In another of today's main Gamasutra features, and covering the GDC 2006 theme of "What's Next?", a panel of industry luminaries gathered to discuss "what's next" for the game industry, including the next hardware generation, new and changing attitudes about game design, and serious concerns about the stability and structure of the game industry as it is now.
Gathered for this occasion were EALA VP of creative development Louis Castle, NanaOn-sha president Masaya Matsura, Midway art director Cyrus Lum, Cerny Games founder Mark Cerny, and the inimitable Dave Perry, formerly (and presumably eventually again) of Shiny Entertainment.
In this part, the panelists present introductory remarks:
"Asked what they envisioned for the industry, if current trends continue in a logical manner, each panelist had his own spin – none of which seemed to conflict in principle. Dave Perry spoke of increased specialization for development teams; for instance, one team might put all of its energy into learning the PSP from back to front, so if anyone needs PSP work done, that team will always be on the short list. Likewise, specific teams might specialize more on certain kinds of games, or a combination of platform and style.
Perry also spoke of the soaring price of development, which is getting passed on to the consumer more and more. He referenced the Korean market, and speculated it might hold answers for reducing the "price per hour" ratio for consumers.
Mark Cerny referenced Nintendogs, and wondered if maybe it was a taste of the "real" mass market that has so long been eluding the videogame industry. Cerny wondered whether the "traditional" video game market, built on a teetering tower of what's come before and targeted almost exclusively toward established gamers, were the real niche. Louis Castle took exception to that idea; it's not so much that video games as we know them are a niche, he said – more like a specialization. They're a product of focus and efficiency in design."
You can now read the full Gamasutra coverage on the matter
, including detailed information on this fascinating panel (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).