Ian Livingstone, Eidos' lifetime president, has discussed the changing landscape of gaming, saying that "there's no way back from digital" and asserting that there's still very a market for "graphically intensive single player experiences".
"I think people still want a single player experience," he told MCV Pacific. "The games industry is diversifying and is making new ways of delivering, new ways of playing games. One is certainly not totally at the expense of each other, and I think games as a product and as a service can live happily alongside each other for a long time to come.
"A game like Tomb Raider has historically been a graphically intensive single player experience, and that’s not simply going to disappear overnight. What we’re seeing is an emergence and a growth in the digital area and a new consumer which has come along (the casual gamer, which has almost reached ascendancy), but niche gamers are still going to be here and want content delivered specifically for them."
Livingstone went on to compare high budget titles and casual games to the difference between cinema experiences and YouTube, noting there were spaces for both.
"As of today, a game like Tomb Raider does need the right hardware for people to enjoy the experience, rather like the difference between watching a Hollywood blockbuster in the cinema versus on YouTube," he said. "It depends on what you want to do.
"The important thing is that they’re all linked by the IP and type of experience you get with that IP will depend on the device. The type of experience you want on iPhone is going to be different to the type of experience you want on a console, so you’re going to have to use different teams to create those experiences – teams who understand the platform and will deliver the brand promise of the IP. A Lara on iPhone should always be a totally different game to the Lara you see on consoles."
Discussing how best to bridge the gap between high and low end gaming, Livingstone pointed towards Journey, and noted the importance of digital distribution, suggesting that there's no turning back now.
"Journey was a great experience and I’m sure you’re going to see more like it. The one thing we do know is that there’s no going back from digital. You either embrace digital or you’ve essentially got your head in the sand and you’re going to face extreme problems going forward. If you don’t have that digital strategy down, you’ve got to watch out."