It’s rare to get a collection of some of the best and brightest names in gaming under one roof, but that’s exactly what happened at the 2014 D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas. One of this year’s themes was how many game developers feel we’re in a Golden Age of Gaming. So, taking advantage of this rare opportunity, we decided to ask these great minds just what we might expect over the next 5 to 10 years from this perceived Golden Age.
More indie games. They’re the only games I have the patience for now. I don’t finish a lot of triple-A titles anymore. I’d rather just sit down and do two hours of something, and I’m more willing to pay that price.
Co-Founder, Geek & Sundry
Really good hair. There’s nothing grosser than when you create an RPG character, and it just looks like they’ve never washed their hair. It’s all spiky and disgusting. It looks like dyed straw, and I hate it.
I think no matter what happens with technology, that we, as game developers and publishers, will keep concentrating on the game experience, and that will be the key to our success in the future. We have to provide to the users the best possible experiences in regards to gameplay and service, and that will keep the future bright.
Chief Creative Director, Electronic Arts
I think it’s going to be an interesting next 10 years as the rest of the world decides they get to have some influence on what the gaming business is, too. And it’ll introduce us to a whole new collection of gaming styles, to different business models, to new characters—and, most importantly, to new developers who will make really exciting stuff.
President, Insomniac Games
I think you’re going to see a large number of new IPs that are really pushing the boundaries in terms of what players expect. I think, after seeing—and we’re certainly guilty of this as well— a lot of shooters on the last-gen platforms, a lot of stuff felt like we’d seen it before. There’s a big push from both large and small companies to change the rules for players. What does that mean? Well, just look at 2014. It means a lot of brand-new and surprising IPs.
CEO, Remedy Entertainment
I think we’re at an interesting junction point. There have been a lot of trends and courses laid creating a perfect storm in many ways. We have massive ecosystems with digital distribution coming in, and then we’re having increasingly powerful machines and new business models and games as a service. I think we’re going to have this massive connected living room, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, even in just two or three years, we start interacting with fiction in a different form.
President, Raw Thrills
It’s a rough world out there. One percent of the apps take 90 percent of the revenue, and 99 percent of the guys are getting run over by the Google bus. So, there’s this huge emphasis on monetization, how to make your game make money, and I think the industry is almost going off a cliff where the monetization is driving the creativity so much that we all end up making the same game. Just trying to trap the player, hold him upside down, and shake the money out of his pockets. I think, in the future, this is going to just collapse, and we’re going to start thinking about making games to be fun again and not be so obsessed with this monetization thing.
Creative Director, Naughty Dog
We’re all going to be in the Matrix, but we won’t know that we’re in the Matrix, and then [Naughty Dog Game Director] Bruce [Straley] is going to be the one who fights for us all to get out.
President and CEO, Gearbox Software
It’s really exciting right now, because we’re crossing the threshold where everyone is a gamer. If you rewind to the beginning of the last generation, more than half the population didn’t play games. Our grandparents had no idea what was going on. But the Wii got grandma bowling. Smartphones have brought all kinds of new games to all kinds of people. Everyone now is a gamer. That’s really exciting. Now, it’s going to be about that we can try anything, and we’ll find an audience. When you combine the spectrum of platforms with the width of the audience, we can try anything. As long as we’re smart about how many people might be interested in what we’re doing, I think you’re going to see a lot of risky and exciting games. A lot of things we’ve never seen before.
Founder, Oculus VR
I don’t know what the future will look like. I think virtual reality will play an important part in it. I think indie games are going to be more and more polished. I think the creation tools that allow people to make games are going to be easier to use and allow for better and better games with less and less effort. It was really hard to make good-looking games a couple of years ago, but I think tools like Unity have made that whole process so much easier, so I think you’ll start having more amazing games from smaller teams.
President, Robot Entertainment
What I think is fascinating is a developer anywhere in the world can now reach consumers anywhere in the world. Everyone has a smartphone in their pocket. The access to high-speed bandwidth is pervasive globally. So, I think you’ll see gaming grow more globally, reaching markets that were never reachable before so you might see gaming become just as important in Zimbabwe as it is in North America in the next decade.
Creative Director, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
I’d be rich if I knew what was coming. [Laughs] But I think it’ll be interesting to see what emerges from the mix of these highly capable consoles and all these social and mobile mechanics, and whatever comes from that will be something to keep an eye on.
Developer, Papers, Please
VR. I think VR is the future. Once it becomes accessible with the Oculus Rift, I think everything’s going to change in how games are made and sold.
Co-Founder and Chief Creative Director, Ninja Theory
What I think is you’ll see is a shift away from games being designed by publishers for gamers and instead see gamers designing games for themselves. I think there’ll be much more of a homebrew scene, where technology will be awesome and game engines will be so powerful that small bands of people will be able to come together and make incredible games. I think the future will be less corporate-driven and more gamer-driven.
Voice Actor, The Last of Us
I think that what we’re doing right now is that we’re not only redefining what games look like, but we’re also redefining how players play them. I think, to some extent, gamers have gotten a little spoiled. Now we’re shaking things up, and gamers are able to participate in the infrastructure of how their games are presented to them. I think that’s an exciting opportunity for publishers to listen to their audience and collaborate with them in not only creating the content but also in how the content gets to them, so I’m excited to see how that relationship grows over the course of the next generation.
Creative Lead, Media Molecule
I think we’ll just see more and more games seeping out of our screens and interacting with our reality, from new display methods to all kinds of crazy science-fiction stuff.
Co-Founder, The Fullbright Company
I think we’re going to see another big, must-have item that people will move to, like mobile was for the last generation. I can’t pretend to tell you what it may be, though.
Be sure to check out EGM Issue #263, available now on newsstands everywhere, to hear these and other gaming personalities share their thoughts on the flip side of this topic: what they thought was the most important aspect of the last generation of hardware.