"Who needs publishers any more? I certainly don't. I couldn't care less about them at this stage," said Red 5 Studios
CEO Mark Kern
. In a candid interview with Eurogamer
, Kern ripped into both consoles and publisher-led models as relics on their way out the door.
Kern said that the pressure that publishers put on studios are death to the industry, resulting in either "an indie game or... a massive AAA, IP-backed sequel with derivative gameplay." He thinks that there's no middle ground, and it disturbs him how many studios fire staff right after a game launches.
Instead, the man behind Firefall
believes that the free-to-play model puts the power back in the hands of the developers who then can concentrate on making games without having to kowtow to the publishers and distributors. "Look at Riot Games
and League of Legends
. They have more users than World of Warcraft
does. That's crazy. And they don't have a publisher," Kern said.
Citing the expense and sluggish reaction of console development, Kern also predicts that mobile and PC gaming are on their way to take over the field. "Something has to change," he concludes. "Consoles, I believe, are dead."