Recent doom-and-gloom filled NPD reports had me thinking: Is the games industry bubble getting ready to burst? Is that a bad thing? How would I like to see it be rebuilt if it did burst?
I came up with a few answers that really surprised me.
To the first question I thought "Yes there is a good chance the bubble will burst for a few reasons." It will burst partly because there is too much money going into develop titles that often don't hit like they should. This is due to a number of issues including inflated pricing, poor awareness levels from consumers due to awful or invisible advertising, too many licensed titles being developed by committee, and bottom-line focused decision making by publishers which end up actually hurting the strength of the industry.
To the second question I then thought "No, that might not be a bad thing." While the damage a burst will do to the people currently operating in the industry as well as the economic impact would be devastating, I think that a burst could lead to something exciting: the industry rebuilding itself under a new model.
So, how did I then answer the third question? Well, I think it is hard to imagine a full picture, but I see a number of things that I think would make for a better industry including:
-Lower pricing on games
-Moving away from the 6-month window and into a more long-term view of profitability
-Halting the raping of launch customers and then rapid decline in price of games
-Lower development budgets
-More developer control over the creative vision of the products they create as well as advertising control
-Making all consoles backwards compatible, or having a serial number so that you could download a compatible version
-Less mega-publishers like Activision and EA and more like Atlus
-No more region coding so all games could be imported
I'd really like to see games move to a cloud-type service where there is on delivery method, but companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft could still differentiate by having functionality like the Move, Kinect, or Wii-U Remote.
I seriously doubt that any of this would ever happen, but I have had some fun lately thinking about it. Any thoughts?