5 Things I’m Thinking Right Now

by danhon

Also known as the “Before I’ve been to Develop” edition.

Alice did it first, and then Kim did it. Here’s mine.

  1. I’m calling it. We’ve hit Peak Game. Sure, Jesse Schell called it too, but mark my words: we’ve hit the top of the Gartner Hype Cycle and 2011 will be the year of the trough of disillusionment when everything we do will come with points, badges and achievements. Badgeville is a sign of things to come, and advertising agencies and brands are going to come crash the gaming party hard.
  2. My friend Mink touched on this at her talk at GameCamp, which hopefully will get a second airing at SXSW 2011: with the explosion of non-core games, male game designers (and traditionally male gaming pursuits – the ’emotionally immature’ shooting stuff, racing, explosion-y games) are going to become marginalised over the next five years. It seems like no one else other than Nintendo and some of the Facebook social games developers have realised this yet (and the latter in a copying, cargo-cultish way). Put simply: games designed by ‘non-gamers’ for ‘non-gamers’.
  3. Where’s the first mass, non-checkin based location-based game going to come from? I still maintain that Foursquare isn’t a game and is instead a social utility.
  4. The new publishers: indie developers don’t need traditional publishers and are starting to have an explosion of funding models available to them. Are they going to start to get agents? CAA have been looking into this for a while – they represent thatgamecompany, I think – where are the indie developer talent scouts? (Other than, say, Valve…)
  5. Android, the Smartphone OS for everyone else.

Things I’m ignoring, probably at my peril:

  • Set-top boxes (Canvas, Google TV)
  • the iPad/tablets, because I’m thinking about them anyway
  • Nintendo and Online (because they are, too)

No doubt I’ll update this next week.