Seeing in 2009 with a cautious BANG

31 12 2008

happy_new_year_fireworks

by Matthew Moore

Allow me to start off with a big thank you to the MLG Collective!

With the community input, be it keeping us entertained with wit and banter or keeping us informed with some great writing, it’s always a great place to be and we look forward to the growth of the community in 2009.

So lets take a good look back at 2008 which gave us the expected titles “Metal Gear Solid 4”, “Gears of War 2”, “Fallout 3”, “Fable 2” and “Little Big Planet “.  Oh and not forgetting the social experiment “Home” which was finally released to the public.

But for 2008 I will take away more than just the sum of the games, but the actual industry which we all revel in.  This year has seen gaming becoming more and more main stream, with news stories which years past would have been known only to forum lurkers, now being headline news.  However as usual, this is not always a good thing, as 2008 has also received more bad press, with GTA being blamed for more real life violence and further concerns about child safety in online games.

But as someone in the know who’s not scared away from gaming by the press, there is a more worrying concern I feel we may be facing in 2009 and thats the casual market.  With Nintendo’s Wii and DS hardware in almost everyone’s home this Christmas and the economical climate we’re in.  Will I be forgotten about?

I’m sure we’re always going to be seeing our hardcode franchises continue with our GTA’s, MGS’s, COD and the like, but what about new innovation?  All of the innovations of 2008 were focused being a more family friendly form of media, which in a perfect world I do want, but not at the expense of my reason for gaming.  Think about it, Wii Fit, New Xbox Experience, Home; all family friendly.  So what happens when we finally get Virtual Reality back for the 21st century.  I’m sure this will be mostly family friendly experienced, more than a hardcore experience taking advantage of the hardware.

Now I’m not saying that 2009 is going to be a terrible year for gaming, other than some big sequels with “Assassins Creed 2” and “Mass Effect 2” (I hope), we’re going to be seeing some new intellectual properties in the forms of “Heavy Rain” and if we’re lucky “Alan Wake”.  But games aside I’m interesting in seeing what happens to the mobile market.  With iPhone already producing close to PSP standard games in its very short lifespan, is this going to force Sony to do something special.  Nintendo have already announced their DSi which is sure to sell just as well as the DS, but Sony’s PSP 3000 fell short somewhat with being only a minor upgrade with some noticeable issues.

I am facing 2009 with some concern.  I know gaming is here to stay.  But I just want the industry to remember me when they realise they can sell to everyone.

All thats left now is for me to wish you all a wonderful kick off to 2009, what ever you are doing and who ever you are doing it with.  So let’s stand united and face the year together!!!

Matt

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One response

1 01 2009
Wayne Shayler

Yes, 2008 was a great year and if 2009 is half as good as that then we’ll all be in for a treat, regardless of our preffered ‘platforms’ or ‘genres’.

It does seem unfair that the ones who were at the birth of this great industry, will ultimately be the ones who will suffer during these tough times. We all love the ‘casual’ games, but I do really want something to get my teeth into every now and again.

Kenzo Tsujimoto (CAPCOM), Trip Hawkins (EA), Fumito Ueda (ICO), Hideo Kojima (MGS), Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), Shigeru Miyamoto (Mario, Zelda), Sam Houser (GTA), John D. Carmack (iD), Gunpei Yokoi (Gameboy), Masayuki Uemura (NES), Ken Kutaragi (Playstation), Peter Molyneux (Lionhead), Ken Levine (2K Boston), Clifford Bleszinski (Epic), Tōru Iwatani (Pacman) and Nolan Bushnell (Atari). We salute you.

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