This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Will gamers see a fairer digital future? ’The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves,’ quotes Alex Ward

IN MAY, JAMES Cameron did an “Ask Me Anything” piece on Reddit. One question was Terminator-related. It read, “Are there any timelines where Skynet wins. If yes, how?” His response “One could argue that the machines have already won. All you have to do is look around at how many people are face down texting 100 per cent of the time, everywhere they are, and it’s hard to imagine that the machines haven’t won.” Over the past few years, the digital world has given me a simpler and happier life. But I’m still not able to lead a digital life in the way I want to when it comes to gaming. Thanks to my Kindle and iPad Mini, I decluttered my shelves, I’ve bought more books and I can combine my collection with my family. Result: I read more, and buy more. In 2007, I ripped all of my favourite movies and TV programmes to my Mac. But it’s mostly redundant now – if I want to re-watch The West Wing, I just fi re up Netfl ix or Amazon Instant Video, which runs on every device I own. I’m watching more movies and discovering more new shows. Result: I’m watching more, and buying more. But digital gaming remains messy and complicated. I should be good to go 100 per cent digital, right? Wrong.

GOING DIGITAL First off , the prices are simply extortionate. Why would anyone pay £64.99 to download Watch Dogs to their PS4? That price makes no sense. Digital should be cheaper – simple as that. Ridiculous pricing isn’t happening elsewhere with other content. New fi lms on Amazon Instant Video, Blinkbox, or Xbox Video are priced roughly the same as


“After several years of iterating on point-and-click games, I burned out and wanted to do something new.”

What the Mystery Case Files creator did next Adrian Woods, Fezziwig

“I’m not saying nothing will ever die in our games, but if we include death we want it to be meaningful.”

Magic Notion: The virtual drag queen’s studio

Richard Franke, Magic Notion

“I can guarantee that if you look at your game’s design document right now it will be out of date in at least

one major place.”

Death of the design document James Sweatman, Jagex

To see all of our reader blogs visit: | Email to contribute your own blog DEVELOP-ONLINE.NET AUGUST 2014 | 11

the physical content. Publishers spout off about “supporting a healthy retail channel” – but why not have a healthy digital channel co-exist at the same time? Do publishers and format holders enjoy a healthy mutual relationship at the expense of the consumer? Sharing is the second fl aw in the digital dream. It’s not simple to move games and saves between my consoles at home and at

Amazon and iTunes transformed how

we access fi lms and music but gaming is stuck in the Dark Ages.

work. Xbox One’s simple Syncing makes it bearable. And I can auto-upload my PS4 saves to the cloud. Mario Kart 8’s steep digital price of £49.99 put the brakes on my purchase. So what of the near-future? Will there be streaming subscription-based services? I’d love to pre-order the Watch Dogs sequel now, and get early access or extra content, but I don’t want to pay over the top to do so. I’m really interested in PlayStation Now. I hope Microsoft off ers something similar. I wish both of these systems off ered backwards compatibility. There are a lot of great games from last year I could easily spend the next year playing. But the early reports of beta Now access shows very high price points to access very old content. I’d be partial to the odd game of Rage Racer or other PlayStation games via my PS4, but I’d rather pay one price to access the entire library. I’ve been burned too many times on Nintendo’s eShop. How can an old NES game cost over a fi ver? We’ve had Netfl ix and Amazon transform how we access movies and how much we pay. iTunes and Spotify changed the way we access, fi nd, share and love music. But gaming seems stuck in the Dark Ages. The access is complicated. The prices are insane. The sharing is limited. Both the publishers and the format holders won’t act until we hit them where it hurts them the most: their spreadsheets. Gamers deserve better than this. They deserve a fairer digital world. And just like James Cameron’s prologue at the beginning of The Terminator, this battle will not be fought in the future. It will be fought here, in our present. Tonight. 

Alex Ward is the co-founder of Three Fields Entertainment. He previously co-founded Burnout developer Criterion Games. www.threefi

It’s easy to consume all other forms of media – books, music, fi lms and TV – 100 per cent digitally, but Alex Ward is frustrated that the same can’t be said for gaming.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84