Expanding market is 'the only long-term solution', studio boss says
The ‘core gamer’ audience is not expanding and nor is it as vast as the social market, a key exec at Insomniac has said.
Insomniac Games, one of the industry’s most prominent independent studios, this week announced its plan to tap into the lucrative social games space with new division Insomniac Click.
In an interview with CasualGaming.biz, the group’s chief creative officer Brian Hastings said triple-A content creation had become prohibitively expensive – a problem avoided with social games.
“I’m not in the doom-and-gloom camp in terms of the health of the console market, but I do think it’s becoming increasingly challenging in that space,” he said.
“It’s getting to the point where only the very best triple-A console games are profitable.”
Insomniac has fostered its reputation through a number of popular triple-A franchises, from Resistance Fall of Man to Ratchet & Clank. Hastings believes the opportunities in this space are becoming more limited.
“That core audience isn’t really expanding much and the total dollars each core gamer spends isn’t going up, so as triple-A budgets inflate, each developer has to steal players away from other games in order to simply keep their revenues above their costs,” he said.
“The only long term viable solution for all parties would be to expand the audience.
“So I don’t think that every console developer needs to join the social and mobile markets to survive, but as an industry we do need to broaden our audience in order to have more companies survive in general.”
Hastings has twice before insisted Insomniac Click will not interfere with its triple-A direction, but rather be an spin-off from it.
“Of course, it’s increasingly expensive to make the very best games. So not every developer can survive,” Hastings added.
Insomniac will look to develop mobile games too, Hastings added in the interview. He hinted at uniting brands within both casual games spaces.
“They’re not giving away free money in the social and mobile space,” he warned.
“You still have to compete with the other top teams in the industry.”