Thoughts from our expert panel on what to look out for this year
Earlier this week Develop asked industry members what they were looking forward to in 2010.
A report on the industry’s verdict can be found here, but below you can read all responses in full.
(If you’re a developer who’d like to take part in future debates, ping an email to email@example.com.)
Develop Jury Service #4
Andrew Eades, Development Director, Relentless
The thing I'm most looking forward to in 2010 is finding out whether we can make a success of self-publishing Blue Toad Murder Files.
It has been a big investment and an enjoyable ride so far but 2010 will be the year in which we deem it to be a success or failure. We also have a couple of other projects which I hope will get the go ahead this month that I'm really thrilled about.
Adrian Hirst, Managing Director, Weaseltron
From a independent developer perspective, I can see the iPhone developer bubble bursting for many of the existing professional developers. At Weaseltron, we're expecting the introduction of native Flash-based games to signal the arrival of a stream of sub-par me-too games crowding out existing developers. We're anticipating that work-for-hire to increasingly be the only way for independent developers to make money in this area over the next 12 months.
All involved in the games industry would welcome external investment continue it's upward trend. Couple this with fewer studios laying off talented staff, or even closing down completely. Though the industry is maturing in many ways, stability doesn't seem to be one of them.
Ben Board, European Developer Account Manager, Microsoft
With my Xbox head on: well, call me predictable, but 2010 is going to be the biggest year ever for Xbox 360 given the launch of Natal at the end of the year (which, finally, I’m allowed to say).
We’re treating this like the launch of a new console. You can imagine what the months leading up to that will look like for us and the team, not to mention the developers making those precious launch titles: bonkers, in a word, but also incredibly exciting to be involved in something I truly believe to be revolutionary.
Even though we’ve not taken our Christmas tree down yet, I’m already looking forward to putting up the next one. Before that, Gamefest, Microsoft’s own-brand dev conference, returns to London and Seattle in February.
If you’re making games on Xbox there’s a lot of good stuff there for you – including two tracks dedicated to Natal.
As a gamer, lots of stuff that floats my boat: Alan Wake, Aliens v Predator, Bayonetta, Bioshock 2, Blur, Crackdown 2, God of War 3, GT5, Last Guardian, Mafia 2, Mass Effect 2, Prince of Persia, Splinter Cell, Split Second... It’ll be interesting to see Sony’s wands in action, and perhaps we’ll discover what will come after Wii. I think this E3 will be a biggie.
Personally, I’m anticipating my son completing his first game before he turns five in July. He’s quite the little Jenson when it comes to Mario Kart Wii – he’s rinsed 50cc, and 100cc is developing a dark patch in its trousers. When 150cc is finally bested I shall burst with fatherly pride, perhaps planting a tree to mark the occasion; and then I shall ceremonially open the Drawer of Gaming and select the Second Challenge, and I shall know his great journey has truly begun.
Ian Livingstone, Life President, Eidos
I am looking forward to the General Election and a pledge from whoever forms the next government to fully support the video games industry by way of implementing production tax credits, addressing the skills problem in Universities, installing a high speed fibre optic network nationwide and stepping up the war on piracy.
Failing that, I’m looking forward to Manchester City finishing in the top four.
James Brooksby, Studio Head, Doublesix
I think I am most looking forward to watching the industry continue to change. The digital future is inevitable and undeniable and is going to be clearer as we reach the end of 2010.
I would hope the digital landscape is all encompassing, but I do worry that it could be taken over by the “big boys”.
My hope is that through more agile companies such as ours, we can engage communities and generate new and interesting ways to have fun together playing games and keep that relationship alive through all the wealth of high speed communication and iteration that digital delivers.
Martyn Brown, Studio Director, Team 17
Other than Mass Effect 2, which comes out on my birthday weekend (hint for the missis) - I’m curious as to how Natal will perform and just how the industry reacts as we continue to hurtle towards digital distribution, I think 2009 was certainly one of a mood where “if” became “when” in terms of that. I’m also hoping to read a lot less about who’s moving to bloody Canada this week or next.
Develop would like to again thank this week’s panel who participated. If you'd like to take part in future Develop Jury Service features email firstname.lastname@example.org