The barriers to entry in gaming are falling left and right, bringing some unfortunate side effects with them
Good article. I'm a big business buff too. One thing you did not mention is the possibility that all this has led to a new gamer market without cannibalizing the core or traditional gamer market. In other words, I would argue that there is no danger whatsoever to the traditional market despite the cheaper entry level for development... which is questionable because the tools were never really the big expense to begin with. The expensive part is the salaries and marketing. Equipment barely costs between 1% to 5% of total cost on most commercial games. What availability does do however, is make it harder to compete at the lower level. This is why Zynga is failing and should have their executives replaced immediately before all their money is gone. But the small guys will never be able to compete at the upper end of development which means that that market is still the realm of the professional studios. I also think that the idea of cannibalization between game platforms and pay styles is overstated. I am sure there is some cross over especially when it comes to MMO's and competitive games like DOTA, however if we actually look at the numbers, overall, nothing has really changed except that we have a new classes of gamers that did not exist before. The old class of gamers however, have grown rapidly as well but they are being ignored in favor of what seemingly is easier money (casual games, and F2P models). In other words, I dont think that the market really shifted except in the eyes of the business executives who just want more money and easier money. What we really did the last 10 years, was grow a new breed of gamers that would have never been "traditional core" gamers to begin with. Skyrim is a perfect example of well the traditional core has grown and its a bit funny that there is so little competition in that particular genre of gaming (open world, rpg, single player). Love the website too by the way. I have it bookmarked.
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