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.
Insight for Hire, formerly Team17
Best Known For: Worms
, Alien Breed
SPOnG: In what ways has the rise in tablet and mobile gaming proven beneficial/challenging to your work?
The tablet and mobile market has led the charge in a new era of gaming, with capable, freely available easy-to-use devices that epitomise mass market game play. That said, these devices and business models are at an exceptionally early stage.
SPOnG: How do you feel the industry has coped with regards to the economy, particularly redundancies and studio closures?
The industry is in a fast onset of transition, particularly in regard to business model, with perhaps traditional retail struggling and also the economics of $1 apps, or free to play games, deeply impacting the traditional business. Where larger studios with old models have struggled, there have been new opportunities and this has manifested itself in a huge number of opportunistic social-mobile startups.
SPOnG: What's your opinion of cloud gaming? Have Gakai and OnLive helped with perception?
I see cloud as something else other than the major game-streaming techs, I see it as an opportunity for people to connect and take their games anywhere, across any platform without concern for storage. As for the game streaming tech, I think its really just waiting for mass super-fast broadband and we appear a way off yet.
SPOnG: Crowd-sourcing (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?
I think it's worked spectacularly well for very solid, very obvious ideas and for those charismatic enough to sell it. However, not every idea is a good one and I think there will be a gradual fall off of success as more and more opportunistic people jump on board. That said, it's a refreshing take on the traditional models and I've been part of a few myself in terms of backing an idea.
SPOnG: What is the best possible thing that can happen to the world of games in 2013?
Cheaper, faster broadband and cheaper devices. Lets get even more people playing. In a few years the mobile market is going to be measured in billions. When we were developing Amiga games, there were a few million about. That's just how big this has become. Suddenly 120 million PS2s doesn't sound so large.
SPOnG: Many, many thanks for your time, Martyn.
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