Gaming is Dead, Long Live Gaming! [ COMIC ]

The past weekend at the South by Southwest Interactive conference Peter Vesterbacka, CEO of Rovio Mobile and creator of the popular mobile game Angry Birds, announce that console games are dying [1]. Now as a console gamer, I just have to scratch my head and say, “huh?”

Then afterward, on the official Rovio Twitter feed they claimed that Vesterbacka’s comments were taken out of context and that he was talking about the death of physical media in favor of digital downloads. [2]. To which I call, “Shenanigans.” That’s just a bunch of back-peddling PR bull.

Look. I’m not saying that the market isn’t changing. Since people now have the ability to play games on Facebook or the various mobile devices, it’s an all new playing field. But neither of these additions are the final nail in console gaming’s coffin. You see a lot of the people are are using their phones or various social networks to game are people who would have otherwise not gamed any other way prior. So they’re not really robbing Peter to pay Paul, they’re just inviting more people to the party.

Consoles gaming still hold a very strong position if the gaming world’s infrastructure. Remember, not everyone wants to play games on their computer or one of the various handheld devices. A lot of use still just want sit our lazy butts down on the couch and play games the old fashion way on their big HDTVs. I know I do.

And as always, your input in the discussion is greatly appreciated.


  • Eagle0600

    Personally, I prefer PC gaming due to the massive flexibility and homeliness of it. Everything I want to change can be changed, I can set up new controllers, everything is awesome.

  • podlowe

    The availability of games outside the console/pc market has just created more of an outlet for games. This opens the debate of “If person A spends 3 hours a day playing WoW or COD, and person B spends 3 hours a day playing Farmville, who do you consider a gamer?” I don’t see the console format being jeopardized anytime soon by iPhones or Facebook. Each format will always have its niche in the industry. I think what we’re going to see is that consoles will adapt, as they’ve already been doing. I know I use my 360 for streaming media from my PC or Netflix just as often, if not more than I use it for gaming. It’s an industry of constant innovation and evolution.

    I also agree on the “backpeddling.” His mouth wrote a check that he wasn’t able to cash.

  • The Anarchyz

    If console gaming is dead then is the most epic death ever, with consoles selling more than 100M in 5 years, and a lot of console games being multimillion sellers and icon games…

  • Couchman

    I’m not much of a console gamer (considering I can’t find many games on the Wii that appeal to me), but I don’t see how console gaming could possibly be dying. The games on media like Facebook and iphones seems, to me, to just be a time killer, nothing to really get invested in.

    • The Burger

      Id say more marketing scheme, as most of the popular facebook “games” usually require you to pay to play the games.

      I dont know most of the ones ive seen are just simple click and recieve games with not much interaction really

  • Ahltar

    Well, I’m just amazed there’s so much gaming possibilities out there.
    I can play whenever and wherever I want.
    As a player, I only care about games, as long as they’re good.
    No Peter, console gaming won’t die, now, please, go back to work, I want tu crush some more things.

  • I enjoy playing PC games more than console games, especially when I can find a way to play my console games on my PC. Also, I use a laptop, so I can play my awesome, and usually personally modified games, on my couch with ease. It’s made even better since this laptop seems to be on graphics steroids.

  • Flionheart

    Personally I use my PC on my big HDTV with wireless peripherals and controllers.

  • Triaxx

    I am a gamer. I play my games, where ever my games maybe. Whether I must find the game on the PC, or on a console, or even, if I find myself with nothing else, my phone, or even pen and paper.

    I don’t believe that consoles are dying. I do believe that it’s a symptom of mobile gaming being an upcoming market, because you’ll recall that for years console makers were saying PC gaming was dying. Was it? No. But it was an effective marketing scheme to make consoles seem the wave of the future. In a few years I expect to see PC’s making a resurgence, and telling us that Mobile Gaming is dying. Of course it won’t.

  • stupid_systemus

    I had to comment. Those are strong words coming from the guy who stole the idea for “Angry Birds” from “Crush the Castle.”

    Angry Birds was released around December 2009. Crush the Castle came out early 2009, around the same time Angry Birds was in development.

    Console gaming isn’t dead… just as ripping off ideas from Armor Games.

  • MaddMatt05

    I pretty much agree about the death of consoles, its an ecosystem that doesn’t have much left. I’d say at best it has one more generation of dedicated gaming machines left if that. The thing is, the death of consoles doesn’t necessarily mean the death of playing games from the couch. I just think more devices are going to be capable of playing games, such that a dedicated gaming machine will no longer be necessary. I think gaming is going to become more platform agnostic, I mean look at stuff like QuakeLive, running entirely in a browser. Developers only care about the number of people they can distribute their games to, they have no loyalty to Sony, Microsoft, or anyone. Everything is including a web browser anymore; TVs, phones, toasters. We’ll be playing games on our hardware of choice sooner rather than later, and it wont mean the death of the games we love, we’ll just be doing the same thing we’ve always done on a different piece of hardware.

    • Nick

      I doubt we will play games on set consoles at some point. That would require alot of reprograming as it is and unless people are intrested in trying to figure out how to make games such as Persona work on an xbox I can’t see it. People are to true to name brands when it comes to certian things.

    • ZeroBudgetGamer

      OK, first off, I can haz toast and looks at cute kittez at same time? Now that that’s out of my system.

      Consoles will never truly die. They’ll simply evolve to match other peripherals; we’re already seeing that with 360 and PS3 allowing internet functionality. Who knows, maybe when the next generation of consoles come out, you’ll be able to make phone calls and video chats with people, or have a separate, portable peripheral with your XBLA/PSN-purchased games downloaded onto it for on-the-go play.

      I will admit, however, that consoles have hit a wall in one circumstance, and that’s graphics. We’ve unofficially hit a plateau with graphics, where the games that try to look almost completely real. We’ve squeezed as much realism as we can into games, now we need to find new innovations. We’re already seeing the Move and Kinect, which are a grasp at improving interactivity, but I doubt it’ll stick. Nothing can really beat good old-fashioned sit-in-a-couch-and-fuddle-with-a-controller gameplay. Whenever the new generation of consoles come out, it will definitely be interesting to see how they try to push the envelope, since we’re essentially already at, or at least very close to, our graphical limit.

  • mycoffeeblack

    Wow.. That’s a pretty bold claim. Reeks intensely of some serious wishful thinking as well. Until mobile devices start packing full-length Final Fantasy, Silent Hill, or Call of Duty games comparable to their Sony and Microsoft counterparts (unlike the embarrassing mini-games that seem to exist in the fringes of every franchise), I don’t see how these app games are even in the same league with console titles. I mean, I can see where people come from when they talk about Nooks and Kindles replacing most traditional book-reading methods. Or when people talk about the rise of webcomics juxtaposed with the steady decline of traditional comics and syndicates, but THIS is absolutely speculative. And again, so long as the quality of games being compared is completely different, I don’t even understand where this guy’s coming from. It’s no different from claiming that Snake for cellphones marks the utter defeat of Arcade-style gaming.

  • Earv

    I don’t even consider the two formats in competition due to them having so much of a separate type of experience. And I’m not trolling but PC gamers stop walking in everywhere and screaming “I’M A PC GAMER!”

    • DODODO

      I don’t see anyone coming in and saying “I’M A PC GAMER!”, just people saying they like pc gaming better.

  • SecondTomorrow

    Be it PC or Console gaming, they’ll always have a better actual experience in my opinion. You can’t get the immersion of a game like Amnesia or Silent Hill on a portable or playing on Facebook with that stupid chat box popping open.

    There are some experiences that should always be around because they are just that, an actual experience.

  • losmykoek

    A bold statement. Gaming on my PC feels like a different animal to Console gaming as well as running a game on my phone. When I’m not on the Console, I’m on my PC only because the Console is otherwise engaged. When I travel the DS comes along and last resort is my phone. I have no Facebook page and no interest in having one. Maybe Mr. Vesterbacka believes in “if you say it, it will come true” self fulfilling prophecy. Like some news media, if you say it often enough the people will believe it. I hope that Consoles (no matter what they look like) are around when I breathe my last aged gamer breath. I can co-op with my sweetie next to me, curl up in a bean bag in front of a big screen HD TV and have the cat on my lap. The feel of the controller is familiar and comforting and the sound of a new game freshly unwrapped loading … maybe it’s a generation thing, but personally, I’m a Console kinda gal and will be a Console Activist if it comes to that!

  • Vess

    “So they’re not really robbing Peter to pay Paul, they’re just inviting more people to the party. ”
    This pretty much says it all, IMO. The only merit I would put to the notion that console games are “dying” is that if “casual” games end up being more profitable to develop then companies like EA or Activision might divert their resources and create less mainstream video games. But then this would open a window for other companies to fill the gap, so either way I don’t see consoles going anyway.

  • Randomgamerdude

    Doodle Jump>Angry Birds in both fun-ness and cheapness.
    Suck it, Angry Bird lovers.
    Still, console games aren’t dying. They just need new ideas. Not sequels but ideas. Nothing is new any more. And it’s happening to apps faster then consoles.

  • I think he really meant that physical media is dying as it should. There’s really no need for it anymore in the digital age. I buy my music on vinyl because that’s the way I enjoy listening to it the most, but owning a game- or movie-disc doesn’t add anything to the experience. Just look at how big Steam has gotten, consoles will follow soon enough with big games too.

  • I think Angry Birds is great fun and Rovio has really done really good job doing that kind of “easy to learn, difficult to master” -type of addictive experience that others haven’t gotten right. Lots of people keep telling it’s copying Crush the Castle, but AB is way better done and has way more challenge to it.

  • ThisGuy

    On the discussion of Console games going the way of the dodo bird, Where was this news coming from? With everything big happening now inside the industry and newer developments in peripherals there is almost no sign of this boulder stopping.

    On the mobile media gaming radar its just a time waster. Just like the idea for OnLive everything will eventually be clouded and we will all be fighting for bandwith. Which, if AT&T and the other providers have their way, will end in a HUGE bill or a specific wireless bill just for mobile gaming.

  • Anon


    They own the market ;_;

  • Nick

    I doubt consoles will really die. The ipad/iphone/mobile community is over saturated in games. The cost is what really gets people,but it’s what’s added after that is the killer. In terms of facebook the biggest issue is the cash for play. Why should I have to spend 50 bucks to expand my farm because I don’t feel like adding more people to my account? It may bring players in, but it pushes them away. The problem with digital media is the pricing. Why should I download a file that may take a couple of hours when I can drive to the store and buy the game. The second part is you can’t buy used digital games. Most mobile games not including the ds/psp are small levels which hold your attention for to long. Unless technology improves to let games download at a faster rate and bigger memory cards I doubt consoles are going any where soon.

  • trancebam

    Yeah, console gaming isn’t dying. I don’t know who this guy thinks he is, but just because handheld games have been increasing rapidly means nothing to the success or role that console gaming has on gaming culture. I’m sorry, but Angry Birds doesn’t feed my gaming need quite as well as Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Nowhere even close. Console games are able to have much greater depth, and in that regard they’ll always be superior to handheld games.

  • ZeroBudgetGamer

    For the last five years or so, I’ve been a primarily retro/PC gamer, not by choice, but by budget. With no steady job to speak of, and all my spare cash going into paying off student loans, I can’t afford to buy a 360 or PS3, much less the HDTV to get the most out of the system and all the games I want on both consoles. Over the last year, I pretty much had to rely on Facebook and Flash games to scratch my gaming itch.

    Be that as it may, I hold no delusions that console gaming is dying. True, Facebook and App games are “all the rage” now, but the way I’ve always seen them is as Transit games, stuff you play while in transit to work, whether that’s by bus, subway, BART, whatever you may have in your area outside of driving your own car (and even then if you get stuck in heavy traffic you could probably slash a couple fruits while you waited). As you yourself said, these games aren’t stealing from the hardcore sect, but instead adding more players to the community as a whole. There will always be people wanting to sit down and devote hours at a time to a good game, and until technology improves, the really good games won’t be on iPhones or Facebook, but on consoles, portables, and the PC.

  • JerreyRough

    I don’t think that console gaming is dieing yet. Maybe in the near future, but certainly not yet. But its quite possible that instead of consoles dieing the ultra-huge development team method of making games may die. Indie games are rising fast, as well as “AAA Indie” games like Interstellar Marines, Hawken, Minecraft, Overgrowth, Super Meat Boy, etc. They have small development teams and not only make quality content, but make bold advances in their respective genres that likely will turn out for better than for worse. Remember: Starcraft 1 was not created by a massive 100+ team of people. ‘Course they might just evolve side by side too.

    I think the future of “hardcore” gaming platforms will be on the PC eventually. The problem with consoles is that there are too many hoops to jump through and less profit per unit sold for the developers.

  • DerekTheMagicDragon

    I had an idea for a comic like this, but it was a regular Angry Birds style structure made of PS3’s and 360’s, and the slingshot was launching a wiimote at them xD

  • Ejigantor

    I really don’t get the deal with Angry Birds anyway- I’ve played a few dozen flash games like it, it’s not that special.

    On the subject of consoles dying? Just no. I might play a game on my phone while waiting in a line somewhere, but that’s about it- if I know ahead of time that I’ll have a gaming time away from home, I’ll bring my DS, but if I’m at home and want to play a game, I don’t pick up my phone, I pick up a controller and turn on the TV.

  • Crystal

    “They’re just inviting more people to the party.”

    I think this is spot on.

    The comment sounded very big-headed and reeked of tunnel-vision.

  • Mygaffer

    This is just like all the proclamation, for years mind you, that PC gaming is dying. None of these markets are “dying”, rather the gaming market itself is growing. The market for games is worth much more money than it was 2 decades ago, after the recovery from the big crash. New platforms are bringing new experiences, yet just as PC games are still developed and published so too will consoles remain, although they may shift to a more cloud based delivery system.
    Anyway, I am happy to see the gaming market expand like it has, it means more unique experiences, more opportunities for fresh and compelling game mechanics, and new audiences to share our hobby with.