We recently had a chat with ArenaNet’s Colin Johanson, who’s also the game director of Guild Wars 2. We asked him if the rise of indie gaming on the PC platform will result in the Triple-A, mainstream PC gaming waning, and he said that in a few years, due to the risks that making games as big as Guild Wars 2 provides, the PC market will be largely dominated by startup and indie games.
“When you make a game like Guild Wars 2, when you make one of the huge MMOs, you’re gambling your entire company on that game, because it takes so long to make it and it takes so much money to make it that you can’t afford to fail,” Johanson told us in our interview. “If the game is even mildly popular instead of really popular, odds are you’re gonna have to fire a whole bunch of people.”
“The risk that comes with it is incredible,” he continued. “And I think seeing more and more companies that are stepping away, thinking ‘We don’t want to take a risk by making a big this big, it’s too expensive, it’s too risky and our whole could fall if we don’t succeed’. You don’t have to worry with the indie game model, you know.
“You can make two or three or four or five games that aren’t crazy successful, and they’re not very expensive to make, and they don’t take a lot of people, but the second you make Angry Birds, when you make that one that really explodes, you’re crazy profitable and you have enough to hold your company for ages.”
He then went on to say that it is because of these risks that we’ll be seeing more of indie games in the future. “I really don’t think we’re gonna see that many more MMO companies in the future.,” he said. “I think too many companies have attempted to be WoW and folded and failed. And you’re gonna start seeing very few companies taking risks making games as big as Guild Wars 2.”
Read our full interview with the Guild Wars 2 devs here.