Is the Video Game Industry set for a Change

Reserved for modern gaming discussions.
User avatar
Posts: 2418
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Is the Video Game Industry set for a Change

Postby scotland » October 2nd, 2018, 8:44 am

The closure of TellTale Games has brought up the question of how the video game industry works and its future

On one hand, revenues are huge. A report has that, globally, there are 2.3 billion gamers who will spend almost $138 billion dollars on video games in 2018. That's a 13.3% increase from 2017. Digital games make up 91% of the global share, as mobile gaming itself is more than half of all global revenue at $70.3 billion dollars (up 25.5% from 2017). Console gaming is $34.6 billion, and PC gaming is $32.9 billion. Forecasts are for continued growth to $180 billion by 2021, although much of that will be from continued growth in mobile gaming.

So, video games as an industry is a 'Buy' - but what kind of games will they be?

Telltale Games was an award winning studio, whose games were still popular, in talks with Netflix to bring Netflix IP to Telltale and Telltale product to Netflix. And yet, Telltale is essentially gone. If it were just Telltale, you could say 'They made poor decisions', but how about Capcom Vancouver of Dead Rising and Visceral of Dead Space - gone as well in the last 12 months.

There is a huge amount of product. Steam, which is just a PC storefront, released more than 7000 games in 2017. Employees face issues with burnout and mass layoffs, often while living in expensive cities. This leads to talent drain. Also, there is a large cost in onboarding new hires, so all this churn is just loss. The cost of a major game can cost tens of millions of dollars, similar to making a movie. This leads to mergers and acquisitions. Virtual Reality will probably make those costs even larger.

What do you think the gaming industry will be like in a few years?

User avatar
Posts: 924
Joined: June 18th, 2016, 7:15 pm

Re: Is the Video Game Industry set for a Change

Postby Stalvern » October 2nd, 2018, 12:21 pm

I don't see current trends changing in the near future. More powerful hardware will continue to drive up development budgets, with the result that AAA games will become even more homogenized and exploitative of consumers. The big names will continue to grow, and our privileges will continue to shrink. This will continue to fuel the indie game boom.

Longer-term, I want to say that this isn't sustainable, but I can't say it confidently. People who give a crap about companies being ethical – heck, about games being good – are a minority compared to the millions who buy every new CoD and Madden because it's the new one. Heck, plenty of people hate new AAA franchise games and still friggin' buy them out of sheer pressure. Maybe we'll get to a point where EA and Ubisoft start sweating, but with the way the entire tech industry has been going, I don't think that people will have the wherewithal to care about video games treating them like a resource to strip-mine when every other product and service and product-as-service does too. (I hope you like the idea of a Windows subscription, because Microsoft certainly does!) The indie market will keep grinding up starry-eyed newcomers who can't stay afloat after their first game or two, but computer and video games are so pervasive now that there will always be fresh meat there.

But maybe I'm just being cynical. Maybe I'm wrong. That would be nice.

User avatar
Posts: 43
Joined: August 20th, 2016, 7:47 am

Re: Is the Video Game Industry set for a Change

Postby SpaceGuitarist » October 3rd, 2018, 8:14 pm

The main problem, as everybody knows, is that production costs for AAA videogames are spinning out of control.
And it's not just the graphics or the content - nowadays a big game is expected to have Hollywood-quality dubbing, a 40 piece orchestra that plays 7 hours of soundtrack, unneeded online features and a lot of bells and whistles that we could honestly do without. It's just become too opulent to be sustainable.
Indie games were supposed to be the alternative but I've been seeing dangerous trends there as well. They are getting more and more ambitious and bloated with stuff. They have become more expensive to buy too: back when they became popular the average price was around $10 - now they can cost anywhere from $15 to $25+.
It seems nobody is able to work on a budget anymore. Everybody thinks they are making Apocalypse Now...

Return to “Modern Gaming”