We have had a few threads in recent times along the lines of what if the games industry collapses and where I can see the 5d and RED camera crowds taking over for films/TV style video, audio has long had a serious garage mentality and the written word even longer the idea of what would happen if at least a handful of the big game companies collapse a la the atari collapse (today it would probably be everybody with a proper conference at e3 and valve at least slowing their output to nearly nothing) and leave a big void would warrant being pondered. Were it to happen in most aspects of business and general software there would probably be a focus of security for the legacy stuff, migration and maybe a bit of reverse engineering and it would suck but there are enough almost drop in replacements to make it happen but games seem somewhat more precarious to my mind. I agree in some regards it is a pointlessly abstract question* and the void would be filled eventually but that would take a bit of time and those couple of years could or perhaps should bring about some changes. *it almost certainly would not happen but then again "too big to fail" does not really exist and who remembers RKO, DEC, Acclaim? (in order a film studio at one time up there with fox, warner brothers, paramount and MGM, a massive electronics company that made VAX and PDP aka the systems that gave us the C programming language and somewhat more recent acclaim were are fairly noted publisher of games). Questions worth pondering, there are many more but just a handful to consider. Would open source gaming take off? As it stands there is a serious modding crowd versed in both map/mod making with games/engines often being improved immeasurably by their efforts and those able to deal in engines such as they might be able to be separated (see all the doom, quake and similar engine releases and what has happened there). Now there are open source games/engines and such like but where linux and BSD (ignoring their unix roots) punch at the same level as anything else I do not see anything like it for games with most of the really good stuff is games/engines that subsequently have been open sourced and by the nature of how that works it is somewhat behind the times (doom3 was probably the last truly big release of an engine and that game was 2004). We saw it with homebrew and to a slightly lesser extent with micro price games on mobile phones and similarly closed devices (not sure if I quite want to throw in the download options of consoles into that) but would there be a possible shift to some of the less financially tenable games? Space sim games to return, RTS not quite on life support..... Would the rolling release type model become viable? As it stands a game is still something of a singular entity and even episodic games are still somewhat singular where at least in open source a program/suite is for want of a better term a rolling service of a sort with updates not being all that different to general maintenance. I would argue we have seen something like it in the mobile phone world minimum functional releases happen and then get updated for a long time after and in some ways Valve have done this with their half life 2 assets idea (although not monetised it in such a way that it is easy to see). This might even bring up the secondary issue as people seem to quite like games to be balanced and/or somewhat fixed where I very much want my office program moving forward all the time. Or indeed is moving forward in a game simply making it more stable and correcting for any unforeseen strategies rather than adding features to the core game? The modern world is very IP centric, some might even say IP savvy, and with a collapsing games industry being big enough to merit serious bankruptcy proceedings. With that there is a not unreasonable chance of something resembling an IP firesale and I dare say with a bit of effort maybe even a serious public domain injection (crowdfunding?- it was done for Blender after all). Would then semi forgotten classics return in some fashion? Along with general IP and unlike most other creative industries where would that leave the likes of directX and to a lesser extent openGL? Both those have serious trade/working groups and foundations that go between device makers, game makers and operating system makers. Speaking of trade groups many open source projects have serious backing in one form of another? Could such an arrangement exist there or are games just a waste of time and so not warrant such backing? Personally I would look at some of the things afforded to the mod makers by various companies and say quite possibly but that is still quite different to the sorts of arrangements in the likes of the openoffice/libreoffice, WINE/cider and linux based operating system world (Red hat, debian, ubuntu, slackware... all have interesting structures for their projects).