Here I am at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival '07. Right now Yves Guillemot from Ubisoft is delivering his keynote (read full text of his presentation) about where he sees market growth for the games industry in the next 5 years. As an educationalist and not a business minded or games developer person it has proved to be a very interesting talk. Yves believes that factors affecting market growth in the next few years include the development of the new processors in consoles such as the PS3, the penetration of broadband into homes and the potential for making games truly immersive experiences. He also commented on the new market of non-gamers who are coming in ton the games world. User friendly consoles and casual game titles he believes are attracting women seniors and kids.
As an educationalist I was very interested to hear him talking about an emphasis being placed by his company on the development of a rich, quality family friendly portfolio of games titles. In order to do this he stated that his company must
- ensure games will please a new non-gamer population
- quickly supply titles that correspond to tastes of non-gamers
- develop titles that appeal to families and can be played in groups
- train teams in accessibility issues so that interface can be be understood by a 3 year old
- recruit subject experts for non-game titles
- balance intuitive game play and incremental challenges to maintain player interest
Now that many teachers are retro-fitting games I wonder what scope there is for point 4 & 5 to be developed in tandem with expertise from the education world. Great strides have already been made from the games developer workload in terms of coming up with titles that can be used in the context of the school but I am sure that any collaboration would further enhance the quality of games that could enhance teaching and learning.