Absolutely laughable , enough said.
Apple is set to increase its dominance in the games industry and could own the whole shebang in ten year's time. Well, that's what former PlayStation Veep Phil Harrison reckons. In an interview with Edge, Harrison said, "At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years …
I predict all movies to become straight-to-DVD (or even straight-to-free-download) because these script-driven big budgetty ones aren't going to be worth it anymore.
The central idea of these predictions is that people's time has become worthless. Not sure that holds up for many... [Yes, it's what most parents have said of their children hanging out playing music/games/dvds, but that doesn't make it a correct.]
Yes, let's just assume that those market share gains will remain constant over ten years, and ignore any possibility of market saturation coming in as a factor why don't we?
Next, how about we assume that the future of videogaming is made of cheese? It's about as fucking likely to happen.
Fuck sakes, it's like 2011 is Year Of The Stupid for Sony or something...
(And no, I didn't read further because with that sort of opening gambit I fear for my sanity, quite frankly)
To pick one quote:
"At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years – if they carry on unrestrained in their growth, then there's a pretty good chance that Apple will be the games industry."
Since when does any market behave like this. Someone may make a big splash and gain ground rapidly for a few years but then their market share always plateaus. One of the few exceptions to this would have to be Microsoft Windows but then there was no real competition running on the same hardware. If Apple had launched their OS running on the IBM PC at the same time we'd have a similar situation.
Apple likes to sell their software only to their matching hardware. They are pretty much like the console producers: they are building only to their platforms and you will pay through the nose in order to own it.
Yes, there are Steam games that run on Macs, but they sell those games outside the Mac world too. You won't see that happen if Apple decides to build a Killer App game. The whole exclusivity thing doesn't sell well outside Mac fans.
Will budgets be cut? Maybe. Will this mean the end of story driven games? No. There's a market for them, so they'll be made. It's not like the budgets need to be as high as they are. As long as people are willing to accept that the graphics aren't cutting edge, and so on.
Mobile games aren't in the same market as the bigger games.
And extrapolation, well... http://xkcd.com/605/
Says it all, really.
First, there's his stats fail about Apple's growth.
"Oh, look; they're market share grew from 1% to 3%*. That's 200% growth, therefore in 5 years they'll own the industry."
* Figures are to illustrate point.
Then the comment about expensive single-player games becoming rare... I don't buy it. There are certain narratives that work better with only one player and they'll continue to be produced.
Sure, companies may scale back the massive budgets they throw on them, but I can't see them becoming rare.
If anything, MMOs should be rare. I find it odd the number of new ones that keep getting announced. At this rate they'll be SMOs because everyone will have their own niche game to play.
Simple question: are these the same players? The original article doesn't care to find out.
If all iPad players were desktop/console players that have/will completely abandon those platforms, then the prediction is potentially true (but for a small nonzero probability).
If all iPad players have not played before, then it has no influence whatsoever on the established gaming market.
The reality lying somewhere in between those extremes... The vast number of players wanting immersive experiences, with 5.1 sound and giant screens, well these won't really be satisfied here.
So yes, it's like predicting air travel will die out since the invention of highways (in 30s germany): not completely accurate.
The android platform is growing much faster than apple's smartphone userbase. So if you ARE going to throw out basically random projections about where we're going to be in 10 years time (which is, let's face it, a dumb thing to do in the first place) what possible reason is there to think that it will be a Jobsian future?
And steam has been showing the way for years, with Apple being a johnny-come-lately to the party.
On the whole, just a deliberately inflammatory article which will predictably result in the usual "healthy debate" between Macolytes and Mac-haters. Well played, El Reg!
Hasn't stopped Hollywood yet.
Nothing improbable about a new player coming in and doing well (Sony, Microsoft) but for someone to actually dominate the games industry because they've spearheaded the IFad... well. Colour me skeptical. If nothing else, both the social gaming market (multiple people on a single device) and the hardcore gaming market will favour consoles and either consoles or PCs for a little while yet because they have requirements that fondleslabs have yet to meet.
Should read "Mobile will own games industry". Games developers won't place all their eggs in one Apple-shaped basket. It limits their earning potential. For most of the world, Apple hardware is unobtainable as compared to competitors it often costs an arm and a leg (or a kidney).
More 'journalists' throwing about the Apple name because it gets them noticed. Pathetic.
He's right in that digital delivery is set to become the dominant model.
He's wrong in that it will be Apple taking the prize. The ifs and buts he uses are a faulty premise. "If Apple's growth continues in the way it is." No. It won't.
Can I play complex MMOs on an iPad? Even with the advent of streaming game services it'll be pretty difficult to play complex games with touch screen controls more suited to Angry Birds.
I personally predict that Steam will become the dominant delivery system, for consoles too. But that's just my opinion.
I do like a shiny BD full of Drake, but I am also happy to download of PSN or off Steam, provided I have the disk space.
Lets just say that all the PC games I play are delivered digitally via Steam.
As to consoles, they will have to open to other sellers as well. I could see Steam on PS sooner rather than later, already I have linked accounts so my Portal 2 trophies are shared.
As to Apple - no they will not - some of us like to slob out on the sofa controller in hand. Some like to jump around to fitness games, and some are happy with their gaming PC.
Steam is an absolute miracle, in that it's a piece of DRM I don't mind having. Because it's multi-platform *and* multi-publisher, there's competition in the market, meaning that unlike other online markets, prices do come down over time, promotions are worth the user's time, etc.
EA/Ubisoft/your mum might be working on their own delivery platforms, but because of their control freakery and tendency to shaft the customer, they'll fail,and end up back on Steam.
Apple? Phhhhht. Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja might be mindless commuter distractions, but given that the PSP already does this kind of digital distribution, and the next one will be 3G capable, who gives a shit about iPad gaming? Yes, very nice, keep playing with Baby's First Console, I'll be over here playing Uncharted.
Despite my ongoing distaste for the current trend of selling DRM laden, Internet-connection-is-required, must-pay-extra-for-full game (aka DLCs) I find that all my recent purchases were made via Steam. The main reason is their pricing on older titles and specialsand the convenience.
Also the impulse purchase factor.
Recently I found myself reminiscing about GTA3:SA and I wondered if GTA4 had ever been ported to PC. Checked on Steam and there it is for $30. Or $40 for the full game (ie with the 2 DLC packs)
Bugger it I thought, a quick clickety click later and GTA4 is purchased .
I don't like having all my games tethered to Steam yet I'm doing it anyway.
It's a bit of a dilemma really.
"Obligatory <insert shite here>" ~ We really don't care! Oh! and please don't include a link, what's funny to you is just meh! to the rest of us.
"Playmobile or it didn't happen!" ~ Really?, no! You are not funny. Not. Funny. Any. More. Go. Away.
"Citation required" ~ This is not wikipedia, it's El Reg. now fuck off back & concentrate on deleting stuff you know fuck all about.
"I call <whatever>" ~ We're not playing poker here, if you want to call a bet, do so, elsewhere! Don't use this shite phrase for "disagree", if you disagree please articulate your disagreement, then we can all laugh at your stupidity/not laugh at your inciteful comment, rather than just ignoring the post completely.
Nuff said, my next lecture will be at the Wigmore Hall, natch :-)
Where's the sodding Grenade icon gone now?
There are a lot of gamers like myself that love playing games on a big screen TV or PC, that also simply have zero interest in "mobile gaming"! I personally don't want to play on a mobile or tablet (excluding the once in a blue moon 5 min session).
So I think Phil couldn't be more wrong that Apple will somehow eliminate the massive console/PC gaming space and everyone will be playing shitty little portable games!
And to claim Apple of all people will own it when they have no gaming heritage?! I think the Playstation suite on Android or XBL on Windows Phone, cross linking to people existing gamer profiles with those services, are the most likely mobile platforms!
Gaming is probably only so big on the iPad because people have realised they have virtually no other practical use for the thing!
They will not overtake steam as a PC games delivery network based on the simple facts that they are apple and don't really DO PCs and public perception is a strong thing to break.
They will not become the Xbox store, Microsoft has their own.
They will not become the Android store, Google has their own.
They may become the PS3 store, Sony has their own, but as trust has just been completely destroyed in their security they may be looking for a tech partner.
So how are they going to "own games industry" again? Even the mobile market is catered for by some other pretty big players....pretty big players that don't skim 30% off the top of each sale to boot.
While I'd applaud the spirit of innovation and whackiness a small radical outfit could bring to the table, your idea is the equivalent of switching an Avatar/Titanic production quality with some experimental/indie/short length film production.
I'd love this to be a stepping stone for those truly innovative souls out there but I'd don't want to go back 20 years in production quality just so that some whizz kid get his chance.
Amongst the flotsom of modern games the only particularly good ones are Europa Universalis, Arsenal of War, a handful od doujin games, FEAR (the sequels were rubbish though), Counter strike, democracy 2, Total War games, Space Empires. Most other games have been at best average.
Most games that I've got in the past three or four years have been just about average, and it seems there is a direct correlation to how much people say a game is good and how much it sucks, Crysis, Assasins Creed, Supreme commander 2, Every civ game since 2, Battlefield, CoD, The Witcher and Dead Space (just to get started) are atrocious games.
Also they don't need to be one man bands, and you picked terrible films as examples as Avatar and Titanic are awful films, but they do quite nicely sum up modern games, bland eye candy that absorb a couple of hours that would have been better spent reading a book or going out with friends.
has too many drawbacks to serious gamers. Covering half the screen with your hands whilst flinging one bird at stationary pigs is fine, but, when it comes to intense first person shooters, you need to see every square inch of your screen. Those corners covered by your hands contain important info, such as ammo, health, maybe a radar screen. Cover those up and you're dead. Look at how many buttons are on PS3, Xbox and Wii controllers, even then, sometimes you need more. Can you really place all those onto a tablet screen? What would you have left, the equivalent of a 6" screen?
Add to that playing on a 10 inch screen with tinny speakers doesn't match a 42" or 50" OLED with 5.1 surround sound.
Mulitplayer on the same screen? Wii-style games such as bowling or tennis? No.
And stop perpetuating this myth that internet speeds are increasing to a point where downloading a few gig of games is no problem... in the real world we are lucky to get 2 megabits on a good day with the wind blowing in the right direction.
"At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years – if they carry on unrestrained in their growth, then there's a pretty good chance that Apple will be the games industry."
"At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years – if they carry on unrestrained in their growth, then there's a pretty good chance that we'll be knee-deep in horse-shit"
Can you spot the difference?
2007 - Bought the younger kid a Nintendo DS. He dropped it and one of the hinges broke. Still works, but it's hanging by a thread.
2010 - Bought the same kid a iPod Touch 4. 10: He dropped it. It's fine. GOTO 10.
2007-2009 - bought plenty of DS games at $20 to $40 a pop. They evaporate into thin air. It's like watching a magician. Opens hand to show you a $40 game, closes hand, opens hand and the $40 game has vanished into thin air. Never to be seen again. Happens over and over again. Hundreds of dollars of game cartridges have vanished into thin air.
2010 - gave the kid a 'credit' of $35 for iPod Touch games. Even six months later he's only spent about $20 of it. iPod Touch is crammed full of $1 or free games.
An iPod Touch is far far far far cheaper than a Nintendo DS.
The PSP is probably about half-way between these two.
Apples current gaming success is in spite of Apple, not because of anything they've done.
They've had how long to actually formulate a gaming strategy, but keep restarting.
If Apple really are going to own this space, they're going to need to make a lot of quick moves, else another company will take apples strengths and own the space: steamand onlive are well on their way
The idea of playing games online on demand is exactly what Games publishers are dreaming of. We pay to play. But the payment model is not good for the consumer. So who will win out on that. Will the consumer be forced to pay up or will the play up?
The idea of Apple become the game's industry is just to catch your eye here. That's not going to happen, any more than the Kinect will do away with the controller of a console, or the console die out in favour of an iPad. I would dare to say that in two years time the iPad will be a nice to have gizmo going cheap on eBay. It will end up on the slag heap of technology because after a while people get fed up with it and opt to go back to their PC or console. The iPad and the son of Wii both suffer the same problem of being poor interfaces to games.
I think the comment that single player FPS and adventure games becoming rare is just simply wrong. There is a healthy demand. I think my cynercism sensor also went off when I read this and it sounds like a general exorcise to persuade/breed consumers to think second rate games of simple blocks being pushed around is what real gaming is about. Bollocks to that as well. I'm not saying all games have to be COD or Halo, but I am saying that good games are those that capture the imagination of the player and they play them. Good games are not those we are told are good by corporations.
Being cynical here I would say it smells of someone hoping to be snapped up by Apple and be their evangelist for their domination of the games industry. Bollocks.
Can I just point out there is a new Halo4 coming out, when everyone thought it was all over. It's now coming back. The idea of interacting with story is not going to go away.
Personaly I'm with Gordon Freeman on this and Cave Johnson. Do good science and the world's a better place... for those still alive. ;-)
"Apple is set to increase its dominance in the games industry and could own the whole shebang in ten year's time".. you could say that about any company Veep. Bit of a generic statement.
Sony, Nintendo & Microsoft are very big players in that arena. My Führer Jobs & Co, would have a hard time breaking into that market, especially as there is a wave of distrust in the direction that Apple seem to be going with developers at the moment.
Saying that, I know nothing about the new generation of consoles/games. I'm still trying to complete Super Mario World on the SNES 100%... may be after that I'll move on to Sonic The Hedgehog.
Anyone else remember the Viz adds Sonic?
Ten years is, ten years. A decade. A vely vely long time. In that time Apple will have gone through a crisis, recovered or not, made some mistakes, messed up, etc... Prolly even been hit by a virus or two :-)
The likelihood of them becoming some industry leader in the games market, a market they are vely vely new in, is. Unlikely.
"At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years – if they carry on unrestrained in their growth"
That's a pretty big assumption. There are several restraining factors, not least that the end-to-end delivery is great on Apple hardware, and not-so-good on others. You still need the hardware to play the games. Valve have made a big leap recently by starting to push onto PlayStation, and of course Microsoft already have XBox Live Marketplace. I just don't see unrestrained growth in the gaming world.
There really needs to be some sort of distinction beetween games and distractions.
Games to me are big and involved.
Distractions were always available on computers as well but they are certainly not worth mentioning in the same manor as real games. Games they may be but only in the same way a Fiat Panda and the QE2 are both vechicles.
As much as media likes to shove unrelated things together it makes no sense.
There wil lalways be a real games market. It's just not as big as the distractions market anymore.
If this bloke assumes that the iPad is the future of gaming, he's nuts. If he thinks that the iPad will supplant consoles, he's nuts. If he thinks the iPad will replace PC games, he's nuts. The games I play on my PC don't run on the Mac, iPad, or iPhone. The Apple approach works for those who wish to live in that walled garden, but if this bloke thinks that Apple will ever take over the gaming industry, he's just plain daft.
Because Apple has the dominant mobile device platform right now....wait, no it doesn't, that would be Google. But still hardcore gamers like to game primarily on tablets....wait, no, that would be consoles.
The one saving grace is that multiplayer games are more popular than single player, but not so much so as to make a prediction of the demise of single player story driven games realistic.
This is an idiotic prediction by any standard.
I meet far fewer people into what I would call "gaming" than I do people into playing with a gadget.
"Real" games are a minority pursuit compared to "I'm cool, I am" phone "apps".
FPSs and MMOGS may be part of the future of gaming -- but they're not mainstream, at least from what I can see.
The key to this article is the word extrapolate.
1.to infer (an unknown) from something that is known; conjecture.
2.Statistics . to estimate (the value of a variable) outside the tabulated or observed range.
3.Mathematics . to estimate (a function that is known over a range of values of its independent variable) to values outside the known range.
So, in other words, making guesses based on available data = complete nonesense = sensationalism as per the 'newspapers' like The Daily Fail, The Sun, The Mirror et al.
If you will excuse me, I'm off for a game of Pong.
What have the games industry spent years doing? They have spent years trying to get you "inside" the game. That takes serious graphics, a screen of a certain minimum size and a decent sound system (for some games). Assassin's Creed, Empire Total War etc - that type of experience on an iPad? The premise of this article is preposterous.
Lots of people dismissing the idea, probably don't have kids (and don't realised that iPads are capable of not only pushing quite a few pixels, but also can output to HDMI for big screen gaming) .
My kids are not very interested in console games other than as an occasional social things with multiple people in the room. No wonder when consoles are relatively expensive with expensive games.
They do however all have iPod Touchs, want iPad's and have hundreds of games on the iPods. The iPod/iPads are essential devices to them as they can buy music/games with pocket money/iTunes gift cards, as well as browsing the internet and with math/science/language apps for school/homework.
Nintendo also see the Apple monster, with the Wii replacement having a controller that is the closer to a tablet than a tradtional controller. Nintendo must have also lost a far few sales of DSLites to iPad Touches.
So unlikely as it seems, something like an iPad3 with more grunt, easy sync to a HDMI screen, could maybe become the game console of choice for many people. May not be as good as a dedicated console, but then there is a small core of hardcore gamers who regard consoles as not upto PC standards either.
No reason as well when I think about it, that something like Kinect or Move style controllers could be added to the iPad .. sit it beside the TV, use the camera, and a bluetooth connected controller for taking gaming a bit further. Whether Apple wants that is another story; and with Apple it comes down to whether Jobs wants to hit the gaming market.
What they mean by "Owning" the gaming market isn't having the best games,or putting consoles out of business, but making the most money.
The last hardcore game I finished to completion was Halflife 2. However since getting an iPad Touch (originally just for music), I started playing games whenever I'm stuck waiting somewhere or on hold. There are more than enough free games to keep you entertained, but the games are so cheap that its not big deal to spend a few dollars if you enjoyed the "lite" version.
However Apple is likely to share its dominance of the gaming market with those crappy Facebook Games.
Gaming at home is done for the experience. The large screen, the sound system, the high performance mouse and joystick. Gaming on the move has always been a pick-up-put-down thing.
The tablet experience will never be a substitute for the console. Never will. It is expanding the edges of the pick-up mobile game, (which will do a lot for the "bubble bobbler's" and "bejewelers" of the world) but that is about it.
If Apple dominate the games industry in the next ten years with this strategy, (unless they bring out a games console) I'll buy Terry Pratchett's hat for the purpose of eating it ... and that's an awful lot of hat.
This all depends on network availability and cost. Only the western world and parts of the far east has broadband powerful and reliable enough to support this and as for cloud gaming how many developers will be able to scale massive processing farms to support multigame platforms, when no doubt they will have to use apples cloud with will demand 30% revenue.
This is laughable at best.
Whoever said Company A owning an industry means that Company N, S and M will not also be participating?
Largest market share != total market share
Console and games sales have been down over the past few years. Mobile gaming is the only growth area. I personally don't see Apple dominating, but I can see it taking a very large chunk of the overall revenue.
The prediction is not as daft as it sounds.
In any case, it won't be A that wins, but A will certainly take the credit.
"Console and games sales have been down over the past few years. Mobile gaming is the only growth area."
Is this down to mobile gaming being the future, though, or is it down to people not having as much cash in recent years, so £40 a game is a bit steep, whereas mobile games are hardly expensive? Also, those recent years have seen the explosion of the dumbphone fad, which doubtless will have helped as mesmerised plebs all discovered this amazing new "touchscreen" stuff.
The Wii was supposed to be the amazing gaming future, remember? Millions upon millions of sales, take over the planet, never be the same again. Then everyone realised that most of the games on it were shit, as was the hardware, the online experience, and the support.
Fashion and fad only affect things in the short term. Console gaming has been around a long time.
What a load of nonsense. As a gamer of thirty years' experience I say to this numpty that he can keep his goddamn social networking bullshit the hell out of my games. And mobile gaming? Don't make me laugh. If you've got to hold a fondleslab, that's one less hand to use the controls. Just because he's apparently used to one-handed computer use doesn't mean the rest of us want to do the same.
Old Phil was always a bit of a knob with his statements while at sony during the Xbox360/PS3 early promotional days.
I see nothing has changed.
Apple may own gaming, but I run a small online business and my income is currently doing very nicely as its increasing at around 15% a month. I've projected that before I retire I will have all the money in the world!
"At this trajectory, if you extrapolate the market-share gains that they are making, forward for ten years"
And if you extrapolate from the speed I travel out of the office car park on Friday afternoon, forward for 1000 years, then my Peugeot will easily break the light barrier. Hopefully passing the pub on the way.
What all these industry commenters don't seem to understand is that Apple's position doens't allow them to dominate the games industry. Or rather not the traditional games industry.
See, there are really two games industries since the advent of the ipod touch/iphone, one is the £1 app, play a few rounds on the commute to work industry, and one of the games industry proper, with the triple A titles. Apple can try to dominate the prior one, and they've a good chance of succeeding, but they're not in a position to dominate the latter.
The two markets aren't mutually exclusive, you don't HAVE to pick between the £40 game and the £1 phone app, you can happily pick both, Apple's pricing model allows that...for the most part.
The major weakness of Apple in an attempt to conquer the traditional Triple A title market is that they have no dedicated triple A developers, they've got....being thrown a bone by Valve, and I think you'll find, that Valve has their own delivery system that they're not likely to sell to Apple. Apple has no placed in the traditional games industry, and I don't see people buying ipads or iphones ahead of consoles.
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