October 19th, 2009, 16:44 Posted By: wraggster
Telltale Games' CEO Dan Connors has told GamesIndustry.biz he's "very impressed" with the step Sony has taken towards a digital future with PSPgo.
"I think kudos to Sony for continuing to push the envelope," he said. "You look at the number of games that are selling on the iPhone and it's a pretty safe idea for them.
"I'm very impressed with the step that they're taking and as we continue to move towards handhelds, it's certainly going to be part of our plan."
Speaking further about the digital distribution model, Connors acknowledged that while his own company has successfully built a business around releasing episodic, digital games, it's not as straightforward for the big publishers to transition to the model.
"When Telltale started we set out to be an episodic company - we set out to build from the ground up to be episodic.
"I think for other companies that have been around and have been in the retail ecosystem for a long time, it's a major change in thought process and production process and business mindset. And if you're going down one road and you're keeping your business going from one business model, making a dramatic shift in that business model is a huge step to take."
Of the companies that are currently exploring the route of episodic releaseson console, Lionhead is perhaps the most prominent, having recently made Fable II available for download in episodes. However, Connors believes there are drawbacks to how Lionhead has chosen to release the game with the first episode being made available for free.
"The first one satisfies the need for the product and when it comes time to sell the second one, they've already had enough Fable," he said. "Unless they can make something really compelling in the story to move people to the next one, then they run into the problem of converting them into paying customers."
Connors also revealed he believes the Wii "has really rocked things", particularly in changing the type of gameplay experience people expect to be delivered and gaming's demographic.
Between 2000 and 2004 games "stagnated", he said. "They seemed to be really trending towards just serving a specific audience and demographic."
"You started to see more and more shooters and driving games and sports games, and other games weren't being explored."
However between the Wii and the release of games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, "[they] have really changed the face of things," said Connors.
And in the future he sees the next big step coming from increased connectivity between social networks, handheld devices and core games.
"I think that's going to be a very interesting area where people are going to start moving to where there's going to be some type of game that's going to be able to connect people, through multiple ways, through their Facebook account and through their iPhone and however people want to do it. I can't say what it will be, but I think it's going to be an exciting area."
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