We have no illusions that anyone in the game industry is waiting for our suggestions, or anyone else’s, on what to do in the new year. By and large the executives at game companies are pretty sharp, savvy about the industry, and good at creating effective strategies — or else they wouldn’t have gotten to the position they hold, or stayed there overly long. Still, sometimes it’s difficult to get a good perspective on your own company and its products when you’re inside of it, and for that matter it’s difficult to admit that you were wrong about something and a new strategy needs to be adopted.

What follows are some positive suggestions and possible strategies to follow, rather than criticism of past mistakes. It’s usually pretty clear to everyone when major mistakes were made, as companies become unprofitable and stay that way if corrections aren’t made.

Console Makers
Thanks for making new hardware that that brings us some great games. Keep up the good work — constant platform updates that add new features are appreciated. Microsoft in particular has been very regular about new updates, and Sony and Nintendo would do well to emulate them. Your efforts to improve the value of your consoles by bundling software are appreciated, and we wish for that trend to continue in 2015. Be aggressive at reducing prices — console games have more competition than ever, and the high price of the hardware is the biggest single barrier to widespread adoption. Microsoft showed this very clearly — lower the price of the hardware, and sales soar.

Nintendo, we wish for more in 2015 — more great games, more innovation, and more success. Don’t hesitate to improve the Wii U however you can, and reduce the price as much as you can. You’ve had some great software titles for the Wii U, but we want more, and we want them more often. If you think a brand new console is the answer to your sluggish sales, fine — but make it a great one when you do that, and make damn sure that at least one of your core franchises like Mario or Zelda is ready to ship with it at launch.

Amazon, we wish for you to keep trying hard with the Fire TV. The software lineup is growing, and so are the features. We hope for a spec bump at least this year so you can have even better games. Google and Apple, we wish you guys would get busy with your consoles. Apple, we’re all waiting for the Apple TV we know you can produce, with a kick-ass processor, an app store, and a controller — the game publishers would be all over that, and you’ll sell millions. Google, now’s your chance while Apple is dawdling — get those Android TVs out there and spend some money to get some great games.

Game Publishers
Let’s face it, it hasn’t been a great year for big game publishers, with a long list of AAA games that shipped weeks or even months before they were really ready. We wish that you will take this lesson to heart for 2015 and beyond — we’ll forget about games being late, but it’s a long time before we forget about games that are broken or just plain bad. Electronic Arts was wise to move out Battlefield Hardline if they felt it wasn’t ready, even though that must have hurt the quarterly results. We think you’ll find that publishers will be rewarded by gamers for games that are rock-solid at launch.

While we’re talking about pleasing your audience, we wish that publishers would put more emphasis on community. Community is like dynamite — used wisely, it can change the course of mighty rivers, but if you fool around with it you can blow yourself up. Too many publishers don’t seem to invest enough in engaging with customers, especially mobile publishers. Your audience is your business, and constant communication will pay off for you in the long run.

When it comes to designing new games, we wish that you’d remember this: The biggest risk is not to take any risks. Don’t expect that successful franchise to post bigger numbers every year, now that many of the top titles are on a yearly cycle. Some of the very best-selling franchises, like Call of Duty, are posting lower numbers every year. That’s not from lack of effort on Activision’s part — the company has thrown its best development resources at the task, and massive amounts of marketing dollars. But there’s only so many new $60 titles in a series that players can absorb, and that game last year you put so much time and effort into is powerful competition for the latest version.

So we wish for more innovation from game publishers, especially the big ones. Sure, mitigate your risks however you can — we suggest creating smaller, digital-only version of innovative new IP that you can sell for a lower price point and produce in a fraction of the time of your blockbusters. Test out the concepts, and then go big if the audience loves it. But however you do it, take more shots at new ideas.

Indie Game Developers
We wish for you to be successful in creating new games and making a living in 2015. But we really wish you’d remember this advice: If you haven’t thought about how you’re going to create an audience for your game, don’t even start coding. Your game design and your business strategy and your marketing strategy and your market assessment should all be part of your preparation… and don’t put your resources into a game if you don’t think it will be worth the effort. Get some expert advice in areas you aren’t sure of, and think about partnerships to cover your weak spots.

We wish you success in this ever-more-challenging game industry. Really, we wish you’ll show those games designers that they aren’t the only ones who can be creative. If you’re still using a playbook of marketing tactics from a few years ago, you’re probably not being as effective as possible. Every product needs its own special marketing push, so we wish for you to show us some stunning ideas in marketing for 2015.

While you’re busy creating marketing pieces, we wish you’ll take a little extra time and care to do it with class. Avoid sexism, booth babes, blood and guns, and generally trying to appeal to teen age boys. Thankfully, most of the industry left that behind a long time ago — but there are still a few throwbacks, even today, with some offensive ads coming from major companies that should know better. If you don’t have a diverse enough marketing team, try showing your marketing ideas to a diverse group of people before you throw that ad up on TV or YouTube. Bafflement may be a reaction you can live with, but disgust is something you should strive to avoid. We wish you will appeal to our highest qualities, not our lowest ones.