Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses PlayStation (Games) Wii XBox (Games) Games

Angry Birds Exec Says Console Games Are Dying 350

Posted by Soulskill
from the mobile-killed-the-console-star dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "Angry Birds marketing lead Peter Vesterbacka went on the offensive today against his console counterparts, arguing that the model pursued by companies like Nintendo is 'dying.' In a panel discussion at the South by Southwest Interact conference in Austin, Texas, Vesterbacka said that innovation wasn't coming from large development firms like EA and Ubisoft, but from smaller, more nimble developers like his own. Vesterbacka also pointed to the major concern over the price model for console games. Compared to mobile titles like Angry Birds that run for 99 cents, games on large consoles hover around fifty dollars. Still, the executive did admit that the business model for mobile games had yet to be completely figured out."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Angry Birds Exec Says Console Games Are Dying

Comments Filter:
  • News at 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pento (115091) <gary AT pento DOT net> on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:23AM (#35488334) Homepage

    Executive of company that produces games for one platform says that another platform is old hat, and will die out.

    I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

    • It's frickin' FILM at 11. The news can be transmitted quite quickly.

    • by JimboG (1467977)
      I think the point may have been the business model was old hat, not the platform. Small payments for less content. I don't agree however.
      • Re:News at 11 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:59AM (#35488514) Journal

        I do think it might turn up the pressure on the old business model a bit (which is probably a good thing, IMO). You'll always be able to justify spending $50 for the amount of entertainment that something like Fallout gives, but when decent games start popping up for very little cash, you think twice about dropping that much on some slightly updated sports game. Back when there was no such thing as a $1 game, even the crappy ones seemed better value at full price. The biggest potential risk, I think, is the market swinging too far the other way and making big-budget epics untenable, in the same way that cheap reality TV is detracting from more expensive but higher quality shows.

        • in the same way that cheap reality TV is detracting from more expensive but higher quality shows.

          But I think reality TV is only detracting from quality shows because air time is the limiting resource. I've heard of good shows getting pushed out of their time slot by crappy reality TV, sure, but games don't have time slots. They might not suffer the same fate. Movies might be a better comparison. Hollywood makes big-budget films in addition to cheap movies since the two aren't competing for showtimes, at least not quite as directly as reality TV shows compete with real TV shows.

    • Re:News at 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:43AM (#35488424)

      Well, everyone knows that the tens of millions of real gamers out there are about to throw out their high resolution beefy PC gaming and 65" 1080p gaming to play rip-offs of 30 year old Scorched Earth / Tanks / Etc games and very minimal and lacking versions of sim and god games on a 320x200 flash/html5 interface on a social network web page!

      Now, is it likely that there will be more of these casual/social gamers who spend all of their time playing these idiotic "recruit your friends to improve in the game!" pyramid schemes on very rudimentary and simple games than there are who play "real" video games? Absolutely. The same way there are more people that listen to Britney Spears than will ever listen to, say, Tom Wait. But that doesn't mean that one market is dumped and ignored in favor of the other. There will be a huge market for free or cheap casual games that you can play on the bus on your way to your job answering phones at the dentist's office or while you're waiting for your kids to finish soccer practice. And there will be a big market for involved, innovative, complex, competitive "traditional" gaming that the rest of us enjoy.

      • Re:News at 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @03:18AM (#35488862)

        And there will be a big market for involved, innovative, complex, competitive "traditional" gaming that the rest of us enjoy.

        Name one game coming from EA/UbiSoft in the last 2 years that is still innovative.
        'Cause that's what TFA is accusing: any new release of a "traditional game" is just "news at 11".

        • Brutal Legend.

          Also, Scott Pilgrim vs The World was modelled after a very pixellated Double Dragon style 80s side-scrolling beat'em'up. Amazing 8 bit soundtrack by Anamanaguchi too. In today's world, you could call that innovative.

          It's hardly like Angry Birds or Plant vs Zombies were innovative. The only difference is that they're on a touchscreen mobile device instead of being 00s flash games or 90s shareware.

          • by slim (1652)

            Also, Scott Pilgrim vs The World was modelled after a very pixellated Double Dragon style 80s side-scrolling beat'em'up. Amazing 8 bit soundtrack by Anamanaguchi too. In today's world, you could call that innovative.

            I love what they did with Scott Pilgrim, but (fairly slavishly) aping a format that the target demographic of the film will have nostalgic feelings about, doesn't really count as innovation. Especially when the template had been set by Mega Man 9 (a next-gen title that could have been implemented on a NES).

      • Re:News at 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shadowfaxcrx (1736978) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @03:18AM (#35488864)

        The only place he might have a point is not that demand for real games will go down, but that production of them will. If I can spend a week coding a Farmville clone, and make millions, vs paying a team of game designers and programmers for a year to develop a game and make millions, I'm gonna make FarmvilleClone. The profit margin is that much higher.

        We've already seen it happen in TV with the explosion of reality shows. They're crap, every last one of them, but they're all over the place. Even Big Brother kept being renewed despite the first season having ratings somewhere south of the sub-basement. Why? Because even with crap ratings, they made more money on it than they would have from a traditional scripted show.

        It's all about profits and profit margins. Quality will always take a back seat to money, and if you can manage to convince a gillion people to play your stupid little incessant-click game, you get rich a lot faster than the company who spends all that time making something good.

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        Does your unwarranted self importance come naturally, or is it the result of 'esteem education'?

        • Re:News at 11 (Score:4, Interesting)

          by somersault (912633) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @04:54AM (#35489184) Homepage Journal

          Which part exactly do you have a problem with? The generic soccer mom stereotype was perhaps a bit much, but the rest is all true. Those of us that have seen games improve since the 70s and 80s don't really appreciate the steps backwards that are being caused by those who suddenly have noticed that computer games can be fun. The thing is that most of these people suck at games though, and won't enjoy anything remotely complex. I saw an interview with a World of Goo creator who said that the comments pages of mobile versions of the game were filled with morons who ask incredibly dumb questions that never get asked by people using the PC and console versions. They even added a "skip level" button for those that can't be bothered to actually play the game.

          • by murdocj (543661) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @06:55AM (#35489646)
            OK, something you need to understand: person who doesn't know what you know != moron.
            • Re:News at 11 (Score:4, Interesting)

              by somersault (912633) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @07:44AM (#35489966) Homepage Journal

              I'm aware of this. I have helped out many uninformed people when doing IT support. There is a big difference between the morons, and those that choose to learn. They both start off in the same place, but the morons stay at the "don't want to know, just make it work already damnit!" level, while the not-morons ask questions and try to help themselves first before relying on others.

              Have a look at this interview [2dboy.com]. Here are some nice comments from some true morons:

              “I don’t know how the heck you do this!!!!!!!!!! “Drag and drop to build the pipe”? WHAT???? Somebody please tell me how to do this!”

              “I’m only on the 6th level and I hate this game. Levels are ridiculously hard from the start and are just stupid. I spent an hour on one level and still cannot beat it. Screw this crap. Worst. Purchase. Ever.”

              “Don’t get it, it will get you very frustrated if you don’t beat a level bottom line don’t get it”

      • Re:News at 11 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @06:11AM (#35489460) Journal

        I think what is actually happening isn't that hardcore gamers are playing (or even give a shit) about casual game but instead large numbers of females who never played are suddenly discovering gaming thanks to FB and are finding out not all games involve giant explosions and huge battles (only the best ones like Just Cause 2 IMHO).

        Take my GF for example. She would watch me play something like FEAR or Bioshock and go "Oh I don't see how you can stand that, it's too scary!" but since finding games like Farmville on FB she has seen there is plenty of games out there that don't require twitch reflexes or having the latest hardware. Now she thinks she is ready to move up a little so this weekend I'll be bringing her an old FX5200 out of the junk pile and the first CSI game. If she enjoys that and wants to go higher then I'll slowly build her her own gaming PC

        So I don't think it is so much a revolution or any changing of the way we game, it is simply that there are tons of women out there that have never spent a dime on games suddenly finding out there are games that they can enjoy as much as we do shooters. Hell even my 68 year old mom is playing those little murder mystery games now, and she hadn't played (or bought) a single game since Age Of Empires I back in 96.

        I think they have simply stumbled over the right formula to make "chick games" and like chick flicks they can make serious money. I doubt it'll change the shooters and RPGers any, although the price does need to come down. $50 in a recession? That is just nuts. Now I do nearly all my shopping on Steam and Amazon and rarely pay more than $20 for a game. $50 for a single game is just too damned high. hey maybe we need a "games are too damned high" party?

    • I have it on good authority that the green pigs in Angry Birds represent the console gaming industry.

      Rovio has been employing the highly controversial Neuromotor programming methods in their blockbuster game to turn regular players against consoles and big gaming conglomerates.

      Anyway, spread the word.

    • by Chewbacon (797801)
      Fail. It's on Windows, Mac OS, PS3, PSP. If you're not throwing mobile phones into one platform, then you could ad android, WebOS, and a couple others to that.
    • by RsG (809189)

      Yeah, and the dumb thing is, it's not like we haven't seen this happen before.

      "Arcades are dying! Games are moving into the home!"
      "PC games are dying! Games are moving to the consoles!"
      "Consoles are dying! Games are moving to the smartphones!"

      This can also be applied to statements that "Game Company X is dying!" "Game genre Y is dying!", etc. The game's industry does love its' doomsayers.

      Meanwhile, while arcades actually did die, sort of, neither PC games nor home consoles seem to have. A few trends get s

      • by Narcogen (666692)

        Yeah, and the dumb thing is, it's not like we haven't seen this happen before.

        "Arcades are dying! Games are moving into the home!"
        "PC games are dying! Games are moving to the consoles!"
        "Consoles are dying! Games are moving to the smartphones!"

        This can also be applied to statements that "Game Company X is dying!" "Game genre Y is dying!", etc. The game's industry does love its' doomsayers.

        Meanwhile, while arcades actually did die, sort of, neither PC games nor home consoles seem to have. A few trends get set, and followed, because the industry's direction is set by clueless managers who follow the market leader religiously. The prophecies are occasionally self fulfilling, particularly when it comes to moving on to the next console generation, which often has the feel of a mass migration.

        Here's the useful rule to apply: If someone says "X mode of gaming is dying", ask them what they think will replace it. If they answer something that isn't up to the task, they're surely wrong. At best, in lieu of "dying" the mode of gaming in question will undergo a dry spell, or be reduced in importance.

        Being greatly reduced in importance, and/or underoing a protracted dry spell, would fit the definition of "dying" in the context of most of these statements.

        Arcades did, for all intents and purposes, die.

        Before there were consoles or handhelds, there was only PC gaming. Now the audience for video gaming extends to consoles and handhelds, and those platforms have bigger audiences. PC gaming isn't nonexistent, but neither are arcades. Both are reduced in importance, and arguably undergoing a protracted dry sp

        • Re:News at 11 (Score:4, Interesting)

          by dzfoo (772245) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @07:29AM (#35489832)

          >> Before there were consoles or handhelds, there was only PC gaming.

          The above comment is inaccurate and makes the rest of your post suspect.

          Consoles were there in the 70s and early 80s, then "died" (or went through a protracted "dry spell," as you say), then came back during the late 80s, just in time for PCs to finally not suck and start competing.

          Unless you are including microcomputers under the "PC" label (which is a stretch, to say the least), such as the Apple II and the Commodore 64. Oh wait, the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision were already entrenched in the home-gaming mainstream market for at least 3 years by the time those two started seriously competing as video game machines.

          And if you factor in the hand-held single-game machines, such as those by Mattel-Electronics, Texas Instruments, Casio, and just about anybody who made silicone chips back in the day, you can put "mobile" gaming devices almost 10 years before even the venerable Mode X in DOS was popularized.

          The point is that the trend has always been to go from niche to mainstream by way of commoditization and personalization of the devices. DIY kits gave way to ready-made micro-computers; early arcade machines gave way to home video game machines; and so it seems natural that complex, custom-rigged PCs will be displaced eventually by simpler, cheaper, and more personal commodity devices like mobile phones or tablets.

                      -dZ.

    • They are two different kinds of execs.

      You have an exec of an Indie game which probably never expected to make so much money.

      An EA exec on the other hand is employed to get the maximum money for the shareholders. More often then not experimental games don't make as much revenue as the mainstream ones. You mess up, you get fired. So it is safer for the exec to release another NFL/FPS/Sims game then it is to make something new.

      • They are two different kinds of execs.

        You have an exec of an Indie game which probably never expected to make so much money.

        An EA exec on the other hand is employed to get the maximum money for the shareholders. More often then not experimental games don't make as much revenue as the mainstream ones. You mess up, you get fired. So it is safer for the exec to release another NFL/FPS/Sims game then it is to make something new.

        Looking at the economics (in terms of motivations and the psychology of situations), the basic question can also be broken down to which group the exec is trying to please.

        • For the indie company, privately owned, management needs to look at the bottom line -- sales, where the money comes in -- and is thus beholden to the customers.
        • For the major corporation, post-IPO and publicly owned, management needs to look at the top line -- profits, the numbers that affect the share price -- and is thus beholden to t
  • Duh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MrEricSir (398214)

    The market penetration of game consoles has been decreasing ever since the 80's.

    And now smartphones are taking over. Only caveat is they market is even more fragmented as consoles were in the mid 80's. In those days there was basically one major console at a time. Now we have many smartphone OSes and handsets at a time.

    • by mcrbids (148650)

      Now we have many smartphone OSes and handsets at a time.

      The size of each of which dwarfs the size of 80's game consoles. Plus, smartphones are "persistent" in that they are on you, 24x7. It's extremely rare that I'm more than 50' away from my Droid2.

      • by MrEricSir (398214)

        It's funny you mention that, I was just telling someone today that there's no longer such a thing as AFK.

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          It's funny you mention that, I was just telling someone today that there's no longer such a thing as AFK.

          You try telling that to 24 people waiting to pull the boss because the tank has gone to put more hot pockets in.

    • by NoZart (961808)

      That is interesting, because observation of todays console market suggest otherwise.

      The consoles transitioned from novelty to mainstream market in the 90ies (owed in part due to Final Fantasy 7)

      A big chunk of games get now to be developed for consoles primarily and ported over to PC. I always thought that aside from piracy issues, market penetration was in fact responsible for that shift....

    • The market penetration of game consoles has been decreasing ever since the 80's.

      Subject says it all. Show me the report that suggest the NES sold through more consoles than the PS2, and then we'll talk. Show me the report that suggest more people owned a single Gaming Console in the 80s than do in the 00s and then we'll talk. Back that up with ANYTHING, and then we'll talk.

  • Uhh.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:28AM (#35488348)

    Angry birds is not innovation. It's the best of a mediocre selection.

    • by sincewhen (640526)

      The best? I don't think so.
      Not that it's crap, but I've never particularly liked the game.
      So I never understood why it caught on while other more worthy games didn't.
      Right place, right time I guess.

  • How Ironic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kees Van Loo-Macklin (859394) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:30AM (#35488354)
    He talks about how "innovation wasn't coming from large development firms like EA and Ubisoft, but from smaller, more nimble developers like his own.".... yet, angry birds is an obvious rip off of another game, Crush the Castle, which was developed by Armor Games quite some time before A.B. Try it out for yourself... http://armorgames.com/play/3614/crush-the-castle [armorgames.com]
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Nice try, but no.

      Crush the Castle: released April 28, 2009
      Angry Birds: released December 10, 2009

      Sources:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crush_the_Castle [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_Birds [wikipedia.org]

      • Um... April 2009 was 8 months before December 2009? Certainly enough time to develop a flash game. I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        What was your point there, exactly? It seems to support what the OP said, not refute it.

      • Re:How Ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Seumas (6865) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:51AM (#35488464)

        You're both off. They're both very much based on Scorched Earth, from 1991. A game that probably 95% of us have played at some point (especially in the 90s). I'm pretty sure Scorched Earth wasn't the original, either, but it was sure as fuck a site earlier than the supposedly "innovative" Angry Birds (and all the flash games that were around long before Angry Birds that were essentially the same thing, too).

        The success of Angry Birds is kind of like the band that is beloved for decades and never receives the commercial or critical success and acclaim. Decades after, another band comes along and essentially rips off their entire personal and style and sound and maybe even directly cops some of their music and it's at just the right time that everyone in the world hears it and digs it and THEY receive acclaim and success for being geniuses, when all they really did was cop from the real geniuses. Your mom and your little sister have no idea about video games and as far as they're concerned, Angry Birds is the most original, entertaining, and incredible thing ever invented and well worth their $20. Why the rest of the world isn't calling it for what it really is, I have no fucking clue.

        • Re:How Ironic (Score:4, Interesting)

          by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @02:10AM (#35488568) Journal

          The original graphical artillery games were early 80s, apparently [wikipedia.org], but I think it's a stretch to call them the basis for Angry Birds. Yes, they both use ballistic trajectories, but the gameplay is quite different; if Angry Birds were based solely on Scorched Earth, then I'd say all credit to them - it's been changed enough to be called innovative. That said, it probably wasn't entirely original, since Crush the Castle is near-identical and came out first.

          It's just the way things go. Some guy happens to get caught in a perfect storm of marketing, word-of-mouth, and general new technology buzz, and suddenly there's a new multi-millionaire on the block. Doesn't matter whether they were the best, or the first, they were just the luckiest.

          • by bloodhawk (813939)
            I think the point is while they might be different there is little or no innovation in the game Angry birds, it does nothing a 100 other games hadn't already done, they just managed to get lucky on market appeal. That's not to say I think EA etc are particularly innovative either, I just think this guy is blowing smoke up his own arse with no real justification.
        • by devent (1627873)

          So what? That is what innovation is all about. Look around you, everything is a rip-of or an improvement of previous inventions. It's that what the whole "content industry", the governments, other industries don't get. They all looking to maximize their profits and not looking at the costs.

          The whole humanity and modern civilization is based on rip-offs and incremental improvements. No idea is original and nobody could do anything without the previous people's hard work. Please, I dare you, while looking aro

        • by Inda (580031)
          Probably earlier than that.

          I played a throw-the-bomb-over-the-landscape game back in 1982. It was on my uncle's 'portable' computer, where portable meant the size of a suitcase. The screen was a massive 10cm and every pixel was green.
        • by c (8461)

          > I'm pretty sure Scorched Earth wasn't the original, either

          Not by a long shot. [wikimedia.org]

          I remember playing Artillery on the Apple II, and it wasn't a new concept even then.

        • You're all missing the point. If you read other interviews by the Rovio execs, you'll see that the gameplay is almost secondary for them. What they consider innovative about their game is that there are birds, and they are angry, and their enemies are pigs and there's a good reason for them to hate each other.

          Rovio is all about the business of innovative Intellectual Property -- the story, the backstory, and the emotional appeal of their game. And they have a point. If Angry Birds had been a game about

        • by PingSpike (947548)

          They didn't even innovate on the price! I distinctly remember Scorched Earth: The Mother of All Games...$1.00 on the title screen.

    • Wow. The idea of launching stuff in a parabola is one thing, but that's almost 100% identical to Angry Birds with slightly different controls and different graphics. There's no way AB wasn't a ripoff of that game.
    • Actually Angry Birds gameplay stems even back to the first computer games, does anyone of you guys still remember one of the first multiplayer games where two players where behind their own castle and the entire gameplay evolved around hitting the other player. There were myriads of variants of this gameplay, one being single player with different levels the other one being multiplayer with two players etc...

    • And scorched earth. And GORILLA.BAS. And Planet Wars.

  • Flash in the pan says: Oh, fuck! Throw more money and attention at me, before all of my silly spinoffs die on the vine!

    I'm not going to debate that mobile gaming has the potential to be a hugely lucrative market, but going all Khrushchev and trumpeting the demise of another medium is just gauche. It doesn't do anything but make console 'pundits' look stupid year after year, and it certainly won't help this guy.

  • by stumblingblock (409645) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:31AM (#35488358)
    But kids will always want some DS or PSP experience, and hardcore gamers will want advanced PC only games. XBox, Playstation, yeah, nothing looks interesting there.
  • What part of that game is innovative?

    But more importantly, innovation in entertainment is overrated. Games don't have to be innovative all the time. Quite often people want a similar experience as they had with a previous game: brand new story and environments, but similar gameplay.

    • Exactly.

      This is why sequels that work have a different environment, but the same gameplay (with a couple of new elements in it). I'm thinking about the Prince of Persia trilogy here — SoT, WW and TTT.
      • MGS4 was a sequel that revisited an environment AND it did it well. The return to Shadow Moses in MGS4 was one of the heartbreaking and gut wrenching moments.

        Plus seeing the shattered remains of Metal Gear REX and using it to trounce a Metal Gear RAY unit was all sorts of satisfying.

      • Interesting, then, that you quote the upcoming Deus Ex game. The inclusion of cover-based shooting and closeup, insta-kill moves will drastically move the game ever further away from the original than the schlock that was Invisible War.

        (Credit given where due; they have done away with unified ammo.)

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:34AM (#35488372) Homepage

    I remember playing with banana-flinging gorillas in the early nineties. By the late nineties, I remember playing a catapult game where the target would collapse according to a fairly decent physics engine. Where's the innovation, exactly?

    • Actually there is a shitload of very innovative games in the independend scene, but Angry Birds is not one of them.
      And yes he is right to a big degree the innovation happens in the independend scene currently where people push out games like Braid, De Blob, Amnesia, Minecraft, The Ball and others.
      The problem simply is that this comes from the mouth of someone who has a very good game out which deservedly is highly successful, but on the originiality scale it is a rehash of some game ideas of the 80s and 90s

    • "By the late nineties, I remember playing a catapult game where the target would collapse according to a fairly decent physics engine."

      Do you mean Ragdoll Cannon?

  • I think that big companies like EA and Ubisoft being uninnovative predates the mobile platforms by many, many years. The growth of casual gaming (which is what suits the small mobile devices) will not cut too deeply into the console market.

    Mobile gaming does not compete too much with consoles because:

    1) they are played at a time when you are away from home
    2) they are priced so low that they don't eat too much into the gaming budget. You do not have to stop buying console games to be able to afford to buy ga

  • by nebaz (453974) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:38AM (#35488406)

    There are several downloadable games (I can only speak for the Wii) that can be bought for $15 or less. It is not $50 for all games.

    • by Tukz (664339)

      Most games I have on my PSN, is actually $15 or less, so I call bullshit on his "statement".
      I don't think he thoroughly did his research.

  • by Looce (1062620) * on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @01:46AM (#35488448) Journal

    "Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata went on the offensive today against his smartphone counterparts, arguing that the model pursued by individuals like Peter Vesterbacka is 'dying.' In a panel discussion at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Iwata said that innovation wasn't coming from independent game coders, but from large and established companies like his own. Iwata also pointed to the major concern over the price model for smartphone games. Compared to games on established consoles, which hover around fifty dollars, mobile titles like Angry Birds run for 99 cents and make their developers little money due to the policies of online app stores. At these price points, "there's no motivation [for] high-value video games," Iwata said. Still, the executive did admit that the business model for console games had yet to be completely figured out."

    Okay, not exactly, but Iwata-san did say something against smartphones at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco [venturebeat.com], a mere 13 days ago.

  • But they're the ones that pitched (and sold) the idea of Mario Party: Swingers Edition [youtube.com] to Nintendo.
  • Most people just want to pick up a game to play casually, and $50 is far too much to invest for something like that...
    Many games are also not worth anything close to that price, a lot of games today are just minor tweaks to other games, and yet they expect you to splash out a full $50 again?

    • by AuMatar (183847)

      But why would I pay for those casual games? I can go to kongregate.com or a dozen other sites like it and play one of hundreds of games. I'm not going to shell out money for a casual game. I will for a long, detailed game, but those aren't the type angry birds makes.

      • by slim (1652)

        But why would I pay for those casual games? I can go to kongregate.com or a dozen other sites like it and play one of hundreds of games. I'm not going to shell out money for a casual game. I will for a long, detailed game, but those aren't the type angry birds makes.

        Two points here. On Android, Angry Birds is free / ad supported. On iPhone it's [wanders off to check; fails] some cheap price, that marketers evidently believe iPhone owners consider to be almost equivalent to free. So it's really equivalent to Kongregate on those platforms.

        I think you could class AB as a long detailed game. Thought has gone into the level design. It takes several hours to complete, and several more hours to 3-star every level, as people who like the game will want to do.

        Yeah, I found it d

  • There may be a bit of truth in what the man has to say.

    Games were $50-$60 each in the 1980s on game consoles and the PCs of the time. Over a hundred bucks a game in today's money.

    So games HAVE gotten cheaper over the years.

    Moreover, there is a much larger market for games than there ever was. Many more people own some kind of game playing device, whether that be a console, a PC, or a smartphone.

    And finally, in the 1980s and 1990s, games had to be delivered through a middleman - a publisher, then a retail

  • he's repeating a really wrong and really dangerous, from a business stand point, notion that total market share and numbers of users dominates, it doesn't. At the end of the day, profits dominate. Rovio isn't going to see the same numbers EA or Konami or Capcom or Bethesda will. Bar none.

    He's right that yes, there are way more people playing casual games, but the market for non casual games is going up.

  • How many of the people who used to play Solitaire and Minesweeper are now playing Angry Birds? In other words, casual games are just more visible now that they are being marketed separately.

  • Vesterbacka also pointed to the major concern over the price model for console games. Compared to mobile titles like Angry Birds that run for 99 cents, games on large consoles hover around fifty dollars.

    Yes. In the same way that I can get a Ford Focus for £16k, but a Bugatti Veyron SS will set me back ~£1.25m.

    It's ludicrous to argue that things with totally different development costs, marketing costs, distribution costs, target audiences and, let's not forget, content are priced differently and that this is somehow bad for the more expensive thing.

  • He's a marketing shill guys! Its his job to troll on games/platforms that his company doesnt develop for. Show me a competent developer(read: can/will develop for any platform) with the same opinion and I might start to believe it. Such a jack of all trades might not exist, but if they did they could accept work from Rovio on a mobile platform just as soon as they could accept work from WB on the next epic Mortal Kombat title. IMO this guy is comparing apples to oranges because the target audiences' are cer
  • by bmo (77928) on Tuesday March 15, 2011 @05:07AM (#35489222)

    It is now official. Peter Vesterbacka has confirmed: consoles are dying

    One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered console community when IDC confirmed that console market share has dropped yet again, now down to a fraction of 1 percent of the gaming market. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that consoles have lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. consoles are collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by falling dead last in a self selected online straw poll by Peter Vesterbacka.

    You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict the future of consoles. The hand writing is on the wall: consoles have a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for consoles because consoles are dying. Things are looking very bad for consoles As many of us are already aware, consoles continue to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

    Atari consoles are the most endangered of them all, having lost 100% of their core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time console developers Ralph Lippschitz and Betty Jo Underhill only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: consoles are dying.

    Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

    Casual gaming leader Zynga states that there were 125 million new Farmville subscribers last year. How many users of Wii are there? Let's see. The number of Farmville versus Wii posts on Facebook is roughly in ratio of 39,000 to 1. Therefore there are about 125,000,000/39000 = 3205 Wii users. PSP posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Wii subscriptions. Therefore there are about 1600 users of the sony PSP. A recent article put Atari at about 50 percent of the PSP market. Therefore there are (3200+1600+8000=) 56005 console users. This is consistent with the number of Twitter posts.

    Due to the troubles of Id software, abysmal sales and so on, Sega went out of business and was taken over by Nokia who sell another troubled platform. Now Nokia is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

    All major surveys show that Consoles steadily declined in market share. Consoles are very sick and their long term survival prospects are very dim. If consoles are to survive at all they will be among gaming dilettante dabblers. Consoles continuec to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Consoles are dead.

    That crippling bombshell sent console fans into a tailspin of mourning and denial. However, bad news poured in like a river of water.

    --
    BMO

  • I'm of course thinking about myman [sourceforge.net], moon-buggy [seehuhn.de], bastet [altervista.org], nethack, overkill, etc.

  • I don't even own a console (apart from the missus' Wii) but I doubt anyone would pay $50 (insert local currency as appropriate) for a copy of Angry Birds, good game though it may be - they are completely different markets and therefore comparison between the two is ludicrous.

    Look at Mafia Wars and their ilk on Facebook (again, not something I play) - they've been going a year or two now but (not that I'm an expert) I've not seen the number of console games reduce particularly, so I don't think they've affec

  • You will NEVER see any A-Title game or blockbuster movie push the envelope. The risk is simply way too high. You know where you have to look for innovation? Flash games and YouTube. Yes, Flashgames and YouTube. Why? Because there projects can and do happen that have no budget and no ROI concerns. Do what you think is fun and see if others agree. That's pretty much it. Even Penny-Games for Mobiles isn't the innovation ground, and neither is "Alternative" and "Independent" Movies. Even they already have the ROI breathing down their neck.

    Innovation happens where the crowd rules. Do you think any music exec would have invested a dime in things like Autotune-the-News? Or a game studio dropped a penny on Tower Defense? Pennygames and "alternative" publishers picked both styles up for the single reason that the free version became popular. With both you could have gone to an indie publisher and got turned away without the obvious popularity they enjoy.

    You will notice a "progression", though. There are thousands of games and movies produced without a ROI in mind, for the love of it, because someone wanted to play a game like this or hear a song like this themselves. One or two of them will be popular with others, and these ideas will then be picked up by indies and published. And if there's a chance that people would drop big bucks on a "polished" version of it, big studios will pick it up.

    That's how "innovation" works today.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

Working...