Who will survive?
A link: IGN get cynical
Well, let's be inflammatory, shall I? There is no future in PC gaming the way it is currently being run.
Producing a top quality game takes two years of time. Making it as pretty as all the other top games takes hundreds of thousands of ollars. Cnematics are hard.
And even then, the game will die based upon gameplay, and live by reputation and name and prettiness of box cover.
There are too many major companies competing for the 'hardcore gamer' market - and that market is small. Games like 'the sims' and other such trash sell decently outside of the market - but no one knows in advance which games will.
Developing for the PC (as opposed to a console) is a pain, and the amount of money you get back for it makes it not worth the effort.
So, what's the future? Charge hardcore gamers more - they're willing to pay, after all. Subscription fees for access to 'semi-private' servers. Pay per month, game rental. Shareware will continue to do well, low entry requirements for 'just a neat idea' games - but will continue to fail to make money.
OTOP, you have an even lower entry barrier to making games with mod teams. Neverwinter nights claims to have the best content creation to date - doom3 is going the same way. So amateur creation will probably pick up. Maybe once the tools get out there, we'll see more people learning CGI movie creation.
But I think we'll see a couple more mergers, a couple more high profile failures, and then a lot less games per year from 'well known' companies.
Given the tripe some of them have pushed, this might not actually be a bad thing.
But it's going to make the wait for new games painful. (What's upcoming in the next five years? AO, TF2, Neverwinter, B+W, and, uh... that's it)
Well, that's my ranting done and dusted - get yourself back to my main page