The cycle of arrogance

Readers of my blog are familiar with my industry cycle articles. It basically describes a regular cycle which shakes up the industry whenever the consoles upgrade to the next entry. The Playstation 5 and the new XBox have been announced for second half of 2020 - welcome to the transition year.

If you want to read up my posts in the recent years on this blog about the cycle simply search for this word on the top left of this site.

One attribute of console cycles I have never written about is the cycle of arrogance. It means that whoever dominates the current cycle is getting arrogant in the next, forgetting what put him there in the first place - leading to wrong or often strange decisions.

These decisions will make it hard to third parties to develop on the new leading platform during the first 2 years. They will focus on big names & brands first, or their own first party titles. What also happens is that they underestimate the competition leaving holes for them to enter.

So expect the number 2 and 3 (Microsoft & Nintendo) to be more open to new developers, titles and approval processes while Sony will make it harder.

A sign to prove this? There is an internal shakeup at Sony management level where many of the key people who were developer relations or in charge of external titles were fired and replaced. This strangely isn't in the news as usually these key managers are known to developers of all sizes but not to the press or the public.
Still, as a developer, you should be worried if you bet on releasing soon on Sony PS5. You won't.

And as usual before transition years if you run a developer you should have been prepared and found alternative revenue sources or platforms. Did you? I hope you did. As this isn't anything new to the industry, its a cycle with similar attributes and effects to the industry.

And no, backwards compatibility won't help ;)