Happy new year everyone!
I know, it’s almost february, but it’s my first blog entry of the year, so I’d figure I’d start by saying that. So how was january? I hope it started good and strong! It certainly did on our end.
Just last week we were hanging out with the always awesome Sophia Drake from Steel Media, during the Big Indie Pitch/PG Connects Event they just did in London, and it was a whole lot of fun! And this is from someone that’s starting to feel the burn of what has become a Tradeshow season that now last throughout the whole year, and trust me, knowing you’re never more than 2/3 weeks away from getting on a plane for a couple of days might seem fun at first, but after a while it’s a tiring blur of faces, airports and hotel rooms. A beautiful tiring blur if you’re into it or if the event was any good. And I’m happy to say that this was the case on both accounts.
Not only was the event full of devs with cool and interesting projects (and ironproof livers, if the party after was any indication), but the event itself was full of super interesting talks about the very interesting last year we’ve had in the industry, and the super duper interesting year that 2020 is shaping out to be.
So, let’s recap.
On the digital storefront side the war has already started and it’s raging like crazy, with the Epic Store becoming the biggest threat Steam has had to face since it’s inception, snaching titles big & small with each passing week. And it’s the first time that I can recall where we’ve seen Steam even blink back to its competitors by lowering the 30/70 revenue split for games for games that make over 10 Million dollars (not really something that affects us…yet :P), yet that measure has not stop a slow but constant exodus of games both big & small reaching exclusivity deals with the Epic Store for the last couple of months. But they are no means the only player in this particular fight. Microsoft seems to be getting ready for a mayor one-two punch after going on a Studio shopping spree for the last couple of years, and all signs points to them preparing a killer lineup for the next generation while building up one hell of a great service with their Xbox Pass model. And even Netflix, in a way, has been affected by this war for the real state of our entertainment hours. They said as much themselves.
And speaking of the next generation, rumors are that there are already next gen dev kits out there in the wild (trust me, I wish I knew for certain), and you can almost feel it in the air, that “silence before the storm” feeling that comes the year before a new generation drops. That’s not to say there are no games coming this year. I know for a fact that half my office is deep down in Kingdom Hearts III as we speak (as the youtube feed we share at the office has suddenly become a festival of “everything you need to know to play Kingdom Hearts III” videos, and personally I can’t wait to see what the game “Dreams” (by the makers of the great Little Big Planet) ends up being and what things will the most creative amongst the gaming community ends up doing with it. And…Shenmue III? Will it finally drop this year? As a backer for that kickstarter I’m both hopeful and terrified of what ends up happening with that game, but however it shapes up, at least we’ll finally have an answer to one of the most famous cliffhangers in the story of games. Probably not the most infamous of the lot (I’m looking at you Half Life), but it’s right up there.
So yes! There are definitely reasons to be excited for 2019. But 2020? I’m calling it right now, that’s gonna be a year to remember.
What do you think? What are the things you’re looking forward before this generation ends and what are the things you’re hoping for when the next one lands?