BioWare Co-Founder Is Pretty Grim About Next Generation Consoles, Saying They Won’t Be “That Big A Deal”
BioWare co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk, who retired from the company last year, to pursue a career outside of the games industry, seems to have been wearing his sad pants. He’s painted a fairly grim picture for the console retail market and next-gen consoles.
Looking back at the recent resignations of higher ups such as EA CEO John Riccitiello and Square Enix president Yoichi Wada, he told GamesIndustry.biz that he doesn’t really see the next-gen consoles having the desired retail sales that many believe.
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“We are in a kind of sick market for old-school gaming – the traditional retail-based gaming – and as much as EA has moved into digital, the boxed stuff is not as robust. While digital is coming up fast it’s not filling in the gaps,” he said.
“Also, right now, there is this sort of classic innovator’s dilemma where we see a new market emerging, but it’s not really that great – with the mobile business, certain people make a lot of money but on the whole it’s not generating as much revenue as the console business.
“Everyone’s kind of holding out hope for the new consoles, but I honestly don’t think they’re going to be that big a deal. I worry a lot that unless Microsoft or Sony pull something magically out of a hat, it’s pretty much the same old, same old repackaged and I don’t think they’re going to change the dynamic of the retail market. I don’t see how they can – the market is what it is.”
Zeschuk then went on to refer to Activision specifically, considering them to be a rare success story in a troubled marketplace.
“Honestly, Activision and Blizzard have been doing really well, and they’ve been very disciplined and focused, but how long can they continue? They’ve been relying on a smaller number of titles, but no title works forever, and obviously they will be working hard to replace the games they’re working on.
“So they’re probably one of the shining examples of company that’s done well by really doubling down on a very narrow amount of things, and trying some different stuff – I’m actually really impressed with Skylanders.”
Quite the grim story the man has spun. I’ll resign to comment until I can do further analysis.