Goodbye Xbox: Why Microsoft Will Leave the Console Market

Since 2001, the dedicated console market has been the same three players. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are the major players duking it out consumers hard earned dollars and glory in the imaginary console war. Overall, the market has been relatively stable, yet historically, the market has seen company enter and exit. Every so many console generations, the market players change. While many internet message board pundits have predicted Nintendo leaving and becoming a third party publisher, Microsoft may instead be the one exiting stage left. Moreover, the company’s exodus from console gaming will come sooner rather than later.

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Sony: Between a Rock and a Hardplace

As I’m sure you all are aware by now, Sony is doing quite well in the current console market. Right now, the PS4 has far and beyond outsold Microsoft’s XBox One (their chief competitor) and Nintendo’s Wii U (which the company killed off recently). So Sony is on top of the world then. There is no problem and we shouldn’t worry, right?

Well, business is about the future, not the present. If we look at the here and now, then sure Sony’s video game endeavors are doing great. However, if we look ahead then we can see Playstation could be in trouble.

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Mark Kern Teach You To Make A Game

The other day, Mark Kern on Twitter described how to get started making video games. If you don’t know who he is, he was a team lead on World of Warcraft, one of the most successful video games ever. His advice was stellar. Since its hard to find a tweet long after it was made, I’m going to post it here for future use. I stress that this is not my work but entirely Mark’s. If you want to follow him on Twitter, you can do it at @Grummz. Without further ado, here is his advice.

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Nintendo’s Blue Ocean Games

From BlueOceanStrategy.com

In 2004, Reggie Fis-Amie, Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America, presented the Blue Ocean Strategy to industry insiders. He described it as “focusing on expanding the market boundaries vs singularly being focused on your competition.” The book was published in 2005, so, to many, this was their first time hearing about the strategy. Nintendo applied this to their new system, the Nintendo DS. As a result, the system went on to sell 150 million units and halt Sony’s advances into their handheld market.

With the Wii U and 3DS, Nintendo abandoned these strategies, resulting in a rough 4-year decline. Now Nintendo is back with the Nintendo Switch. The Blue Ocean Strategy has been out for over a decade and memory of it is fading. The pundits no longer associate Nintendo with “Blue Ocean”. But did the concept ever leave the minds of Nintendo? What if I told you that within Nintendo, these concepts are alive and well. What if these concepts influenced the design of two new Nintendo IPs: ARMS and Splatoon?

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Transition Generations

The video game industry changes rapidly. The market is always shifting, and today’s fad may soon become a relic of the past. Every so often, these shifts become massive fissures that forever change the shape of the industry. I refer to these Transition Generations. Transition generations see the industry get turned on its head and the major players to change entirely. I believe we are at the apex of one of these major shifts.

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The Macro Enviornment of Generation 9

When looking at a business or an industry, you have the Micro and you have the Macro. In economics, Macro is countries (like the US) and the Micro is an industry (like oil). The micro is what is locally going on in the industry while the macro is the larger picture. For this blog, the Micro is the video game industry while the Macro are things like demographics and the economy. Despite both the Micro and Macro being important, analyst don’t consider the Macro environment. But ignoring the Macro is missing the big picture. Today, we are going to look at Macro environment for Generation 9.

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Nintendo Switch Constituency: What Games Will Sell (And What Wont)

The business of video games are the games themselves. Often, analysts don’t think much about the games themselves so they get it wrong. I knew the Switch was going to sell out because I knew The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was going to be a hit. To understand why a system succeeds or doesn’t, you have to look at the library.

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