Have we reached peak video games?
Mobile gaming is set to reach $315.9 billion this year, according to Statista, but it’s not easy money: Various subscription models, IP, operating costs and how people access games make it an expensive endeavor that can be prohibitive for anyone who wants to try something new or different.
Ryan Horrigan, co-founder and CEO of game developer Artie, understands the obstacles that need to be overcome when it comes to publishing new games. “If you look at the mobile game publishers today, it’s kind of like the movie business,” he said. “You either have indie arthouse titles in gaming, like what you find in Apple Arcade. These are really high-quality, story-driven games that don’t make much money, but they’re very artistic and they win awards. Or you have the equivalent of summer movie blockbusters, these mega-games from these mega-publishers.”
As a consequence, he argues, there’s little room for anyone in between, such as newer developers who are trying to put their games in front of people.
“It’s very difficult for new game developers to cross the chasm to compete with the establishment,” Horrigan said. “Like if you started making games 10-plus years ago, at the dawn of app stores, and you succeeded, there’s a pretty big moat between you and any new folks coming forward.”
Horrigan outlined the particular issues that make the moat between new developers and the establishment prohibitively wide and deep, and it starts with costs.