Bandai Namco, developer of one of the best games the genre has produced, Tekken 7, recently discussed the ongoing trends in the industry, such as subscription models, Epic Games Store's (EGS) exclusivity policy as well as Google Stadia.
Speaking to MCV at this year's Gamescom, Bandai Namco Europe's senior vice president of marketing, digital and content Herve Hoerdt said that subscription models have risen in prominence but that the business model introduces certain risks.
"The business model behind subscriptions will be based on two things: the number of hours played on your game compared to the total hours people played, and the number of games played compared to the total number of games", he said, pointing out that the "value in the end is too low for [Bandai Namco] to be able to invest further in the content."
Hoerdt said that the industry has relied on the same pool of 200-300 million players for a while, and that the opportunities of reaching 2 billion or more in the future are obviously exciting.
Speaking of opportunities, he deemed EGS an important one, but this does not mean that Bandai Namco will be moving there, at least not while the latter is bent on exclusivity deals.
"So we have a full platform strategy. The main focus for us is the consumer and the brand. And for each brand we decide what's the best way to satisfy the consumer and to engage the widest audience possible. So for instance, I don't see any point of putting Tekken 7 on Epic Store", he said.
Hoerdt stressed that Epic's store is "fantastic" and that the more profitable business model is undeniably attractive, but Bandai Namco's sights are set elsewhere. "[Epic's] interest is, if I'm correct, exclusivity. And this is not our vision", he added.
When it comes to game streaming and Google Stadia, Bandai Namco are planning to launch Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, and depending on the tech's success, they will gauge how fiercely they will develop for it in the later waves.
However, Hoerdt said that the company's plan is to invest in different content as well, as not everyone will be prepared to shell out $60 to play Tekken on smartphones.
"So we need to think about different ways to develop the games, maybe like a free-to-start, I don't know... A Tekken with five stages and ten characters and then different business models that exist: subscriptions, advertising, in-game currencies to upgrade the game up to the full experience... It's challenging but interesting", he concluded.