phone terms. I know a lot of people that still are completely addicted to Angry Birds, of course, but otherwise the various Scrabble apps are about the only thing anyone plays that I know.

    I was ridiculously addicted to Game Dev Story for about a week but I’m over it now. Can’t imagine buying anything else either…it’s just not a robust enough experience, frankly.

  32. quicktooth says:

    I signed up to comment here: This article is why I love gaming. Wit, THIS sort of wit, on topics I care or at least enjoy reading about. Good wit. GREAT wit. Candour. Accuracy. Thank you Rock Paper Shotgun, for keeping games journalism alive and well!

  33. ASBO says:

    I predict everything will stay the same.