Games: “a year from irrelevance”
From A Tree Falling in the Forest:
Long and thoughtful article about the electronic games industry. The closing paragraph:
I don’t believe either of these examples provide a roadmap for sustaining our industry. However, they do provide effective warnings about complacency and fetishistic attachment to existing consumers. We have to start taking risks again. We are not at the point of drastic Cadillac-like measures, but there should be a risk component in publisher portfolios. The gap between the sub USD one million XBL/PSN downloadable and USD 20 million console game is to great to have nothing in between. Traditional publishers’ relevance and the premier creators of interactive entertainment is under attack by movie studios, Miniclips type sites, DVD games, Facebook apps and other social network games and a ton of others. They are using the same game mechanics and the same hooks we abandoned years ago in favor of the pursuit of “advanced technology.” The audience is being conditioned to pricing models that don’t demand up front investments of USD 60 or monthly subscription fees. It is not just a question of a simple interface change. The Wii mote led the horse to water, but so far they are not drinking. We need end to end revisions. Changes in production, release timing, marketing and pricing. We can continue to believe EA, Actard, Microsoft and Sony will always dominate the market operating business as usual – kind of like MGM and Cadillac – or we can look to new audience segments and determine how we can make the changes needed to remain relevant. If we don’t I am afraid my son’s generation will view today’s games as the new polyester shirt.
The rest is well worth reading.