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Adapt or die

The gaming industry has undergone a dramatic change. Downloadable content and game patches are now the norm and although many gamers and developers don’t like the change, they have no option but to adopt to this model, writes GEOFFREY TIM.

Games have certainly changed in the last generation. Developers no longer rely on quality assurance, as the games can be shipped broken, and patched later, thanks to the Internet.

They’re also addled with DLC or downloadable content and microtransactions, and there’re mobile games flooding every marketplace. Many core gamers despise this, but EA’s Chief Operating Office, Peter Moore, reckons players need to get with the times.

“I think we’re going in a golden age of gaming, where no matter where you are, there’s a game available for you,” Moore said in an interview with Gamesindustry,biz. “Our job as a company is to provide game experiences and tie them all together. “The challenge sometimes is that the growth of gaming doesn’t quite fit comfortably with the industry. I don’t get frustrated, but I scratch my head at times and say, ‚ÄòLook, these are different times, and different times usually evoke different business models’. We also have to consider the new consumers who have different expectations. We can either chose to ignore them, or embrace them, and at EA, we’ve chosen to embrace them.

Moore says the industry has to embrace change. It can’t afford the same fate that befell the music industry when people transitioned to MP3s.

“We as an industry have to embrace change,” he explained. “We cannot follow in the footsteps of the music industry that forced people to buy a CD for one track.” The result was Shawn Fanning developing Napster and letting the consumer take control. “Creating music to sell is no longer a profitable concern. The business model has changed to concerts and merchandise. Selling music is not a way of making money any more.

One of the bigger concerns gamers have is with the microtransactions that are everywhere.

“I think the core gaming audience dislikes the fact that there are play-for-free games with microtransactions to make up for the cost of developing the game,” Moore said. I personally don’t like this model, as I feel it is disruptive. It’s not the way it used to be. I used to put my disc in the computer or my cartridge in the console and play.

But, the industry is changing. Games are changing. Either we adopt or whine about how companies are ruining games…just like we do now. I like the latter most.

* Article courtesy of Follow Geoffrey Tim on Twitter on @WobblyOnion

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