Thursday, 5 August 2010

Beware Of Games Design Myopia

One of the problems that powerful incumbents have is the myopia created by the success of their past business models. To underplay the ambition and capability of Ronnie Screwvala, chairman of media & entertainment company, UTV Group would be very dangerous indeed for the western and Japanese dominated games development and publishing industry. Sure we have had international games development teams plugging themselves into the extant industry structure to get their creative content to market. That doesn't always have to be so. India and other Asian are vast. The gameplay is likely to contain cultural norms and references that are different to what has gone before. The whole dimension of narrative will be alternative. The customers don't have be European, American (N&S) or Japanese. Of course the platform base has to be there, but UTV getting in early is a wise strategic move.

One of the problems of paradigm, of world view, is that it can quickly become a psychic prison. Just because it 'has been' doesn't mean it 'will be' in the future. I worked for an edutainment publishing in the 1990s and was told by retailers that kids aged 4 couldn't ever use computers and no one would by software for them. Really?

I'm not so sure that Piers Harding-Rolls, an analyst with Screen Digest, will be proved correct when he said that it was a "tough market" to launch new brands, and when he said that releasing new IP into a mature market was not without risk., surely he is missing the point by defining 'the market' by its current parameters.

The Boston Ice companies overlooked left competition with similar thinking, and whilst not directly analogous it serves as a salutary lesson to keep an open mind about what business you are in and who your competitors are. To do anything else would be rather gullible.

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