Blog Post #5: The Death of Consoles?

August 5, 2008

WildTangent’s founder Alex St. John made some waves last week at the ION Game confab, giving his perspective on what the future of gaming will look like and why console manufacturers will need to map out a new strategy to stay relevant in an online world. In addition to working with WildTangent, BPR works with a number of other gaming companies and think that Alex gives some excellent advice that should be heeded by all. To wit:

  • Avoid crapping up the interior of your game with non-contextual in-game advertising. Online gamers are a fickle bunch and it doesn’t take much to alienate them
  • The demographics of online gamers are changing; it’s not just 40-something ‘soccer moms’. Game developers need to start creating more online games for the highly coveted 18-34 year old male audience (i.e., more arcade style games, role playing games, etc.)
  • The attention spans of consumers continues to shrink and the gaming experience itself needs to mimic this phenomenon and allow gamers to be engaged in smaller units of time

Though by no means a gaming expert, I do have two teenage sons and can tell you from firsthand experience that the dynamics of gaming seems to be changing. Consoles will definitely always have an audience but it seems that fewer people have the patience to devote their time to complex and time consuming games. At the end of the day, more and more consumers seem to be looking for easy access to online games — whether it’s Scrabble, an arcade style shooter, or the latest multiplayer game — which hold the key to the growing segment of the market.

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