'Developers must adapt and disrupt'

'Developers must adapt and disrupt'
Michael French

By Michael French

May 10th 2007 at 5:00PM

Northern Exposure keynote tells developers to take advantage of market disruption.

The head of film and TV investment company Pembridge Partners, Hugh Mason, today opened the Game Horzion/Game Republic-hosted Northern Exposure conference with an overview of the media markets that concluded with advice for games developers on how to maintain a key role in the industry.

Attempting to curtail developer fears that the market is headed for an 'apocalypse' for studios, Mason said that good times were ahead for those "prepared to adapt".

He explained: "When everything is all messed up there are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs.

"Entrepreneurs disrupt the market and thrive on chaos."

By "messed up" he was referring to the shift towards big next-gen consoles, the industry's changing business models, pressures from other media and territories and the agile behaviour of smaller team, referencing the talks from fellow speakers Charles Cecil, Fred Hasson and Mark Morris.

With developers favouring digital distribution and its self-publishing potential, Mason said that one way of adapting will be to not just rely on publishers for funding - possibly even not rely on them at all.

But he added: "If you're going to cut out the publisher you're going to have to become a publisher yourself."

Mason predicted that as long as developers understood what their company was offering - encouraging them to think of their games as brands directly associated with their company, and vice versa - then games will benefit from a period of super growth, attracting wider investment and financial support from companies outside of the games industry's traditional boundary.