I'm putting this in the discussion forum because I just read a rather enlightening article:
The author is mainly discussing what the future might be like for indie developers now that its easier than ever to develop and publish a game thanks to platforms like Steam providing distribution and toolsets like Unity and Unreal being available at low cost for enthusiasts.
But the main thing I wanted to discuss is this: did the Great Gaming Crash of 1983 actually ever happen? Because if you look back at everything that came after, the answer is no. Games didn't crash, Atari did. If games crashed, wouldn't the effects have been felt in Europe and sales for personal computer games on ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 have plummeted? And wouldn't Nintendo have gone out of business as well, and not have brought video games back to the spotlight with the NES?
And what about the great PC gaming crash of 2002? Shouldn't we all be playing games on consoles and posting in this forum on tablets now?
There is only one correlation between all these "crashes" that occurred throughout the years: business interest. The great crash of '83 is called that because retailers were dumping all of their cartridge video games into clearance bins and re-allocating the shelf space to Cabbage Patch Kids and Transformers toys. The only casualty of the "great crash of '83" was Atari. In reality we should be calling it the Atari Crash, and the only reason people said the "crash" had happened was because there was a gap in the time it took for companies like Nintendo and Commodore to get their products to the American market to fill in the hole Atari left behind. Remember, we didn't have Amazon back then.
But the point I'm getting to here: anyone who is saying the industry is going to crash again, they are wrong. The industry will not crash; it never did. All that will happen is business interest will shift in a way that causes a major change in the gaming market. That's what happened in '83: Atari's bankruptcy opened the way for Nintendo and Sega to rise to dominance.
If Call of Duty dies, it's not the end of the world. Someone else will just find a new sacred cash cow to exploit.
As far as the article, it is about how Indie gaming is starting to divide up into two entities: hobbyists and entrepreneurs. Game development tech has come a long enough way that people can make their own games just because they can, and the modding communities of all games thrive on this hobbyist approach. In order to actually see the health of the actual indie games market, you need to filter out all the hobbyists for whom profit is not a goal (and if you're looking at Steam, all the Early Access shovelware titles). Only when you know how well the games that want to be sold are selling can you determine the health of the market. The so called #Indiepocalypse is nothing more than a byproduct of hobbyist game sales data and business game sales data getting lumped in together. Hobby games that were never intended to be profitable (and zero-effort shovelware) are just noise in those sales figures. Get rid of those, and the Indie market is as healthy as ever.
In short, the argument I'm trying to make here is unlike what most doomsayers will tell you, the game industry will NEVER crash in the foreseeable future. Because it never did in the past.
Anyone else have thoughts on this?