The rise of mobile games and independent developers has had an astonishing effect on the video game industry, challenging traditional business models and delivery systems with new breeds of entertainment. Their introduction also enabled creators to explore previously extinct genres, introduce entirely new ones, and push innovation further and faster in the last five years than we had seen in the previous ten.
It has created some interesting clashes, however. At the Game Developers Conference earlier this year, one could tangibly feel the disgust that many (not all) of these indie and mobile creators have for established triple-A development. Some believe mobile is the only viable business model, and others see big development as the death of artistic design. Valid or not, these feelings demonstrate a clear “us versus them” attitude toward game design.
What’s worse, we – as gamers and an industry – still talk about games along these lines, helping to foster a rivalry between blockbuster games and more experimental experiences. I have spoken to gamers (inside and outside of the industry) who despise that the first order of business when discussing a game is its monetization method or how it was created. A great game is a great game, no matter where it comes from – a fact that often seems to get lost.
The discussion of whether PC gaming, console gaming, or triple-A development is dead is worthless, and their resiliencies have been proven time and time again. Last time I checked, they all seemed to be doing very well, with legions of gamers that love them.
Here is the bottom line: People love games, and we will play them wherever we can, on whatever device we have in our possession. The industry will change and continue to evolve, and games and gamers will benefit. The petty battles are pointless; let’s just play some games and enjoy all the options we have, because we have more of them today than ever before.