Bleszinski says games in most turmoil since '80s crash

Ex-Epic designer says openness will be only way for consoles to survive

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Cliff Bleszinski thinks the games industry is in its greatest state of flux in decades, and he's waiting a bit to dip his toes back into the water. The former Epic developer plans to start a studio of his own, but he told GamesIndustry International that he may wait until things settle down a bit.

"This business has not been in a state of transition like it is right now since the video game crash of the '80s," Bleszinski said. "I really think we're in a massive state of turmoil. I think Nintendo could possibly be faced with the situation of becoming a company that only makes software moving forward. I think Sony and Microsoft are about to come to major blows."

Bleszinski said while the old school rumbles to keep its market share, new players are flocking to mobile devices and PC is enjoying a gaming renaissance. The ease of digital distribution and more flexible business models available outside of consoles threaten to make the dedicated boxes irrelevant.

Sony made developer-friendliness a pillar of its PlayStation 4 reveal, but will it and the next Xbox be open enough to--say--spawn another Minecraft? If they want to be successful, they'd better be, Bleszinski said.

"When Gears of War 2 launched and we found out that our netcode wasn't working right, it took us three months to get an update out," Bleszinski said. "By that time, the majority of users had moved on to the next game or had traded it in. If Microsoft and Sony are to do well in this next generation, they are going to need to reduce that time as much as possible, as well as continue to enable user-supported mods, independent games, and really just get rid of the wall that makes it incredibly hard to find those products, even if they're allowed on the console... All that red tape needs to be stripped away in order to create an ecosystem to allow for a product like Minecraft to actually happen on a console."

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One of GR+'s news crew, Connor also writes features from time to time and does a lil' streamin'-streamin' on the side. Chrom is his husband and nothing will ever come between them.
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