About 100 gaming insiders gathered in Leipzig Germany today to hear David Perry, Chief Creative Officer at Acclaim, and a 27 year veteran of the gaming industry, give his keynote speech on the future of gaming. We were there, and here's the rundown of what he talked about.
4:00PM - David Perry takes the stage and shows-off a parody ad for the Sony PS9, featuring mind control and telepathic personal music. It's very funny.
4:02PM - Perry talks about his personal history. He grew up in Ireland. Shows amazing Battlestar Galactica game from the first iteration of the TV series in the early 80's.
4:05PM - Talks history of data storage, says it's headed to storage on external servers, and game logic will eventually be housed on similar servers. He's always dreamed of playing games on hardware he could never afford. Then, he refutes his own theory about storage, since broadband won't catch up for at least 5 years. It doesn't matter. Information will still be offline. Says that the consoles aren't likely to play nice with each other once the prime source of retail for them becomes online sales.
4:10PM - What about retail? He says they'll be selling access to the games as opposed to selling the games themselves. Standing out among competitors will be an issue for developers who want to challenge for prime sales space on the platforms' sales portal.
4:15PM - Visuals in gaming. Talks about how far we've come, and how game graphics compete with movies already. Says that 4K (movie quality broadcast) will be the next revolution in home televisions, and that it will be the end of that arc. They can go no farther after that. He also discloses that someone he knows is working on building a real, live holodeck. Shows an example of Lightstage as the next generation of motion capture, and encourages everyone to find them on YouTube.
4:20PM - His consultants say that online revenue will build to $2 billion a year over the next 10 years. Shows analysis that says the Wii will win the console war on the hardware side, and that, eventually the PS3 will sell the most software. Then he whips out some demographics for how games sell. In short, if you're making games, include multiplayer, use a celebrity name, and sell during the holiday season.
4:22PM - Sony will lose more money on the PS3 than they made in the entire lifecycle of the PS2. Total. They will not be able to make money on it, according to data, ever. No matter how long the cycle runs, and it's going to run a long, long time for Sony on this one. Good reviews sell games at a 20-1 ratio for game companies. Laptops are coming on strong for gaming, which should change PC game development drastically.
4:25PM - Perry offers to let people link to over 10 million gaming professionals via his LinkedIn profile. He'll add you...no joke. Announces GameInvestors.com, which will help developers make games and hook up with the people who have all the money to make them work. The site will take online pitches as well, and is totally free for both developers and investors.
4:30 PM - Talks gaming in China. That segment of the population is spending a lot of money on games these days. It's grown 69.5% over the past year. China's really creative with their gaming, and they take risks, like goosing social interaction and making it really robust, so people actually want to talk with each other while they're playing.
4:35PM - Talks viral gaming sites like Club Penguin. Shows how even the smallest variable in a viral market can make a huge difference to the bottom line. He's launched his own viral test balloon to prove it, and so, incidentally, has World of Warcraft. Then, he disses E3 pretty hardcore, by showing a picture of the empty show floor in contrast to the fun and crowded Asian shows, which are growing and doing big business.
4:40PM - Talks about free-to-play games. Singles out EA for Battlefield Heroes being free to play. Says games cost way too much, and has printed a list of 33 ways to make money in gaming without having to charge for the game itself. Then, he talks about how to advertise in gaming. Don't charge for a game and then advertise, too, don't delay or distract from the game, and make sure you give them something for the trouble of viewing the ads. Perry then shows a list of new ways to advertise in gaming.
4:50PM - What would happen if a major game were totally free? It would completely break the business model of gaming for good, and it's going to happen before too long. Announces Spellborn, which will be free-to-play, is European in its origin, and looks good.
4:55PM - Talks about Project Top Secret, which gathered 60,000 people to develop a game together online. Ended up hiring a guy named Mike Zummo from the project, who is now developing MMOs for Acclaim. Shows a video of Bono talking about the digital age.
5:00PM - Wraps up by talking about the value of serving the community in gaming and his excitement for the future.