EA founder believes consoles will become a niche market
Casual gaming to force core gamers into the minority
Founder of mega-publisher Electronic Arts and former Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins believes that eventually, consoles are going to become a niche market.
As the game industry continues to grow, Hawkins believes that casual gaming, which takes place generally on devices such as smartphones, tablets and computers is going to surpass hardcore gaming, which is confined mostly to powerful consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360, as well as high end computers.
“The console market is always going to be with us, because there’s always going to be a hardcore segment, a segment that likes innovation,” Hawkins said. “But it’s going to become a smaller market, and it’s going to be more like a hobby market. You look at airplanes. Most of us just want to be a passenger, but there’s a hobby market for people who are really into aviation and want to take flying lessons and maybe someday have their own airplane. I think that’s what’s happening to the console market.”
One of the things Hawkins believes is powering this attraction to casual gaming is accessibility. While power-hungry AAA titles can only be played on specific hardware, the Facebook gamer can have access to his or her favourite title almost anywhere. In Hawkins’ opinion, convenience is taking priority over power.
“In the old days I’d go down to the basement to play Grand Theft Auto,” Hawkins said. “But the Facebook gamer is able to play at work, at home, in a hotel on a PC. They can get access to a browser just about anywhere. People are thinking about convenience first.”