09.07.2024

Kristian Segerstrale believes that fostering cross-platform capabilities, rather than developing new platforms, is key to driving growth

Kristian Segerstale asserts that the key to industry growth lies in developers adopting a strategy that spans multiple platforms, rather than waiting for a new platform to drive change.

During the opening keynote at Develop Brighton, the CEO of Super Evil Megacorp discussed the current landscape of gaming platforms. Host and MobileGamer.biz editor Neil Long observed that with the established presence of consoles, mobile, and PC, there appears to be no imminent new platform to invigorate the market.

He noted that while some companies have explored Web3 and metaverse integrations, these attempts haven't yet matched the impact of smartphones and app stores.

"It's correct that no single new platform is currently propelling growth," Segerstrale commented. "However, there's significant potential in maximizing the platforms we already have.

"It's almost a given now – cross-platform adaptation for any substantial gaming IP is crucial. Once a high-quality game is developed, expanding its reach across different platforms increases player engagement. It's an obvious point, though it's not always top of mind."

Segerstrale highlighted that improvements in mobile device capabilities are essential, but developers must be mindful of various factors such as input methods and business models.

Segerstrale began by discussing the current state of the industry, aiming to inject some optimism into the room.

"To appreciate the gaming sector, just talk to someone in movies, music, or any other media field and ask them 'how are you doing?' In comparison, the gaming industry is thriving.

"It might sound a bit dismissive – this year has been tough. Over 10,000 layoffs in the first half of the year surpass last year's total. We've seen project cancellations, studio closures, and some baffling decisions from major companies shutting down award-winning studios. Surface-level, it looks grim.

"But taking a broader view, our industry has more than doubled over the past decade. Which other sector can claim that? We have over three billion gamers and growing annually. More people than ever have access to gaming devices. The fundamentals for growth over the next decade are solid."

Segerstrale remarked that the industry often "overreacts to short-term trends and underestimates long-term progression."

Reflecting on his early days in mobile gaming around 2001, Segerstrale recalled the humble beginnings when the first phones capable of downloading games emerged. Back then, developers dreamed of a $1 billion mobile gaming industry.

"With basic feature phones and limited graphics, one could easily doubt mobile gaming's potential for significant growth. Today, mobile gaming is a $90 billion industry, continually evolving.

"This doesn't downplay the challenges developers face today. However, the most successful companies endure hardships. Supercell, for example, faced early setbacks, as has every company I've been involved with. When faced with industry challenges, the best response is to learn and build resilience, creating better games."

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