Industry Insights with Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water

Industry Insights with Stewart Gilray, Just Add Water [Hosted by SPOnG]

Date: 07/02/2013

Interviewer: SpOnG

Interviewee: Stewart Gilray


A new year means a fresh start for many. In the games industry, a fresh start is exactly what the doctor ordered – specialist retail now seems to be settling down, PC companies are taking a shot at console manufacturing, and the traditional console companies are getting ready to reveal some shiny new products of their own.

With such an exciting year ahead of us, what better than to turn to games industry experts and ask them for their thoughts on various trends and stories as and when they happen?

As part of an ongoing series, SPOnG gets the unedited, open and highly informed opinions of developers, producers and more in the vast world of computer games.

Industry Figure: Stewart Gilray
Job Title: CEO
Company: Just Add Water
Best Known For: Oddworld series

Q: Considering the critical acclaim of titles such as The Walking Dead and Journey in 2012, is digital now the real viable means of getting games in gamers’ homes?

Stewart Gilray: I think it’s definitely getting there. In September 2012 in the UK it was announced that digital sales accounted for 51% of all game sales that month. That’s staggering. It will only head more in that direction as we approach next-gen. I’d be surprised if ALL new games on new systems (and perhaps current systems) weren’t released for digital/retail at the same time.

Q: What are the biggest and most exciting challenges you’re looking forward to in the next year?

Stewart Gilray: We’re crazy busy on Abe’s Oddysee New ‘N’ Tasty and rebuilding the Oddworld brand, as we have to get it out for the holidays this year on multiple platforms. But in general I’m anxious, yet excited, to see/hear about next-gen.

Q: What are the benefits to you and to gamers of the new console generation after Xbox 360 and PS3?

Stewart Gilray: I’d like to think they’re MORE digital product-focused than the current generation. Sony has pretty much already got that area covered with the PS3, so I currently think Xbox are bringing up the rear with this gen. I hope Microsoft sort themselves out for next-gen.

My only worry is that the market will become more demanding in terms of infrastructure. Ideally we’d need a fibre-optic internet connection everywhere to really make a difference for digital – some places can still only get up to 4MB broadband.

To directly answer the question however, I think instant action is the way to go, and I hope both platform holders realise that and have planned for it.