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Wednesday, December 20, 2000
 
Mike Wilson on a Dismal 2000
2:19 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Our GCA partner Stomped has posted an interview with a quite pessimistic Mike Wilson, CEO of publishing group Gathering of Developers. Seemingly disappointed by sales of GoD's large Fall crop of games (which included Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, 4x4 Evolution, Rune and more) he sees an industry in a state of disarray, plagued by a crowded market and ballooning game budgets. Some of his comments in particular will chill the hearts of Mac users:

Stomped: What is your opinion on the state of the gaming industry this year? Was it a good year overall in your opinion? Why or why not?


Wilson: I think that 2000 has been very much a transition year for the industry, in more ways than are on the surface, but especially in terms of platform diversification. We've seen the great console wars begin, but only to a precursor level compared to what will be the Great War, in late 2001. We've seen new iMac's and G3's and G4's sell like crazy... but seemingly no new Mac gamers appear... and then Apple drops the gaming section from Mac World. All this while their developer relations people are busting their asses trying to get great products out for the system. Linux continues to gain momentum, and Indrema could possibly be a very bright light at the end of those guys' tunnel. And then, there is the PC. This year saw one great PC release after another come and go, with very few making any money. Many of these games would have been blockbuster hits in a less crowded, confused market a couple of short years ago. Now more than at any other time in the history of the business, PC developers and publishers are looking for relief wherever they can find it... console development, licenses, value products... anything where someone in the equation can actually earn a buck for all the energy and work put into game development and publishing.

There has indeed been a tremendous amount of consolidation in the past year, with many smaller companies being snatched up by larger ones (including one-time Mac platform champion Bungie) and several long-standing development houses crumbling under financial pressure. However, the Mac publishers we have talked to seem to have enjoyed this year as compared to past ones, so perhaps all is not as grim as Wilson thinks. However, one thing is clear: as game budgets climb to Hollywood-size numbers ($2-$6 million -- one PS2 title had a budget of $60 million) we will see fewer games being made and more small companies either folding or being bought out in the next year.

Gathering of Developers
Mike Wilson Interview on Stomped


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