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Alasdair Duncan

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EPIC games vs apps

So just a few days ago, EPIC games president Mike Capps claimed that mobile app gaming is going to affect the next generation of console games in a negative way:

的知 more worried that you can get a really good 99 cent game that occupies you for hours and hours on end and how that impacts $60 SKUs..... But I do worry about what it means for the next generation of console games? Are people really going to want to spend $60 on a game?

Well, in short... no. For starters, this isn稚 the first time Mike has bemoaned the affect of app-orientated gaming but I wonder why the head of the studio behind one of the biggest iOS games ever would worry about mobile gaming. If I知 reading between the lines correctly, I wonder if what Mike is worrying about is spending two-three years making a big budget game, the same type of game that EPIC have been really successful at making (Bulletstorm excepted).

Something that Mike also mentions is that free entertainment is competition to playing AAA titles, so like why play a big budget game when you can watch loads of free or cheap content on your TV or Netflix. When the Playstation launched years ago, Sony UK boss Phil Harrison claimed that Sony weren稚 in competition against Nintendo and Sega, they were competing with clothes, going out to the pub, going to the football. Sony positioned the Playstation as a lifestyle choice and it really worked. The Playstation crossed over to market that decided to play games instead of things like socialising and spending money on clothes and booze. Sony prospered in the 90痴 and 00痴 because they realised that they weren稚 in direct competition with other videogames companies, Sony realised that they had to make their console and games more appealing than TV or books and suchlike.

As for the charge of mobile gaming 田heapening big name console titles seems to hit at the point of the value of a AAA game. Again, reading between the lines Mike sounds as if he痴 worried that gamers won稚 feel a big budget game, like Gears Of War won稚 be worth $60. Well Mike, maybe it痴 not. Yes games have been always been expensive, but are all games worth $60 or $40 (or $100 if you池e in Australia)? I realise that value for money can be an abstract concept to a lot of people and that痴 without going into the idiotic 堵ame length=value for money argument. I would ask Mike if he feels that all the games that are released are worth $60 and it is a bad thing that playing cheap and fun i-phone games make me question the value of spending a lot of money on such games? I致e gotten an amazing amount of value and enjoyment out of games like Fruit Ninja and Plants Vs Zombies as I have with some AAA games that cost more 40 times more. That's not a bad thing, that's just something that digital distribution and portable technology allows me. Not all my compelling videogame experiences are me sitting on a couch or at a desk, staring into a tv or monitor.

Mike痴 comments almost make it sound like this is unfair like 典V is free, so why are people going to pay $60 for GOW3? Argh! Maybe GOW should be cheaper? Maybe you should split GOW into three separate parts, single player, hoard and multiplayer and let consumers buy them separately. Maybe future EPIC games should be episodic. Maybe EPIC should make more iOS games to test out ideas or tech? Maybe it痴 not my job to reassure Mike Capps that things are going to work out ok. I don稚 have the answers and I don稚 claim to know where the videogames industry is heading. What I believe is that making products cheaper and readily available makes them appealing to consumers.

It痴 no newsflash that people have limited time to play games. It痴 no newsflash that people only have a certain amount of limited income. But laying the game at cheaper, more convenient forms of entertainment as somehow being unfair is a cheap shot. Again, reading between the lines it sounds as if Mike Capps isn稚 100% that his latest game is really worth $60.
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About Alasdair Duncanone of us since 9:17 AM on 10.13.2007

Alasdair Duncan is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming that is not Fraser Brown. A long time Destructoid community member and forum moderator, he covers adventure, puzzle, FPS and all kinds of games on the PC. Watch, as he adds more games to his Steam library with only the vaguest hope of ever playing most of his games.

Alasdair has been gaming since his mother bought a Commodore 64 back in the early 1980's. He adores Deus Ex, GTA Vice City, Team Fortress 2, Borderlands, Super Mario Brothers 3 and all those weird indie titles on Steam.

You can meet Alasdair at places like PAX where he tries to convince people he isn't a) drunk or b) Irish.

Plus he crave attention via the following:

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Ali D waz on the front page!
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