Schappert: “It’s going to be tough” for companies that don’t adapt to changes in games market

By Stephany Nunneley
3 May 2012 13:55 GMT

Former EA and Xbox executive John Schappert has said the troubled state of the games industry isn’t wholly the economy’s fault, but the larger game companies failing to adapt to changes in the market.

According to Schappert, who is now at Zynga, free apps and mobile games are putting pressure on the big game and console makers and it will only continue to be a rough ride if the firms refuse to adapt.

“Traditional gaming is under a little bit of pressure,” he told MCV. “If those businesses are not ready and want to live in the traditional world, they can. It’s just there’s only going to be a few big games a year. If you’re one of those games, more power to you. If you’re not, it’s going to be tough.

“Big console games take years to make. They need massive budgets and you have to hope the bet you started three years ago pays out. If it doesn’t, it’s a game changer for you. And not in a good way. Is there still a market for it? Absolutely.

“Traditional games have become more core. They require an expensive console, use a controller which laymen are afraid of, and their interfaces are not always the easiest to use.”

Schappert believes market changes are due to consumers purchasing fewer games, and “playing them longer,” as a many are “stretched for time.” However, despite any consumer time constraints, he feels that overall the market is growing and changing along with said growth.

“They don’t have two hours, they have fifteen minutes and don’t want to spend money,” he said. “The good news is, while I think that we’re seeing traditional gaming shrink, we’re seeing gaming overall grow. To me it’s a very positive message to the overall industry. But I think some people have to change.”

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