(This was originally part of a story that was set to run in today’s Daily Variety, but due to space reasons we had to cut.)
In his GDC keynote address discussing the state of the video game industry, Iwata was particular outspoken on his fear that the explosion in cheap and free apps has devalued game development and could eventually put the industry at risk.
“Game development is drowning,” he said. “Until now, there has always been the ability to make a living [making games]. Will that still be the case moving forward?”
He also took a swipe at the gaming aspects of the smart phone market – a field that continues to eat away at the company’s overall market share.
“Smart phones and social network platforms are not at all like our [industry],” he told developers. “These vertical have no motivation to maintain the high value of video games. For them content is something that is created by someone else. Quantity is what makes the money for them. Quantity is how they profit. The quality of video game software does not matter to them.”