THQ: Console War Is "Totally Irrelevant"
While many gamers (and fanboys) remain fixated on the console war, some publishers just aren't buying its dramatic importance. Take THQ executive Jack Sorenson, for example: he has called the war between Sony, Microsoft and Ninteno "irrelevant," in that each available platform represents "a win" for video game publishers.
According to a recent GamesIndstry.biz interview, Sorenson said there's simply "too much emphasis" on the console war, just because everyone gets so heated about the race. As for THQ, they like to focus on "opportunities rather than installed base."
"I think [the console war] is totally irrelevant. Even in the history of the business, other than something like the Dreamcast, you can do decent business on lots of platforms," he explained. "So the issue is not who wins, it's can an independent publisher do a good business on that platform. We're thinking everything from high-end MMO all the way to cell phones."
Furthermore, he's not discounting aging formats like the PS2, especially after THQ's success with GameBoy Advance software. In fact, many publishers continue to back the PS2, despite the fact that all three next-gen consoles have been available for at least 17 months.
"There's a ubiquity of gaming out there, and the platform is really just a medium. If that makes sense [we'll publish on] PlayStation 2 next year for something, PS2 two years from now," he said. "We certainly probably carried on longer on the GBA than most and had a very nice business out there because there're 80, 90 million GBAs out there - maybe a bunch left in closets and drawers, but there's still enough audience to buy them. All these platforms kinda win."
Well, it's a definite "win" for us gamers, too. We simply want the best possible gaming experiences, and if we're being true to our hobby and not playing the role of company loyalist, we'll play that game on a toaster if we have to. The platform matters little; the game is everything. ...even so, as game journalists, we have to put more stock in the console war just 'cuz it's super big news. Such is the way of the world.
4/7/2008 Ben Dutka