It's all about money. That's what it always comes down to.
And with mobile and casual gaming on the rise, with seemingly everyone between the ages of 8 and 28 owning something with an Android or iOS system, a new form of gaming is on the rise.
The hardcore, the veterans, and the purists will likely say this new form has absolutely no soul; that it's often mindless and simplistic, and that the only real video games are the cutting-edge interactive entertainment experiences found on consoles and PCs.
But as technology continues to get better and better, those lighthearted games can become deeper and deeper. And as it stands, little mobile games and apps for portable devices is a lucrative business, one that must be awfully attractive to developers who are tired of struggling to survive in an increasingly competitive industry. If you're not cranking out million-sellers on a frequent basis, you're always worried about the future. Casual games are easy. More than that, they're obviously easy money.
Therefore, is it entirely out of the realm of possibility that we'll lose some top-notch talent to that "lesser" form of entertainment? David Jaffe says he isn't planning to focus on the casual/mobile market, although the studio he leaves behind – Eat Sleep Play – will. But what if it was Jaffe? What if it was Kojima? What if it was one of the Naughty Dog head honchos? Yamauchi? Cage? What if? It's crucial that we continue to progress but if some of the best and brightest take an easier route, we could be in trouble.
Easy and simple seems to be the ongoing trend in just about every facet of life these days. And that could prove problematic for the future of video games. The good news is, we believe true visionaries like the aforementioned designers will always want to push boundaries and you really can't do that by taking a step down. …unless of course, those guys don't view it as a "step down." Then we have a big issue.