Former PlayStation boss: The gaming industry is heading for disintegration if it continues like this

Former PlayStation boss: The gaming industry is heading for disintegration if it continues like this

Last year, Shawn Layden, the former head of PlayStation, warned that the situation with rising video game development costs was unsustainable. He hasn’t changed his mind in the last year, and he’s less and less like the moves publishers of games are making to do business in the black.

In a recent interview with, Layden thus expresses concern that large publishing houses are increasingly buying and putting development studies under their ownership. Layden believes this is bad for the industry and the players themselves.

“Consolidation is in a way the enemy of diversity. We are losing a lot by the fact that publishers are growing into large conglomerates… We are currently narrowing down by genres, we are reduced to sequels and certain types of games. My favorites like Parrappe and Vib-Ribbon - things like that no longer get a place on stage. That’s bad for the industry and the fans. Over time, this leads to the collapse of the gaming industry if we constantly communicate with the same people and tell the same stories in the same way. ” Said, Layden.

Layden points out that video games earn far more from both music and movies, but their cultural impact is "a hundred times smaller." He also does not believe that independent game producers can save the situation. As he says, it is harder for them than ever before.

"Budgets for indie games are no longer in the range of 15 thousand dollars. Serious capital is now required. And independent developers looking for it and showing talent end up being bought and sucked into a whirlwind with other studios under one bigger hat… The ratio is so disproportionate on the part of game publishers that the creative side has no chance of realizing their vision without agreeing to a financial deal, or they can try to do something without a sufficient budget and kill themselves from work to be told that no one is interested in their game. ”

Layden sees the solution to the suffering of the video game industry as growing and attracting new audiences, those who are not currently involved in gaming. And for that to happen, Layden says, the industry needs to move away from throwing out a bunch of sequels for an existing audience and turn to as diverse a range of games as possible.

“To expand our gaming audience, we need to go where the audience is. We have been here for 25 years, that audience knows about us and has not come to us yet. There is a reason for this, and we need to find out what the reason is. Why doesn’t someone want to spend their time on video games? Is their 23-button controller repulsive? Or is the problem with the games we offer? Maybe games just aren’t appealing to other people? When you lose diversity, you also lose the ability to go where the audience is and connect with that audience. And then you're in a closed cathedral that will eventually collapse on its own. ” Layden concluded.

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