Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Industry Is In Chaos. What Else Is New?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 14, 2012

The party is over at Zynga.

THQ is having trouble paying its bills.

Lawsuits are brewing over the epic collapse of 38 Studio.

“Free to Play” (a triumph of marketing on par with tiny candy bars getting labeled as “Fun Size!”) is dominating the arena.

Consoles are on the decline.

Everybody and their cousin seems to be making games (mostly crappy games, but still…)

Tim Sweeney of Epic (himself a former indie from the glory days of shareware) sees a bright future for AAA, but expresses concern about rising costs and hopes that “costs at the start of the next generation to only be double the cost of the start of the previous generation.”

Windows 8: Bringing the mobile phone experience to the desktop.

Kickstarter changing the rules for mid-tier game development. Or is it just a fad?

Minecraft and Angry Birds: Sales (and particularly ROI) that major publishers would kill to have.

HTML 5: Will it or won’t it kill Flash?

Steam. And Steam pushing Linux.

The industry is in turmoil.

Same as it ever was.

Sure, it can be easy for me to get worked up over issues that will impact my business and the kinds of games I want to play.  But I think I’ve been at this long enough – as a gamer first, later as a mainstream developer, later still as an indie – that I’ve seen an awful lot of turmoil and tons of transformations happen to the video games industry. I’ve seen the arcades and my favorite platforms and genres die out (*sniff*), and I’ve often seen something new or better take their place (or a resurgence).  I’ve seen plenty of booms and declines and fads.

I’ve come to assume that the industry is always in chaos, with only about two or three years at a time where things might be remotely stable.

That doesn’t mean I’m any good at predicting what the next big thing will be. I’m just used to it not being what I expected.


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