The gaming industry isn't what it used to be; mobile platforms are taking the world by storm and technology isn't moving nearly as rapidly as in previous generations. Whether these trends are something to worry about is open to interpretation, but one thing is for certain: it's affecting gamers more than they realize.
Epic Games have been veterans in the industry for over two decades now with award-wining titles such as Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. It wasn't until two years ago that they embraced the handheld market with Infinity Blade, an iOS game that would go on to win mobile game of the year awards and generate over $23 million in revenue in less than a year. With such massive success it's no wonder they went on to make a second game and have plans for future mobile experiences. But Epic Games can't possibly be the only development team that has noticed how eye-catching mobile games are... can they?
In a recent interview with CVG, Epic Games' Vice President Mark Rein shared that they're concerned about console platforms, not only because of current trends, but what they fear is looming. He stated:
"This is why we did Samaritan and why we're doing a really high-end demo in the room here. We really are pushing these guys, because if they don't, Apple will go right past them."
There is a growing interest in convenience, which is part of the reason iOS games have been selling like hotcakes. With phone hardware rapidly evolving, games visuals are now competitive (i.e. Infinity Blade 2 which is stunning), and the only limitation are other assets such as physical analog sticks. The most worrying thing is that the investment required for console games is growing, while the mobile market can be more rewarding at significantly less cost.
With more than five years having gone by since the last set of consoles released, everyone is giddy to see what another generation of technology will entail. However, it's no wonder that it's taking so long for Sony and Microsoft to show the goods - they need to approach with caution. This is a time where one hiccup could potentially reduce the industry to two major console developers and Apple. Nobody wants to see that happen, but with the Wii U showing already aged hardware and rumors of a next-generation Xbox using a fairly depressing video card, the benefits to playing in a living room with a large television is shrinking.