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Bleszinski: Industry In Worst State Of Turmoil Since 80s Crash

The video game industry is currently in a state of upheaval and turmoil, or so says one of its leading designers.

Epic Games boss Cliff Bleszinski told GamesIndustry Interational that gaming is in its worst position since the unfortuate crash of the 1980s.

Said Bleszinski:

"This business has not been in a state of transition like it is right now since the video game crash of the '80s. I really think we're in a massive state of turmoil."

He went on to say that Nintendo might have to become a software-only company at some point in the future, citing the company's less-than-stellar Wii U sales (only 57,000 units sold in the US in January). Bleszinski added that "Sony and Microsoft are about to come to major blows" and at the same time, more and more people enjoy playing games on their iPad. Basically, he says the industry is kinda like Super Smash Bros. and he's just interested to see "if Peach or Mario wins." ...is Sony Mario or Peach?

The question is whether or not a generational transition automatically implies "turmoil," or if there are other deeper problems in the industry. Is the Wii U Nintendo's last hurrah? Will Microsoft announce their new console in April? And if so, who will have the edge going into the next generation?

Tags: cliff bleszinski, cliffyb, gaming industry, video game industry

2/25/2013 9:19:08 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

Yukian
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 10:34:45 PM
Reply

One should not wish for bad things but I would very much love the idea of Nintendo software on Sony hardware.

Imagine the graphics and the incredible leap of content of a Zelda game on Sony's... it could very well be A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword on a single game (without adding the impending DLC...)...

Oh, the possibilities!

Agree with this comment 8 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

dmiitrie
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 10:50:32 PM

I agree! I still enjoy some of Nintendo's first party franchises and would love to be able to play them on a non-gimmick controller and/or system for the first time since '94(ish).

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Akuma07
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:14:03 PM

Yeah, definitely agree with this. I would love to see a Yoshi themed PS4.

Orrrrr

Pokemon on the Playstation Vita. How's that for Vita support!!

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Bonampak
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 3:53:08 PM

I agree it would be cool but.... CliffyB forgot one big detail about Nintendo:

That they make a ton of cash thanks to their HANDHELD DIVISION.

That is, even if the Wii U were to fail, Nintendo could still continue as a hardware maker thanks to the success of the 3DS and DS in Japan. Where they sell thousands of 3DS units each week. To the point where the 3DS already has sold more units than what the PS3 has sold in its entire life-cycle in Japan.

In the Western world, the success of the 3DS is nowhere as big. But they still make millions out of them each year.

And lets consider that Nintendo made a ton of cash with the Wii for many years. The Wii didn't have a price drop until after being 5 full years on the market. Before 2011 it was still selling at its original launch price.

So, its safe to say that they still have a lot of cash in their vaults.

If the Wii U fails, Nintendo could still have the resources to come up with another console. And the only way that Nintendo could drop out of the hardware business, is if both the Wii U & 3DS failed big time. And that seems impossible considering how big the 3DS is in Japan.

I mean, that's been part of Nintendo's strategy ever since the Game Boy days. They don't have to depend on their home consoles to stay alive. Because they can fall back on the success of their handhelds.

Yet I agree that if Nintendo ever were to become a software maker only, that Sony would be the most obvious choice for them. Both are Japanese companies and I don't see them ever joining MS.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 10:03:07 PM

@Bonampak

It's funny. Now that you say it, it's so obvious. (In regards to the handheld market Nintendo has) But I completely forgot to consider it myself.

Obviously, Cliffy has forgotten as well. But I'm allowed to miss it. I don't work in the industry, nevermind a head honcho of the industry!

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Raze22
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 @ 12:32:03 AM

Definitely agreeing what bonampak is saying.

People need to realize nintendo is in the hardware fight for a while just based on their handheld division. If anything, they will just go handheld only if the home console doesn't workout.

Sony has more of a chance of going software developer like sega than nintendo ever does right now. What people want to happen is such a pipe dream.

Nintendo has been dominating the core handheld business for about 5 gens.

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Akuma07
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:15:50 PM
Reply

Why do all these so called experts keep saying that 'more and more' people are playing games on their iPads.....

Granted, mobile gaming is a big thing now days, but everyone I know who plays them, only does it when they are either commuting, or they do it at home when they are bored because their lives suck and they have nothing else to do. Haha.

I MUCH rather interesting Apps that can do cool things. I'd be more interested in mobile Apps that are connected to my PS4 games, which is why I like the idea of games like Destiny, and the Playstation App, where I can still play/browse my game, while I am at work or something, then get home, and all my new items or new games are ready and waiting on my PS4!!! AWESOME!!!

Last edited by Akuma07 on 2/25/2013 11:17:48 PM

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Amnesiac
Monday, February 25, 2013 @ 11:39:17 PM

I agree, I feel that these so-called experts are deliberately trying to push this myth about mobile gaming onto the general public.

Say if enough people read an article like this and 1/3 of all reading buy into the idea, then you have a growing amount of populace who now believe that mobile gaming is the new wave.
-Now these same people may be more inclined to game through their smart phone instead of a game console or computer.

That is the power of suggestion.

I wouldn't doubt that the people behind those articles who are attempting to push the current trend (in some direction or another) may also have a bit of stock invested in the mobile gaming marketplace.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 10:05:16 PM

Remember the pocketstation? Well, so it was only on PC here and in Japan as a mobile device, but it was directly tied into FF8 on playstation.

You could play your chocobo game at work or while commuting, plug it into your memory card slot at home and get all the items you had won in game!

I totally would have gotten it had it come to NA.

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maxpontiac
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 1:05:03 AM
Reply

I am going to show my age here, but that whole Sony v. Microsoft getting ready to "trade blows" and Nintendo going software only made me think of a movie called "Demolition Man".

Some of you older posters might see where I am heading with this, but a scene in the movie depicted Taco Bell winning the great restaurant wars. Needless to say Taco Bell was all that everyone ate when you went out to eat.

If there is some form of official winner take all console war, I sure hope and pray Sony comes out victorious. Being stuck with the XBox doesn't sound appealing AT ALL.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 10:28:32 AM

Heh...the movie was on last night, and I saw it way back when it first came to video. ;)

The only problem with that analogy is that Taco Bell doesn't actually serve food. They serve chemical trash. Thankfully, I think Sony and Microsoft deliver better products. :)

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wackazoa
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 11:14:22 AM

1st OF ALL .... Taco Bell has mountain dew baja blast, the nectar of the GODS! And they were great until they got rid of chili cheese burritos. I havent been back sense.

2ndly.... John Spartan you have been fined 1 credit for a violation of the verbal moralites code....

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Underdog15
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 10:08:00 PM

Heh, I remember Demolition Man!! I remember when it came out, too!

I also incorrectly used to think the guy Wesley Snipes played was played by Denis Rodman, for some reason. I think it was the hair. lol

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 @ 1:36:16 AM

This is awesome...it is always comforting to see I am not alone in being old enough to remember the cool stuff.

Last edited by maxpontiac on 2/27/2013 1:37:16 AM

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Caanimal
Thursday, February 28, 2013 @ 10:18:12 PM

Demolition Man is a classic awesome movie, LOVE it still to this day and will watch it any time I can catch it on TV as I can't seem to find it on DVD or BR... :(

Here is a little fun fact, the movie producers originally went to Burger King AND McDonalds and asked if they could be used in the movie, BOTH said they didn't want to be seen in such a violent movie, so they had to go w/ Taco Hell...

I have to admit, those new "appatizer burrito" things are AWESOME though...

As for "trading blows"... Haven't they been doing that since the original Xbox came out???

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___________
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 4:32:30 AM
Reply

in turmoil why?
so thats why he jumped out so quickly, not because he was bored of it.

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Gabriel013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 9:33:13 AM
Reply

From what I saw of the PS4, Microsoft could pull something magic out of the bag to snatch the attention. They know last time they opted for routine hardware and 5 years down the line Sony was punishing them for it with the visual quality differential between the 360 and the PS3. I own both and I can clearly see it.

They could turn the tables and release HW that could give THEM the visual edge in 4-5 years time.

Eiter way I doubt I'll buy a new console this year or even early next. I'll wait to see what's available then pick. There's a chance I'll end up with them both after a while anyway but I certainly won't be in a rush like I was with the PS3 and 360.

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Highlander
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 2:01:55 PM
Reply

As much as I hate to admit this - and I think everyone knows how much I hate this, the right path may be for Sony to transition to x86 this year and then slowly transition everything to a service based architecture running on a virtual console that will run on any compatible hardware. That would free them of the hardware completely and allow them to focus solely on content and their services which are far, far higher margin than hardware ever will be. There's nothing to stop them selling PS brand accessories to work with the virtual console, they could even include proprietary features in those to differentiate them. But at the end of the day, the turmoil that Cliffy is talking about is there and moving away from making consoles is definitely an attractive idea when hardware profit margins are basically non-existent.

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Mr_Sterg
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 6:56:24 PM

sounds like onlive

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Highlander
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 7:31:16 PM

Yes and no. But yes, and I dislike the idea intensely.

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JROD0823
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 @ 10:51:00 PM
Reply

I never cared about what that jackhole Cliffy B said when he was in the games industry, and I'm not about to start caring about what he says now that he's out of it.

He's about as good of an example of a waste of space as you can find. I have zero respect for him.

I think his next project (if he ever makes another game) will be an iOS exclusive the way he is bad-mouthing the Big 3.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 2/26/2013 10:51:56 PM

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Caanimal
Thursday, February 28, 2013 @ 10:12:38 PM
Reply

What Nintendo NEEDS to realise, in order to stay w/ console sales and not just live off hand-held sales, is that gamers have grown up and MANY of the gamers I know that have kids don't have a second system just for their kid to play on, the kids play right along next to mom and dad on the "big boy" consoles... I don't think anyone can dispute the hold Nintendo has on the hand-held market but at the same times it can't be disputed that they are pretty much falling on their face in the console market...

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