Epic’s Mark Rein has said that AAA titles are not going away any time soon, and games like Gears could eventually land on mobile platforms.
Speaking during a question and answer session at the Gamehorizon conference in Newcastle, Rein told attendees that all content costs money, even if positioned under a free-to-play umbrella.
“Let’s be clear, there’s no such thing as free,” he said, adding that content costs money be it through advertising, micro-transactions or social contact exchange.
“They all pale in comparison to how much World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare are making,” he said.
Ian Baverstock co-founder of Tenshi Ventures, was also part of the panel, and was of the opposite opinion, saying: “When you start with a price point of zero, you can reach an enormous number of people,” before adding that console gaming “is still a nice hobby.”
“I’d rather sell 10 million games at $25 and have a chance to sell DLC than 5 million at $50 on a disc that gets traded around,” said Rein. “I think it’ll change, and it’ll change for the benefit of the customers.
“We’re definitely going to experiment with micro-transactions and lower-price games.
“I’m a big proponent of AAA games. Triple-A isn’t going away, it’s going everywhere. As the quality of the games go up, the cost of the games go up, you’re going to have to monetize them better.”
Rein also showed Unreal Engine 3 running on iPhone, an Android system, and iPad – which is a device Rein has been impressed with since day one.
“These are the consoles of the future,” he said, stating that should mobile phones double in power, “even two more times, you can play Gears of War on this.”