The Silicon Knights boss says that social games are more like marketing than “real games.”
Denis Dyack, founder of Silicon Knights and creator of Too Human, isn’t really a fan of social gaming, and thinks that it’s only a matter of time before the bubble bursts and the social gaming industry comes crashing down to earth.
Dyack said that he didn’t think that there was a sustainable, long-term market for social gaming. Although social gaming developers were attracting a lot of funding and venture capital at the moment, he said that when the excitement had died down and the companies had to start showing that they were making money, the funding would dry up, and take social gaming with it. “I think Zynga’s valuated more than some traditional publishers right now that have been in the industry for decades,” he said. “I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it. It seems imaginary to me … it doesn’t look long-term healthy to me.”
He said that he was not the only person in the industry to think like this, and that a lot of companies were hesitant about taking the plunge into social gaming. “I think there are a lot of publishers out there that don’t agree with it and they just haven’t spoken about it,” he said. “I don’t see Nintendo going into that space, as an example. There are a lot of publishers that I don’t see going into that space.”
What’s interesting about Dyack’s comments, however, is that he doesn’t seem to be able to understand why some might find social games appealing. He said that social games looked more like marketing than “real gaming” and that he didn’t think that they were a good use of his time. Dyack sounds incredulous about the success of social gaming, and his predictions of doom seem to be based on this gut feeling, rather than any hard data.
It’s not impossible that there will be a crash in the social gaming market – no industry or market is immune to that – but the free-to-play model has been proven to work, and the fact that it’s working incredibly well for social gaming does not mean that it’s not sustainable. As a new, emerging market, social gaming will inevitably shift and change, but it’s very hard to believe it’s going to go away any time soon.
Source: Industry Gamers