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Tim Sweeney: Holiday Season Retail Sales Indicate Console Market is Going Through Significant Downturn

In a recent interview with Glixel, Epic Games Co-Founder and creator of the Unreal Engine, Tim Sweeney spoke openly about his feelings on the current video game market, more specifically, a downturn in retail console sales over the Christmas Holidays, something the programmer accredits to young people, as a percentage switch from console to PC gaming.

All of the retail console sales data this holiday season indicated that the console market is going through a really significant downturn,” explains Sweeney, when asked if we’re facing the beginning of another seismic transition in the industry, a change that could even result in a number of console developers and publishers closing down.

I don’t think it’s seasonal. I think what we’re really facing is that young new gamers aren’t going into consoles. And so there’s this audience of increasingly aged gamers like a lot of us at Epic, who are sticking with it – but some are dropping out. Ultimately, the games that you can get and watch continually improve over the course of many years are far more engaging and reliable than this model of releasing a new game every Christmas and trying to convince everybody to buy it again.”

Sweeney believes that as PC gaming becomes a more accessible way to play, more gamers will continue to make the switch across, a move that will directly affect console sales in the future. “Young people are growing up in mobile. They’re playing games in different ways, usually shorter play sessions spread throughout the day. It’s not the kind of experience where you sit down for four hours and play a game. And the gamers who are getting into that are moving more and more into PC, I think.

PC is becoming a more convenient way of playing. And also these PC-centric games that are operated continually are becoming a bigger and bigger factor in hardcore gaming: League of Legends, Dota, Overwatch.”

Lastly, Sweeney, who founded Epic Games in 1991 along with Mark Rein believes that in time VR will have a huge impact on the video game industry, despite a slow start, “These long-term, permanent trends in PC and console gaming are overlapping with the early stages of VR. Even though VR, for the next three years, won’t be big enough to make a big dent in it, the future of the industry is going to be shaped by it.”

Epic Games are currently developing Robo Recall, a free-to-play title for Oculus Rift, which is due to release in 2017.

Credit Source: Glixel

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Better known as RzrsS in the video game scene, Stephan Rodts has been playing video games for nearly his entire life. He started out shooting poor ducks out of the sky in Duck Hunt on the Nintendo, but now shoots everything that moves. Be warned.

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