Epic Games founder says younger gamers aren’t into consoles anymore
A paradigm shift in gaming?
Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney doesn’t think the console gaming market is as hot as it used to be.
In a revealing interview with Glixel, Sweeney touched on the impact VR is having on the industry and how mobile gaming is changing the way younger gamers play video games today.
“All of the retail console sales data this holiday season indicated that the console market is going through a really significant downturn. I don’t think it’s seasonal. I think what we’re really facing is that young new gamers aren’t going into consoles.”
”It’s going to be a real task for the colossal industry giants, who are currently retail console developers and publishers, to make the transition. I’m very thankful at Epic we recognized this coming about four years ago and now have Paragon operating and Fortnite coming soon and other projects in the works. It will be very hard for a company with a team of 1,000 people releasing new editions of a game every year to transition out of that and into a new model completely.”
Sweeney then touches on how the mobile game space has shifted the way younger gamers play games, as many of them are also trending toward PC gaming.
“Young people are growing up in mobile. They’re playing games in different ways, usually shorter play sessions spread throughout the day. It’s not the kind of experience where you sit down for four hours and play a game. And the gamers who are getting into that are moving more and more into PC, I think.”
”PC is becoming a more convenient way of playing. And also these PC-centric games that are operated continually are becoming a bigger and bigger factor in hardcore gaming: League of Legends, Dota, Overwatch.”
”Another factor is that laptops don’t suck for gaming anymore. They’re actually pretty good. It’s a much more mobile device than a console that is always tethered to a TV. And what percentage of people have exclusive control of a TV all to themselves? If you’re in a family, you probably have competition with other people. A PC, by default, is yours.”
Sweeney makes some pretty valid points on the gaming industry today. We’ve seen recently how big budget titles like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Titanfall 2 have failed to meet sales expectations in holiday 2016. Sweeney’s other claim that PC gaming is becoming more popular isn’t farfetched either, as MOBAs like League of Legends and Dota are dominating the eSports gaming scene with multimillion dollar deals.
Sweeney also revealed that Epic Games decided to shy away from console gaming following its experience with the Gears of War franchise. During the production of the first game in 2006, Sweeney says they had a budget of $12 million and made $100 million on the game. Seven years later, Gears of War: Judgment had a production budget of $60 million, but made the same $100 million back.
What do you think? Is the end of console gaming in sight?