As 2013 comes into sharp focus, SPOnG turns to the real video games experts: the people who actually make games. We have posed the same five key questions to some of the most interesting and insightful publishing and development figures in the global games industry. We got their unedited, open and highly informed opinions and we are publishing them in multi-part series of insights.
Best Known For: Ratchet & Clank
SPOnG: In what ways has the rise in tablet and mobile gaming proven beneficial/challenging to your work?
From a macro perspective, mobile and tablet gaming is increasing the number of gamers worldwide. Regardless of what type of developer one is, that's a great thing for all of us. What's less obvious is whether or not the rise of mobile gaming is changing gamers' behaviors overall.
Right now designing for mobile/browser games is a lot different than designing for console games. Even though the same players often move back and forth between the two types of games what they want out of each is not the same. Play times, aesthetic expectations, the way players interact with the games - everything is different. For now.
However I do think we're going to see more blurring of the lines as console developers realize that there are a lot of useful lessons to be learned from innovative mobile games.
SPOnG: How do you feel the industry has coped with regards to the economy, particularly redundancies and studio closures?
We're in one of the most fluid industries in the world. It's changing under our feet daily. This unfortunately means the risk of failure is high. But it also means that there are tons of opportunities cropping up all of the time. Many of the depressing stories we read are usually offset by unexpected success.
So how are we as an industry coping? I guess the same way we always do. We keep plugging away trying to outdo each other with new ideas year after year. We're very lucky we get to create for a living.
SPOnG: What's your opinion of cloud gaming? Have Gakai and OnLive helped with perception?
I think cloud gaming is now a pretty broad term. Running executables in the cloud and delivering the output to a dumb client is just one of the meanings. And so far it's not the norm by a long shot. But it certainly could gain traction as more of the world gains access to fast connections.
I still think it has a ways to go before it supplants what a local console, PC, tablet or smartphone can deliver.
SPOnG: Crowd-funding (i.e. Kickstarter) has become a popular method for games developers to pitch their projects. What's your opinion of it? Would you use it? Have you?
We haven't used it.
SPOnG: What is the best possible thing that can happen to the world of games in 2013?
The best possible thing? Every single person in the world becomes a gamer. Okay, maybe that's not exactly possible. But it would rock.
SPOnG: Many, many thanks for your time, Ted.
Be sure to check out how the other industry figures we've interviewed for this feature answer up by checking the links below like some sort of amazingly insightful advent calendar. Each interview goes live at 11am (GMT) on the day indicated and not before!
26/12/2012: Games Industry Insights with Antti Ilvessuo, RedLynx
27/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Paul Rustchynsky, Evolution Studios
28/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Ted Price, CEO Insomniac
29/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Theo Sanders, Ubisoft Singapore
30/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Steve Lycett, SUMO Digital
31/12/12: Games Industry Insights with Martyn Brown, InsightforHire
01/01/13: Games Industry Insights with Jon Lander of CCP
02/01/13: Games Industry Insights with David Jaffe
03/01/13: Games Industry Insights with Andy Payne O.B.E.
04/01/13: Games Industry Insights with Peter Molydeux, Genius