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Former PlayStation president Shawn Layden predicts the end of gaming as we know it

Does the games industry stand on the precipice of change?
Former PlayStation president Shawn Layden predicts the end of gaming as we know it
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The idea of Google and Amazon jumping fully aboard their own gaming ship is one that raises eyebrows for many with legitimate fears that such a jump would sink the rest of the industry’s fleet.

Former PlayStation president, CEO and chairman Shawn Layden shared these concerns, telling GamesIndustry.biz that he considers companies such as Google and Amazon to be among gaming’s "biggest threats".

With Apple overhauling the music business and Netflix causing a drastic shift in how people watch movies, the dread of another megacorp reinventing yet another creative industry is certainly understandable; it’s such a trend that, by this point, it's an inevitability.

However, Layden remains hopeful.

Barbarians at the gate

Primarily, Layden’s hope is that gaming companies will be "smart enough" to foresee and predict coming changes, then prepare and adapt to the eventuality. If the industry can disrupt itself before it is disrupted by outsiders - the "barbarians at the gate" - then it could well weather the storm.

In this sense, perhaps the mobile industry is more secure under the App Store and Play Store monopoly, despite all the restrictions and fees that come with it. After all, who really knows how much will change if Apple's anti-competitive lawsuits continue.

Equally, developers of the 7,000 apps threatened in an App Store purge in May 2022 might well rejoice at a change of course.

Even so, Google, Apple or Amazon making a real splash into gaming themselves - with their vast internet power and swathe of existing account holders with payment methods already in place - could develop into a devastating tidal wave.

"Right now we see all the big players going, 'Oh, gaming? It's bringing in billions of dollars a year? I want a piece of that'," Layden added. "They're like 'Let's make games. How hard can it be?' and it turns out it's pretty hard."

Speaking of barbarians… Vikingard held its final crossover with MGM's seafaring Vikings this July, introducing Ivar the Boneless from the hit TV show.