In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim has stated his opinion that consoles could possibly “go the way of the dinosaurs” if the industry doesn’t change. Kim is a proponent of the free-to-play model, with Nexon being one of the largest free-to-play PC gaming providers in the world, so it’s not hard to understand why he thinks consoles need to follow.
“Console developers are starting to realise that as well, that unless they make accommodations or think about changing their own business model they’re going to quickly go the way of the dinosaurs,” Kim told GamesIndustry International.
Kim could be slightly biased however, with Nexon being based in South Korea, where consoles are not as popular, and the PC reigns supreme. Heck, think about how popular Starcraft was and is in Korea, and it is not hard to see why he is skeptical of console in comparison.
“Console has never been a strong contender in Korea in particular because of piracy, and just in terms of the business model it really makes sense. It’s really hard to beat free-to-play as an offering,” he said.
Daniel Kim stated that he believes free-to-play is makes more sense business-wise for Nexon, because there is continuity and responsibility that comes with it.
“From the business standpoint [free-to-play] is a much better business for us as well because in some ways the responsibility on the developer’s side is much greater to not fail, not have a bad experience. You have to earn their business. So you can market a bad Hollywood blockbuster and have a good opening weekend, but you can’t have a bad sitcom that runs for years and years.”‘
Personally, I am skeptical of the idea of consoles somehow going “extinct”. I believe that many people in the general want a simple gaming device that plugs into the TV, requires little to no game installation, and doesn’t require worrying about video drivers, patches, hardware issues etc. which are often associated with PC gaming. I know it doesn’t take a software developer to figure out PC gaming, it’s pretty simple, but it still provides a simpler option that many people want.
I am also doubtful that free-to-play will ever take over as the dominant gaming model. I know the model is gaining support from companies such as EA and Activision but will it ever take over? Personally I find full-releases to usually be of better quality than their free-to-play counterparts and I am willing to pay for quality.
With an increasing number of F2P titles hitting the PC this year and next, it will be interesting to see whether there is any growing trend in PC gaming. What are your thoughts on consoles going extinct? Are you a believer in F2P? Let us know in the comments section below.