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How is the game development landscape changing?

Many of the things which have been happening these past few years (both good and bad), and which will continue happening beyond 2020 are a direct result of one thing. It's something I've been saying for a while now, and no matter which way I try to steer my arguments and observations, I always end up exactly where I left off:

Low barriers of entry.

The changing landscape of game development

In March 2017 I had written a blog post on what the end of Steam Greenlight really means to developers when its shut down was first announced. A lot of my comments stemmed from this very low-barriers principle.

Taking all this into consideration, two things in particular stand out:
  1. In the past 3 or so years, more and more people seem to be realising (and are surprised by that same realisation, which is a fascinating phenomenon to observe) that if they want their game to be successful, to whatever degree, they need to do something about it and take it seriously.
  2. The industry has developed huge echo chambers. Subsequently, a very damaging culture of "trying to fit in" and conformity (cue Locutus of Borg memes) has grown. I would normally have expected the opposite i.e. for it to fuel a desire to innovate, break out and get ahead of the crowd. Perhaps in 5 years or so it will be a different story, once Darwinian theory really kicks in and when the group of people mentioned in point 1 above grows even bigger. However this will have a huge ripple-effect, a mini-extinction event, which is not altogether bad: to continue the evolutionary analogy, it's detrimental to the individual but good for the survival of the species. We've seen smaller versions of this happen on a micro scale within regional clusters. This will be a bit bigger.

What's your view on this? Tweet at me (@caruanas) or join the discussion in my GamesBiz group on Facebook.

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