How successfully Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo can migrate their existing online communities will be the key to their next-generation success.
This has never been the case before.
That's what 30-year video game veteran and BioWare Mythic general manager Eugene Evans predicted at the Brighton Develop conference this morning.
"[The thing about] the transition we're about to go through again, with the inevitable new platforms from Sony, from Microsoft, from Nintendo, is, for the first time, they have connected communities on their existing devices," he said.
"I actually think one of the keys to success for whoever becomes the leaders with the next round will be how successfully they migrate those communities.
"People have their Gametags, they have their friends lists on these devices. The key will be how well they migrate that.
"The company that does that the best, I think, will be the most successful," he sated.
Evans has been a part of the video game business almost as long as it has commercially existed. At the start of his talk, he asked the audience to stand up and then sit down as he counted up years in the industry. None matched his tenure.
The point being, 30 years in the industry means a lot of mistakes, a lot of lessons learned, a lot of console generations, and a resulting journey that has influenced his outlook today.
He believes having one experience prevalent across all platforms will be key. He believes being mobile and always online will be key - a suggestion that Mythic will branch into tablets and smartphones?
He insisted, multiple times, that being free-to-play will be the future for most people. Other options will exist.
Finally, he's learned that while media companies hyping developers' output come and go, the actual products themselves are what speak. Therefore, making deep, engaging content will always be key.
BioWare Mythic currently operates Ultima Online (15 years old), Dark Age of Camelot (10 years old), Warhammer Online (four years old) and Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes, the studio's first free-to-play-game.