Since 2007, console gamers have been saying that the PC days are over. Maybe they are just saying that because that was the year that Half-Life 2: Episode 2 came out. Within the last couple of years, traditional handhelds haven’t done well, so in response developers are saying their days are numbered as well. The craziest headline of all is one that I saw last earlier this month on VG247: Ngmoco’s Ben Cousins saying consoles are on the way out.
For the last few years, developers have been voicing their opinion to keep their studios relevant and sometimes what they say is just out there for that headline, in my opinion. While Ben Cousins made a great point stating that Facebook games have a market twice as large as consoles, there is still room for competition and other kinds of games on different platforms.
Look at Coke, Pepsi and RC Cola: they all have different markets that have consumers that are willing to purchase their product. It’s the same for the gaming platforms. To say that the products can’t be compared, all you need to do is look at how each product has survived the market the last two decades. Maybe a factory won’t last because of bad product that they kick out, but the corporation as a whole won’t shut down just because of one bad egg.
Honestly, saying these sort of things is like saying that the world is going to end. While that might be true, it won’t happen any time soon. Each platform is making enough money, so there is no reason to make such proclamations for the decline of a certain kind of platform. Maybe a console or handheld supported company won’t be making a certain device anymore, but that doesn’t mean a whole decline in sales for one market or another.
To make such statements shows why those developers are making games instead of making business decisions. Just as one person would like to drink Patron, another person is drinking a 40 of Bud Ice. Each person has their own tastes for a cheaper or more expensive product. A balancing of the market isn’t needed, as those developers who put out a smaller and cheaper products are doing as well as those who produce AAA titles. Maybe not making as much money, but enough to sustain their own lifestyle and company.
Stating that one kind of gaming platform is going to end is like saying a particular gaming genre is dead. Publishers believed the classic ‘point and click adventure’ genre was dead, but Double Fine proved them wrong as their Kickstarter has exceeded their original proposed budget by over two million dollars. To deny the fact that there is always a market for something is to deny developers their creativity. Will there be an end to console and PC gaming? To quote Aragon from Lord of the Rings, “One day… but today is not that day!”