Let’s Put This ‘Mobile Gaming Is Killing Consoles’ Argument To Bed


Epic’s Tim Sweeney gets to the point, and shows the inherent problem in giving two shits about “market share”.

Epic’s Sweeney: Studios need to react to the changing industry to survive [Gamasutra]


  • Out of the 12 games i have on my iphone i have played them for maybe an hour, two at most, I get bored of them too quickly.

    • Nah. Not when it’s the CEOs of major publishing houses who keep saying stupid shit like, “Mobile is the future of gaming.”

      It’s probably a good idea to clear up misconceptions people have from bad data, when it’s going to result in decisions which affect you negatively. Government announces they’re going to conduct nuclear tests in your town because their data shows that no-one lives there? You should probably bring their error to their attention. CEOs think gamers are migrating to mobile, and they want to kill off their PC/console development in favour of microtransaction-funded shitty mobile games? Probably wanna clear that up before they slash and burn the good studios.

  • Totally agree, mums, young girls and elderly citizens who would never play video games are moving towards candy crush, angry birds and other similar games.

  • I have 4 girls under 12 (I was trying for a boy) and they all console game…they have pads and access to PC’s but they spend most their time on consoles, namely xbox360 witch we have a few in a LAN sat our house…..the wife is a gamer to and prob divides her gaming time equally between her tablet and console time

  • That statement may be true but it’s a half truth.
    If mobile games make more money than console games, companies will swing towards making better mobile games. Pretty simple really

    Its just being smart…. Leaving console games to slowly die. (Very slowly)

    Also, mobile games are shocking! I hate them!

    • The problem isn’t the handhelds this. It’s the publishers who are so desperate for a buck these days.

      Take a look at Tomb Raider (the recent one). It sold well but the execs were not happy because it didn’t sell 10 million copies (?). If I remember right it still sold 6.4 which is still a staggering number so I fail to see why they have to whine so much.

    • Nope i disagree, there isn’t a real market for “AAA mobile”.

      The reason people spend so much is because every grandma and soccer mum now has a tablet or a smart phone. They spend maybe $ 5 for angry birds and 1 or 2 other simple games.

      They do not want nor are they looking for anything substantial. Sure it doesn’t account for everyone im sure there is a tiny splinter that wants more but there is no point. There can be almost no “real” games on the system because the controls are such a joke. If you then use a controller you may as well be playing a dedicated handheld or a console.
      (I define a “real” game as something with substance, as in a plot, actual gameplay beyond 1 finger press and a that needs a modicum of thought, i.e. not 99.999999% of mobile games)

      So the point that companies will make “better” mobile games is in and of itself false because they can’t. The market isn’t interested and it wouldn’t make money.

      There will ALWAYS be real games and devices to play them because no matter how anyone tries you can not even put some mobile POS in the same league as a console or 3ds game.

      • I see your point and do agree to most of it. Apart from the fact a million kids have smart phones and they PUMP money through all the little crap games buying extras…. Easy money

  • As far as market share goes, I’m always reminded of something Vetinari says in one of the Discworld books, along the lines of rather than fighting over the amount of pie you have,, keep the same share but make the pie bigger. Mobile & browser gaming haven’t cut into traditional game markets as much as they’ve expanded it.

  • PS1 generation console sales: PS1 (104)+N64 (33)+Saturn (9) =~ 146M consoles
    PS2 generation console sales: PS2 (157)+ XBox (24)+ DreamCast (8) =~ 189M consoles
    PS3 generation console sales: PS3 (78)+XBox 360 (78)+Wii (100) = 266M consoles
    Source: http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

    So console sales have gradually been increasing over time; what happens in the next generation remains to be seen.

    What has increased significantly over this period is development costs. The size of the market has increased by around 70%. It’s a fair bet to say that costs of developing a AAA title have increased more than that. The market size has increased, but that increase has not kept up with costs.

    On the other hand, mobile development costs are fairly low. This also means low risk; rather than releasing one $10M console game the devs can release ten $1M mobile games. The games will sell for less, but sales are all digital so retailers don’t get a cut and there’s no overhead from unsold stock.

    The core problem is not a reduction in market size, but that console development costs are increasing faster than platform sales/market size. On the other hand, the mobile market is growing rapidly and is perceived as low risk. Whether it actually IS low risk is another question; for every Angry Birds, I suspect there are a hundred titles with sales below even the 10K mark.

    By the bye, I suspect this has a lot to do with Sony’s focus on ease of development for the PS4.

    • I personally don’t think that development costs are as big of a factor as you make out. Granted software development is expensive, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if it took 10,000 to mark our 10 million.

      If the idea of the game stinks, it is going to stink no matter much money is thrown at it.

      The problem we are facing is publishers are so desperate for profit and have such hyper inflated views on what their profits should by they are basically strong arming developers to make CoD and MW clones (which can be summed up as Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V development) and have so much money in marketing, viral marketing, etc, the end result is often a product that fails because the market publishers aim for only exist in their heads.

      That publishers need to do is just take a risk. Or just let the developer take risks. Sure there maybe massive losses but we are now in an age with little to no new ideas are being tried and the only areas where there are innovations is in the independent scene.

      • this i have to agree.

        Too many publishers are incompetent and they deserve to go bust, period.

        If you are wasting such an insane amount of money that you sell 6.5 million copies of tomb raider (Plus millions digital) and still can’t make a profit that’s the most gross mismanagement I’ve ever seen in my life.

        Then it seems every other company is making a cod clone, such drivel as: Fuse, Fracture, Warfighter, Goldeneye remake, Timeshift, Homefront, Section 8, Vanquish. Flashpoint, Brink, Blacksite Area 51, Breach, Bodycount, Army of two sequels.

        All of them as woefull as the next and all expected to sell like hotcakes because COD DOG BLOPS, jesus even the expected names like FF have screwed up. The companies are refusing to take risks, spending more on marketing than the game will even make back in its wildest dreams.

        The companies deserve to die, we almost need another games crash because developers haven’t learned from the past. You can’t make garbage and expect gold bars. Less focus group testing and forcing good concepts from other games into yours when it doesn’t work.

        Developers need to realise that you need to make the game fun first and have a work force that genuinely likes and wants to work on the project. Not slave labour forcing them to pump out the next FPS with every mechanic from 6 different games because we tested it and people love those things.

  • Is this discussion still banging around? Sweeney’s a bit wrong though, it’s really more a case of when mobile gaming came out, those who played consoles because there was no other option stopped playing consoles while the rest just added a new machine to their collection.

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