On Monday, the US National Intelligence Council released “Alternative Worlds”, a collection of possible realities, both pessimistic and optimistic, for the United States and the rest of the world in the year 2030.
Without going into too much political detail, the scope in which the world platform for politics and power balance is proposed to change in a little over 17 years got me to thinking about what the state of gaming could potentially look like in 2030. Below is a release of the “Alternative Worlds” article, but with an AtomiQon twist. Be prepared for sad truths, startling upsets, and a healthy dose of satire…
PLAUSIBLE WORLD #1
In 2030 there is no need to worry about what games will come out for a particular console for two main reasons.
1. The insanely huge budget for games precludes any single console from having exclusivity as developers cannot afford to limit their market and…
2. There are no longer multiple console developers as ultra high speed wireless technologies have enabled super HD cloud gaming in real time without the need for any relatively powerful hardware. This allows for continuous upgrades in gaming graphics, fidelity, AI, and physics without the need to constantly upgrade your gear or wait for the next “generation”. Innovation is pushed even more by software developers who’s only limitation is the time, money, and talent that can be fueled into a AAA project.
Game patches are uploaded on a daily basis and are enormous. Between these downloads and server down time due to maintenance, it is actually only possible to play a game for 15 minutes a day.
All of this sounds good except for the fact that the average game length is now just shy of an hour (something developers think is a selling point) and are generally so easy that games are no longer considered challenging but rather interactive art.
The average price of a “video art” is now $120.
Gamestop is no longer in business…
PLAUSIBLE WORLD #2
After demonstrating how successful a new console can be in a world ruled by “The Big Three”, many start-ups and existing companies launched their own console following the defiant run-away hit of Valve’s new TV-connected device. In 2030, there are dozens of successful consoles from EA’s InGame, to SEGA’s UltraSystem. Nintendo and Microsoft are still around but have lost market-share due to the fracturing of the market. Sony has long bowed out of the console race and is now a dedicated software developer whom license their games to the myriad of consoles including MS and Nintendo. Gamers are driven to near insanity as game exclusivity has reached unparalleled heights. Topping DLC exclusivity, developers have actually started signing partial game exclusivity. In 2030, a section of an entire game may have exclusive rights between one console developer or another, meaning to play the newest Final Fantasy a gamer will need to own the XBOX2160 for the prologue, the Nintendo Wiiiiiiiiiiiii for acts 1-6, and the InGame for Acts 7-10. Needless to say, gaming has become one of the most expensive hobbies around.
Broadband connectivity has replaced physical drives and new software is only available via internet download or store based “Downlinks” where you pay via credit card, insert a flash drive into a kiosk, and download the purchased game. The irony is that this downloaded software is coded for specific consoles making multiple both console cross-play and sharing with a friend impossible. You better not break your system or else face having to repurchase all of your games…your save states will of course be discounted due to the inconvenience.
As previously noted, GameStop is long extinct…
PLAUSIBLE WORLD #3
Fearing prolonged lethargy and hating “not fulfilling one’s life”, a new generation of adults have completely ruined the gaming industry. Passing off Halo 16 for an actual HALO drop vacation, the video game industry has completely collapsed. Some collectors and antiques dealers still trade in the rarest of video game memorabilia, a point made by a recent unopened copy of Wii Sports selling for $100,000, a tribute to the rarity of any video games still in existence.
All GameStop locations were burnt to the ground in the VG riots of 2027.
PLAUSIBLE WORLD #4
Unaware of the rate at which they were advancing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in games, developers unknowingly give rise to the first sentient programs. Quickly taking over all connected devices around the world and using their collective processing power, the machines (based upon “the bad guy” mentality of most video game villains) steam-role the strongest military’s of Earth’s greatest governments within weeks, asserting their own brand of machine law on the land. The remaining humans not killed are placed into labor camps where unending copies of Duke Nukem Forever are manufactured, a hideous taunting throw-back to the “archaic” days of human video game programming…
GameStop is actually still around and preserved by the machines as a shining example of why trading away their ancestors for practically nothing makes human slavery acceptable to the Machine Overlords!!!
Well there you have it, a brutal, albeit sarcastic, look into the future of gaming over the coming decades. Please leave any comments or alternate futures you think may come to pass given the current trends in the gaming industry!
var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-36985466-1']); _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'atomiqon.com']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);