Crytek boss Cevat Yerli is thinking about the future, and the future, he thinks, is in free-to-play games. Of course, he’d have to think that, because the company recently announced it’s dumping regular box games for free-to-play games, but that’s not the point. Or it is the point. Depends how you think about it, but Free Stuff Pony agrees.
“Why are free-to-play online games not widespread on consoles? You should ask Microsoft and Sony this question. We see the future of consoles as free-to-play – ideally focused on free-to-play. That’s what I want to see in the future. But unfortunately not everybody shares this vision due to many other reasons,” he told CVG.
He explained that companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo rely on retail and distribution to get their products to market, with the “number one issue” being independence from these on the way to a “fully digital” sales model.
“Look at it this way; the margins on games are high, but the console margins are very low. Why do you think shops that sell Xbox 360s are selling them bundled together? Why does a shop sell an Xbox at all? To make money from boxed games. Retailers will never sell the Xbox hardware if the games are all digital, because they would never make any money. They would have to sell the hardware for double the price and that’s not sustainable either.”
Adding that this is an “industry problem that needs to be overcome”, although, he doesn’t exactly have any realistic ideas on how to change that.
“Somebody just has to say, ‘I’m going to cannibalise it, I don’t care, there’s a risk of burning some relationships, but we’re changing the world for good’,” he suggested. Because that’s totally going to happen.
I consulted my Magic 8-Ball, and it said “VERY LIKELY”. I noticed there’s also a big air bubble in the fluid, though, so that could be influencing current outcomes too.