Legendary games designer Will Wright has claimed that the dramatic shift from full-price to freemium has left the established console sector is a state of disarray.
“I think all the console guys are running scared,” Wright told Games Industry. “Not so much because of the hardware, but because of the business models, free-to-play and that kind of thing, have shifted underneath them.”
While Wright doesn’t necessarily subscribe to the idea that we’re facing the end of the console, but certainly the way in which games are being sold has radically transformed.
“I think publishers are much more risk-averse to spending twenty or thirty million dollars on a title,” he added. “The only people who could really play that game were giant publishers, and they'd be rolling the dice. They'd do five titles a year, and all they had to do was get one hit and it paid off all the failures.
“It is going to be more of a Zynga-type environment where people start small and try to grow it up. It encourages experimentation. I think before the only thing people were willing to bet on were sequels; that was really the only predictable genre.
“Now the fact that you can do a game for an extremely low cost, put it out there and see if it gets any traction is going to encourage more diversity.
Will Wright is most famous for creating Sim City, The Sims and Spore.