…when I announced Video Game Week. So, here it is.
Mobile gaming on tablets and smartphones seems to be a huge and growing trend. According to this article, it drove THQ into bankruptcy, forced out John Riccitiello from his job running the soulless corporate combine called EA, and even kneecapped Zynga (Facebook’s social gaming mega-moguls). That’s a lot of scalps, kemosabe, and all in a very short period of time.
And, of course, all these developments are sparking the usual overblown rhetoric, “The Death of Console Gaming!” and the like. Now I can’t tell the future yet, but I seriously doubt console gaming is going to die anytime soon. At worst, we’re looking at a long period of slow decline as the platform gradually sheds users and developers. (You know, like PC gaming, certain politicians, or European imperialism.)
Of course, console companies can speed the process along. Maybe by making a console so shitty no one wants to buy it. Or by requiring always-on DRM or axing backwards compatibility.
As a dedicated console gamer who’s spent — literally — thousands of dollars on Xbox gaming, I’m contemplating buying a Playstation for the first time, ever. That’s not a good sign for Microsoft. Of course, if Sony proves equally dickish I won’t buy from them, either.
After all, customers don’t have to buy a console — a fact Sony learned the hard way this console generation. And if the — rumored and announced — draconian policies really are implemented, console makers might drive people to alternate venues.
Mobile gaming won’t kill console gaming. But console manufacturers can commit suicide, by badgering customers, making crappy consoles, and in general acting with thoughtless arrogance.