This Week in the Business: 'Sony has had a Miserable Generation in the Console Market'

Illustration for article titled This Week in the Business: 'Sony has had a Miserable Generation in the Console Market'

What's happened in the business of video games this past week ...

QUOTE | "Sony has had a miserable generation in the console market."—Rob Fahey, former editor of, talking about the harsh lessons Sony has learned and what they need to succeed.


QUOTE | "Consoles have become a barrier to creativity."—YoYo Games CEO Sandy Duncan, developers of GameMaker, talking about the effect of the massive development costs and closed ecosystems of consoles.

QUOTE | "I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last traditional console generation."—Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer of Blizzard Entertainment, talking about game design and the future of gaming.

QUOTE | "You won't be seeing our profit being spent on Ferraris and shit like that. Our profits are going back into games."—Lorne Lanning, CEO of Oddworld Inhabitants, talking about an attempt by EA to acquire his studio and why he said no.

QUOTE | "We wish Lorne luck on the game and recommend Lithium for the paranoia and Tourette Syndrome."—Jeff Brown, EA spokesman, commenting on Lorne Lanning's profanity-laced diatribe about how EA tried to buy his company, which EA says never happened.

STAT | 1 billion—Number of monthly Facebook users actively using the service; Facebook has also seen about 230 million Facebook users playing games in the last month.

QUOTE | "I'd written things being slightly grumpy about the way Lara had become. Big boobs and etcetera etcetera."—Rhianna Pratchett, narrative designer on the Tomb Raider reboot, talking abou her work on Lara Croft.


QUOTE | "That's the beauty of the internet; now people instantly broadcast how wrong your opinions are all over the world ."—Frank O'Connor, Halo 4's franchise development director, talking about how Halo 4 development had to deal with an enormous amount of advice.

STAT | $2.30—Value of one share of Zynga's stock after it dropped 20% overnight on news of poor third quarter results; the stock has dropped over 80% from its high point back in March of this year.


QUOTE | "Ubisoft pounces on every market where it can gain ground."—Mike Williams, writer for GamesIndustry International, talking with other journalists about the best video game companies in a fantasy sports style draft.

STAT | 10 million—Number of World of Warcraft subscribers after the release of Mists of Pandaria, up from 9 million before; the expansion has sold 2.7 million copies so far.


QUOTE | "25 years ago I never really imagined that game hardware would evolve this far so quickly."—Hideo Kojima, creator of Metal Gear Solid, talking about the game series, how it evolved and where it's going.

STAT | 12 million—Number of units sold of the Left 4 Dead franchise, according to Valve; Valve continues to support the series, now through Steam Workshop.


This Week in the Business courtesy of GamesIndustry International

(Image from Shutterstock)



Also, my personal input on Kojima's interview:

While I really do admire the man, I disagree with him on one point: I think that open world games (at least those in the traditional Western quest/sidequest structure) are, ironically, going to become the biggest obstacle to storytelling in video games, if they're not already. The more and more you give player control, the less you can pace the experience, convey emotion/meaning, or create attatchment to characters. There needs to be a certain degree of linearity in a story-driven game in order for it to work; that is not to say, however, that story-driven games ought to be COMPLETELY linear. Rather, there needs to be a fine balance between linearity and non-linearity in order for players to keep the story at center stage but at the same time not feel snapped to a roller coaster rail.

I think that the current trend of "everything should be open world" is a fad, since we haven't had the tech to do open worlds well before this generation. This has ended up in a lot of open world games feeling aimless, like toys or sandboxes if you will. I think single-player gamers will eventually get burned out on that lack of direction, and elements of linearity will be introduced back into those games, centering them while keeping some of the technological and interactive benefits achieved through an open world.