Speaking at a special ‘Industry Luminaries’ lunch at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Earthworm Jim creator and Shiny Entertainment founder David Perry has warned that the future of consoles as portals will see them suffer the same discoverability issues currently causing iPhone developers such difficulty.
"Because of the way you have to search for and choose iPhone games, from such huge numbers of games with such a small amount of information, there’s a real friction to finding a game on the iPhone. We all know the troubles discoverability causes iPhone developers," said Perry, discussing the current state of the games industry.
"The consoles are becoming portals, and one day they’ll host thousands and thousands of titles," added Perry. "I worry about about how they’ll help me find games when that model emerges. That same friction that casual and social games must avoid to succeed is something that may come to consoles."
Perry’s vision suggests that consoles will begin to mirror the kinds of browser and Flash game web portals such as Miniclip and Bigpoint that are a mainstay of the casual sector. As the likes of XBLA and PSN continue to expand and generate profits, and many observers herald the demise of physical formats, his projections are not without reason.
As the conversation moved on to the future of the industry and the dichotomy of developing by creative impulse at the same time as designing games to satisfy marketplace analytics, Perry also claimed "the days of creating games that you like to play are over".