The Game Industry about the Biggest Change in the Last Decade | Instant News

Ten years ago, we published two round table features on IGN; who asked a broad panel of industry insiders to look back decade ahead of 2010 and who accused them of prognosticism what their game will be like in 2020. (We just saw how accurate the prediction is proven.) We have now put together a new panel of more than 30 industry veterans to recreate the same concept, with everything from indie to triple A, cellular to PC, and casual to protected core. In this feature our panel answers two questions remembering the last ten years.

Please note that we have not entered all responses, and some responses have been extensively edited. Responses have also been grouped into broad themes.

In the first part of this feature, our round table members answer questions:


Tanya X. Short, Co-Founder, Kitfox Games (Moon Hunter): Making video games has become much more accessible. In the past, all games were made by people who as children were interested in programming. Some beginner friendly machines were only about ten years ago, but now they have been normalized and celebrated properly. With all the resources available both online and various tools, you really can’t have experience with programming, and wake up one morning wanting to make a game, and have something that can be played at dinner. Heck, lunch, depending on when you tend to wake up in the morning. This accessibility has made the development of games and the game itself far more diverse, but also increased competition, in the indie and intermediate spaces.

Andy Sum, Director, Pope Hipster (Crossy Road): Every step in the chain from making games to publishing more accessible. Unity and Unreal are now free to use and a fast increase in user-generated content means that there are more tutorials and information on how to start creating games. Because of this, over the past ten years, there have been more games created and many new people have been involved in the video game industry.

Distribution has changed to follow this as well. Steam opens Greenlight, Early Access, and then Steam Direct. Crowdfunding like Kickstarter has also helped fund many developer projects. Several digital stores have appeared all over the world.

Hollow Knight began as a Kickstarter project.

Cellular Game and Diversification

Ville Heijari, CMO, Rovio (Angry birds): So many things have evolved radically around the game, and listing important things is challenging enough. There is growing popularity of esports, massive streaming phenomena, and so on. Looking at it from Rovio’s perspective, this is clearly the adoption of a very fast smartphone as a daily entertainment platform, but in particular the sensational growth of mobile games, which now represent (based on a combination of smartphones and tablet gaming revenues) 45% of the global gaming market. Indeed, the iPhone and Android were launched in the previous decade, but the last ten years have represented the growth of the speed of light and the more mature age for the mobile gaming industry.

Jodie Azhar, Game Director, Teazelcat Game: The surge in mobile gaming has clearly changed this industry. We see new game genres emerging and new monetization models becoming prevalent. But most importantly it greatly increases access to games for the wider population. Instead of having to buy special hardware to play games, they are more accessible from devices that most of us already have now. So many people now play some kind of video game, either for five minutes or five hours a day, and we accept them more as part of life.

Ryozo Tsujimoto, Producer, Monster Hunter series: I think it should be a smartphone and diversification resulting from the game audience and game life. There were social games before, but I think only in the last decade did they really take off. We can now play everything from the console experience and playing PC games to casual games that we can take and play when we are free while traveling. The game genre has diversified, and we are experiencing an increase in the number of players at the end of the casual spectrum.

“The game genre has diversified, and we have an increasing number of players at the casual end of the spectrum.” – Ryozo Tsujimoto, Capcom

Cellular Games and Various Deaths

Yoko Taro, Director, NieR: Automata: I think it is “the death of diversity, caused by the appearance of flat screen smartphones”. The iPhone design “touches the screen with your finger” is a simple and well-made UI, and all smartphones in the world (the most common gadget in the world) have been put together into “flat screens that you touch with your fingers” ”

On the other hand, all other inputs using pens or buttons have become extinct, and smartphone games are (almost) limited to “games you touch”, even though they are the largest gaming market. I feel that it is an example of a sophisticated design that is revolutionizing the world but eliminating diversity from the world.

Digital Distribution

Phil Harrison, Vice President and GM, Google (Stadia): I think without a doubt, one of the most important changes in our industry is the emergence of networks as a distribution methodology for games that people want. In particular, the app store on iOS and Android allows the gaming industry to change from tens of millions of players to hundreds of millions … and now billions of players. The biggest fuel of economic growth is mobile.

But with regard to PCs and consoles, the increase in digital distribution causes increased access to games, without requiring trips to your local retailer. Overall, there has been a very healthy positive trend for creativity in this industry. Games that should not be created or have the right distribution. Of course this is a great opportunity for independent developers, using the new distribution to reach an audience that they would not have before.

Jeremiah Slaczka, Co-Founder and Creative Director, 5 Cell (Scribblenauts): Easily the most important is the proliferation of digital platforms. It completely recreates the game landscape. From mobile games, to indie scenes, even the ups and downs of Facebook games. The old gatekeeper in control of the distributed game no longer exists and has enabled a golden age of development. Of course, some of those things are abused like free to play and loot boxes, but overall it is a wonderful time to make and play games.

Rebecca Ford, Director of Operations and Direct Communities, Digital Extreme (Warframe): Distribution tools have become one of the most important changes – the mobile app store has set the pace for ‘instant digital access’, and the main platforms that follow. The physical market is one for collectors, the digital market is one for convenience. Changes in distribution have a greater impact than others. We at Warframe are working on seven-year-old games and no one has physically touched our games – our success is all and zero.

“We at Warframe are working on a seven-year-old game and no one has physically touched our game – our success is all and zero.” – Rebecca Ford, Digital Extremes

Ross Gowing, Game Director, Dirt Rally 2.0, Codemasters: I think the digital market is very different from ten years ago – in 2010 I only bought small games on Xbox Live Arcade, and all the blockbuster games that I will be playing will be on a brick-and-mortar store disc. Right now I don’t think about buying and downloading 70GB games and never having to leave home before enjoying it!

Sam Barlow, Founder, Drowning a Mermaid Productions (Telling Lies): Digital distribution is a big problem. That allows smaller creators to connect directly to a million and overnight audience, which allows the entire game strata to become financially viable. There is no world where I can release Her Story through a box game publisher or even more niche publishers – but with Steam and the App Store I have access to millions of eyeballs and the game finds its audience.

This also makes the gaming industry more international – I’ve discovered and played games from Africa, China, Iran that will never appear on Gamestop. And players from every country in the world (at least those connected by Steam) have played my game. There is much more to do in both cases – because the market has exploded, the freedom of digital stores has eroded. Initial thinking Platform and subscription services have the potential to add back the gatekeeper layer which is a bit of a turn back in time. The market is still not truly international – there are all kinds of barriers to entry and on the surface of the mainstream videogame chat industry still largely focused on the English-language perspective. But there are reasons to be positive. In films they are still grappling with foreign film categories and in games it feels like we’re done – Ingmar Bergman has never had a hit like Minecraft.

Her Story is one of the best games of 2015.

Everywhere Online

Kellee Santiago, Head of Developer Relations, Niantic, Inc. (Pokemon GO): Of course, internet connections are faster and more accessible. This is widely supported and the depth of online multiplayer games that have exploded in the last decade. This allows real-world games like Pokemon GO! This also leads to new ways gamers and game makers interact with each other through streaming, playing through comments, and streaming live from actual developments. And this supports the continued growth of online video game distribution, which means that instead of competing for a small number of rack slots in retail stores, anyone can distribute their games anywhere.

On the other hand, we see Indie pocypypse happening, when there are so many games released every day that it’s difficult for independent developers to stand out. We see and continue to see online distribution channels struggling with a balance between allowing game makers at all levels to be able to share their creations, while also providing some level of quality control to ensure gamers see the game they want to play. I imagine we will continue to see innovation in this space in the coming decades.

Free to Play and Game as a Service

Gareth Wilson, Creative Director, Traveler’s Tales (The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame): In 2010 … I said many things would be the same, and on their surface. The top three are still fighting out in console wars. But scratch the surface and many things have changed massively. Very few people predicted the rise of free games in 2010, first on mobile phones and then on PCs and consoles. If you told me ten years ago, the biggest game in 2019 was free to play multiplatform shooter, I would be very surprised! Speaking of multiplatform, I’m glad we finally ruined the console walled garden and crossplayed, this is a big step forward that I wouldn’t expect. The appearance of the YouTube star was shocking, we expect people to watch first hand the “e-sports” championship of the best players, but not the massive growth of the “let’s play” video. Finally, the beginning of streaming games and subscription services are game changers. I think they are very healthy for the industry and allow quality indie titles to reach audiences that they could previously only dream of.

Tim Heaton, Studio Director, Creative Assembly and EVP Studio (Total War: Three Kingdoms): I think ‘free play’ being a common part of the gaming market is the most impactful trend. Sure, it started earlier than 2010, but has matured over the last decade, with the latest thinking trying to restructure the negative aspects that can be made – with initiatives such as banning loot boxes and services like Apple Arcade.

The longevity of each game also becomes increasingly important. I mean both the long sales curve, driven by digital storefronts, and the long engagement time players have with one game. This game-as-service was designed from the ground up to engage players for months and years, driven by new content and multiplayer opportunities. It changes every element of the business, from design, through the way games are marketed, to demands for ongoing support services.

“Game-as-service … [has] transforming every element of the business, from design, through the way the game is marketed, to demands for ongoing support services. “- The Heaton Team, Creative Assembly

Luc Duchaine, Executive Marketing Director, Studio Canada Ubisoft: While games like DOTA and League of Legends are pioneers in the game-as-a-service genre, the past five years have really emphasized the importance of those games. At Ubisoft, we have Rainbow Six Siege entering its fifth year, For Honor, this is the fourth year and we have brands such as The Crew and The Division that are still updating their offerings for players.

Ed Beach, Principal Designer of Civilization Franchise, Firaxis: I see two major developments that have changed the nature of the game in the last decade. First, the game becomes much bigger. We now have so many open world games and all of them have lots of areas to explore; it takes hundreds of hours to experience it all. It was an amazing and great change for players, but it also made development very expensive and challenging. In the same vein, the shelf life for the game is much longer. Most developers adopt the game-as-a-service model which means they will support their titles with fresh content for years. Once again, as a player I like this. However, as a developer I certainly recognize this as a major new hurdle to overcome.

The rise of Streaming and Let’s Play

Joe Neate, Executive Producer, Sea of ​​Thieves, Rare: Game-as-service growth, and game streaming growth to the audience.

It’s interesting to see how the player’s behavior develops, and to find out what experiences will convince the player to give you a chance and then stick with you. We have people who played Sea of ​​Thieves since our first Technical Alpha three years ago who are still with us and as excited as before! It’s interesting to start thinking about how you design a game that is not only good to play, but also to watch. I love it when you see a random game explode because everyone suddenly starts streaming it in and you try to find out how it happened and what you can learn from it.

Masachika Kawata, Producer, Resident Evil series: [O]One of the biggest changes in the video game as a whole might be that, above the basic enjoyment of playing the game yourself, watching other people playing the game has become a form of entertainment in and of itself.

Obviously, people always watch their friends play with them or crowd around arcade machines, but the number of people who find additional ways to enjoy watching games played by others really expand the range of playing games as a medium.

Let’s Plays have become a big part of the game.

Power of Celebrities

Marc Merrill, Co-Founder, Riot Games (League of Legends): There is so much: steady growth from esports, the emergence of streaming technology, games getting more mainstream acceptance, Chinese influence, and fast growth from mobile phones both from a market perspective but also as a credible platform providing high quality experience.

I believe that the power of celebrity is the most transformative and impactful. I am not referring to well-known players (though shouting specifically for Rick Fox), despite the obvious star power they bring, but more like the way the players embrace the streaming / video platform to share their passion and engage directly with other players. Videogames are the best when played with friends; streaming platforms in particular have enabled committed and eager content creators to grow a very large audience where it is clear that the future of celebrity exists along digital lines.

Play Cross Platform

Jamie Jackson, Chief Creative Officer, Mythical Game: For me, the most important change occurred in the latter part of the decade: cross platform games! This is Hugh game-changer. Seeing all the major platform players who fully embrace gamers and enable and encourage them to play together for the first time is truly extraordinary. That gives us developers new challenges in terms of matchmaking and balance, but being able to think holistically about an audience really helps by launching a new IP and continuing to build on an existing brand.


Lars Janssen, Studio Relations Director, Koch Media: Video games have become a core part of our culture and have an impact outside the traditional video game community. Games focus on providing more social experience than ever, stronger communities and creating movements that go far beyond the real world of gaming. Connectivity at home and on the go allows players to stay connected to the game and their friends regardless of time and location. Most games are not one-time experiences but services that connect people and entertain them for years.

Creating these experiences, on the other hand, has become much more complex and the possibility of surprises is much smaller. That leads to consolidation in the market and fewer companies have succeeded in building a new global IP from scratch.

Connection Between Players and Developers

Saxs Persson, Creative Head of Minecraft: The role of the strong community now playing influence and driving game development has been the biggest change that I have felt over the past ten years, as well as having direct communication with our players when a game is being developed. Early access, Kickstarter, and so on, are all different ways that we try and involve players as early as possible to get feedback and form a game for what people really want to play.

“The role played by the community strongly influencing and encouraging game development has been the biggest change …” – Saxs Persson, Minecraft CCO

Naoki Yoshida, Producer and Director, Final Fantasy XIV: Personally, I think this is the relationship between the player community and developers (or video game companies) rather than technology. Back in the day, there was a considerable distance between gamers and game developers, and in the case of MMORPGs, I think there was a strong feeling that “developers are enemies.” Thanks to the growth of social media in recent years, messages from developers and development companies have become close to gamers, and I feel that communication has become more direct. Feedback from gamers is considered more serious and gamers can receive messages from developers, and various games have evolved as a result.

J. Allen Brack, President, Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft): [I]In the past, MMO communities and developers enjoyed special relationships with their players, where developers and communities encouraged feedback and dialogue throughout the dev and live play cycles.

Today, many games have dedicated a community of players, regardless of the game category. So, the most visible and important change is the way the online community develops and the more direct relationships with the players. This has greatly accelerated over the past ten years. Now most games from giant AAA titles to smaller indie games have online communities of all kinds – from special Discords to sub-Reddits, not to mention Twitter and Instagram communities. It has never been easier to get involved with like-minded people. Whether you are a hardcore player, or an ordinary player who likes to watch a stream of people playing a game you like, or a fan, or cosplayer, no matter how much time you have to give, there is a place for you to get involved with your favorite hobby.

The appearance of streaming players has played a role, giving players the tools to create or participate in close communities around the game or genre of game they like. Good streamers and creators are very important to us – they are the face of the gaming experience and an incredible source of feedback that keeps us honest. Simultaneously with streaming, there was also an accelerated esports increase, and an extraordinary expression of love. To see professional players dedicate their time to pushing the limits of what we make, to their mastery, is degrading to us as creators. For fans of professional players, it gives them another outlet to express their passion for the game.

“Seeing professional players dedicate their time to pushing the limits of what we make, to their mastery, is demeaning to us as creators.” – J. Allen Brack, Blizzard

Audience Expectations

David Gaider, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Summerfall Studios (Chorus): You know, I would say that there is no extraordinary progress in gaming technology. You can look back at the games that came out in 2010 and it is justified to say that they are as beautiful as anything that is displayed today. Most of the changes, I think, have been in the evolution of the genre as well as the audience. Social media, in particular, has caused fans to become armed camps with personal interests in their games giving them what they expect – the relationship between fans and creators has never been more tense.

Discourse Around the Game

Paul Sage, Creative Director, Borderlands 3: Streaming game players, alternative revenue streams [and] digital sales, procedural systems [and] better machine learning tools, physics and graphics.

But from all this, I think one that must be explained is the change in culture and discourse surrounding the game. The fact is that we work in subjective business, and while there are elements of objective quality in the game, swearing gifts sometimes in the media and community damage our industry. Having a variety of games and entertainment, even in areas where you feel uncomfortable, is a blessing, not a curse. I hope we begin to see a shift from this mentality and instead we continue to see the growth of many points of view. Which means we as developers must continue to drive diverse industries.

“Having a variety of games and entertainment, even in areas where you feel uncomfortable, is a blessing, not a curse.” – Paul Sage, Gearbox

Subscription Service

Atsushi Inaba, Chief Creative Officer, PlatinumGames (Bayonetta): The emergence of subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime in the film industry. The fact that all content is accessible after payment continues to change the way we view entertainment, not only as consumers but also as creators. It takes more time for this business model to be fully incorporated into video games, but I really feel that it can change our industry in many ways.

Game Accessibility and Acceptance as Mainstream

Denby Grace, Executive Producer, 2K (Mafia): Great playing experience more accessible than ever before. Variations in hardware, shipping methods, price points, and ways to engage with content have allowed a wider audience to consume the game in various ways. This industry has never been in better health.

Takashi Iizuka, Head of the Sonic Team, SEGA (Sonic Forces): Over the past ten years, games have become a form of entertainment that is far more accessible and popular for people all over the world. Thinking back to a decade ago, the Wii just came out and I believe it was around the time the game began to appear on smartphones. Before 2010, most gaming experience consisted of sitting in front of a television set and only using your fingertips to control the game. Since then, controllers have been adjusted to allow players to be easier to use and mobility. Players can now make commands by shaking or moving the controller or entering actions with movements and posing with their bodies. Progress in the controller also increases the accessibility of the game for novice players who may not have a console before and allows players to engage in a variety of different playing experiences.

The Adaptive Xbox controller welcomes more players.

Lee Mather, Game Director, F1 2019, Codemasters: The most striking change for me was in the reception of video games, not only as creative media seen at the same level as film and TV, but also as an industry where you could grow your career. When I joined this industry in 1992, I could never predict that we would experience a game launch with the same level of exposure and excitement as a Hollywood movie or film and TV series made from the back of video games. From a technology perspective, I think we are in a recurring phase now. Because the big ‘wow’ moment in mobile technology is slowing down, this is similar to gaming hardware. All of which will give users access to the highest quality experience possible in as many ways as possible.

Extending What Is a Game

Keith Schuler, Key Mission Designer, Gearbox Software (Borderlands 3): An evolving definition of what video games are, and what they can offer. I’m not just talking about pushing more polygons and shadows onto the screen, even though that’s part of it. Mental health, politics, cancer, civil liberties, and many more, all are legitimate topics to be explored by the game. It’s always been the case, but as our audience grows and our reach expands, this kind of conversation is increasingly accepted as a legitimate discourse, and that influence extends beyond just video games. This is not just an independent studio, too, even though they are in the lead. In the past ten years, it has become easier to point to video games and say, ‘This is art. This is an important aspect of human society. “

“In the past 10 years, it has become easier than ever to point to video games and say, ‘This is art. This is an important aspect of human society.'” – Keith Schuler, Gearbox

Game Coverage

Viktor Bocan, Director of Design, Warhorse Studios (Kingdom Come: Deliverance): As a developer, what I feel most is a change in reporting about games. What was the domain of professional videogame journalists before, is now an open battleground for streamers, YouTubers, and the Reddit community. I don’t see it as a bad thing, but it’s very different. And sometimes it’s very unexpected and unexpected.
And now for the second part, where our round table members answer the question:

Hidden Depth of Game

Sam Barlow, Founder, Drowning a Mermaid Productions (Telling Lies): Well, I think the dream of gaming is accessible and mainstream and in. And we missed that one. The telephone opens up a lot of things, but the market is quickly bolting to the bottom of the barrel and – generalizing very much here – never really offers the experience as deep as you find in other media. Netflix and iTunes and the Kindle and Criterion Channels may often enhance my understanding of humanity, moving me deeply, while the value proposition of mobile games still largely helps me to waste time on the subway. And the console is firmly attached to the same old model, over and over again – a $ 600 box for marine space shooter games. This is the economy and the short-term interests of investors – looking for cash from a reliable audience, looking to sell phones, subscribe, consoles, and achieve their growth figures rather than laying the groundwork for the media. Hopefully the convergence of TV and games will help us reach a place that feels healthier.

“The console firmly sticks to the same old model, over and over again – a $ 600 box for space shooter games.” – Sam Barlow, Drowning a Mermaid Productions

A World that Really Live and Breathe

Joe Neate, Executive Producer, Sea of ​​Thieves, Rare: I talked about this with Mike Chapman, Creative Director of Sea of ​​Thieves, and I agreed with him that what we haven’t really hit yet is truly profound, a life-breathing world. Regardless of the progress in the sandbox game, apart from the incredible world that has been built, if you peek behind the curtain, they still feel like the world is written by searching or written events. There are still many promises in this field. Creating a truly profound world for players to flee together, to feel like they are really venturing somewhere else, to have a true form of escape – there is so much potential here.

Innovative MMO

Tanya X. Short, Co-Founder, Kitfox Games (Moon Hunter): I am disappointed that the indie / innovative MMO as a genre has not really taken off, with only a few exceptions. Yes, yes, there are already several MMOs with lower budgets that are popular, but almost all of them are very post-Warcraft, so that they are detrimental. Dengan alat yang tersedia selama lima atau enam tahun terakhir khususnya, orang-orang seharusnya telah berinovasi dunia multiplayer baru yang aneh, tetapi mereka belum melakukannya, sungguh. Baru saja … lebih banyak pencarian. Hal-hal seperti One Hour One Life memberi saya harapan bahwa mungkin kita bisa memasuki dunia baru dunia digital, tapi … itu tidak cukup dibicarakan, bukan dengan sebuah kesimpulan. Ada banyak alasan mengapa hal ini terjadi – multipemain lebih sulit untuk dikembangkan, lebih berisiko secara bisnis jika tidak mengakomodasi permainan pemain tunggal, dan sebagainya – tetapi alasan yang paling gigih tampaknya adalah bahwa ada sisi budaya dari MMO. di antara para pengembang game, mungkin karena kita semua memainkannya terlalu banyak seperti remaja? Atau karena pengalaman bermain bisa sangat benar-benar, sangat bervariasi sehingga sulit untuk membandingkan untuk keperluan ulasan [and] analisis.

VR dan AR

Pim Holfve, CEO, Avalanche Studios (Rage 2): Meskipun menunjukkan janji besar di awal 2010-an, kami tidak pernah benar-benar melihat realitas virtual dan revolusi augmented reality. Saya pikir ada beberapa alasan untuk ini, seperti kematangan teknologi, biaya headset, waktu setup, persyaratan perangkat keras, dan tidak ada skema kontrol standar. Meskipun ada beberapa permainan VR dan AR yang hebat dan pengalaman di luar sana, teknologinya masih terasa lebih aspiratif daripada yang disadari sepenuhnya.

Kellee Santiago, Kepala Hubungan Pengembang, Niantic, Inc. (Pokemon GO): VR yang dapat diakses dan bermakna. Sepertinya kami semakin dekat pada tahun 2016! Google Cardboard sangat luar biasa, tetapi entah bagaimana tidak pernah menarik cukup banyak penonton untuk membuatnya mandiri bagi pencipta. StreetView VR adalah hal favorit saya untuk dilakukan. Meskipun itu adalah pengalaman VR dengan kesetiaan terendah, itu membuatku masih merasa seperti sedang berdiri di tempat lain di Bumi sejenak. Of course, the price on materials to create more immersive experiences then stayed too high to gain wide adoption. The Oculus Quest is a great piece of hardware, and a step towards this balance between high-fidelity and lower price-point. Unfortunately, the industry as a whole didn’t make it there before 2020.

Saxs Persson, Minecraft Chief Creative Officer: I’ve been excited for VR since I was a kid! A few years ago, it felt inevitable that VR would be a mass-market experience. Oculus, Vive, and Sony all did a great job getting unique games for their respective platforms, but so far VR as a whole has not quite delivered on the utopian future where we are having deep experiences in amazing, immersive worlds. That said, the recent release of Oculus Quest has me more optimistic. It being untethered and easy to setup has made it a regular platform of choice in my household. Hopefully, we will see more unique games in the next couple of years that make VR a platform more gamers will want to own.

When will VR be mass market?

Andy Sum, Director, Hipster Whale (Crossy Road): VR and AR still haven’t kicked off as much as many would hope. I lump them together because they suffer from a similar issue which is adopting them into your everyday life. Even though VR experiences are very fun and unique, it’s still a large effort to use them. They take a lot of configuration, they’re uncomfortable, the battery doesn’t last long (or they have long cables), and they’re quirky in public. It’s not so much the underlying tech as the usability issues preventing adoption.

Atsushi Inaba, Chief Creative Officer, PlatinumGames (Bayonetta): VR, MR, and AR technology.

I’m still confident of the potential of these technologies, but we are far away from a point in time where these can be enjoyed by everyone. When you can dive into a VR or MR world that is so immersive that you totally forget about the device you’re using, that’s when I believe the technology is ready to cause a true revolution.

At the same time, I think that it should be questioned if this technology should really become easy to access in the first place. Just like the debate on whether AI technology should be restricted or not, new technology that can fundamentally change the everyday life of human beings is always a double-edged sword. However, as a creator I think it’s very interesting.

Cross-Platform Play

Greg Street, VP of IP and Entertainment, Riot Games (League of Legends): Cross-platform play. It seems (from the outside) like something that should be incredibly valuable for a player, but (from the inside) there are a ton of technical, design and even business reasons why it may not even make sense as a goal.

Cloud Gaming and Streaming

Lee Mather, Game Director, F1 2019, Codemasters: I feel like streaming gaming services have had a number of false starts in recent years. We’ve seen it tried numerous times over the last ten years, but the network infrastructure in most countries wasn’t up to scratch, the titles themselves weren’t there or quality was compromised, or users weren’t comfortable with not having ‘physical media’. Now the internet connections have improved, and will continue to do so, both in the home and over the cellular networks, that’s one barrier to entry which is slowly being removed. People are now familiar and comfortable with streaming services for TV and film, and are used to a subscription based model, which again lends itself well to a streaming gaming service. With the likes of Google Stadia and Microsoft Project xCloud we’re seeing some of the world’s most powerful software companies backing streaming, already with massively versatile and powerful back-end services in place.

3D Displays

Takashi Iizuka, Head of Sonic Team, SEGA (Sonic Forces): Personally, I was hoping that the technology behind 3D displays would have been more widely adopted. When Nintendo launched the 3DS, I fully expected there to be more content available that utilized the realism of 3D visuals. We even worked hard to put 3D support on console for the release of Sonic Generations in 2011! Ultimately, the day that 3D overtook 2D displays never came, which is too bad.

AI Controlled Digital Actors

Yoshinori Kitase, Producer, Final Fantasy VII Remake: [I]n my experience of working on story-based games, things like Final Fantasy X for example, you’ve got a performance that you can get from a computer-generated [character] – having programmers do everything to create it, or you’ve got the other option of using real-life actors and motion capturing it. The big difference there is, with the completely computer-generated side, it won’t do anything spontaneously off its own back. The programmers have to write every little detail in, they have to decide it down to the letter. Whereas with real-life actors, you can, for example, give them a very small bit of direction… you [may] want a scene where the characters cry, and they come up with a really different approach to crying and express it in a way that we’ve never seen before.

[W]hat I really hope we can get to [in the future], is a stage where you’ve got full AI-controlled digital actors, and the director of the game can give them very simple instructions, like we need this kind of performance, and it’ll come out with a beautiful nuanced performance from AI processing. Obviously, we’re not there yet, but that’s where I really think we’re going. That’s what I really hope we can see.

Virtual Arcades

Hideki Kamiya, Chief Game Designer, PlatinumGames (Bayonetta): I was hoping that somebody would evolve the Game Room you had on Xbox 360, and that you could have arcade cabinets lined up in a virtual space, which would essentially be a VR Game Room, but nobody created it. I think that’s because the higher-ups in video game companies don’t care about the history of video games. That’s too bad.

Japan is still home to many incredible arcades.

Real Arcades!

Yoko Taro, Director, NieR: Automata: Dedicated hardware for vertical shooters and pinball. I think they didn’t become a reality because the hardware manufacturers weren’t motivated enough. Show us what you’re capable of! You can do it!
Cam Shea heads up IGN’s Australian content team and loves CCGs. Check out his feature analysing what the games industry thought 2020 would be like in 2010. He’s on Indonesia.

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