Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester wants console manufacturers – and even Steam and the App Store – to open their borders and embrace the digital revolution at last.
“If I had a wish list, I’d wish for Microsoft and Sony to be more open, too, to make it easier for all types of companies to publish all types of material online,” Wester told Gamasutra.
The executive said “content is king” for hardware manufacturers, and that he could see himself making that content if only platform holders make it possible.
“I want to make games for upcoming consoles; I am stretching out my hand saying I want to do this, and if they have a platform that suits us, it’ll be fantastic,” he added.
Unfortunately, the increasingly closed nature of various platforms puts he, and presumably Paradox Interactive, right off. Wester isn’t just talking about the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and their successors; elsewhere in the article, he had some hard words for digital platforms traditionally considered indie-friendly.
“Previously, iOS was pretty open, there wasn’t that much competition and anyone would publish for that platform. Same with Windows, because Steam was really open,” he said, explaining that indies enjoyed a golden age during this time, which ended about a year ago.
“Now, it’s really tough for indies to get in there. They use Greenlight to ‘screen’ what is likely to be a success.”
Wester believes console manufacturers could make up a lot of lost ground by embracing openness.
“Five years ago the PC market was in a total decline, and the console manufacturers totally missed out on the digital download challenge, because they were worried about retailers. Now they have a chance to make up for that,” he said.
Paradox Interactive has released console games but mainly focuses on the PC, where its catalogue of core strategy and RPG titles are well-respected.