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Angry Birds Exec Says Console Games Are Dying

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the mobile-killed-the-console-star dept.

Businesses 350

RedEaredSlider writes "Angry Birds marketing lead Peter Vesterbacka went on the offensive today against his console counterparts, arguing that the model pursued by companies like Nintendo is 'dying.' In a panel discussion at the South by Southwest Interact conference in Austin, Texas, Vesterbacka said that innovation wasn't coming from large development firms like EA and Ubisoft, but from smaller, more nimble developers like his own. Vesterbacka also pointed to the major concern over the price model for console games. Compared to mobile titles like Angry Birds that run for 99 cents, games on large consoles hover around fifty dollars. Still, the executive did admit that the business model for mobile games had yet to be completely figured out."

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News at 11 (5, Insightful)

Pento (115091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488334)

Executive of company that produces games for one platform says that another platform is old hat, and will die out.

I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Re:News at 11 (1)

justleavealonemmmkay (1207142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488360)

It's frickin' FILM at 11. The news can be transmitted quite quickly.

Re:News at 11 (2)

JimboG (1467977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488420)

I think the point may have been the business model was old hat, not the platform. Small payments for less content. I don't agree however.

Re:News at 11 (5, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488514)

I do think it might turn up the pressure on the old business model a bit (which is probably a good thing, IMO). You'll always be able to justify spending $50 for the amount of entertainment that something like Fallout gives, but when decent games start popping up for very little cash, you think twice about dropping that much on some slightly updated sports game. Back when there was no such thing as a $1 game, even the crappy ones seemed better value at full price. The biggest potential risk, I think, is the market swinging too far the other way and making big-budget epics untenable, in the same way that cheap reality TV is detracting from more expensive but higher quality shows.

Re:News at 11 (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488424)

Well, everyone knows that the tens of millions of real gamers out there are about to throw out their high resolution beefy PC gaming and 65" 1080p gaming to play rip-offs of 30 year old Scorched Earth / Tanks / Etc games and very minimal and lacking versions of sim and god games on a 320x200 flash/html5 interface on a social network web page!

Now, is it likely that there will be more of these casual/social gamers who spend all of their time playing these idiotic "recruit your friends to improve in the game!" pyramid schemes on very rudimentary and simple games than there are who play "real" video games? Absolutely. The same way there are more people that listen to Britney Spears than will ever listen to, say, Tom Wait. But that doesn't mean that one market is dumped and ignored in favor of the other. There will be a huge market for free or cheap casual games that you can play on the bus on your way to your job answering phones at the dentist's office or while you're waiting for your kids to finish soccer practice. And there will be a big market for involved, innovative, complex, competitive "traditional" gaming that the rest of us enjoy.

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488604)

I don't think there's anything wrong with these games where they put in minimal effort into their creation and turn it into a pyramid scheme and then put in minimal effort into furthering their mini-games while enjoying other things with their massive income, and as you mentioned it's inevitable that they will attract many that just don't know better or see the bigger picture of what they're doing. But I do think that we should call them on their bs when these articles pop up. I've heard of Angry Birds last time just yesterday and it seems they're riding the publicity wave. Sadly, once these people become rich all they need to do is begin spouting bs like the claim in the article to get even more publicity, as the media will buy anything that sounds sensational and comes from a noteworthy source.

Also, yes I've played Angry Birds, the "demo" levels were fun, after which you were asked to buy more mini-levels on your phone, but damn, is that all it takes these days?

Re:News at 11 (4, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488862)

And there will be a big market for involved, innovative, complex, competitive "traditional" gaming that the rest of us enjoy.

Name one game coming from EA/UbiSoft in the last 2 years that is still innovative.
'Cause that's what TFA is accusing: any new release of a "traditional game" is just "news at 11".

Re:News at 11 (4, Insightful)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488864)

The only place he might have a point is not that demand for real games will go down, but that production of them will. If I can spend a week coding a Farmville clone, and make millions, vs paying a team of game designers and programmers for a year to develop a game and make millions, I'm gonna make FarmvilleClone. The profit margin is that much higher.

We've already seen it happen in TV with the explosion of reality shows. They're crap, every last one of them, but they're all over the place. Even Big Brother kept being renewed despite the first season having ratings somewhere south of the sub-basement. Why? Because even with crap ratings, they made more money on it than they would have from a traditional scripted show.

It's all about profits and profit margins. Quality will always take a back seat to money, and if you can manage to convince a gillion people to play your stupid little incessant-click game, you get rich a lot faster than the company who spends all that time making something good.

Re:News at 11 (1)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488426)

I have it on good authority that the green pigs in Angry Birds represent the console gaming industry.

Rovio has been employing the highly controversial Neuromotor programming methods in their blockbuster game to turn regular players against consoles and big gaming conglomerates.

Anyway, spread the word.

Re:News at 11 (2)

Chewbacon (797801) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488430)

Fail. It's on Windows, Mac OS, PS3, PSP. If you're not throwing mobile phones into one platform, then you could ad android, WebOS, and a couple others to that.

Re:News at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488534)

Executives from the afected industry has admitted that the medium size games are dying. Only very big or very small produce a profit.

Re:News at 11 (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488648)

Again, wishful thinking from an executive who has an interest in only big games doing well ... because who the hell wants competition right?

In the meantime what is really happening is that Steam and XBLA are actually successfully shipping those mid size games.

Duh? (1, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488344)

The market penetration of game consoles has been decreasing ever since the 80's.

And now smartphones are taking over. Only caveat is they market is even more fragmented as consoles were in the mid 80's. In those days there was basically one major console at a time. Now we have many smartphone OSes and handsets at a time.

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488388)

As Android has skyrocketed lately, I think we'll see a much more uniform mobile platform in foreseeable future.

Re:Duh? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488402)

Android is a step in the right direction, but it's not uniform enough to be a compelling game platform on it's own. Dealing with different screen resolutions/sizes, CPU power, and memory differences on a PC is bad enough, but on a mobile device we're talking differences of a factor of 10x or more.

For the sole purpose of gaming apps, I think Google will have to start segregating Android phones into different classes in order to provide a coherent user experience.

Re:Duh? (1)

Celarent Darii (1561999) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488652)

<quote> I think Google will have to start segregating Android phones into different classes in order to provide a coherent user experience. </quote>

Not going to happen. They don't make any hardware, so their "recommendations for coherent user experience" will be pretty much ignored. Android will by its very nature fragment, just like linux does - you have different distributions according to different requirements (like ArchLinux vs Debian vs REL). On the moble platform it will even fragment further as the hardware is so completely different (after all most pc's are pretty much the same processor, in mobile it's not even clear).

One of the reasons that it is so hard to make commercial software for linux is that it is a constantly moving target. Even the kernel api's aren't fixed, never mind trying to figure out the different dependencies. Android will end up being even worse in my humble opinion. Even now many handset manufactures don't have anything consistent on Android, and install all sorts of crap. Having had a few ideas to make an Android app and seeing this has really been discouraging to be honest.

Not that my opinion matters anyhow. There will be people who can make money on the Android platform. I wish them luck.

Re:Duh? (1)

i-linux123 (2003962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488664)

The tradeoff comes from the limiting resources on mobile devices. It equals to far quicker development times, and much smaller games, the consoles are going into the other direction with realism and high-quality and detailed models + immersive storyline. It costs far, far, more to develop real console games than it does to buy all phones you can find at some store and employ proven techniques to deal with the various screen resolutions.

Re:Duh? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488474)

Now we have many smartphone OSes and handsets at a time.

The size of each of which dwarfs the size of 80's game consoles. Plus, smartphones are "persistent" in that they are on you, 24x7. It's extremely rare that I'm more than 50' away from my Droid2.

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488520)

Not to mention a dev could just pick the established player that's winning (Apple) and do very nicely for themselves as long as their product is good.

Re:Duh? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488542)

It's funny you mention that, I was just telling someone today that there's no longer such a thing as AFK.

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488570)

really? even a cursory internet search reveals the trend has been quite the opposite [wikipedia.org] .

if anything, consoles have shown a remarkable resilience, even after a few "market crashes". there have been dead periods, but when the "traditional" console game companies come back, they do it in style.

what Mr. Angry Birds is really saying, between the lines, is that he and his company would like a piece of the action cut out of the already established console gaming business. of course for him (and his company's stockholders), this would have to mean a reduction in the cash spent towards traditional consoles and a corresponding increase in cash to mobile gaming. the truth is likely more going to be that console gaming might decline a bit, and mobile gaming might increase a bit, but neither will be going away any time soon.

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488592)

The market penetration of game consoles has been decreasing ever since the 80's.

[ citation needed ]

How many copies of Call of Duty were sold? Halo?

Re:Duh? (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488594)

That is interesting, because observation of todays console market suggest otherwise.

The consoles transitioned from novelty to mainstream market in the 90ies (owed in part due to Final Fantasy 7)

A big chunk of games get now to be developed for consoles primarily and ported over to PC. I always thought that aside from piracy issues, market penetration was in fact responsible for that shift....

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488622)

But the games are $0.99 (i refuse to look at ads) not $50, are not resellable, and the code is not that different between platforms. Multiple OS's don't really matter as much anymore.

Uhh, Citation Please!? (1)

Rinnon (1474161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488640)

The market penetration of game consoles has been decreasing ever since the 80's.

Subject says it all. Show me the report that suggest the NES sold through more consoles than the PS2, and then we'll talk. Show me the report that suggest more people owned a single Gaming Console in the 80s than do in the 00s and then we'll talk. Back that up with ANYTHING, and then we'll talk.

Re:Uhh, Citation Please!? (1)

Chaotic222 (1114981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488720)

It's difficult to find numbers for these kinds of things, but keep in mind that the PS2 was available in many more countries than the NES. The PS2 sold over 100 million units, sure, but I distinctly remember seeing a record showing the sales data in the US alone to be about the same for both consoles. I can't for the life of me find it, though. Ah well.

Re:Uhh, Citation Please!? (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488786)

It's difficult to find numbers for these kinds of things, but keep in mind that the PS2 was available in many more countries than the NES. The PS2 sold over 100 million units, sure, but I distinctly remember seeing a record showing the sales data in the US alone to be about the same for both consoles. I can't for the life of me find it, though. Ah well.

Well, the NES sold 34 million in the US (source: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/library/historical_data/pdf/consolidated_sales_e0912.pdf [nintendo.co.jp] ), and the PS2 sold over 50 million, as of more than two years ago (source: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/01/15/PS2-sells-over-50-million-units-in-north-america-breaks-console-sales-record/ [playstation.com] ).

To make that even more significant, consider this: Sony contended pretty heavily with Microsoft and (to, I believe, a lesser extent) Nintendo for console dominance, whereas the NES completely DOMINATED Atari and Sega. Even though the NES had a MONSTROUS lead over its competitors, it still only sold about half as many units as the PS2 did.

As a matter of fact, the PS2 sold nearly as many units in the US alone as the NES did worldwide.

Re:Uhh, Citation Please!? (2)

Lissajous (989738) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488794)

Yups - real hard to find sales figures. If only there were a video game chart site around somewhere.

Oh....wait.....

http://www.vgchartz.com/hardware_totals.php [vgchartz.com]

Nevermind.

Re:Uhh, Citation Please!? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488798)

It is not difficult to find numbers for these things at all there are loads of numbers tracking sites inclduing stuff like vgchartz.com or even NPD, unless you are trying to find numbers that prove the OP right then your right as you will have a hell of a time finding others to make up crap like that. The simple fact is current console sales are significantly larger than any previous generation

NES+ sega master sold around 75 million

then we move to the megadrive and SNES with a combined total of approximately 90 million.

PS + N64 + Saturn was about 140-150 million

PS2 (150 million) + Xbox + gamecube sold a total of around 200 million

Current gen is at about 185 million and still going strong and should easily top 220 million even if this gen ended this year which it won't.

Uhh.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488348)

Angry birds is not innovation. It's the best of a mediocre selection.

Re:Uhh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488434)

Agreed. Angry Birds is nothing new. It stands out because it is a polished product with decent art direction. Two things the big studios can do just as well if not better.

Re:Uhh.. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488800)

It's also a fun little puzzle game. And that's something that requires that spark of inspiration and originality. That's not something you can manufacture. The best puzzle games have always succeeded. Lemmings, Tetris and Minesweeper and Angry Birds were successful because they each had a certain unquantifiable something, but there were a lot of games with as good production values that didn't succeed.

It's not really innovation. It requires stumbling on the right formula. If Rovio manages another game based on this same level of "innovation" I'll reconsider but I suspect their next game will be "angry birds 2".

Re:Uhh.. (1)

Torvac (691504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488636)

Let's just say its overhyped, and boring shit.
Peter Vesterbackas translated (try google translate pr/marketing to real world) speech would look like this: "penis, penis, penis ..."

Re:Uhh.. (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488662)

Boring? That would depend on one's opinion, don't you think?

Re:Uhh.. (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488822)

Well yeah, but I doubt anynoe would disagree with "overhyped". Its essentially the same catapult-the-castle game that's been around for years. Its pretty, polished, funny, and very long- worth every penny I think. But its hardly groundbreaking.

Talking about it like its going to be the "next generation of gaming" is almost as stupid as the Guitar Hero execs claiming their game was "the future of listening to music" (and we all know how that one worked out).

How Ironic (4, Interesting)

Kees Van Loo-Macklin (859394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488354)

He talks about how "innovation wasn't coming from large development firms like EA and Ubisoft, but from smaller, more nimble developers like his own.".... yet, angry birds is an obvious rip off of another game, Crush the Castle, which was developed by Armor Games quite some time before A.B. Try it out for yourself... http://armorgames.com/play/3614/crush-the-castle [armorgames.com]

Re:How Ironic (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488390)

Nice try, but no.

Crush the Castle: released April 28, 2009
Angry Birds: released December 10, 2009

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crush_the_Castle [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_Birds [wikipedia.org]

Re:How Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488422)

The timeline may have been overstated, but nonetheless, Angry Birds is the latecomer.

Re:How Ironic (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488436)

Um... April 2009 was 8 months before December 2009? Certainly enough time to develop a flash game. I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

Re:How Ironic (1, Offtopic)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488608)

Hey, when you're as drunk as I am it makes sense. Try knocking back a few drinks and THEN tell me I'm wrong.

Re:How Ironic (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488450)

What was your point there, exactly? It seems to support what the OP said, not refute it.

Re:How Ironic (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488464)

You're both off. They're both very much based on Scorched Earth, from 1991. A game that probably 95% of us have played at some point (especially in the 90s). I'm pretty sure Scorched Earth wasn't the original, either, but it was sure as fuck a site earlier than the supposedly "innovative" Angry Birds (and all the flash games that were around long before Angry Birds that were essentially the same thing, too).

The success of Angry Birds is kind of like the band that is beloved for decades and never receives the commercial or critical success and acclaim. Decades after, another band comes along and essentially rips off their entire personal and style and sound and maybe even directly cops some of their music and it's at just the right time that everyone in the world hears it and digs it and THEY receive acclaim and success for being geniuses, when all they really did was cop from the real geniuses. Your mom and your little sister have no idea about video games and as far as they're concerned, Angry Birds is the most original, entertaining, and incredible thing ever invented and well worth their $20. Why the rest of the world isn't calling it for what it really is, I have no fucking clue.

Re:How Ironic (3, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488568)

The original graphical artillery games were early 80s, apparently [wikipedia.org] , but I think it's a stretch to call them the basis for Angry Birds. Yes, they both use ballistic trajectories, but the gameplay is quite different; if Angry Birds were based solely on Scorched Earth, then I'd say all credit to them - it's been changed enough to be called innovative. That said, it probably wasn't entirely original, since Crush the Castle is near-identical and came out first.

It's just the way things go. Some guy happens to get caught in a perfect storm of marketing, word-of-mouth, and general new technology buzz, and suddenly there's a new multi-millionaire on the block. Doesn't matter whether they were the best, or the first, they were just the luckiest.

Re:How Ironic (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488588)

The only difference is that you are flung from a slingshot instead of a tank or other device and there are obstacles in the way other than terrain. Not really that innovative, if you ask me.

Re:How Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488722)

I can't figure it out now but I've played something like Angry Birds long ago, and was surprised to see this mobile game in the news after just trying it. I think it is based more on something like bowling, but viewed from another perspective, and where thing things you hit are instead stacked.

Re:How Ironic (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488824)

I think the point is while they might be different there is little or no innovation in the game Angry birds, it does nothing a 100 other games hadn't already done, they just managed to get lucky on market appeal. That's not to say I think EA etc are particularly innovative either, I just think this guy is blowing smoke up his own arse with no real justification.

Re:How Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488410)

Crush the Castle? Let's be honest here, those are all a ripoff of GORILLAS.BAS, which was probably a ripoff of another game.

Re:How Ironic (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488556)

I keep referring to Scorched Earth, from 1991, as it's probably the most widely recognized and played game from the "artillery" genre and a great demonstration of how Angry Birds is any fucking thing except innovative.

To be more specific, however, Scorched Earth and Gorillas came out in 1991. Other games since then that you might recognize as pre-dating Angry Birds by a very long time is Gorillas 2 (also in the early 90s) and Scorched3D just awhile back. Pretty much everyone is also familiar with the Worms series, of which there have been tons over the last fifteen or twenty years. Before any of these, was a game called Tank Wars (1990).

The earliest that I know of is also mentioned in the Artillery genre page on wikipedia and is called (shock) Artillery. It came out on the Apple II in 1980. Of course, that was also graphical. As the article itself mentions, there were text versions published even before that (apparently only written up and distributed in Creative Computing magazine). So it would appear that the first graphical version of an Angry Birds style game came out in 1980 and the first version *at all* was in the 70s.

Hard to call yourself "innovative" when all you've done is rip off a game that has been around for a minimum of 32 years.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artillery_game [wikipedia.org]

Re:How Ironic (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488702)

Wow. The idea of launching stuff in a parabola is one thing, but that's almost 100% identical to Angry Birds with slightly different controls and different graphics. There's no way AB wasn't a ripoff of that game.

Re:How Ironic (2)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488844)

Actually Angry Birds gameplay stems even back to the first computer games, does anyone of you guys still remember one of the first multiplayer games where two players where behind their own castle and the entire gameplay evolved around hitting the other player. There were myriads of variants of this gameplay, one being single player with different levels the other one being multiplayer with two players etc...

Translation: (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488356)

Flash in the pan says: Oh, fuck! Throw more money and attention at me, before all of my silly spinoffs die on the vine!

I'm not going to debate that mobile gaming has the potential to be a hugely lucrative market, but going all Khrushchev and trumpeting the demise of another medium is just gauche. It doesn't do anything but make console 'pundits' look stupid year after year, and it certainly won't help this guy.

Of course he is correct (3, Insightful)

stumblingblock (409645) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488358)

But kids will always want some DS or PSP experience, and hardcore gamers will want advanced PC only games. XBox, Playstation, yeah, nothing looks interesting there.

My 99 cents worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488366)

I'll pay 50 bucks for a game like Black Ops any day of the week.

That is of course for the PC version, the console market has never made any sense to me.

Re:My 99 cents worth (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488476)

And yet the PC market ends up with the short end of the stick thanks to shitty console ports.

Angry Birds is innovative? (2)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488370)

What part of that game is innovative?

But more importantly, innovation in entertainment is overrated. Games don't have to be innovative all the time. Quite often people want a similar experience as they had with a previous game: brand new story and environments, but similar gameplay.

Re:Angry Birds is innovative? (2)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488404)

Exactly.

This is why sequels that work have a different environment, but the same gameplay (with a couple of new elements in it). I'm thinking about the Prince of Persia trilogy here — SoT, WW and TTT.

Re:Angry Birds is innovative? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488860)

MGS4 was a sequel that revisited an environment AND it did it well. The return to Shadow Moses in MGS4 was one of the heartbreaking and gut wrenching moments.

Plus seeing the shattered remains of Metal Gear REX and using it to trounce a Metal Gear RAY unit was all sorts of satisfying.

Innovation? (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488372)

I remember playing with banana-flinging gorillas in the early nineties. By the late nineties, I remember playing a catapult game where the target would collapse according to a fairly decent physics engine. Where's the innovation, exactly?

Re:Innovation? (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488524)

Are you talking about defender of the crows, on the late 80ies?

Re:Innovation? (1)

Freyir (2012520) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488576)

Gorillas [wikipedia.org] was released in 1991. It was one of the first computer games I played, and I got my dad to try it too. The next video game he played was Angry Birds, in 2011.

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488578)

The innovation seems to be that he's got moms, sisters, grandfathers, and jocks & cheerleaders, executives, and preachers playing. That's fairly different from the traditional video game player base.

Of course Nintendo seems to have done a pretty respectable job of brining in new demographics too. The wii has done very well in attracting non-gamers with their casual, group-friendly games. Wii Sports/Angry Birds are played by people that would never slog through Call of Duty and there's something to be said for that.

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488808)

Sounda like Solitaire ;)

Re:Innovation? (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488856)

It's probably more fair to say that Apple / Google got moms, sisters, grandfathers, and jocks & cheerleaders, executives, and preachers playing, by giving each and every one of them a games console in their pocket. Its far easier to sell a game to someone if they already own the console than it is to sell them specialist equipment (a la Nintendo or Sony) first.

Re:Innovation? (1)

tomaasz (5800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488618)

Bill Gates wrote the gorilla game. So it all goes back to him.

Not a big deal (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488374)

I think that big companies like EA and Ubisoft being uninnovative predates the mobile platforms by many, many years. The growth of casual gaming (which is what suits the small mobile devices) will not cut too deeply into the console market.

Mobile gaming does not compete too much with consoles because:

1) they are played at a time when you are away from home
2) they are priced so low that they don't eat too much into the gaming budget. You do not have to stop buying console games to be able to afford to buy games for your phone.

Obligatory Meme is Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488376)

Does NetCraft confirm it?

Netcraft confirms one thing. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488634)

And one thing only. You are a PIECE OF SHIT.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488396)

I am mostly a PC gamer, but I fail to understand how consoles are going to be killed by mobile game companies when they both focus on two totally different markets. Mobile games such as Angry Birds cater to casual gamers.
But unless the article was specifically about handheld consoles (which I found no indication of), you surely wouldn't want to play Angy Birds on an XBOX 360 or a Wii with 1080p screen. And you surely won't and can't meaningfully play Crysis on a mobile phone.

And the consoles are evolving too, no wonder there is so much buzz around the Kinnect and even casual gamers are excited by it and have found it useful.

Re:Seriously? (1)

BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488598)

Actually, my wife was playing Angry Birds on the PS3 on a 1080i screen earlier today. But it was only as a time waster while waiting for a phone call. I bought it to play on my PSP, but it plays on the PS3 just as well. (And my wife also just picked up Dragon Age 2 that we pre-ordered for her back in Jan., so its not just a casual gamers thing, its more of a "its a good waste of a few minutes" thing)

What you say is true about the Kinect, as shown by the success of the Wii. Casual gamers are looking for casual games and arent always aware of what is on the market. I just talked my 55+yr old father into picking up a PS3 for Blu-ray, Netflix, and MLB.tv and he is an avid non-gamer. Though when I informed him that we could get Trivial Pursuit on the console he got excited.

I see consoles becoming more of an entertainment hub (like the PS3 and X360 were designed for). For my wife, I never would have talked her into getting her own PS3 (she would confiscate mine to play the first Dragon Age so I suggested it to her but she veto'd the idea) until she saw how handy it was for when she wanted to watch Netflix or stream something off of the media server while I was gaming. Sure casual gaming has its place, but full fledged games will always have a place too, even if they are on a multi-purpose device (PC's anyone?).

Forgive me if this is hard to follow, I've had a little to drink.

Not entirely accurate about pricing. (2)

nebaz (453974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488406)

There are several downloadable games (I can only speak for the Wii) that can be bought for $15 or less. It is not $50 for all games.

Re:Not entirely accurate about pricing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488522)

Also you are getting a very shallow experience for your $0.99 (in the case of angry birds at least). People don't mind paying $50 for a great game. Nintendo can come out with Angry Zelda where you shoot Links boomerang to kill pigs for $0.99 and they can also continue with what they are doing and provide deeper experiences for $50.

Re:Not entirely accurate about pricing. (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488846)

Most games I have on my PSN, is actually $15 or less, so I call bullshit on his "statement".
I don't think he thoroughly did his research.

One hit wonder. (1)

hardtofindanick (1105361) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488414)

This 1$ app/game business is creating and will continue to create many one hit wonders. Until this guy consistently makes more successful games, what he says is not relevant. Especially what he says about Nintendo.

It's not better, just different (1)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488418)

They probably said the same thing about film when TV came out. It's just a different experience. The console gamers aren't moving to game on their phones, but you can bet that the phones have introduced a whole pile of people to gaming. Maybe, in the future, they will look to buy a real console, and play a 20-30 hour game, instead of a $2 game for 90 seconds at a time.

Nintendo Exec Says Phone Games Are Dying (2)

Looce (1062620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488448)

"Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata went on the offensive today against his smartphone counterparts, arguing that the model pursued by individuals like Peter Vesterbacka is 'dying.' In a panel discussion at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Iwata said that innovation wasn't coming from independent game coders, but from large and established companies like his own. Iwata also pointed to the major concern over the price model for smartphone games. Compared to games on established consoles, which hover around fifty dollars, mobile titles like Angry Birds run for 99 cents and make their developers little money due to the policies of online app stores. At these price points, "there's no motivation [for] high-value video games," Iwata said. Still, the executive did admit that the business model for console games had yet to be completely figured out."

Okay, not exactly, but Iwata-san did say something against smartphones at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco [venturebeat.com] , a mere 13 days ago.

Heh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488452)

Aside from Interfaces, Graphics and Physics Gimmicks (which, given they are based in real world physics, isn't really anything "new" so much as innovative only in its choice of medium), Video Games will always fall short in Innovation to tabletop gaming. The fact all you need is some friends, a brain and some paper/pencils to create a masterpiece will ensure that no great game idea will be stifled by such trivial matters as processing power, the ability to program or simply the ability to render graphics in a way that fits the themes and flavors of your game. Even Settlers started out using photographs. The freedom of using brains instead of computers creates an unparalleled advantage. Heck, most RPGs on computers still use experience points, levels and classes or power trees--how antiquated is that? RPGs have (mostly) evolved past that back in the mid-nineties and are almost all point-buy (with the exception of Dungeons and Dragons, which has a legacy to maintain).

I will admit, however,

C'mon people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488456)

A marketing executive said something. Big deal! Sales and marketing people are the ones that cause us the most pain every day because of their lack of common sense.

Ubisoft Not Innovative? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488486)

But they're the ones that pitched (and sold) the idea of Mario Party: Swingers Edition [youtube.com] to Nintendo.

1 hit wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488488)

Yeah I have one game that made it big. I know everything about the market.

Hypocrite (1)

Teknikal69 (1769274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488496)

That's why they are pushing Angry Birds onto consoles and PC's then.
Angry birds is past it's sell by date it's had a decent run considering how basic it is but it's now even the dimwitted are bored of it.

Nice try... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488498)

This is commit from a guy who's company has made one game, with the oldest idea ever, and now continues to push out versions of the same old idea in different uniforms (Angry Birds Seasons etc). Yeah, real innovation at Rovio. A pure one-hit wonder that sickens me. There was multiple catapult games years before AB, albeit not with green pigs.

true headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488510)

"Creator of angry birds gets some free publicity for angry birds"

Not the same type of games (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488516)

Does this silly CEO really thinks we are expecting to play the same time of games on a small 3" screen as the one we play on a full HD screen? Come on, this is a different market, and the 2 are non exclusive. Players on big TV with PS3 might in fact play ALSO on their phone. It's not because A.B. is a success that they should spit on everyone else.

Re:Not the same type of games (1)

sunspot42 (455706) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488734)

>Does this silly CEO really thinks we are expecting to play the same time of games on a small 3"
>screen as the one we play on a full HD screen? Come on, this is a different market, and the 2
>are non exclusive.

For the moment.

In the not too distant future though, cell phones and tablets will likely support wireless HDMI and the ability to drive full-sized HD screens while functioning as a controller (or working with wireless controllers or even motion controllers). Once those become commonplace, it's hard to see how the dedicated game console survives.

That becomes especially apparent when you look at services like OnLive. Who needs a dedicated box from a specific vendor?

Overpriced for casual gamers... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488546)

Most people just want to pick up a game to play casually, and $50 is far too much to invest for something like that...
Many games are also not worth anything close to that price, a lot of games today are just minor tweaks to other games, and yet they expect you to splash out a full $50 again?

Re:Overpriced for casual gamers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488726)

Console games are what you do. Angry Birds is what you do on an airplane. Yes, I'll pay 50 dollars for a game with story, and good controls, and well thought out replay value. The fact that I'll drop a buck on a minigame to play on an airplane (that is a clone of a castle flash game) doesn't mean the damned video game market should all be cheap stupid minigames.

Define a console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488548)

Problem is that more 'computers' these days are really consoles. A console (at least to me) is a piece of hardware that can do functions limited to what the hardware provider allows (think like the Nintendo Seal of Approval). Consoles have always been about what was made for them at the consoles makers approval and things like the iphone and the ipad are the same thing. They are really consoles hiding under the name of computer something. While consoles have typically been used for games they havent truely been limited to that since the psx and its inclusion of its cd audio player. In short. No consoles arent dying. They are being renamed as 'mobile devices' to appeal to a wider audeince and seem 'more serious'

ideas are dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488564)

1) there are a good dozen of game engines (console or pc) around that get updated and licensed to others...
2) if a cool idea for a game can't be wrapped into one or another of those engines it isn't deemed profitable and more often abandoned than let's say 10-15 years ago...
3) ...
4) absolute boredom... choosing between GTA'ish game #12312351, GT'ish game #243526 and the whole EA-FIFA-NHL-BLA game shit #243458924356...

there are still cool games... but people don't know them because the studio behind them is too small.. or they don't fit what is known to make profit... (GTA'ish game #12312351, GT'ish game #243526 and the whole EA-FIFA-NHL-BLA game shit #243458924356...)

but as i can see companies are already in trouble.. there will be some casualities before the market comes to senses and cool ideas get the respect they deserve again... we had that in the mid-eighties in the console market.. and later in the pc gaming market... now both suck..

i was lucky to find Quake III:Arena.. a game that i am stuck to for years now... and nothing else... i'll just wait what happens to the other stuff watching from that isle...

buylouisvuittonoutlet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488582)

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Not happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488606)

Angry Birds and other arcade-style junk will never, *ever* replace series like The Legend of Zelda. Just sayin'.

boston celtics jersey (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35488626)

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Well (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488628)

There may be a bit of truth in what the man has to say.

Games were $50-$60 each in the 1980s on game consoles and the PCs of the time. Over a hundred bucks a game in today's money.

So games HAVE gotten cheaper over the years.

Moreover, there is a much larger market for games than there ever was. Many more people own some kind of game playing device, whether that be a console, a PC, or a smartphone.

And finally, in the 1980s and 1990s, games had to be delivered through a middleman - a publisher, then a retail store, and so on.

A larger market for games means that the per unit cost of a game can be lower for the same development budget for the game. No reason the Angry birds team could not have spent millions of dollars on the game, or at least the next game in the series.

And because the middlemen are mostly gone, the Angry birds teams gets a solid 70% of each sale. To some, that may sound like Apple gets a large cut - but in reality, that's a smaller piece of the pie eaten by the middle man (Apple) than there ever was before.

Consoles are watered down computers (1)

Froeschle (943753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488658)

Back in the 80s the closest thing to a real computer that most people could even barely afford was the Atari 2600 which was a console device. At the time I really wished that I could have had a "real" computer but my parents couldn't afford it and I was too young to work. Now people actually argue about the virtues of consoles over computers. There shouldn't even be an argument there. Anyone who thinks a console is somehow "better" than a PC should probably not be around computers at all.

You get what you pay for. (1)

StandardAI (1988770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488696)

Well, I wouldn't compare angry birds to Crysis 2, if he doesn't see this as being the reason for the value difference he is an idiot. I could hire a coder online to make the game angry birds out of my own pocket on some hire a coder website. However the big boys who are selling their games for over 99 cents have a production team and are very good at what they do.

Lets also not forget to take in to account the fact that Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have had years of experience creating developer kits, and many of the seasoned game developers are already familiar with how their developer kits run. Google and Apple have not had the same experience handing out developer kits. At least not ones that have turned their products in to a success. I believe that the software quality is way behind what the hardware can do on todays phones.

There is something that a smart phone will never be able to do anytime soon, and that is do multi-player the correct way, people like to interact with each other and while some phone games offer multi-player it will be ages before they get it right with the software, hardware, and network.

Wrong, and dangerous. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488716)

he's repeating a really wrong and really dangerous, from a business stand point, notion that total market share and numbers of users dominates, it doesn't. At the end of the day, profits dominate. Rovio isn't going to see the same numbers EA or Konami or Capcom or Bethesda will. Bar none.

He's right that yes, there are way more people playing casual games, but the market for non casual games is going up.

One medium in various forms (1)

snerdy (444659) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488738)

The existence of mainstream casual and blockbuster video games is a fairly new development, but both types of games are part of the overall medium.

As was the case with other forms of media over the past 150 years or so, video games are going to start to become more diverse. Up until fairly recently it wasn't entirely nonsensical to simply say "I play video games." Today, though, that doesn't mean anything. One may as well say "I read books."

This is an exciting time for video games as a medium -- it's become a genuinely mainstream medium. That doesn't mean its less mainstream aspects will die. There's room for all types. People watch TV shows and feature-length films. People read short stories and epic trilogies. People play casual, simplistic or linear games, they play esoteric, deep or complex games, and they will do all of this on a wide variety of platforms in a wide variety of situations.

Maybe he missed something? (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488760)

How many of the people who used to play Solitaire and Minesweeper are now playing Angry Birds? In other words, casual games are just more visible now that they are being marketed separately.

Stupid Argument (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488776)

Vesterbacka also pointed to the major concern over the price model for console games. Compared to mobile titles like Angry Birds that run for 99 cents, games on large consoles hover around fifty dollars.

Yes. In the same way that I can get a Ford Focus for £16k, but a Bugatti Veyron SS will set me back ~£1.25m.

It's ludicrous to argue that things with totally different development costs, marketing costs, distribution costs, target audiences and, let's not forget, content are priced differently and that this is somehow bad for the more expensive thing.

c'mon.....really? (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35488838)

He's a marketing shill guys! Its his job to troll on games/platforms that his company doesnt develop for. Show me a competent developer(read: can/will develop for any platform) with the same opinion and I might start to believe it. Such a jack of all trades might not exist, but if they did they could accept work from Rovio on a mobile platform just as soon as they could accept work from WB on the next epic Mortal Kombat title. IMO this guy is comparing apples to oranges because the target audiences' are certainly different
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