Warren Spector, the famous games designer behind cult classic Deus Ex and, more recently, Epic Mickey, has shared his thoughts on console gaming these days, saying that, while the platforms will continue to be popular, more and more companies will lag behind, as game budgets are increasing every single day.
Spector has been around the gaming industry for quite some time and really went into a new direction with Epic Mickey, a critically acclaimed title released for the Nintendo Wii that failed to really impress in terms of sales.
Even with this lackluster title, Spector is confident that console gaming is an essential part of the interactive industry, as it’s never going to go away. Instead, fewer and fewer games will appear on these devices.
"I think over the next 3 to 5 years, you're going to see lots of people changing the way they approach consoles," Spector told GamesIndustry.
"I don't know that console gaming will ever go away," he continued. "I think it's going to become more - god I said I would never get into the business of prediction, but here I go - I think what you're going to see is an increasing sort of stratification, where you see fewer, much higher end games that continue to do exceptionally well on the console."
Game budgets are already quite high, according to Spector, and the arrival of new consoles like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox 720, is going to increase them even more, beyond the ability of certain developers or publishers.
"It's going to be a very tough business to be in. If you are spending $50 million or $100 million or $200 million, which is what it's going to take, there aren't a lot of people who can take that kind of risk. So, I am not saying we shouldn't do that, but I am saying it's going to be a very tough business and most people, most companies won't be able to play on that field," he said.
Companies that can’t invest in consoles will turn to other areas, chief among which being mobile devices like smartphones or tablets, where the cost of entry is much lower and there’s a potential to reach a very wide market, according to Spector.