Update: Firefall CEO Clarifies "Consoles Are Dead" Statement

| 28 Mar 2013 17:24
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Mark Kern said he's going all-in with the PC for Firefall.

Update: Mark Kern clarified his thoughts a bit in an interview with me at PAX East. He admitted that he his tongue was firmly in cheek when he said it, and it's a very general statment. "When I say consoles are dead," Kern said, "it's a broad statement but it's really about how the current iteration of consoles is kind of brain dead. The old publishing model, the old 'Let's compete by putting more graphics in there' isn't working anymore."

He also sees great potential in smaller, niche consoles for independent developers. "I'm not saying that TVs and controllers are dead, in fact, I'm really excited by Ouya, for example," Kern said. "It's like 'Hey, no one cares about the hardware anymore, just get the great games on it and make it open, make it accessible to indie devs and everybody else.' That's, to me, where the future of consoles should be so I guess there's a qualification to that broad statement." So consoles aren't dead, they are just being reborn in much smaller packages, according to Kern.

Original: The hot-button topic for the game industry, even here at PAX East, is the impending next generation cycle of consoles. The PlayStation 4 is coming this holiday, oh yes it is, and Microsoft's as yet announced console is on its way too. With Blizzard's Diablo III coming to the PS4, and another PC gaming stalwart like EVE Online creator CCP releasing Dust 514 for the console, everyone's wondering if more MMOs should follow suit. With Firefall's strong concentration on shooter mechanics, it actually makes more sense than most to jump to the TV and controller setup. Mark Kern, CEO and Creative Director of Red 5 Studios, doesn't think so.

"Consoles are dead," he said when asked if Firefall would ever be playable on the PlayStation 4. The crowd assembled for Red 5's presentation laughed raucously. I'm not exactly sure Kern was joking. Well, within every joke there's always a nugget of truth.

For a more technical answer, Kern said the team is concentrating on a DirectX version of the code, which depends on the Windows platform, but they are voraciously working on an Open GL version of the client which will open up Firefall to a whole bevy of platforms.

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Yuuki:
"Reborn in smaller packages"? So I take it this Firefall CEO hasn't heard of PS4 hardware specs (because they've been out for a while)? Because they're right up there with a midrange gaming PC.
Or perhaps he's implying that PS4 will be "dead" because all that shiny hardware will be pointless since graphics aren't a priority anymore?

Yeah, call me back next week when I see the article "Firefall CEO RE-CLARIFIES "consoles are dead" statement".
At this point I think he should stop making himself look sillier and just concentrate on Firefall :P

Actually the Escapist is just twisting things around again.

This is what he really said, not that game "journalists" care because game journalists are even worse than Fox News.

darksakul:

major_chaos:
major_chaos says "those who make mediocre games should not cast stones". More news at nine.

Upbeat Zombie:
GAEM JURNALIZM!!!

But seriously, just like the people who claimed PC gaming was dieing. This also seems about as baseless a claim. And really shouldn't be news worthy. At least not without any kind of evidence to back up their claims.

I agree with you both.

Who is Mark Kern and what the fuck is Firefall?
A company with only one product that yet to be released, and its a PC MMO. isn't it a 4 out of 5 odds a MMO will fail in it's first year?

He also make a statement about consoles on this article
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118825-Firefall-Dev-Cautiously-Optimistic-About-Ouya

Okay I support the Ouya but Mark Kern seems to be bias against consoles because the console companies would not take a shot on his game? I guess Mark Kern hasn't seen some of the PSN library, Flower, Journey, Skull Girls and The Unfinished Swan are all indie titles. SO I am taking it that Kern got shot down by Sony and Microsoft.

Then I found this
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108506-World-of-Warcraft-Experience-Hurt-Firefall-Development

and this
http://www.firefallthegame.com/

No wonder Firefall looks like World of Warcraft. Yes if you google Firefall you think they are making a scifi team fortress mod for World of Warcraft.

So Firefall is a cheap Team fortress style World-of-Warcraft looking MMO from a guy who left the employment of Blizzard.
And he claims that Consoles are Dead.

Yeah the two guys I quoted above are right.

he has a bias because he views the console market as fearful, and fearful paranoia is toxic to an industry's products. Its how we get rehashed, clone games like Resident Evil 6, COD clones, and a lack of taking chances on new ideas.

And frankly, he is right. Console developers are scared. Publishers are scared. because they can't afford to have a single game flop anymore. Games are too expensive to make.

Its easy to see why he supports indie when the big corporate stuff is all a copy of Call of Duty, because all they see is dollar signs.

That must be some excellent foot he's having right now. Yum yum!

"Reborn in smaller packages"? So I take it this Firefall CEO hasn't heard of PS4 hardware specs (because they've been out for a while)? Because they're right up there with a midrange gaming PC.
Or perhaps he's implying that PS4 will be "dead" because all that shiny hardware will be pointless since graphics aren't a priority anymore?

Yeah, call me back next week when I see the article "Firefall CEO RE-CLARIFIES "consoles are dead" statement".
At this point I think he should stop making himself look sillier and just concentrate on Firefall :P

E-Hybrid:

IronMit:
What is dead may never die....

We are Iron-born!!

So your saying we need to dip our consoles into water...

It's so crazy it just might work.

IronMit:
What is dead may never die....

We are Iron-born!!

So your saying we need to dip our consoles into water...

major_chaos:
major_chaos says "those who make mediocre games should not cast stones". More news at nine.

Upbeat Zombie:
GAEM JURNALIZM!!!

But seriously, just like the people who claimed PC gaming was dieing. This also seems about as baseless a claim. And really shouldn't be news worthy. At least not without any kind of evidence to back up their claims.

I agree with you both.

Who is Mark Kern and what the fuck is Firefall?
A company with only one product that yet to be released, and its a PC MMO. isn't it a 4 out of 5 odds a MMO will fail in it's first year?

He also make a statement about consoles on this article
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118825-Firefall-Dev-Cautiously-Optimistic-About-Ouya

Okay I support the Ouya but Mark Kern seems to be bias against consoles because the console companies would not take a shot on his game? I guess Mark Kern hasn't seen some of the PSN library, Flower, Journey, Skull Girls and The Unfinished Swan are all indie titles. SO I am taking it that Kern got shot down by Sony and Microsoft.

Then I found this
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108506-World-of-Warcraft-Experience-Hurt-Firefall-Development

and this
http://www.firefallthegame.com/

No wonder Firefall looks like World of Warcraft. Yes if you google Firefall you think they are making a scifi team fortress mod for World of Warcraft.

So Firefall is a cheap Team fortress style World-of-Warcraft looking MMO from a guy who left the employment of Blizzard.
And he claims that Consoles are Dead.

Yeah the two guys I quoted above are right.

Zachary Amaranth:

Entitled:
Consoles are dead, and so is the PC!

Long live the zombified gaming industry! Hail! Hail!

OT: PC gaming is less than 10% of the market. If you want to double down on that, that's fine. But seriously, some people need perspective.

Would you be so kind to provide a source to that number?

Evil Smurf:
This guy has enough money to afford a gaming computer while not everyone has. A console will have AAA games that support it for the life of the console, which may be a decade. Can you say the same for a PC?

FIrst of all, gaming PC is CHEAPER in the long run, because games are much cheaper. Secondly, yes, i can say the same for PC. unless the next xbox is somehow magically superpowerful singularity machine, consoles will never beat PC when it comes to big money titles. When your console is almost obsolete on its launch, or completely obsolete yet still sold (wiiu?) PC doors were just opened.

Aikayai:
So if PC gaming AND consoles are dead, why do I have games?

handhelds?
ok, sorry <leave room>

geldonyetich:
Welp, consoles are dead and PC is being pirated to death, guess gaming is over. It's all about the ponies now.

hopefully you are aware that consoles are being pirated just as much right?

Off topic: Yes consoles are probably dead.

Listen, consoles are going to get just more and more expensive (just like everything else), with all the cost being up front. Meanwhile, computers can be built up to "awesome" over time... 100 bucks here, 200 there. You can take your time.

PC's have always outpaced consoles in the graphics support due to: PCs can be upgraded, consoles cannot. So thpppt.

The console has always had speed and convenience on its side. Until now. Now you need to install shit, and be connected to the internet for all the content. And you have to fiddle with settings. Consoles are becoming just as much of a hassle, if not more of a hassle, than playing games on a PC.

Also, my PC supports all the latest and greatest software for maximum net surfing and it's never a hassle to get third-party "apps" like NCH sound editor or even movie maker.

"BUT!" I hear you cry, "PC settings are fiddly and things could get unstable." Well get your head out of the Linux cloud because I haven't had to change a single setting in two years and it's only ever froze because my room got too hot. Meanwhile, my xbox starts to fall apart if a game gets too busy and I swear it freezes once a day. "Also, viruses!" You know who thought they were virus proof too: Apple. Moot point anyway, because fending off the virus is relatively easy if you aren't doing illegal things. Just learn to recognize what to avoid. That won't be so easy on the console, with all of their processes built in and hidden from you. Like the processes that happen when it automatically loads up what your friends have been sharing. Someday, some hacker is going to virus up your precious share button and then the fun will start.

---

Okay, I'm being a bit facetious, but I can be because consoles are acting more and more like PCs with every generation. The last console generation that FELT like it had consoles and not just stripped down PCs was the sixth; with the PS2 and the Gamecube.

So yeah, consoles are dead, because they aren't consoles anymore.

...

On topic: Yeah, not much interested in any MMOFPS. As for MMOs in general being on consoles? Pfff bwahaha. I've seen your games fall apart with 16 people playing. Okay okay, maybe it'll work, but the Memorpugas are going to have to be simplified because you only have ten buttons you could possibly use. I don't want my RPGs to be simplified, I want them to be even MOAR complicated. I want a game where I need a database for all of my skills...
...
Wait, did I just think of a way sixty skills can be used by ten buttons? Three big sections to cycle through: Attack; Alter; Utility. Five minor elements to cycle through: Fire; Water; Air; Earth; Nature. Hold on, I gotta go write this down...

Nevermind, MMOs could totally work on consoles, but you'd have to specifically design them for the consoles.

So if PC gaming AND consoles are dead, why do I have games?

What d'you mean, it makes more sense to jump to the TV and controler setup? Shooters have always been best controlled by a mouse.

With Firefall's strong concentration on shooter mechanics, it actually makes more sense than most to jump to the TV and controller setup.

I call shenanigans!

Shooters we born on the PC, and a keyboard and mouse are far more precise than any controller setup. Two thumbs vs. the dexterity of two hands? Yeah... Ok...

One of the major problems with consoles is that they tend to, "Box in," their releases. The platform can't be upgraded, and it limits the technological capabilities of games, and it limits the technology that can be employed to develop them due to the limited hardware specs.

While I can't say that consoles are dead, I stopped wasting my money on them a decade ago. I see the next generation of consoles as being a huge step in the wrong direction.

Zachary Amaranth:

Based on....

Based on EA's financial results:

http://investor.ea.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=696991 (and apparently it was PC making more than PS3)

PC isn't a small market, it might be a bit different than the console market but if definitely isn't small. Especially since small devs and niche products do much better on PCs (see indie gaming scene).

I don't think consoles will ever truly die when a decent gaming rig for pc is so expensive. When an average person looks into gaming, the barrier to entry is lower on consoles, where they just have to pay around $300 bucks for years of gaming. There is no need to buy graphics cards and upgrade a console. Every game you buy for it will work on it, no need to check specifications. Consoles are simpler and more accessible to the average gamer.

I should probably try Firefall some time, or maybe not. But eh, as long as I draw breath I will find a way to game, on something, somewhere.

Welp, consoles are dead and PC is being pirated to death, guess gaming is over. It's all about the ponies now.

Ultratwinkie:

How is this not true? Where is the sea of middle games the PS2 era had? When was the last time you saw games on retail shelves that WEREN'T affiliated with a big business or indie?

Console gaming is dominated by high costs, there is no way around it.

How is it not true that hiring and firing are part of AAA game development?

How is any of his claims "false?" How is this not true when its common knowledge to the point even Jim Sterling and Extra Credits spout it? From a business perspective, its easier to go PC, or casual and mobile than to try to carve out a niche in a locked down console market.

Thank you for lifting this.

This rings true in my book.

Ultratwinkie:
?

Oh, well in that case you're still too desperate. You started this because I made a joke.

FalloutJack:

Ultratwinkie:
Completely missing the point.

I SAID

I WAS MAKING A JOKE AND YOU MISSED IT.

I am now going to make CERTAIN that I get a mod's attention for your harassment.

"The words of someone too desperate to prove something that is not true."

You said I was desperate to make his claims true when they were fake, that's what got my attention. Not that I missed your joke.

Which confused me because the statement he made was rather cookie cutter.