Firefall Developer Believes Game Consoles Are Dead
Mark Kern, game designer on Firefall over at Red 5 Studios and former lead on World of Warcraft, isn’t too invested in the future of consoles in the gaming industry. He believes that consoles are, quite simply, “dead.”
“It takes billions of dollars of investment to create a console and then you have to milk it for five to seven years in order to get your money back. I think the model is broken,” Kern stated in a conversation with EuroGamer.
“The model is transitioning away from these big boxed games where you’re pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a title, to these sorts of games that don’t count on the distributor.
You keep making these bigger and bigger bets and what that forces you to do is play it safer and safer. And if you play it safer and safer with your gameplay, people will get tired of the crap you’re serving.
When that happens, they get bored and they will leave. And you haven’t fostered any of the middle ground innovation and new ideas that you need to tap into next.
So something has to change. Consoles, I believe, are dead.”
Kern went on to declare that he has no incentive for being on a console, and that he’s more inclined to play on the Mac OS or iOS platform. “That’s what’s more interesting to me, “he mentioned.
You can check out the full interview over on EuroGamer, where Kern goes into more detail about how we don’t need publishers, big organizations or traditional business models to succeed as an industry.
It’s certainly an interesting time for our industry – with Kickstarters running rampant and crowd-funding for entertainment projects at an all-time high, it does seem that we’re headed in a new direction. However, it’s also difficult to tell just how well all of this will really stick.
More specifically, we can’t say for sure that the user-to-creator model is going to be as successful as it appears. In fact, we don’t know that these current projects, such as Double Fine’s Adventure or inXile’s Wasteland 2, will even come to fruition.
Also, consoles aren’t, from a sales perspective, dead. Just ask the 95.7 million people who bought a Nintendo Wii, the 65.8 Million who picked up an Xbox 360, and the 63.8 Million who threw down dough for a PS3.
I personally find that it’s too early to be making assumptions about the future of the gaming world, especially given how much more rapidly models change in our industry in comparison to others – but opinions are the fruit of life: there’s a ton of flavors, and while some will be sour, some will be sweet.
Fruit analogies are a good note to end on, so let’s leave it there. What do you guys think?