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.
Andy Payne O.B.E.
Entrepreneur and experienced CEO
Gambitious, AppyNation, Mastertronic
Best Known For:
A UK game publishing and development legend, also active with the GamesAid and Special Effect charities, and the Great Indie Games label.
SPOnG: In what ways has the rise in tablet and mobile gaming proven beneficial/challenging to your work?
Without doubt tablets have blown open the market for games like nothing ever has done before. First the iPad, then the Galaxy, then the Nexus and now the Kindle Fire HD and soon Surface have all delivered over a hundred million potential gamers and that number is rising exponentially each and every day.
This makes for an ever increasing audience and is only good news for games makers and players. The tech specs are getting more and more powerful and thus more and more great games will debut on tablets in the future. It’s all about Touch for us.
SPOnG: How do you feel the industry has coped with regards to the economy, particularly redundancies and studio closures?
Companies grow and fail all the time. I think it is incredibly sad to see some great names disappear this year, but from the ashes often new companies can grow.
We have seen that in the UK, most notably with the close down of Black Rock Studios and the start up of Boss Alien who went on to develop CSR Racing, published by Natural Motion. The industry is in transition, but this time the transition is constant and there’s the rub.
The days of a new Dr Who every four or five years have changed. We now have a new Dr Who every 3 or 4 months. We just have to deal with it. As we learn, so we have to unlearn. I think we are definitely in the age of ‘nobody knows anything’. But I do know the UK has some of the best and most creative talent there is right now and that makes me very proud and happy.
SPOnG: What's your opinion of cloud gaming? Have Gakai and OnLive helped with perception?
I think Cloud Gaming has taken a real knock this year with the demise of OnLive. I hope Sony actually do something with Gaikai and in Dave Perry they certainly have an evangelist and thinker who can both disrupt and create.
But like most pioneers, it is they who shine the light on the pathway to new territories. I am very interested in what companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Apple will do in this area. They have all got Cloud services nailed and firmly in the minds of consumer. Streaming will be next. I expect this to happen within 18 months and it will be a great time to be a gamer!
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 love it. Crowdfunding (all one word please) is here to stay and not just in games. I love it so much that I have invested in the game specific Gambitious platform (www.gambitious.com
) which has a donations and a profit share/equity model.
I am also involved in helping the UK Government to understand the potential of the sector and am a founder member of the UK Crowdfunding Association. I have invested in several Kickstarter projects and I have had a project funded through Kickstarter. Suffice to say I am more than excited by the whole Crowdfunding movement.
SPOnG: What is the best possible thing that can happen to the world of games in 2013?
Wow – what a question. Ok here goes, that every person in the UK has access to a connected device and can play at least one game next year, big or small, casual or core. And that people for whom games tech has been previously unattainable, can now play with their friends.
Watch this space as charities like Special Effect
will go viral in 2013 through their crowdfunded projects and thus will be able to help all disabled gamers play games.
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