Relatively Good News

How about some relatively good news? Maybe, sort of, for some. To the summary:

The truth is — and this is where you breathe that sigh of relief — is that consumer spending on games didn’t just evaporate. It just moved online, and retail spending is about to start growing again … finally. The industry got through the worst of it and — for now — most indicators are looking up.

The truth is that the industry continues to consolidate in ways that are increasingly bad for developers. Traditional retail is starting to grow because of next-gen consoles but in the absolute sense the new hardware is only damping the retail atrophy that arguably began with Zynga and Apple.

Everybody knows it and nobody likes to talk about it.

Game developers, except for the lottery winners and the ultra-pasteurized cream working on big IP, continue on the path to extinction. The primary choices for developers these days are 1) Shovel F2P metricware at minimum salaries for the new crop of large, multi-national publisher-distributor-promoters, or 2) Buy lottery tickets with their own hopelessly under-funded games.

In either case, games are so YouTube-ified now that as a profession game development hardly resembles itself. Relatively good news? Sure — the future’s so bright we gotta wear Oculus Rifts.