As technology improves, the budget required to make compelling game experiences continues to increase, resulting in all sorts of issues that hinder innovation. According to developer Red5, the studio behind the upcoming free-to-play PC shooter Firefall, Microsoft and Sony’ resistance to change will only make things worse.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Mark Kern, former World of Warcraft head and current Red5 Studios CEO, shared why he thinks Microsoft and Sony’s consoles are falling behind the times and are in for a rocky future.
The reason we have no innovation left on consoles is because you have to spend so much money to make your game appeal to widest possible audience on that platform which is a closed platform, so that’s a limited number of users, right? Versus a PC with a free or open distribution model you can build a community around your game.Kern goes on to point out that because of the rising development costs, studios are less inclined to take risks, which inevitably gets in the way of creativity and new innovative game experiences.
In order to stand out from the crowd you have to spend as much on marketing as you did developing it. This is not a sustainable model. Teams have gotten to have to be larger and larger and larger to justify the $60 up front model.
It’s killing innovation because no one can take those risks anymore or try something new with those kinds of numbers. I think that’s bad for gamers and I think that’s cripplingly bad for developers. And to be honest, I don’t see Sony or Microsoft embracing the openness of the changes that are happening in the gaming industry right now.Are Sony and Microsoft doomed to be overtaken by companies with more forward thinking business models? Let us know what you think in the comments below.