Is the console business going away? No, but it is changing, said five console-oriented developers at GDC Canada, who discussed what it takes to succeed in an increasingly high-risk, low-return segment of the video game market.

Included on the panel were Kelly Zmak, former president of Radical Entertainment; Dan Winters, vice president of developer relations at Activision Blizzard (more Activision than Blizzard, as he said); Adel Chaveleh, president and CEO of Timegate Studios, and Jorge Freitas, founder of Propaganda Games.

Disney Interactive Studios operations VP Howard Donaldson, the panel's moderator, pointed out that console sales fell by 11 percent last year: "A lot of publishers have slashed their product lines, which is affecting studios,” he said. “We’ve had major layoffs throughout Canada, the U.S., the UK, and all around the world.”

“You have a social gaming session and it’s packed,” he added. "Everyone wants to get into that business.” So what does this mean for the future?

Is Console Gaming Going Away?

“I think the obvious answer is no, but it is changing,” said Zmak. “The packaged goods business is still a viable business. What it is doing is being impacted by other purchases and other consumer trends. That console business has always been a tough business. It’s a brutally tough business. The iPhone business is no simpler, it just includes less people. ”
by Brandon Sheffield
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