It's fair to say that Team Meat's Tommy Refenes and Ed McMillen aren't the biggest fans of the console publishing carousel of hoop-jumping. Going on past performance from the console bigwigs, they're not exactly chomping at the bit for the next generation of consoles. In fact, they don't think Durango, the PS4, or the Wii U will have too much of an impact, mainly because hardcore gamers are no longer the ones dictating trends.
“It costs zero dollars to develop on Steam if you already have a computer,” Refenes told Eurogamer. “When you look at PlayStation and Xbox and Nintendo you have to buy thousand dollar dev kits and pay for certification and pay for testing and pay for localisation – you have to do all these things and at the end of the day it’s like, ‘I could have developed for other platforms and it would’ve been easier.’”
“You have to take into consideration that when you’re independent, you don’t want to take the risk of jumping on a platform that you have no idea how it’s going to do until it’s already established,” added McMillen. “When you look at WiiWare, when it bloomed when World of Goo came out it was like, ‘Holy shit! This is a great platform to develop for,’ and then it was like a gold rush and everybody was jumping on WiiWare.
“What they should have done was wait a little longer to see if it would continue. Because then it just dropped and nobody cared.
“Imagine if we got put in another situation like with Xbox where we were nailed down to this contract of semi-exclusivity and we had to jump through all these hoops and kill ourselves and then pay shit-loads of money to get on a platform that’s not established yet and then it comes out and doesn’t do well – imagine that. That’s fucking horrible.”
Less than stellar treatment of devs aside, Refenes reckons that the market has move on to the extent where consoles are no longer the industry powerhouses that they used to be, and that the games that hit those next-gen platforms will be pretty much the same dea as we have now. Only shinier.
"I don't feel there's enough deviation from what games are currently out to what games are going to be out," he said. "I don't feel there's a need to have anything more than what's out right now. An iPad comes out and does a year's worth of console sales in a weekend. The people in the market to play games are more apt to grab an iPad or a tablet or a fancy phone because it's more convenient,
“I don’t feel confident there’s going to be a PlayStation 5. I don’t feel confident there’s going to be another console after the Wii U. There probably will be, but it’s totally diminishing returns. It’s sad. I like the consoles, and I prefer playing something in my living room. But I’m also not in that range of consumer that actually sort of dictates trends at this point.”
“If Nintendo or Sony or Microsoft – well, we’ll cut off Microsoft at this point – but if Nintendo or Sony came to us and said, ‘we have a minimum guarantee of X, Y, Z, we really want you to develop a game for our next system that’s coming out in year whatever, if you have something to work on we want to work with you, here’s a free kit to develop for us and here’s a minimum guarantee or advance,’ then we’d be way more inclined to develop for them, but it wouldn’t be an exclusive deal,” added McMillen.
“That’s an important thing for us.”
I strongly advise you check out the full interview. It's very angry, and very sweary, but an absolutely compelling read.