Predictions on the Future of Gaming

Over at the Escapist, they're taking a look at the future of gaming — Hal Halpin, president of the Entertainment Consumers Association, looks at a number of 'maybe, maybe not' predictions with his own take. Ranging from the mundane ('Game prices will go down!') to the political ('Things will get better once gamers become politicians!') to the industry-focused ('Publishing structure is stuck in a rut and won't change!'). It's a fun read with some good points on the present and future directions of the gaming industry. On the publishing structure, Halpin has this to say:

... Developers too often aspire to be CEOs and convince themselves that they have the acumen to handle it. They rarely do. Great developers are great artists, not suits. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but by and large rising developers would do far better to hire an experienced executive team and check their egos at the door. That, or merge with equally talented, like-minded firms where they should still hire the aforementioned suits. I foresee the consolidation in our business similar to that of the film industry. Several publishers will percolate up to be "the majors," a few will be "mini majors" and specialize in niche markets and genres, and there'll be a whole culture of indie developers - far more robust than today's landscape - many of whom will be inspired to their careers by user-created content. Timeline for paradigm shift: three to five years.

I'm not sure consolidation of the film industry is a good example, since it took some concerted effort on the part of the major studios and successfully stamped out the little whipper snappers for decades, but the idea of a more robust indie scene is a nice one. Not a terribly long essay, but worth a read through.

The Crystal Ball [The Escapist]