While the video game industry has expanded in recent years, its growth has been met with some challenges, according to Jack Tretton, the president and chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, at an address at the School of the Cinematic Arts on Thursday.
Tretton delivered the keynote speech during a two-day event sponsored by Playstation. The event offered a variety of activities for students interested in the gaming industry as well as those simply passing by.
During the event, Chris Kroger, tool manager for Playstation, said students could use the company’s new move motion controller to play unreleased games or play on handheld consoles. In addition, students interested in owning PlayStation products could also enter into raffles and contests to win PlayStation Vista packs and PlayStation 3s.
Tretton spoke about his own journey through the industry. He offered some information on declining business models and explained how the original PlayStation console revitalized the industry but also how new gamers are continuing to. As gaming continues to expand, Tretton said, it is becoming harder and harder to find someone who has never played a game.
“The gaming industry has never been more fertile, but it has never been more complicated,” Tretton said.
Though Tretton is unsure about what lies ahead for Sony’s gaming endeavors, he said there are many opportunities for independent gamers around the world. Similar to the iOS and Android platforms on mobile devices, Sony manages the PlayStation Network, which provides some of these opportunities.
“[It] allows independent developers to self publish over 300 titles,” Tretton said.
One independent publishing company, thatgamecompany, created and managed by USC alumni, launched a game in March of this year that has since become the best selling game on the network.
Getting an inside look into how PlayStation operates was very valuable, said Michael Francisco, a sophomore majoring in critical studies.
“It was really great getting inside knowledge of PlayStations’ philosophy,” Francisco said. “It also solidified that I would minor in interactive media at the SCA.”
In addition to his work to help independent gamers, Tretton said he has assisted numerous students with the internships available through his company. To date, PlayStation has had about 70 different universities participate in the internship program.
Some students, such as Kyle Grayson, a junior majoring in architecture, said they were excited that Tretton had come to speak on campus.
“I love PlayStation and [when I] heard Jack was coming…[I] had to be there,” Grayson said.
Tretton emphasized the importance of having a vision and committing to it.
“You are the most important product you’ll ever be involved with…. I have a vision and stick to it,” Tretton said.