The Adrenaline Vaults Bob Mandell has posted a column which takes a look at the qualities game companies will need to be successful in the future:
Some companies today are largely distributors of diverse third-party developer offerings. These firms have the capacity to release a huge number of titles each year because they don't have to spend time and money on research and development. Due to the difficulty of predicting AAA games from the outset, these companies usually have a huge variation in both the quality and popularity of their products; some are dogs that die quick deaths, while others are great and sell like hotcakes. Since the costs of publishing and distributing computer games are declining rapidly, such companies can stay afloat and make money through market penetration (some of their offerings are sold everywhere) and volume (there are enough of their offerings out there that they're always selling something); revenues from the successful releases more than compensate for the unsuccessful ones. In a weak economy or one with low demand for a product line, diversification of risk in the face of fickle demands is an excellent strategy.