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TwinIon

The Game Industry in 5 Years

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Polygon put up an interesting piece on what developers think the industry will look like and what challenges and changes it will face over the next five years. There were a few themes they picked up on.

 

VR will remain a niche platform. I've been bullish on VR, but I think this is probably true. The emergence of stand alone headsets like the just announced Vive Focus and the Oculus Go might help, but I don't think they can hit any kind of mass adoption while their controllers remain so limited.

 

The discovery problem for indie games will get worse. I imagine for indie devs this will remain a huge hurdle, and I don't see how it can get better.

 

Large devs will suffer from losing talent. I'm skeptical about this one. I do think that many devs will leave the industry, but I also think there will be enough young talent that grew up on games and desperately want to make games that the big companies will continue to be able to treat them poorly.

 

Games will increasingly be shaped by user data and early access feedback. I hope that devs will find good uses for player telemetry data, but I hope that developers don't let the community drive development too much. That doesn't seem like an environment that will make great games.

 

Esports will keep rolling. I think the biggest problem with esports is its insular nature. It's hard to get people into any given game's competitive scene if you're not a player of that game. I think it'll continue to grow, but I don't see it changing dramatically over the next few years.

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1 hour ago, TwinIon said:

The discovery problem for indie games will get worse. I imagine for indie devs this will remain a huge hurdle, and I don't see how it can get better.

DMR2vW3XcAEIdjt.jpg

 

By year's-end, that number will be easily over 6,000

 

So, yes, the "discovery problem" for independent developers is going to only get far, FAR worse.

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7 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

By year's-end, that number will be easily over 6,000

 

So, yes, the "discovery problem" for independent developers is going to only get far, FAR worse.

Wow. I wonder what the bell curves for sales and revenue look like for all those games.

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24 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

Wow. I wonder what the bell curves for sales and revenue look like for all those games.

For the overwhelming majority, it's a flat line sitting right on top of the x-axis.

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13 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

For the overwhelming majority, it's a flat line sitting right on top of the x-axis.

A number of those titles aren't even real games...  Just fake games trying to peddle trading cards....

 

The Steam marketplace is a cluster....

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5 hours ago, TwinIon said:

Polygon put up an interesting piece on what developers think the industry will look like and what challenges and changes it will face over the next five years. There were a few themes they picked up on.

 

VR will remain a niche platform. I've been bullish on VR, but I think this is probably true. The emergence of stand alone headsets like the just announced Vive Focus and the Oculus Go might help, but I don't think they can hit any kind of mass adoption while their controllers remain so limited.

 

The discovery problem for indie games will get worse. I imagine for indie devs this will remain a huge hurdle, and I don't see how it can get better.

 

Large devs will suffer from losing talent. I'm skeptical about this one. I do think that many devs will leave the industry, but I also think there will be enough young talent that grew up on games and desperately want to make games that the big companies will continue to be able to treat them poorly.

 

Games will increasingly be shaped by user data and early access feedback. I hope that devs will find good uses for player telemetry data, but I hope that developers don't let the community drive development too much. That doesn't seem like an environment that will make great games.

 

Esports will keep rolling. I think the biggest problem with esports is its insular nature. It's hard to get people into any given game's competitive scene if you're not a player of that game. I think it'll continue to grow, but I don't see it changing dramatically over the next few years.

 

Interesting discussion.

 

1.  I am agreed on VR being a niche for a long time, it is still too expensive an accessory.  Price has to come down below $200 and the resolution needs to go to 4k at 120hz  before it gains mass market appeal. This is probably 5-10 years off IMO, but I think it WILL get their, just not until the 2020-2025 time range.  The latest stuff is FAR ahead superior to the past, but I think it is still crap.  

 

2.  Agreed on Indie Games getting lost but I have a more complicated reason.  Obviously too many games plays a big role, but I think we have aging hardcore gaming populations.  The majority of gamers are in their 25-45 age group now (last time I looked at stats) and many of these people are in full fledged careers, starting families, etc and have limited time, so they might be picking up 5-10 titles a year now instead of double or triple that in the past.  Obviously, they will go after the "big" visible games and maybe play 1 or 2 small indie games that go viral and in a world where thousands of games are being released (probably going to end up MUCH higher in years to come), this will be a big problem, even with new markets opening up. 

 

I look at myself.  I used to buy 20-30 games a year, worked shift work and had a LOT of free time to game, even with a busy life style, so that was anywhere from $1500-2500 a year spent on games.  Now, married, kid on the way, busy with life, etc, etc... my wife has no issue with me gaming (just dumped 40 hours into ACOrigins over the last 2 weeks) but I don't really have the time and I am starting to cut my games down more and more to just play the best games out there.  Indie games don't even cross my plate unless they are damn good.  For example, in the next 4-5 months I plan on finishing ACOrigins, Mario Odyssey, SteamWorldDig2, Breath of the Wild, Horizon's Zero Dawn and maybe Wolfensteain 2 and I doubt I will get to all of that.  In all of that list, only one is an indie game and that one is a very popular, fun, smaller game to play.  I don't have time to see what else is out their and I suspect many other people are like that too.  I would love to play more games, but I don't have time, so I save my time for the best games I want to play.  Ehem, wake me when the next Dark Souls game comes out, I will play that no matter what ;)

 

3.  Large Developers losing talenet?  well I think it will be mostly stable but trending down, but for different reasons... Developer Salaries are coming down and are going to get nailed over the next ten years because there are a LOT of programmers/artists/etc coming out everywhere.  As well, games are getting easier to develop in many respects because of the software tools available now that didn't exist 10 years ago, less has to be done by hand, more can be contracted out, etc, etc.  The creative freedom to go "indie" will be alluring to people, but you still need to make a buck and since indie games are going to get harder and harder to be seen, that will be harder and harder and riskier and riskier,  I think in the upcoming years, many people are going to go into other areas and forget about developing games so overall, it will probably remain stable, with enough "talent" coming up to offset the talent getting out of a shitty industry that has downward wage pressure.  At the end of the day, people need to pay the mortgage and feed themselves, and I think gaming in coming years is going to see thousands of games being released each year and a lot of competition kicking people out of the industry, and only the TOP AAA games really making any profit.  

 

4,  I think this is true, but I don't know if this is good.  

 

5.  I agree with you, it will grow slowly, but I don't see it knocking out professional sports anytime soon, especially in North America, maybe a few unique countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, TwinIon said:

Esports will keep rolling. I think the biggest problem with esports is its insular nature. It's hard to get people into any given game's competitive scene if you're not a player of that game. I think it'll continue to grow, but I don't see it changing dramatically over the next few years.

 

Yet in 5 years Wade will still refuse to bring the Esports board back. :frustrated:

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