In an interview with MCV, Square Enix chief Yoichi Wada had a great many things to say with his meatflaps, most of them about consoles, console games and the future. Being a Time Lord, Wada has a great deal of insight into the far-flung tomorrow of the day after.
“In ten years’ time a lot of what we call ‘console games’ won’t exist,” he said. Wada warned that “all the distributors and sales firms will suffer a big negative impact” from, to quote MCV, “a new era in which interactive entertainment switches from software run on hardware in the home, to server-based offerings, game streaming, and digital distribution”.
“Somewhere around 2005 the console manufacturers’ strategy shifted,” he said.
“In the past the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn’t even needed anymore.
“With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played – that’s exponential growth in the potential of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous.”
He explained that Square Enix is preparing for this change by ramping up production of social and browser games at its Japanese studios, and also closely monitoring 2010’s beta roll-out of PS3 MMO Final Fantasy XIV.
“Social and browser games are going to grow dramatically – especially in areas like Asia which does not have as big a console market,” he said.
Sony Europe’s president Andrew House, disagrees. “Make no mistake, when you’re looking at PS3 games and you’re seeing the shift in the sheer size of the data that’s becoming available, the packaged media business is not going away any time soon,” he said.