Will Wright: Console Guys Are Running Scared

The 'AAA' console market is alive and well one week, then the next it's dead in the water! What are we supposed to believe? Are we supposed to think for ourselves or something?! Now Will Wright, creator of The Sims, Sim City and Spore has spoken out about some of the issues facing the games industry — according to him "console guys" are running scare.

"I think publishers are much more risk-averse to spending twenty or thirty million dollars on a title," he said, speaking to Games Industry International. "The only people who could really play that game were giant publishers, and they'd be rolling the dice. They'd do 5 titles a year, and all they had to do was get one hit and it paid off all the failures. It is going to be more of a Zynga-type environment where people start small and try to grow it up. It encourages experimentation. I think before the only thing people were willing to bet on were sequels; that was really the only predictable genre. Now the fact that you can do a game for an extremely low cost, put it out there and see if it gets any traction is going to encourage more diversity."

These shifting business models, according to Wright, make things a little more difficult for the console market.

"I think all the console guys are running scared," he said. "Not so much because of the hardware, but because of the business models, free-to-play and that kind of thing, have shifted underneath them."

Will Wright: "Console guys are running scared" [GamesIndustry International]


    Natural Selection. The one who survives is not necessarily the fastest, or strongest, but the one most willing to adapt to changes in their environment.

    This has been pretty obvious for a while. The big publishers like Activision and EA are pretty late to the party when it comes to the Free to Play model. They're still trying to charge $60-$90 for AAA titles. but the big problem from them is that the rise of F2P means people can go elsewhere and get the same gaming experience for less money.

    Why pay $80AUD to play Halo when I can pay $0 to play Tribes: Ascend?

      Check out Blacklight Retribution - I started playing that on the weekend and can't put it down.

      It's a lot of fun and everyone playing seems friendly.

        Yeah i started to play it last week and haven`t been able to stop playing it :p.

      Cause it has master chef

        That guy's great. I particularly love it when he runs the mystery box challenges.

          I love his grin after he chomps into that capsicum

        I really think they should rename that show to "Crying Whiny Chefs" I mean they cry at just about every single little thing.. "I burned my hand, wah wah please let me through to the next round", "I suck at cooking, wah wah please let me through to the next round", "my hair looks messy today, wah wah please let me through to the next round"

      True, Tribes Ascend pretty much is Halo, I really miss real tribes though.

        I think you mean Halo is pretty much Tribes...

      EA has quite a few Free to play games.

      - Battlefield Heroes
      - Battlefield Play4Free
      - BattleForge
      - Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances
      - Lord of Ultima
      - Need for Speed World
      - Wrath of Heroes

      No Free to play Activision games come to mind,

    I think the source is wrong seems to be some article about unified nintendo accounts.

    I'm however not surprsied that Zynga and other F2P publishers are putting the hurt on AAA titles which is a concern because if all companies start using Loss Leaders as business models you have to wonder if game quality will ever shift because don't forget AAA titles are spose to represent the most advanced most funded games out; even thougth 50% of these funds go towards advertising -.-

      lol 50%, try 90%

    Greed. Considering the amount of profit alot of games make. Publishers are just bullshit artists. If a game cost 30Million to develop, and they make 10 times that amount then cry about budget, is just plain bullshit!

    Ive read articles saying the complete opposite ...

    honestly I dont know what to belive

    F2P is great but I like a singe player story/experience

    He is hardly unbiased. Now that he is running an indie start up developer he is of course going to push the model that he is backing.

    Six years ago is was de rigueur to predict the death of PC gaming and yet that now seems stronger than ever.

    The success of World of Warcraft spawned many imitators and MMOs seemed the future of gaming at one stage but very few have succeeded whether subscription based or Free To Play.

    The big budget gaming titles like COD or Skyrim will continue to be developed for PC and console because there is clearly a market for them. A look at the console / PC release schedule for Sep to Dec this year shows that the US$60 game is far from dead.

    The rise of mobile gaming and indie developers has simply made gaming more appealing and accessible to a broader market. That does not mean that existing game markets are going to die off. PC gaming did not die with the release of the 360 and PS3. It also seems unlikely that console gaming will die with the rise of mobile gaming and indie developers.

      what about the solid story driven singple player experience? why do people forget that? its hard to belive Im the main charahchter in a story when theres literally thousands just lik me running around

      gaahhh I hate MMO's...such a dirty word....unimpressive visuals..grinding, fetch quests and dealing with online...people, if thats the future I'm jumping ship

      that said I'm tempted to try secret world

    What needs to happen is more/cheaper middleware and procedural content generation.
    Only way to keep up with peoples sprawling expectations is stop making so much content by hand.

    I just don't believe people are stopping playing 'AAA' titles to play Angry Birds ect. I simply don't believe that. It makes no sense at all to me.

    Free-to-play is another Zynga bubble - works for a few games, but not most of them. And you get your moneys' worth, which is jack shit. Browser engines and embedded flash is where its at (and has been for along time if you know where too look). Logging into a social network to play a cookiecutter game, isn't.

      Check out www.pica-pic.com and www.newgrounds.com for example

    Like most fans of AAA development, I kind of turn my nose up when people in the industry say, "AAA is dead, long live social / F2P". I'm a bit of a gaming snob - there's no way games like Farmville and *insert mobile game here* is going to take away from me putting forty-odd hours into Borderlands 3, or whatever, in the next five years.
    I'm all for an evolving industry; and although I have no control over it apart from voting with my wallet, a future without big-budget gaming just seems very dire. I'd rather disengage altogether than play games designed to appeal as much to me as they do my grandmother; because, by definition, that gaming model excludes me altogether.

    Oh hey. A well known designer/developer commenting on the state of games and publishing without flying into hysterics. Amazing!

    And here I thought the only people whose comments were newsworthy were the Jaffes/Cages and other loud-mouthed idiots shouting about anything that does not immediately benefit them.

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