We can’t go a week without hearing some tale of how our favourite gaming platforms might soon be going the way of the Dodo, whether its from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones encroaching on the territory, or the idea that releasing a successor console device that gimps second hand games is a good idea from it’s developers.
One person who doesn’t believe that gaming on a console will soon be extinct is legendary developer Will Wright, the man behind such blockbuster titles such as SimCity and The Sims. But he does believe that consoles will have a smaller role to play in the future.
“I don’t think they’re doomed,” Wright said to GamesIndustry.Biz. “I think they’re not going to become the mainstay of the market like they had been.”
I think there’ll probably still be dedicated game machines going forwards, sitting on a shelf next to your HDTV. I think that they’re going to be catering to a very specific kind of player, which probably isn’t that different from what they were catering to before.
It’s just that a lot more people are now playing games, and they’re not playing it on that device.
Games really used to be something that were targeted to 16-year-old boys. Now we have people of all generations, genders, walks of life, playing games, a lot of them on their cell phones, or on Facebook, or whatever. I think that the explosion in platforms has also driven a very healthy diversification of our audience.
Rather than people doing what you might call session-based gaming, where I’m going to go sit in my room and play Halo for an hour, I have the opportunity to pull out Angry Birds and play for two minutes while waiting in line at Starbucks. I can use games to fill the empty slots in my life, a bit more ubiquitously.
It’s those empty slots of life which are currently influencing games today, as we see a slow march towards titles which have a tighter, shorter focus on the narrative. Wright himself is working on a smartphone game by the name of HiveMind, which uses constant data from users in order to create what he calls “personal gaming”