Given the closed nature of today's home consoles, it can be frustrating to deal with certification processes and strict platform regulations. With a new generation of consoles around the corner, developers might be temped to wish for a more open platform, but Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney thinks these developers should be careful what they wish for.
"If you look at the most open platform today -- that's Android -- Android is anarchy." Sweeney told Gamasutra in a new feature interview
. "It's extremely hard to ship a game that actually works on a large number of Android devices, because there's so much variety and so much openness and a lack of cohesive certification process for applications. We do not want open as in Android -- that would be a disaster for the business."
Instead of hoping for a completely open console platform, Sweeney wants to see an environment more like Apple's iOS devices, where developers have more freedom when creating and managing their games, while the platform holder still maintains some authority over which titles see an official release.
"You certainly want an ecosystem that's curated," Sweeney said. "The question is, how much do you want it to be curated? iOS is an interesting medium point in between the anarchy of the world and the highly-curated approach of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, where Apple certifies all apps, they verify if the app isn't terribly buggy, but it's a less rigorous process than we have on consoles today."
Sweeney hopes future consoles will take a few lessons from Apple's platform, as more lenient regulations would go a long way toward helping smaller console developers get their games in players' hands.
"I think it's an interesting direction, especially for smaller products, because it reduces the overhead of bringing something to market. I think you certainly want something somewhere in the spectrum between current consoles and iOS, in terms of curation. Somewhere in there, so it's a healthy medium," he said.
An extended interview with Sweeney, in which he discusses the future of the game industry and its technology, is live now on Gamasutra