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We don’t need no AAA console studios

Over the past couple of years, there’s been much coverage within the games-industry press about the fall and fall of the UK games industry. Nicholas Lovell has done a particularly good job of tracking studio closures. Many of the big companies, and the trade associations, seem to have spent most of their time trying to win tax breaks.

The argument has been: It’s impossible for AAA studios, with hundreds of employees, to stay “competitive” with Montreal, Vancouver, et al – unless the government gives them vast amounts of free profit. If they are not gifted this money, they will shut down, and make people jobless; witness NIcholas’s Job Loss Tracker above for evidence.

But the thing is … I really don’t care.

I really don’t believe we “need” those big studios.

(EDIT: NB: this post was sparked by Andy Wilson of Codemasters stating: “we need to start supporting the industry properly or the whole thing is going to melt into iPhone developers – and there’s only so many 4-man teams who are going to find success”. Of course, Codemasters is a great example of a badly-managed, has-been publisher that chews people up and spits them out)

If they cannot make the same high profit margins that those of us skilled and bold (foolish?) enough to do iOS are making, then they’re just getting in the way, and should sod off.

How many iOS studios were whining about the need for tax breaks?

How many were just being quietly profitable, and focussing on being “more profitable through good solid product and marketing”, rather than begging government to do it for them?

I welcome the demise of bloated, badly managed, unprofitable, second-rate console studios.

I also believe that console studios will return – but they’ll be offshoots of iOS studios, and they will be managed a million times better. Let’s forget the old studios, and their shitty business acumen, their mismanagement, and piss-poor leadership.

Good riddance, I say.

(unless they continue to be healthy – in which case: well done, and what a great asset to the community and industry! I judge them by their success, not by their ability to chew through people and resource as inefficiently as possible; it often seems in the press today as though the latter is the most important criteria :()

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