December 11th, 2006, 17:06 Posted By: wraggster
UK developer Evolution Studios is already planning for opportunities on the PlayStation 4, according to chief executive Martin Kenwright.
With the racing specialist readying Motorstorm for launch on the PlayStation 3, Kenwright believes that it's important to think far ahead as the industry is set to change monumentally in the future.
Speaking in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, part one of which is published today, Kenwright said, "The market place will be changing beyond all recognition in the next five years. We've anticipated that.
"I know people are looking at PS3 now, and I'm not being glib, but we're actually looking at PS4. I'm thinking where will it be in five years, how will we get there? What will the marketplace be like, the games, and who'll be buying them?"
Kenwright believes companies that settle into a routine are more at risk than those who experiment with original IP - with sequels to popular games merely dividing the market.
"Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but sticking to what you're best at can be more of a risk than reinventing yourself," said the studio boss.
"The DNA of all these games is around 80 per cent the same. It's the application, the value of the IP, the new killer brand, that is actually priceless.
"What we've learnt in the past is you can inclemently improve something by one per cent, and it takes two years and millions of pounds and all you get is more of the same. You polarise your market. You're offering more of the same instead of something new, memorable and exciting."
While sequels to popular games have traditionally been considered bankable, Kenwright believes the market is changing - with publishers encouraging developers to take bigger risks and create new products.
"People like to tick boxes and play it safe, but sequels are the bane of our industry. 'The last one was good so the board wants ten more the same.' That's actually harming the marketplace irreparably," he observed.
"The reality for many small developers is that publishers are risk averse. But things are going to change. It's not going to be like a parent/child relationship with publishers in the future; it's going to become much more of a creative partnership.
"People are waking up now to the fact that sequels are actually high risk rather than low risk," Kenwright concluded.
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