Former Playfish boss feels next-gen consoles are “a distraction” from largest growth area

By Stephany Nunneley, Tuesday, 18 June 2013 20:19 GMT

Former Playfish CEO Kristian Segerstrale believes the noise surrounding next-gen consoles is distracting publishers from “the fastest growing parts of the game industry.”

Speaking in an op-ed for TechCrunch, Segerstrale said the new consoles and the distraction the hardware is causing big publishers will “clears the water for pure digital plays to gradually build up dominance with new IP on new hardware platforms.”

“The innovators’ dilemma confronting the big guys is creating continuing unopposed growth opportunity for new and established digital pure plays alike,” he wrote. “That is giving new players time to build up the brand and marketing advantages that big publishers have held for years on what are rapidly becoming legacy platforms.

“The console guys are hamstrung by their lack of focus. The starlets who already dominate one or two categories will have similar focus challenges due to successes to date. Seldom have there been such clearly profitable, well-defined opportunities for new start-ups to re-imagine these experiences for personal touch screens.

“Much has been made out of the advantage that big game publishers have in terms of access to Apple or Google in terms of promotions. However that success is short-lived if you are unable to retain your audience and acquire users independently at a profitable cost of acquisition. A game investor worth their salt will be able to make the right introductions here anyway.

“The incremental publisher value here is small.”

Kristian Segerstrale is currently head the investment firm Initial Capital. He was the co-founder of both Glu Mobile and social gaming firm Playfish, He was also the former executive vice president in charge of digital gaming at Electronic Arts.

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