Games developers need iOS and mobile to avoid ‘putting all their eggs in one basket’, says TIGA
In an exclusive interview with games™ TIGA’s Dr Richard Wilson explains why an increasing number of developers are turning to IOS and mobile games development to ensure they survive.
In this age of economic turmoil and spiralling production costs, the days of game developers focusing on large single game AAA development could rapidly be becoming a thing of the past. Talking to games™ Dr Richard Wilson of the UK games industry body TIGA has outlined the dangers of developers solely depending on large single game development to sustain them, especially in the wake of the Kingdom’s of Amalur: Reckoning developer 38 Studios collapse. The American studio ran into trouble after the release of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and had been banking on a publisher to pick up it’s upcoming MMO Project Copernicus, which unfortunately failed to happen, and collasped when its primary backer, The State of Rhode Island withdrew tax credit support.
“I think once again it confirms the fact that it’s good to have more than one arrow in your quiver in games development, “ says Wilson.” Because as far as I can tell they [38 Studios] were mostly just working on one highly expensive game at a time with one large staff headcount to do that effectively putting all your eggs in one basket really. The more that can be avoided the better.”
Developers, claims Wilson, are better off working on perhaps one AAA project and several smaller ones, especially in the IOS, mobile and browser spheres, which are lower cost and lower risk should a backer pull out. It’s all part of a cultural trend that is pushing mobile gaming development right into the heart of the industry, and one that’s changing the landscape as we know it.
“It must make sense where possible,” he explains, “to experiment as much as possible with a number of different games at one time and back the one with the greatest commercial opportunity. And that’s what many smaller developers are doing, making games for mobile and tablet devices, and working to a new business model of games and service where they release a certain amount of a playable game then, of course, build it up in response.”
It might not be news that too many traditional gamers will be overly happy to hear, but it’s the path that an increasing number of mid-tier to large developers are taking just to survive – and the future of big games development could depend on how well they do it.