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Is Sony the new Lehman Bros. ?

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*rant ahead*

The game market is changing, rapidly, still all are waiting for the next console generation. Sony presented its newest generation of consoles, the PS4. Nothing to say about its hardware, sounds great to me. I think that AAA titles are the problem, as already stated in a previous journal entry. With this hardware at hands, they will need immense budgets to lift the games to the next generation.

I compare it somewhat to the last DVD to blu-ray transition. After all the hype I bought a PS3, as blu-ray player and I have just bought one AAA title for the PS3 which was quite disappointing (streamlined version X of game francise Y, come on, this is no longer fun). So, most often I use my PS3 to watch DVD, not even blu-rays, because only highly polished movies with lot of effects really needs a blu-ray.

Back to the PS4. A lot of horse power, indie support (?). Therefor only highly polished and very expensive AAA titles would justify a PS4 ? If this is the only reason to buy a PS4, sony will be really in trouble. Sony has suffered in almost all of its divisions in the last years and PS Vita isn't lifting off either. So, what will happen if the PS4 flops ? Will be microsoft the winner ?

No, I fear not. I think that it could result in a chain-reaction similar to the one Lehman Bros. initiated. The reason is, that if PS4 fails, no AAA publisher will have the selling plattform to overcome the break even of the overaching costs of next gen titles (they already need to sell them on XBox+PS3+PC, even then many games failed the expectations).

This would hit microsofts new console too and I believe, that piracy killed the PC as selling plattform for AAA titles. A fail of the PS4 could rip off sony, microsoft would be fine, though the Xbox720 will suffer, but the AAA market will not likely survive such a hit, the bubble would explode.

There're hints, that others see the risk too. As example, EA is already preparing with stripping off titles and laying off workers. I think that the big publishers will focus on the most promising AAA titles, only a handful of tiles, but will this be enough to lift of a new generation of consoles ? Why the hack should I spend a few hundred bugs for a console to play the 10th installement of the same game, with the same story and streamlined, softened gameplay ? Maybe it is time to let go of the dinosaurs...
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I honestly feel this makes our venue the more powerful of the two. If the AAA games are harder to make than the indies will thrive and from that a renewed sense of gaming will ensue. Least, that is what I feel will happen.

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..than the indies will thrive and from that a renewed sense of gaming will ensue...


Hmmm... I think, that at the end of the day nobody is really a winner, at least on the mid run. AAA titles were always the draft horse of the whole game industry, leading to better hardware, engines, tools etc. I think, that I would not be able to create a game like Gnoblins, if the hardware and tools have not been evolved over the last decade.


I started the development of my game engine with a Riva TnT2, modern hardware, APIs and tools took a lot of burden away from indie devs :)

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You make a solid point. Imagine the worst case scenario though... all the big AAA places drop off the face of the earth and the industry big wigs are forced to do low budget low income things. Some of them might start their own smaller companies and some of them might really focus on making the "game they always wanted" something they couldn't do before because it was not necessary. This is the "Glass half full" concept of where it could go though and I am fully aware that the opposite could be true.


I dont know, its hard to say. I am certainly watching the events and hoping for the best! I first started making games on MMF..... :P ( multi media fushion )

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I think that Sony need to take a play from Apple's book and really open up the Indie side of their platform. If they did this I believe that they would have a lot more draw.

1. Because Indie games could be cheaper and therefore more of them would be purchased.

2. There would be more titles(games) for people to choice from and more people would be able to find something that they would find entertaining.


If Sony only relies on AAA for their games they are sunk.

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I agree the Indie is what will keep games alive.  Me personally I have been drifting away from AAA titles for a long time now.  I am really getting sick of the same old shit just rewrapped with better graphics.  AAA developers no longer take the risks needed to innovate the market.  This is because production costs are so high they would rather play it safe then fail.  Right now I am playing Mechwarrior Online which is a F2P first person shooter mech game made by a indepented studio it is litterally the most fun I have had in many many years.  So instead of just playing games I am finding more productive hobbies like getting into electronics with PIC Micro Controllers.  It is a lot of fun and really is stretching my technical skills in the process.  It also gives me the chance of becomming a better developer due to the embedded nature as well as learning the assembly programming so I understand how the architecture really works.


I think AAA gaming is in some serious trouble in the future.  THE BUBBLE WILL BUST.

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Maybe Brooke's Law is catching up to the AAA devs. Simply put, it states that adding more manpower to a software project usually makes it release later. More new people on board means more time for them to catch up and learn the rules/conventions of the company and the project, but also inevitably, creates more complexity in communication.

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