As part of an ongoing series, SPOnG gets the unedited, open and highly informed opinions of developers, producers and more in the vast world of computer games.
Best Known For: Divergent Shift
, Penguin Patrol
Considering the critical acclaim of titles such as The Walking Dead and Journey in 2012, is digital now the real viable means of getting games in gamers' homes?
Digital has been a viable method of distributing games for some time now. In this past generation, we've seen services like Steam, XBLA, PSN, WiiWare, and the App Store really change the landscape. On occasion we'll see a retail title being released digitally, which is fantastic for games that are given a limited run to reach players who may have missed the initial launch. There are probably very few gamers who have not yet purchased a game through a digital distribution platform.
What's changing, however, as evidenced by the reception of The Walking Dead and Journey, is the realization that games made for digital distribution can offer experiences as powerful (and perhaps even more) as a traditional retail release. Retail games (notably AAA releases) have previously been (and for many people still are) considered on a higher tier than digital releases.
On the surface, it's easy to see why - the multi-million dollar production and marketing budgets for those games, lengthy gameplay or high replayability. But digitally distributed games are challenging those assumptions about what it means to be a great game.
What are the biggest and most exciting challenges you're looking forward to in the next year?
Meeting the expectations of our audience, and of ourselves. Each year the bar continues to be raised, and players are looking for the next great game. We're going to have to match those expectations while still being in budget and with the available resources.
What are the benefits to you and to gamers of the new console generation after Xbox 360 and PS3?
The approach of a new console generation is always an extremely exciting time in the industry - rumors, leaks, whispers of what the new consoles will or won't have, their specs, etc. As a consumer, I'm interested in seeing what kind of features these console will have, and of course the games. As a member of the industry, I'm interested in seeing the effect the new console launch has on the overall financials, what target market they're going after, what opportunities there are for small and midsize game developers, and what unique features do we believe we can fully take advantage of to create a truly next generation experience.
Thanks to Hersh for his time. Check out SPOnG's recent industry insights below.
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