Industry veteran predicts the end of retail games, and of consoles
Codemasters co-founder, and Kwalee chief executive officer David Darling wrote a blog post on the website for his company. In the post, Darling describes game consoles as “old fashioned”, and “like dinosaurs headed for extinction”. He says the console market is outdated and cannot compete with other companies entering the mobile gaming market.
The problem, the industry veteran says, is the physical product. “Sony and Microsoft cannot let the retailers dictate game prices going forwards if they want to break free from the current over-priced model, their next consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 need to be digital only, or they will fail.” He added praise for other models, “Platforms like Steam, Facebook, Apple and Android App Stores are pushing innovation.” Darling provided this to back up his prophecy, “Angry Birds has had more than one billion downloads. A sales figure totally beyond what can be achieved by boxed games. Giants like Apple and Google are taking over as the industry is transitioning from boxed to digital games.”
Darling provided evidence from a company that does both mobile and console games, “Epic Games, creators of the successful Xbox 360 Gears of War series, have announced that their iOS game, Infinity Blade, was much more profitable than their console titles.” He also said that a shift to a digital model would benefit consumers as well. “With digitally distributed games we can cut out physical production, warehouses, distributors and retailers. We can publish our own games, reducing our costs so that we can deliver fun experiences to players for far less cost than a console game. Therefore it is no longer necessary to charge people huge prices to play video games. ”
Darling was sure to point out that game quality is the real determining factor to success, “After all, digital distribution is only a delivery method. The important thing is making great games.”