OPINION: Molyneux’s warning is more serious than you think

Peter Molyneux says that he’s personally, and likely professionally, not that interested in retail releases of games any more.

He’s been called out for some outlandish claims in the past, but this might prove to be his most accurate prediction.

Certainly, you look at the current situation in the retail market and wonder why any newcomer would dare bother.

It’s a challenge only the biggest can survive.

Envy EA, which still managed to score a successful March for its Mass Effect 3 blockbuster, without the aid of the UK’s leading games specialist.

But pity the rest, who are sure to have been seriously wounded as over a third was shaved off the market’s value as our specialists were squeezed while consumer spending generally stays flat.

Unfortunately, there seems to be only one crushing inevitability to all this. Retail is shrinking, but not vanishing. So the same goes for the firms that will supply it.

The boxed goods sector will become the domains of the format-holders and the EA, Activision and Ubisofts of the world. For the rest, the stakes are too high for them to compete.

The B-grade publishers will either die or switch to a digital model, following the pioneering developers that were there for the gold rush when downloads and apps were the Wild West.

Saddest of all, is that this transition hasn’t fully occurred yet. But we can see it coming a mile off.

Opportunity – but also pain – lies ahead, I wager.


I’m sure some will look at our Roy Walker/Nintendo story and wonder ‘Who asked for this game?’

But at this point in a console’s lifecycle, super mass market and ultra accessible content is the only way onwards.

And in the week that a Star Wars-branded Kinect game can march to the top of the Chart-Track Top 40, ignoring the wildly varying comments from critics?

Well, new Wii game Quiz Party seems like the smart answer for a console heading into its twilight years.

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