When David Jaffe announced earlier this year that he would be leaving Eat, Sleep, Play – a company which he co-founded – in order to pursue opportunities in the casual games market, it took a lot of people by surprise. After all, he made the announcement about about week before Twisted Metal even hit shelves, when it seemed like Eat, Sleep, Play was gearing up to create a new line of Twisted Metal games for the current generation. Now, in a new interview with Gamasutra, we’re finally finding out why Jaffe left the world of console game development behind in order to focus on mobile and social games.
According to Jaffe, there are more companies that are willing to invest in mobile and social games at the moment, meaning that it will be easier to secure funding for the games he wants to make. “The pool [of investors] is bigger and more varied,” he says. “You have a lot of traditional publishers who want to be in these new spaces, as they should. You have a number of companies that would never have thought of being video game publishers who are now trying to get into the space, whether it’s mobile or social or tablets.”
Of course, easier access to funding also comes with a trade-off, as Jaffe says that now he must look for funding on a more frequent basis. Console games can take years to complete, whereas it’s possible for a skilled team of people to get a new mobile or social game out the door every six or eight months. Because of that, Jaffe says that he will still be under pressure as he attempts to make a name for himself in the realm of mobile gaming.
Lately we’ve been seeing a lot of publishers and developers try their hand at developing games for mobile and social platforms. It’s easy to see why too – as the budgets for triple-A console titles climb higher and higher, so do the stakes, and these days one big-budget flop is enough to kill a formerly healthy studio very quickly. On mobile and social platforms, the risks aren’t always as great but the competition is fierce, so it will be interesting to see where these industries go in the coming months and years.