User Control Panel
Search iVirtua
Advanced/Tag Search...
Search Users...
What is iVirtua Exclusive Community?
  • An exclusive gaming industry community targeted to, and designed for Professionals, Businesses and Students in the sectors and industries of Gaming, New Media and the Web, all closely related with it's Business and Industry.
  • A Rich content driven service including articles, contributed discussion, news, reviews, networking, downloads, and debate.
  • We strive to cater for cultural influencers, technology decision makers, early adopters and business leaders in the gaming industry.
  • A medium to share your or contribute your ideas, experiences, questions and point of view or network with other colleagues here at iVirtua Community.
Guest's Communication
Live Chat
Teamspeak (VOIP) Audio Conference
Private Messages
Check your Private Messages
Themes
Choose an iVirtua Community theme to reflect your interests...
Business Theme
India/Arabic Theme

Gaming Theme
iVirtua Recommends
Fly Emirates Advertising
The Hardcore Niche - The changing Videogame market
Digg This Digg Topic Tag it on del.icio.us Tag topic on On del.icio.us Technorati Search Technorati Search Post to Slashdot Post to Slashdot
You are currently in Gaming
Post new topic Reply to topic
Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:55 am Reply and quote this post
The video game market is changing incrediblyquickly right now, probably at the fastest rate since the big crash ofthe mid-1980s.
Not only is the market expanding to include women and casual gamersonce again, the definition of what constitutes a game is expanding. Iwouldn't say it’s expanding within the minds of game developers, but itis expanding in the context of the mass media and mass consumers, andthat’s who drives the market in the first place.
As sick to death as we all are of talking about microtransactions,free-to-play MMOs, and casual online spaces, the advent of these thingsis changing the game landscape for good, whether we like it or not.
    
Interactive Media - At Face Value
The lines between an online community portal and an MMO are blurredto the point of being indistinguishable. Consider the numbers — Audition Online has tens of millions of users worldwide, and a dedicated TV show in Vietnam. Kart Rider has tens of millions of users. Ditto Habbo Hotel and Club Penguin.
Traditional games - like most people reading this are developingtoday - may never be able to reach that large of an audience. Our gamesare too focused, too hardcore, and bear too much of the stereotype of“gamer.”
                         
               
Right now, Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, and World of Warcraftare considered our blockbuster titles, and flagships for the industryin popular culture. But when you think about it, it’s still justshooting aliens, playing gang banger, and swinging your sword in theforest.
Boiled down to their essentials those things appeal to a verylimited group of people, and the complexity of game controls preventseven blockbuster movie attendees, whom we should be attracting, fromplaying these things.
At least, that’s the common line. But is that really the case? Doaliens, wizards, and soldiers really make a piece of entertainmentinaccessible? Many millions of people went to see the Iron Man movieover the past two months, and a large percentage of them have probablynever picked up a comic book in their lives.
Why is it that people will go see The Lord of the Rings' movies, but many of them will not play the games?
The Real Mass Market
It’s common knowledge that game controllers are intimidating, thatconsoles have a certain stigma to them, and that most mass marketconsumers consider games to be either a waste of time, or activelydetrimental.
These can all be debated until the end of time, but the perceptionexists, and either that has to change (Nintendo is doing good workthere), or we have to change. Otherwise we’ll end up with acomparatively small fraction of a growing market.
Will it be possible to make a game like Assassin’s Creed or BioShockin 2015? It’s already becoming difficult to justify large budgets forsingle-player experiences, and it stands to reason that it will getmore difficult as time goes on. What does that mean for developers ofthese games? What happens to the concept of a game auteur?
One possibility is for these hardcore games to essentially becomethe art-house cinema of the video game world, which would be odd, asthat’s a role currently filled by indie titles.
Interestingly, never has the film/game analogy worked less well than it does currently. In the PS2 era, you could correlate Grand Theft Auto III with a movie blockbuster, and Ico with an art-house film.
But now, in terms of scope, money, and global social impact, Kart Rider or Club Penguin would be that blockbuster, and Call of Duty 4 would be the art-house equivalent, though content- and budget-wise Call of Duty 4 is much more your traditional blockbuster material. Something seems awry there.
The fact is, these simple-to-play social experiences are here.They’re growing in popularity, they’re dwarfing our multi-milliondollar projects that sell through to 5 million people at max, and theycost a fraction of the price to make.
With the market expanding as it is, and the dollars going wherethey’re going, the $20 million budget bestselling console title oftoday is going to be the hardcore niche title of tomorrow, art-house ornot. Unless development costs get significantly lower, it seems we havean online future to look forward to.
New Things Are Stupid
To wit: online games are taking over, and I, curmudgeon that I am, don’t really like it.
Certainly there will always be the hardcore players that will wantthat deeper experience. There’s no doubt about that. But the questionis: in an industry where we’re getting our asses kicked financially byweb developers, of all people, who will pay us to make it?

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
372659 iVirtua Loyalty Points • View ProfileSend Private MessageBack to Top

Related Articles
Post new topic   Reply to topic


Page 1 of 1

iVirtua Latest
Latest Discussion

Discuss...
Latest Articles and Reviews

Latest Downloads
Subscribe to the iVirtua Community RSS Feed
Use RSS and get automatically notified of new content and contributions on the iVirtua Community.


Tag Cloud
access amd announced applications author based beta building business card case company content cool core course cpu create data deal dec demo design desktop developers development digital download drive email feature features file files firefox flash free future gaming google graphics hardware help industry information intel internet iphone ipod jan launch linux lol love mac market media memory million mobile money movie music net nintendo nov nvidia oct office official online patch performance playing power price product program ps3 pst publish ram release released report rss sales screen search security sep server show size software sony source speed support technology thu tue update video vista war web website wii windows work working works xbox 360 2006 2007 2008

© 2006 - 2008 iVirtua Community (UK), Part of iVirtua Media Group, London (UK). Tel: 020 8144 7222

Terms of Service and Community RulesAdvertise or Affiliate with iVirtuaRSSPress Information and Media CoverageiVirtua Version 4PrivacyContact