I am a relatively young but both “old” gamer
The first games I ever played on my first computer ( a Windows 95 PC ) where shareware , like SinkSub , Microman , Comet Busters , Zeek the Geek ..
Needless to say while they were simple both from gameplay and graphics perspectives they were also advanced at the time due to the fact that instead of beeing written for ( the standard back then ) DOS platform they went a step beyond using windows controls and sprites rendered on windows..
Back then having only slow 28.8Kbps internet connections you could buy a CD with a 1000 shareware games inside , and you could actually try almost all of them to find the ones that you liked the most ( probably 100 out of a 1000 ) ..
To finance their projects the shareware game makers relied to friend to friend sharing of the game and registrations that unlocked the full version of the game from people that found it interesting ..
“Serious , large budget games” however like The Lost tales of Atlantis , X-Com Apocalypse, Duke Nukem 3D ( the list goes on and on ) , where still written for DOS which offered compatibility and a larger target group until DirectX and OpenGL came along and everything shifted onwards ..
Fast forward to today I believe I can see the same thing happening all over again..
The “Windows 95″ of the time is now being replaced with Tablets ( iOS , Android , or Win8 [ in the near future ] ) and regular PC gaming is starting to decline much like DOS did.. What is different though is that the internet makes the “new sharewhare” ad-ware and that the 1000 mini games for the computers of 1995 are now 500.000 for Google Play .. Last but not least console gaming which was at its infancy back then is now a viable gaming industry on its own so I dont expect it to stop because of the “disruption” of tablet gaming.. Maybe NintendoDS and PSVita are the only platforms bound to suffer from these developments..
Linux on the other hand is a zen-like figure since it is very compatible with older games both using dosbox as well as wine and emulators for other platforms and lately from what I hear also “merging” android and dekstop linux
No one knows what the future holds but the achilles’s heel of the new-age App markets is that their success can (if not organized properly) drown new developers under a sea of other mediocre applications ..
The main problem as I see it can be described with the following real-life scenario (that is about to happen..) ..
Frédérick Raynal of Adeline software ( LBA , Time Commando ) , is now writing an Iphone game called BOxOn .. It will be good , no doubt about that..
How on earth and how long will it take for a good game coming from a great developer to possibly stand out in a croud of 500.000 other applications..!?
The numbers are huge..
A secondary problem is that the new platforms are purely consumer oriented.. meaning that a young kid that finds angry birds “inspiring” will not be able to try and make his own game on his tablet.. In contrast with my experience..
This is also bad but I guess anyone that has the curiosity will always find a way..!!