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Thursday, December 15, 2005

LucasArts Publisher on Games Industry

BusinessWeek has a column from a LucasArts exec on the current state of the industry with all this flux between consoles and whatnot:

But even the well financed giants offer no guarantee of success in a hit driven business with minimal back end revenue streams and no assurance that your next "big" game will be the breakout hit necessary to please Wall Street.

Of course the ugly secret in the industry is that there are always a few video game companies that take it in the neck during a platform transition, and the coming cycle will be no exception.

The recent purchase of Pandemic and Bioware by Elevation Partners, two developers who have been both fiercely and vocally independent, are only the latest signs that industry consolidation is happening.

As a result, the middle and bottom tier of publishers and developers are likely to shrink even further through acquisition, roll up, or even bankruptcy, as we've already begun to see.
-- The Console Transition: A Publisher's Perspective

Not much new or earth-shattering, but a fairly somber account of what a lot of industry watchers have been saying. He's not completely bullish on indie developers, saying that PC and handheld markets are still key. In fact, he interestingly seems to put his money on a stronger indie scene for handhelds in the future, which is something I've been hoping to find in my stocking for some time now.

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Tony said...

I'm telling you, the DS (and the PSP, to be sure) with Wi-Fi is absolutely ripe for independent games.

Josh said...

Nintendo's got a bit of a identity crisis I think.

They want to show off gameplay over graphics, reduce dev costs, etc. For both the DS and the GameCube.

And yet they are probably one of the more closed box of them all, though it's a close match with Sony. Compared to Xbox Live, however, MS is just doing a lot better job talking with the indies.

Definately ripe, I just hope Nintendo will be able to farm it.