While ex-Epic Games team leader and creator of Gears of War, Cliff Blezinski has been out of game development for a while, suggesting that he was burned out and needed some time to recuperate, he still dips back in to comment on the state of the industry now and again. His most recent statement is that he believes the traditional game retail sector, with disc based games and real world promotion is dead and he'll never work with it again.
This was said during an interview with Gamasutra, where he stated:
"The whole 'old guard,'where you get a Game Informer cover and and E3 reveal, is dead," he said, suggesting instead, that Let's Players hold the future of your game in their hands.
"Your game is as good as how many YouTube videos it can yield," Bleszinski said. "My wife and I are totally hooked on Rust right now. It's not about the 'new user experience'; in these games the new user experience is utter s***, and it's okay. There are two lessons people have not learned from Minecraft: Get the game out there and build it. Some kid will put out a video. Players will teach each other. You don't need the 'press A to jump'."
Despite the added sharing features and Youtube/Twitch implementation in the new generation of consoles, Blezinski still thinks the PC has the brightest future and that that's what he'll end up developing for again in the future. He also thinks he'll make a shooter since FPS is in his blood.
However when he does eventually do it, he'll be taking lessons from Minecraft, Rust and others: keep fans updated and release it early. That means a change list on the sub-reddit, regular updates and weekly devblogs.
What do you guys think of this vision of the future? Do you think a lot more games will take the Rust model of very early release? It seems like that's only something that can really work in sandbox games where a lot of the gameplay is emergent.