‘No core audience expansion’ — Insomniac

Insomniac Games are behind some of the biggest and best AAA console titles of this generation, which makes their recent opening of Insomniac Click equal parts exciting and curious. What does it say about the state of consoles when one of the leading developers opens up a social network-focused studio? It’s not the end of consoles, but there’s definitely a cause for concern says chief creative officer Brian Hastings.

Hastings recently spoke about console audiences to CasualGaming.biz, saying: “That core audience isn’t really expanding much and the total dollars each core gamer spends isn’t going up, so as triple-A budgets inflate, each developer has to steal players away from other games in order to simply keep their revenues above their costs. The only long term viable solution for all parties would be to expand the audience.”

“I’m not in the doom-and-gloom camp in terms of the health of the console market, but I do think it’s becoming increasingly challenging in that space. It’s getting to the point where only the very best triple-A console games are profitable.”

We’re in an industry that’s been hit by tonnes of layoffs in the past few years, as Hastings explains: “And, of course, it’s increasingly expensive to make the very best games. So not every developer can survive.

“The main reason I believe it’s important – even necessary – to expand into the social sector is that there is simply a bigger audience there. Because triple-A games are necessarily complex they have a fairly predefined audience of core gamers.

“But they’re not giving away free money in the social and mobile space either. You still have to compete with the other top teams in the industry.”