As part of a wider panel at the London Games Summit on the expansion of the video game market, Codemasters chairman and former SCEE founder Chris Deering made a number of interesting remarks on the future of the game business.
The panel's moderator, Adam Singer of the MCPS-PRS Alliance started on a provocative note, asking why games "is so reluctant to pick up the mantle of a true medium." He even suggested that the game industry was analogous to that of Hollywood and the film biz in 1913 ...yet to develop the major entities that would drive it forward".
As part of his reply, Deering, who was formerly Chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and helped to release the original PlayStation in Europe, discussed some of the things he was particularly excited about in games, going forward.
He particularly referenced, with regard to "new frontiers that will get us all excited", that the "social networking aspects" of games will be particularly important. Several of the panelists repeated the concept that: "MMOGs are really chatrooms with graphics", and it's clear that Deering believes that games that include major social aspects are key.
In particular, Deering also singled out GPS (currently being implemented in the PSP), "live video components" to games, and voice recognition as areas that he thinks are particularly important in the coming years.
As for who is going to control the future of entertainment, Deering is very much on the side of the game biz, commenting: "We're in the right place - nobody else is going to get it." He ended: "I'm always optimistic because technology... always needs a place to match up with creativity."
During his panel comments, Deering also brought up an amusing anecdote from his past, pointing out: "Console gaming was pronounced completely moribund in 1984". He then explained that he was at U.S. educational software maker Spinnaker around that time when he tried to convince them to become the U.S. distributor for NES - but they turned him down, believing there to be no future in the console game biz. They must be kicking themselves now.