Should video games be released annually?

As fans and critics become less tolerant of minor changes and overhyped developments from yearly releases, is it time we asked whether the practice should be scrapped?

Take the poll and tell us what you think: should some video games be released annually?

EA recently announced that it would not be releasing its major title Battlefield on an annual basis. According to IGN, EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen asserted that the company did not have the resources to release the game annually without an accompanying drop in quality, arguing: “The challenges are you’ve got to most likely do it out of two studios because it’s hard.”

Speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference on 19 November, Jorgensen stated: “Battlefield takes us about two years to develop and so you want to make sure that you’re sharing talent across studios… You also want to be really careful that you don’t destroy the franchise along the way.”

See below for the IGN video announcing EA’s decision not to release Battlefield annually:

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How are mobile devices shaping the gaming industry?

Smartphones and tablets have revolutionised the way many of us live. When it comes to gaming, the changes are profound.

Check out The Next Level Gaming’s introduction to mobile gaming:

The rise of the smartphone and its tablet cousin has been remarkable. Google’s Our Mobile Planet research suggests that 62% of UK adults own a smartphone today. What’s even more amazing is that this has more than doubled in just two years. Meanwhile, Yahoo has reported that by 2015, the number of people worldwide who own a smartphone is expected to rise to two billion.

But this isn’t just about the numbers. In just a few short years we have gone from seeing our phones as just that – phones – to so much more. Nowadays, we send emails, we browse the web, we listen to music. The term ‘phone’ almost feels redundant. Continue reading

Welcome to The Next Level Gaming!

The PlayStation 4 launched a few days ago, selling over a million copies in 24 hours. Not bad.

It may seem strange to launch a gaming site that aims to take a measured look at the industry at a time when both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are being launched to global fanfare.

But if anything, this is the perfect time. With screaming headlines and frenetic column inches being filed the world over, this is a good opportunity to take a step back and ask ourselves: how did we get here?

Nintendo 64

From this to the PlayStation 4. Image credit Jonas Nilsson Lee

The gaming industry is an amazing world, and there are some pretty incredible things going on. Mobile gaming is radically changing the way games are played, shared and created. Big name titles are propelling many bands and singers into fame and fortune, something that would have been unthinkable in the past. Gaming shapes us and our world in so many incredible ways. And we love it.

It all seems a long way from the days of Pong and Pacman. But if you want to see how we got here, this is the site for you.

What better time to get started?