View Full Version : Games industry in trouble?

24th August 2012, 15:45
We know the games industry is very cut throat, with many smaller developers living project by project and hoping their latest games will sell well to pay for their development and fund the next. However the danger for years has been the buying out of smaller developers that show innovation by the big corporations.

Popcap, the company behind Plants vs Zombies and many others, have announced their are cutting 50 posts at their Seattle headquarters, and rumours that their Dublin studio might close completely, following its takeover by Electronic Arts.

Funcom, based in Norway, has also announced it is to lay off staff after average reviews for its latest title.

Any other developers in trouble you know about?

And what do you think about the current state of games developers? We have the issue with large corporation games publishers buying up smaller developers and then closing them down... just to obtain their IP and other assets. But equally some larger players in the industry can buy up developers to offer them a lifeline to continue, if not forever.

Independent developers really started to disappear after the 16-bit era IMO, and with the rise of consoles from larger companies than we had really seen before (Sony and M$) who had huge amounts of money to throw at their products.

But with the advent of smartphones and tablets it has resurrected backroom coders and small development teams. We also have much easier publishing channels than ever before. For smartphone and tablet developers we have their app stores, for consoles we have their respective online stores (xbox live, PSN) and for PC we have SSo it looks like the industry has gone full circle in some regards... but has equally matured far beyond the dark days when computing as a whole was still developing and the technology was very new. As an industry it is still growing and in certain cases overtaken the film industry.

How do you view the industry today?

24th August 2012, 19:19
it could be the start of a crash, like in 1983. But different reasons. In 82/83 commodore put the C64 at a price that the market went crazy. Today is more complex. Piracy is a reason, but other reasons should be consider. Super-mega projects of graphics and sound and zero gameplay is another reason. People play games that took more time to make then to play. Look at modern warfare, such complex design for what? 10 ,15 hours of gameplay? So many many games to play, and kids want to try them all. Each game is not appreciated like in our days, in 80s and 90s...

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24th August 2012, 19:37
The industry had always shouted piracy is to blame for something, when in reality any game worth playing will sell well most of the time.

Games like battlefield and modern warfare have short campaigns because they are designed mostly with online multiplayer, and actually that is the best form of anti-piracy. If you want to play online you have to own the game.

24th August 2012, 19:57
I don't think we are going to see a crash, but we are going to see some major changes in the near future. Personally I believe that we will see the decline of the major publishers. Oh they won't go away any time soon, but they won't have as much might as they've had. It's a different market now, and as mentioned small development teams can survive without the aid of a major publisher. They are in fact in a good position to tell a major publisher to piss off when they come with their draconian publishing contracts, trying to force them into a position where they work their company into ruin while shoving money up the publisher's rear end.. and when the developer crumbles the publisher owns the assets. Look around, up until now even the most successful developers are still dependant on their publisher. Even their most successful games aren't making them enough money to go independent, or putting them in a position where they can make demands and dictate terms from their publisher. Very few studios have been that successful. But today it's different. Developers don't need to accept this any more. And as the smaller teams are doing good business as independents I think we will see some of the major developers giving their publisher the finger and going independent soon. Give it a few more years at the most.

24th August 2012, 21:06
And as the smaller teams are doing good business as independents I think we will see some of the major developers giving their publisher the finger and going independent soon. Give it a few more years at the most.

Teho, I think you have nailed it there, as I have seen a couple of other threads were people have been saying they are fed up with the corporates and are starting to look to independents for their gaming experience. Something I've started to look into myself. What may also be the case and to the detriment of the corporates is that as gamers mature they start to see through they hype and get the old adage "good graphics a good games does not make", a phrase which has been around for over 20 years.

25th August 2012, 00:30
Sadly the youth of today don't follow that adage and do go for shiny graphics over substance. And it is always their demographic the press aims for. Although PC Gamer, Edge and other similar magazines do seem to aim at older gamers these days, which is good.