Warren Spector: Consoles aren’t in danger
However, increasing costs are pushing developers towards mobile gaming
With the unprecedented explosion of companies like Zynga, creator of every “-ville” game on Facebook, people have begun casting wary eyes at the console market.
Mobile gaming, be it on a tablet PC, a handheld device or Facebook, has emerged as a potential threat to the future of the consoles.
However, Disney Interactive’s Warren Spector (who also designed the original Deus Ex) has said consoles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Talking to GamesIndustry International, Spector said, “I think over the next 3 to 5 years, you’re going to see lots of people changing the way they approach consoles.”
“I don’t know that console gaming will ever go away,” he added. “I think it’s going to become more – god I said I would never get into the business of prediction, but here I go – I think what you’re going to see is an increasing sort of stratification, where you see fewer, much higher-end games that continue to do exceptionally well on the console.”
However, Spector is concerned about the ever-increasing cost of making top-quality games. With the introduction of the next generation of consoles, he feels a lot of developers are going to be left behind and limited by budget.
“It’s a lot like when, frankly, the first CDs came around and everybody at Origin [Systems] was looking at this silver disk going ‘oh my god, what happens when people with more money than we have start filling that thing with assets?’” he said.
He continued: “It’s going to be a very tough business to be in. If you are spending $50 million or $100 million or $200 million, which is what it’s going to take, there aren’t a lot of people who can take that kind of risk. So, I am not saying we shouldn’t do that, but I am saying it’s going to be a very tough business and most people, most companies won’t be able to play on that field.”
This means that developers are going to have to get on board with the significantly less costly mobile and social markets. Spector says he’s up for the challenge.
“I think a lot about ‘how do I bring that idea that play-style matters and choice and consequence gaming, character-driven story stuff, to that little iPhone or the little Android device?’ No one has really done that, and so for me personally, I’m looking at that as an opportunity and hoping I get a chance to do it.”