Posts tagged "recession"


09 Nov 2009
Some Thoughts From Develop in Liverpool

jon

It was just great to have Develop in our home town, hopefully they will come again.  My feeling about this year’s Develop was that it was ‘Two Tribes Go to War’ to stretch the Scouse analogy.  Developers seem to fall into two camps, those working for large console game developers or ‘Dinosaurs’ as we might call them and the Indie App Store gang ‘Mammals’.  The Dinosaurs are in recession, general game revenues are dropping (sales down 16% in UK according to MCV) and traditional publishers finding it really hard to raise debt funding.  The Mammals are in a whole different boat, low overheads, ownership of IP and decent revenues for some on mainly their iPhone titles.  Don’t get me wrong most of the skill still sits with the big developers but 2009 will mark the start of a new console cycle ‘the App Store’.

One of the speakers really summed it up, when someone in the audience tried to draw an analogy to previous console booms and slumps he started very clearly that this is like ‘nothing we have seen before’.  I feel that this is spot on, the industry has changed and there is no going back.

Stuart Dredge’s talk focused on the 5 app stores,  iPhone, Android, PSP, Blackberry and DSi sales figures are hard to find but we can all see that the model works well for both consumer and producer.  As he himself said there are many other app stores, off the top of my head Orange App Store, Windows Mobile, Wii Store channel (Wiiware), PSN for PS3, XBLA, Intel for Atom PCs, Ovi from Nokia and I am sure many others.  Other the next few weeks we will look at each in detail from both a business and technical veiwpoint and try and think about their pros and cons.

31 Jan 2009
Why the recession/depression has hit bottom

This is a strange kind of post when politicians are getting shot down for mentioning ‘green shoots’ – in a reference to Norman Lamont and the 90s recession.  But you can get all the real information here, this recession will be V shaped, as in very quick and steep down, and possibly up again at the same rate.  But the big question and unknown is where the bottom will be.

We may have hit bottom this week. All the banks share prices have doubled this week but why?  Remember, bank shares are a symptom not a cause. In fact last week all UK banks other than HSBC were going out of business, why the change?   Well, in the far off US of A house prices stablised for the first time in 3 years.  This in theory puts a bottom on the losses the banks in the UK will experience, based on the UK economy following USA, and also that we have lots of US debt over here.

Will it stick?  Well it might this crash however is cyclic, and to misquote Paul Krugman, is the mother of crashes. We have over priced housing, as in Japan early 90s, bank runs like both the 1930s and the 1910 trust fund crisis, and possibly, though thankfully not yet in the UK, a currency crisis like Asia/Argentina in the 1990s.  In fact the Irish are complaining we devalued the £ on purpose,which i am sure we did. Not that we had any choice.

We may have seen the bottom, therefore. In about 4 years we will escape from the crash, I am old enough to have had a father (he was 49 when I was born) who remembered and talked often of the Great Depression.  It genuinely influenced his actions until the end of his life (he was mean with money). I hope this is not the world my children will live in.