"Every industry that becomes digital eventually becomes free."
At the Game Developers Conference today, Playfish co-founder and CEO Kristan Segerstrale examined how the final implications of this quote, from Wired editor Chris Anderson, are changing the game industry. Far from being a threat to gaming, Segerstrale sees the move towards free social games as the key to unlocking explosive growth.
This change does require looking at the industry in a different way, though. In the past, Segerstrale said, the industry focused on charging lots of money upfront to a small number of people. In the new free, social games model, developers should focus on creating an ongoing experience and relationship with a broader audience that will pay small amounts of money over time. Where the industry once relied on technological changes to attrct new players, Segerstrale said they must now look to social networks and lower barriers of entry to attract bigger audiences than ever.