Friday, February 13, 2009

Seth Godin on the Games Business

Seth has a good post up about changes in the Music Business. A little creative replacement makes a good point about Flash games, Flash MMOs, iPhone, Facebook and downloadable consoles titles - and anywhere else indie games are showing up, kicking ass, and taking names.

The music games industry is really focused on the ‘industry’ part and not so much on the ‘music’games’ part. This is the greatest moment in the history of music games if your dream is to distribute as much music many games as possible to as many people as possible, or if your goal is to make it as easy as possible to become heard as a musician game developer. There’s never been a time like this before. So if your focus is on music games, it’s great. If your focus is on the industry part and the limos, the advances, the lawyers, polycarbonate and vinyl cardboard boxes and DVDs, it’s horrible. The shift that is happening right now is that the people who insist on keeping the world as it was are going to get more and more frustrated until they lose their jobs. People who want to invent a whole new set of rules, a new paradigm, can’t believe their good fortune and how lucky they are that the people in the industry aren’t noticing an opportunity...
'nuff said.


Nick Perrett said...

So the 200+ VC investments in WOW-like MMOs, iphone games or virtual worlds will all make money then?

Whilst the article may be correct its statements are hardly innovative and have been written about for years.

An article worth writing would be about what the future looks like and who the winners will be. Questions such as: When will new business models outpace old? Can you slowly introduce new business models without canibalising existing revenue streams? How do you manage investment risk over time? Or buy vs. build decisions?

I am sure that executives at Atlantic Records who have the largest growth/size in digital music revenue or Bobby Kotick with WOW and significant console revenues or EA embarking on launching Battlefield Heroes are not dead yet or solely interested in limos and advances. The may just be managing risk/reward well.

KimPallister said...

No, most of those VC investments will lose out, a few will pay big. Has VC ever been any different? :-)

Godin's post is nothing new, I just thought it concisely put.

And the point he makes is *not* about revenue. The point is that if you want to make a game and get it in front of people, if that's your passion, there's never been a better time.

Prior to downloadable console titles, a Braid, Everyday Shooter, etc, could never have reached that audience. They *needed* a publisher because they needed money, retail distribution, and marketing. The latter of those two, at least, is within reach of the indie dev.

Wasn't implying the big guys are dead, just that they aren't the only game in town any more, and that changes the game some.