Posted by: seanmalstrom | April 2, 2017

Email: Birdman articles

Hello, Master Malstrom

I was mentioning your articles to a friend of mine and I really wished your birdmen articles were still around to show her. They are what got me interested in business in general and I remember them as quite the fun read, too.

Any plans on putting them backup online?

Yours truly,
Reader

 

No.

Business is liquid. Something written decades ago doesn’t matter.

Historians write about the past. Journalists write about the present. But future writers, e.g. investors, write about the future.

The Game is to see The Future. If you know The Future, you can profit from it. This is why the financially educated win with prosperity or recession, good times or bad times. They see The Future and respond before anyone else does.

Technology has many Future Writers. To my astonishment, gaming has none or none that I know. With game development increasing in its cycle time, you would think there would be more interest in seeing the gaming future.

“But if we know the future of technology, we know the future of gaming!”

Are you sure about that? Did Breath of the Wild’s success come about due to technological change? The Switch and Wii U hardware is behind its competitors in a pure processing point of view. Why didn’t the games on those systems do what Breath of the Wild did? Why didn’t PC Gaming make The Legend of Zelda or The Ocarina of Time? Its technology was far better.

In gaming, the game design comes before the hardware and programming. As Iwata said, he never wanted to hear a programmer tell a game designer that something couldn’t be done. This implies gaming’s future is inherent in gaming, not the technology itself.

I sense that the technological advances of graphics and online capabilities will not be as extreme as before. Therefore, the progress of gaming has to come from the design side.

I think all the major game industry investors are left holding a bag since they have no tools or eyes to see the future of gaming anymore. The Wii showed this. Nintendo has adapted to making games beyond traditionally faster processor speeds. Hence, it becomes impossible to predict Nintendo because they are using Old Eyes of looking at computer technology. With the DS success, that is because ‘handhelds don’t matter’. With the Wii, they still haven’t gotten over their shock. They say, “Well, it was with input technology that we didn’t account for.”

So what about the Switch then, fellas? Where are your quantitative models for Zelda: Breath of the Wild that is single handedly selling Switch units faster than Wii units?

I see a future where more game companies are like Nintendo. Just as Nintendo is unable to be understood or predicted by the analysts, so too will they lose sight of all of gaming. At that time, we shall throw the hammer into the big-face-on-the-screen and blow up the remaining Wall Street apparatus that is pulling the strings of the current Game Industry. Good riddance too.

Gaming doesn’t need an ‘industry’. Gaming needs great games. The ‘industry’ doesn’t make great games or even gives a damn about making them. “Raid from the past!” they say. “Remasters! Remakes! Make this game like that game! Let us mine this old IP!” Down they will go!

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