Originally Posted by pswii60
I was having a think about XBLA and PSN - and from next year WiiWare. We may start to see publishers leading on the downloadable platforms which do not mirror the leaders in the retail SKU market.
So, Which third party publisher do you think will become the leader in downloadable games this generation?
Here's some food for thought:
Capcom are in my opinion, destined to become the leader this generation. This is simply because unlike other publishers, they seem to have really thought about using their suitable IP to make compelling content which ideally fits the concept of downloadable games. Street Fighter HD / Puzzle Fighter HD are early examples of this, but with rumours of Megaman and Bionic Commando getting HD remakes, along with other games like Rocketmen, I think Capcom are going to make a real early dent in the market before the end of 2007.
If you'd have asked me two years ago, I would have said SEGA, purely and simply because they have some of the biggest IPs around which are perfectly suited to the "pick-up-and-play" nature of XBLA and PSN. In particular, Crazy Taxi, Super Monkey Ball, Outrun, 18 Wheeler etc. But instead, they decided to wait 18 months before even bringing retro emulated Sonic and Golden Axe to XBLA and have shown no signs of doing anything more than these 'vintage game' re-releases, mirroring Wii's Virtual Console. Unless SEGA have secretly been working away on something for the last year, I can only assume they missed the train and Capcom are 10 stations further down the track.
While EA are the leader in the retail SKU market, they've commited to nothing other than picking up a couple of titles (Wing Commander Arena was likely something else before they renamed it, Boom Boom Rocket was likely already in development). And these two titles have sucked, hard, and haven't exactly set sales records. EA definitely didn't see the potential in downloadable games as they should. And Activision? Are they doing anything?
Then we've got other third parties, like Sierra Online who have made some real effort so far, both with the decent Assault Heroes and the pretty awful 3d Mini Golf Adventures. But with Switchball, Battlestar Gallactica and the Incredible Machine on the way, I expect Sierra to also make a decent sized dent in the market, although the IP (outside of BG) is pretty weak on a commercial scale. And Eidos, D3 Publisher and Codemasters also look to be getting in to the market with some titles for 2007.
EDIT: Not to forget Konami (XBLA - retro stuff only so far), Namco (again XBLA retro only), Midway (PSN and XBLA retro), Hudson (XBLA Bomberman), Empire (Double Dragon) and of course how could I forget PopCap who have produced and published probably the most profitable XBLA games so far (high sales of Zuma, Bejeweled, Heavy Weapon, Astro Pop, Feeding Frenzy etc).