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.
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SPOnG: In what ways has the rise in tablet and mobile gaming proven beneficial/challenging to your work?
The growth in the tablet and mobile markets over the past 12 months has been incredible, and I think there?s huge potential for this aspect of gaming to elevate and enrich the experiences offered by console gaming.
The challenge for developers is to create meaningful ways to enhance and expand the experience outside of the living room which we?re already starting to see some examples of, but I think we?ve got a long way to go yet.
SPOnG: How do you feel the industry has coped with regards to the economy, particularly redundancies and studio closures?
Games development has for a long time been a volatile industry and, while the current economic challenges certainly haven't made things any easier, it?s a climate that fosters innovation. There?s been an explosion of smaller indie teams developing exciting games in new ways for new devices, and that innovation is galvanising the console gaming world too.
Studios of all sizes are becoming more focused and more determined to deliver quality and accessible experiences and ultimately that?s a good thing for the industry and, more importantly, for gamers.
SPOnG: What's your opinion of cloud gaming? Have Gakai and OnLive helped with perception?
There is massive potential in this area. Sony?s acquisition of Gakai goes to show how important we think cloud gaming will be; it?s going to be a big part of the future of gaming. I think it?s genuinely exciting, it opens a lot of possibilities for both developers and gamers, and as we start to see more examples of cloud gaming introduced then I think we?re going to see more and more gamers share my excitement.
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?
Crowd-sourcing is fascinating. On a conceptual level I think it?s a fantastic way to fund games, especially for the more obscure or risky titles which may have been troubled to secure funding otherwise. I do have concerns that investors might not always reap the rewards (or even get what they were expecting from it) though.
I have personally invested into a small number of Kickstarter projects and I?m as excited about the experience of watching these games develop and grow as I am about being able to play them in the future!
SPOnG: What is the best possible thing that can happen to the world of games in 2013?
For me it?s all about the games, and if 2013 delivers a varied range of quality, innovative and original games spread consistently over the 12 month period then I?ll be exceptionally happy. Is that too much to ask for?
SPOnG: Many, many thanks for your time, Paul.
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