Next-gen will fail if not digital-only, says Codemasters cofounder

Current mobile gaming exec David Darling says consoles have become dinosaurs, bound for extinction unless they embrace a digital-only ecosystem.

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Codemasters cofounder David Darling believes consoles must embrace a digital-only future or face extinction. Now heading up British mobile gaming firm Kwalee, Darling posted a blog entry to the company's site, offering a prediction of where the industry will stand in the future.

Consoles are going to die if they don't change, Darling says.

"Sony and Microsoft cannot let the retailers dictate game prices going forwards if they want to break free from the current over-priced model," he said. "Their next consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720, need to be digital only, or they will fail."

Darling sung the praises of digital distribution, saying this delivery model gives publishers access to a "worldwide marketplace," while removing what can be an "expensive chain of production and distribution" that is required for boxed games.

"If hardware manufacturers such as Sony and Microsoft do not manage this transition soon, they will be overtaken and left behind by companies who are embracing digital distribution wholly and completely," he said. "Companies like Apple and Google are not tied to brick and mortar retailers with shackles and are not being held back by them."

Later in his blog post, Darling compared consoles to dinosaurs, saying these systems are "heading for extinction as their natural habitat begins to change." He called consoles "ancient beasts" and praised the work of Facebook, Steam, and Apple's App store as places where innovative properties can thrive.

"There is an immense amount of innovation on the App Store compared to recent console games," he said. "Big sellers on console like FIFA and Call of Duty change very little each year, whereas many apps are exploring entirely new realms of gameplay."

Lastly, Darling said another advantage that comes with digital distribution is that games become a service rather than a product. He explained that after a digitally distributed game has launched, the developer has immediate access to player feedback, which can be used to make "improvements."

"On the current consoles this process is slowed by the need for hardware manufacturers to approve each game and they also charge developers a fee for each update they create," he said.

Discussion

997 comments
Crush_Project
Crush_Project

perhaps they should worry about what platforms are selling, much less what they arent going to sell with.

stefan_931
stefan_931

Any company WILL try and make the most money out of the game. Now we have a choice to buy a game "cheaper" on live or buy it full price from a retailer, the only reason why live games are cheaper is so we buy it, but when we go to all digital we wont have a choice in where to buy the game

interrasteral7
interrasteral7

This has to be some kind of joke for the Codemaster's Co-Founder to say this.

Gray_Raven
Gray_Raven

   What worries me is that games would become service. That line alone makes me shiver. Does that mean that I'll pop 50-60$ only to have it turned off when no one else wants to play it? I can hardly imagine EA or any other company keeping a game alive just for one player. And they could do it with out any backfire at them as it's a service they provide so they can choose when they don't want to provide it anymore. 

   Personally I like to have video game boxes and hard copies but truth be told until couple of years ago I was strictly on pirate copies of games, and I must have around a hundred discs with all sorts of games. Granted where I live 50$ for a game is 1/6 of what my dad makes per month but I also didn't know that the games were "pirated", Hell I only got internet after I saw WoW and that was accidental. 

   Today I have a small but growing collection of games and I'll be damned if I don't say that I do smirk a bit every time I open my closet and see them all lined up. There's just something about those boxes with manuals and all sorts of thing inside. I can't imagine myself buying digital copies if only because the amount of money is very high and I didn't actually get anything for it. Plus the Net sucks for big downloads :P

 

P.S. I apologize if this came out like a mindless rant, I just had to put it out there :)

vallee05
vallee05

Digital only = Fail. As a gamer and a collector I prefer teh hardcopy. The few digital stuff I have allways needs to be verified and occasional it doesn't work. Digital as it's place in teh market but 100% = Epic Fail. Some areas dont even have internet... I know it's hard to believe but I just got satelite internet in my area and you can do minimum gaming,  I still have all my games from my xbox and ps1. Make better/higher quality games. Poor games equal epic fails, milking DLC that should be on the disc = Epic fail. making quality DLC success.

 

P.S EA want's to go all digital but yet keep the current price...gimmie a f'ing break, Explain that. I see digital games costing more if not the same..joke

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

I think you got it backwards, bud. Do you really think next gen games won't be overpriced? Even with all digital??? Give me a break

mat989
mat989

You're dead wrong, CodeMasters. Do you think Kindle failed because not all of the books and comics sells for it now? Do you think Ultrabooks failed because we already have tablets and laptops? Do you think Blu-Ray failed because most of movies still sells in DVD format, or in the so-called dual boxes? Do you think PC games failed because they still sell physical medias?... I really expected a better and more formulated argument coming from the makers of F1 2011 and the Dirt franchise ...

4love10
4love10

The word "idiot" was created solely for this guy

TheZeroPercent
TheZeroPercent

the question is

whats gonna replace digital media one day?

 

Brotelho
Brotelho

Saying that the next-gen console will fail if it's not digital only is a little harsh. I just think these dev's do not want the retail industry to be the middle man. They want full control and profit, which is understandable. I think it should be primarily digital and having to wait 6 months+ for a game to show up on PSN or Marketplace is ridiculous.

ragnar320
ragnar320

well i think this guy is blowing alot of hot air cause sony and microsoft dont really have much in common at all with google and apple in the video game world. hell in the video game world whats google and apple this is dum

Tweeg
Tweeg

Getting advice on games from Codemasters is like getting advice on literature from penthouse.

jhcho2
jhcho2

The last person who notably said something like this was someone from Zynga. Coincidence? I think not. People from the mobile industry always make the same mistake - achieving mild success and thinking that they understand the whole gaming industry. Zynga's share price has been plummeting for some time. I'm hoping the same will happen to Kwalee now.

BradBurns
BradBurns

Of course he's going to say this. He now works for a mobile gaming firm. It's in his company's best interest to say this.

S-181
S-181

beacuse codemasters is an excellent studio committed to providing only the best gaming experiences.

Seriously, innovation is all well and good, but consoles still produce very good games.

KoruKinshi
KoruKinshi

I do believe I'd like to punch this idiot in the face...repeatedly.

wrestlingdude
wrestlingdude

Listen developers are trying to force all of us (make us believe) to switch to digital only.  Two syllables: B.S.  Game devs want to receive their money faster and in more quantity.  Most of of us will not support this "stupid" idea of "digital-only."  

 

We the "gamers" also like to use "Gamefly" & Gamestop.  Developers are starting to realizing that digital downloads would make their companies "Gross" more money per month.  These greedy companies are realizing that if they destroyed Gamefly and Gamestop, they would be able to double the profits.

 

 If digital only does occure, you will only have "one" option: to buy the game you want for the retail price ONLY. And you will never find a used game or rental company ever again.  I'm not listening to these "brainwashing" views anymore.   The majority of Gamers still preffer in-store pick up of used and new games.  And Millions of people are subscribed to Gamefly.  Shame on Codemaster's "opinion."

 

nate1222
nate1222

Digital only? That's what the PC gaming scene is for. Most of my PC games are downloads. Console gamers prefer physical media. If physical media goes...so does the console scene. 

OldSchoolPlaya
OldSchoolPlaya

First off, where does this leave the millions of gamers without access to broadband...like myself? Also, what's wrong with the "best of both worlds" approach provided by the current business model; retail AND digital?

Gjinckxs85
Gjinckxs85

Sony reps have already brought up the Broadband issue. And they said, flat out, that they will NOT be pursuing a wholly digital delivery service. While for the most part, digital delivery will be available. Games will also be available for sale in the stores, so that in broadband limited areas, folks still have the opportunity to play their favorite games! I like how steam has changed the way we get our games, but PC has longevity, whereas a console is only good for it's generation, as Sony has proven with the PS3 (Backwards Compatibility). Sony and Microsoft need to create more longevity for the games that you do buy, that way ten years down the road, you are still able to play your old copy of Spyro the Dragon. That means a lot to people. They are not just buying a game for the next few years, they are buying it for a lifetime!

SicoWolf
SicoWolf

He does realize that a lot of broadband companies are imposing strict limitations on bandwidth usage, especially outside of the US?

 

They're going to have to get this broadband mess sorted out before moving to a digital only distribution.

Zenwork21
Zenwork21

Fine, you are not going to get my money... get lost

evaneself
evaneself

Codemasters cofounder, shot yourself

Charocks
Charocks

Because Codemasters is an extremely large and profitable game company that steps up the game industry with it's new and innovative games.

schlagermeister
schlagermeister

What an idiot.  This must be like New Coke, it'll be around forever!

apollo333
apollo333

OMG Sony and Microsoft are going to lose the console war to... Apple, and Google?... who don't even have consoles??

 

Seriously, this guy is an idiot. People in many countries have data caps, and no one ANYWHERE wants to download 10-20GB before they can start playing a game!

 

P.S. His company is what's going to fail if they don't learn to program for the consoles that are currently out, i.e. the PS3, which ran F1 2011 horribly thanks to their team. Luckily I know that when Codemasters says something it's safe to assume it's complete BS.

muzza93
muzza93

No one likes digitally downloading games ya dumb mutt, people enjoy going to a store to look at games and dont wanna spend time downloading your crap on consoles. Stop trying to change the way we get the games and focus on making better games.

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

He's got a point I guess. If by digital only he means Steam, I wont use another service.

 

Plus, of course a "mobile gaming exec" would say something like this, its his portion of the industry that stands to gain more money if physical production is halted.

ecs33
ecs33

People don't like it, but he is 100% correct. If there is one thing that cannot be changed, it is the changing tide of technology. Ofcourse the free market will take advantage of the opportunities which new technological infrastructures provide. The consumer will also see the benefits.

 

True, you may not own your "physical" copy anymore. But future generations won't see things the way you see them. Hard truth.

santinegrete
santinegrete

Truth to be told if gaming becomes like this it's not like I'm abandoning the hobbie: it will abbandon me. Do you think Internet work like "Tokyo Standards" in the rest on the world, let alone my country. Ha.

mitchd3
mitchd3

this would force gamestop to shut down and I'm not so sure they'd want that to happen thats where most people go to get their games and if this happened that would just suck so to this editor I say you sir have no idea how much it would suck to have to buy games in order to even play them instead of being able to rent them or try them out first before deciding. That is just the smartest thing ever not! I don't believe that they would ever make a download only system 

Legend-KiIIer
Legend-KiIIer

Next-gen will fail if we listen to stupids like Darling.

BloodyAura
BloodyAura

DLC is pure BS!! It`s stuff that, not TOO long ago, used to be an unlockable,IN the game ,now it`s overpriced DLC add-on,etc! These developers are too greedy to see reality...the future for us hardcore gamer`s is looking bleaker by the minute.

Vaultdweller108
Vaultdweller108

Mr darling just go back to making your little mobile games and let us real gamers worry about whats best for consoles.

AhmedAlQamzi
AhmedAlQamzi

is it me or are my comments getting removed because of language used

 

oldschoolvandal
oldschoolvandal

So next gen has to be download only?

I call BS from another guy wildly guessing in public.....and please, do not compare games to apps....it's an insult to a whole culture and industry.

 

But I digress...my real point is: the one thing about next gen we are pretty sure is that  there will be a PSN or LIVE (or something like it), right?

 

So I DARE you Mr Darling, yeah that's right, I DARE you to only release whatever you create to this consoles as a download only content.

 

Come back to me when you break sales records with that model.

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

As consumers we might need to try even harder to support retail. I mean that's a whole set of jobs. As technology continues to become more convenient for many it makes things more inconvenient for others. 

biggims17
biggims17

GTFOH with that. If devs decide to go that route, it'll be the end of console gaming. Plain and simple.

mutley89
mutley89

Just another person trying to brain wash people into download only. We like physical games, we are going to continue supporting them...end of.

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

But digital games already cost more than there hard disc copies. In fact a lot of digital media seem to be over-priced. If anything I imagine digital only would bring more price-fixing and over-priced stuff. 

 

Also probably it'd lead gamers to be even more skeptical or picky about what they buy. I mean now if you buy a game that happens to end up being medicore you have the luxury of trading it in or trying it used at a much lower price. But digital cuts all of that out.

 

Not to mention the first wave of systems probably won't have enough memory to support a more than 10 to 20 games on the HD. I imagine a digital only market would also cut out quite a few jobs which would be a shame. But hey it'll give the next gen more of an excuse to re-release all the games  from this gen

berserkker
berserkker

wait..what about gears of war 7 super ultra special edition box that includes a 3 feet action figure with a real and working chainsaw?can I download that?xD

edgewalker16
edgewalker16

Sorry, but I wouldn't take any advice from Codemasters...it's not like they've come out with anything decent.  The Dirt series, maybe, but that's about it.  Hardly a resume.

numairullah
numairullah

This article is wrong. many digital download sites are out there. They still charge the same for retail on many games. If they go digital only they will crush a whole sector of economy. 

schlagermeister
schlagermeister

 @apollo333 LOL, so true.  It's just plain idiotic to think that the iPad apps will beat console or PC games.  The app games are fun for screwing around when you need to kill time, but when people want to actually game, they do NOT turn to androids and iPads.  What a psycho this guy is!!

spankdamonky
spankdamonky

 @edgewalker16 Colin McRae, Micromachines, Operation Flashpoint, Pete Sampras Tennis, F1, TOCA, Race Driver, Dizzy, 1nsane and many more.