This sounds nowhere near as mad as it used to. Speaking here, our new favourite developer – Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack – has continued explaining why he thinks the future holds one console format.
Everyone needs to firmly understand that the console manufacturers have a closed model. If they win market dominance, it moves the market toward a monopoly, because it’s not an open, competitive market. If Nintendo wins 95% of the market, it definitely becomes a monopoly, because if they control the hardware, they control everything else. The current parties who are involved in pushing forward closed systems will never want a single-console future, because it goes against the current business model that they’re trying to apply. What I’m saying is going to happen is that the economics of the industry will not continue to support multiple closed models. It’s too difficult, it’s becoming too expensive to create games, and eventually — it’s really switched from back in the really early days of the NES, when people would do almost anything to get a Nintendo license to work on the hardware. Now look at Grand Theft Auto IV and how Microsoft is paying lots of money to get it as an exclusive or even just get it on their system.
Those kind of market forces, the actual economics, are really going to change things. Not only are the third parties going to want a single console, I think eventually the first parties are going to start considering it. They’re spending a tremendous amount of money on research and development, and if they can’t win their closed market competition, then they might look at it and say, “Is this really worth it?” like Sega has in the past.
It’s not a matter of console manufacturers wanting to change, it’s a matter of whether the economy of the videogames industry can continue to support the current model. If you talk to developers and publishers, you see a lot of groups disappearing now, a lot of closures of developers, because the economy is so hard. If all the third parties go away, there’s not going to be a games industry, so something’s got to give somewhere.
We read all of that and were actually interested. Considering our attention span’s regulated specifically by the BPM of the music we’re making ourselves deaf with, that’s no mean feat. Read the rest. Dyack’s got plenty to say.