This year I’ve decided to uncover my crystal ball and do like everyone else is doing every January: predict that will happen in the video games industry. I’ve got a heap of experience so you can trust my predictions 100% ;). And I am obviously special, which is why I am doing this in February (sic!)
Game prices will rise
Jonathan Blow wants $40 for a copy of The Witness. Despite a few protests, people seem to be OK with this price, so much so that Blow is well under way of recouping his 8 years long gamedev investment in roughly a week.
This is awesome! It’s great for gamers who might have a tad too many untouched games in their libraries thanks to sales, bundles and other bargains, because if you spend $1 for something you never use, that’s called a loss, whilst if you pay a hefty price for something that you will use a lot, thats called a good investment. And people tend to get used to good investments, so they’re willing to pay a little more for quality. We can expect less and less price complains and demands for free games.
It’s obviously great for game developers, who can now ask for higher prices without fear. But this comes with a condition, and that condition is quality. Quality includes courageous innovation,
If you don’t deliver the promised quality and still stick to a high price…
VR will NOT be a thing
I LOVE THE VR EXPERIENCE! I actually met GlaDOS! Dissected an alien! Even made my very first omelette thanks to VR! And yes, I can totally see myself taking a sabbatical to travel in my very own bedroom, good bye world, I am off to the moon!
But VR is for geeks like me and I don’t think we are that many. Most normal people I know of who managed to try VR are hesitant, scared or sick of it – literally sick. Maybe some might still consider it, but the recent changes in price expectations sure don’t help. And this is not even VR’s first major push or innovation, so we can already safely say that there won’t be a crowd for Star Trek holodeck-like adventures. You see, in Star Trek they always went TOGETHER, whereas VR means utter and complete isolation and vulnerability. It’s a pretty big thing to ask.
♥ Finally, games from all over the world ♥
The reign of the straight white western male gamer and gamedev is over. Everyone wants to make games, and the cool thing is, nowadays, everyone finally can! Sure, some have better conditions and access to more financing than others, but sometimes creativity explodes under strict boundaries. I am looking forward for games made by African, Indian, Eastern European teams. I’m so curious as to what can hyper-diverse teams do! I crave new themes, new takes on old stories, new takes on new stories!
And this is most definitely the change that makes me the happiest! ♥♥♥
Even more people will play games
Not everyone in the world is interested in Western themes and subjects. SteamSpy already showed how gamer tastes (and spending patterns) vary from territory to territory. But fresh new diverse game teams will open up the doors and welcome so many more gamers! And if people are willing, the rest of the business will have no choice but to provide. Regional marketing and pricing, global support for using many more currencies, and overall efforts to ease up everyone’s experience to pay for their entertainment will increase our audience massively. And this also paves the way for real artsy, well targeted nice game experiences. Its such a wonderful time to be a gamer!
We are growing up
We are talking about what other industries have talked for years now: openness, diversity, seniority, global strategies, local tactics and more. We are asking why is there so little diversity in game development and luckily, the conversation expanded both geographically and age-wise. It’s not just the women that were missing from the game dev ranks, it’s the different cultures, and the different ages. It’s the seniority that carries on more professional demands on our processes, working conditions and quality of life. And we started to talk about this, we really did. Talking about it is the fundamental first step to fixing a problem, and we are taking this step now.
I never really thought about this seriously, but until recently, seeing myself growing old in this industry was just a silly, stupid, impossible dream. But in 2016, it’s the first time when I am hopeful I can grow old as a respected game developer.