The former head of Sony believes that Google, Netflix and Amazon are a huge threat to the gaming industry
The gaming industry has long ceased to be a niche and the destiny of the young. Now this is a huge business uniting generations, at the head of which are large publishers. And the former head of the PlayStation brand believes that Google, Amazon and others "Non -endemic" Corporations pose a huge threat to the video game market and can make the situation much worse.
Sean Leiden, who is currently the strategic adviser to Tencent, shared his fears with the editors of Gamesindustry.Biz at the end of August, during the GI Investment Summit Seattle 2023 conference. By the way, this is not the first such case – some comments from the interview echoing with what the businessman talked about back in 2021.
Leiden identifies three main threats to the video game industry: consolidation, cost growth and arrival "Non -endemic" companies (t.e. not previously related to electronic entertainment).
Leiden has long been talking about the danger of consolidation. The American considers her a murderer of creativity, referring to the mass buying of studios by large publishers, including the irony of fate – Tencent.
He only mentioned costs as "existential threat", without going into details.
More than Leiden had to say about corporations outside the game market, which, according to Gamesindustry.Biz, he was forced to name "Barbarians at the gate", seduced by huge income from the industry:
Now we see how all major players think: "Oh, games? It brings billions of dollars a year? I want a piece". And Google, Netflix, Apple and Amazon want to get their share and try to disorganize the industry.
As a warning, the American pointed to the situation in other entertainment markets: musical and cinema.
In his opinion, the intervention of large companies harms these industries, for example, when "Apple convinced everyone that $ 0.99 per song is a good idea". No less negatively evaluates the influence of Netflix on cinema.
Leiden hopes the games will become "the first market to change by itself", without the intervention of Google and the company, although he did not explain what it was he mean.
It can be noted that on this basis you can criticize both Sony and Microsoft, which, in the same time, did not begin their activities as publishers of games. Nevertheless, Leiden noted that Sony from the very beginning understood her restrictions and separated "Electronics" From games. Therefore, the concern for the latter was originally entrusted to "entertainment" Sony Music Japan employees, and the company itself limited itself to the role of the publisher of the works of other authors:
PlayStation understood that she could not follow in the footsteps of Sega and Nintendo [and provide most of the software -. Gamesindustry.biz], we lacked experience to create this. We had to become a platform for the outside, attract Namco, Square, Electronic Arts, Activision. It was people from Sony Music that convinced Square to transfer the Final Fantasy VII from Nintendo to the PlayStation, which was perhaps the biggest change in the market. So yes, we were not endemic, but I think that we have brought an element of entertainment that accelerated the success of the PlayStation.
In a word, Leyiden is not so much worried about the invasion of large companies from the outside to the game industry as their inability to understand her "entertaining" aspect. In fact, technological giants from their own experience were convinced that in this market it is not enough to own technology in this market to create a game. It is enough to mention the failure of the Google Stadia and the initial failure of the Amazon games (New World, nevertheless, showed good financial results, although today it attracts much less players than when starting).
Leiden also notes that the current interest of large corporations in games is not something new. The film studios should have passed through a similar stage: MGM Interactive, Fox Interactive and even Sony Pictures. None of them achieved more success with their own games, although several games released by these companies have fans today
They all thought: "We have brands, you can make money at games, so let’s make it. It’s so complicated?", and then everything collapsed and burned. 20 years later, we have all these large technological companies; They have all this infrastructure in the cloud, and they say: "Let’s make video games. Is it so difficult?". It turned out that it is very difficult.