The Mass Effect: An Industry in Flux

A new editorial on GameKudos takes a closer look at BioWare's decision to bring Mass Effect 2 to the PlayStation 3, pointing to the state of the gaming industry as the primary reason why taking a platform agnostic route only makes sense.
To be clear: this isn't about console wars, at least not from the gamers' point of view. On some corporate level, Sony just landed a hit on Microsoft's battleship (of course, by now, Microsoft has long sunk Sony's boat). But the significance of Mass Effect 2 on the Playstation 3 transcends Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, fanboys, and console wars - this is about a video game industrial evolution. This is a sign of how the current generation of gaming has changed the industry - probably forever.

Specifically, traditional game publishers are finding themselves in a difficult place as they scramble to be remain profitable while still delivering blockbuster experiences.The hurdles are proving difficult to overcome. Developers have raised production costs but with no guarantee of a quality product or profitable sales. There are also an unprecedented amount of players in the industry: from Facebook to iPhones, publishers are finding themselves vying for gamers' money against unlikely competition. Back during the days of N-Gage, who could have foreseen cell phones challenging handhelds?