Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A surprise: Video Games $$$ decline

As someone who has never played a video game and who has no interest interest in doing, I was surprised to read the following article in The Wrap this morning. Surprised because I assumed that has the technology grew more and more technology video games' hold on the public would become indomitable. Will they rebound?

From The Wrap:

Video Game-Over? Industry Sales Plunge, While Innovation Beckons
Games saw a 9 percent sales plunge in '09, January was worse - some blame a music genre that has peaked

By Dominic Patten
Published: February 15, 2010

After a decade of growth and two consecutive years of record-breaking grosses, sales of video games – which at first seemed immune to the Great Recession – are finally falling.

More like avalanching, actually.

A host of advances and all-new revenue streams are on the horizon, some coming as early as this year, that industry insiders hope could turn things around.

But the beginning of 2010 delivered the industry a body blow of economic reality.

Game sales dropped nearly 9 percent in 2009 from the previous year, dipping to $20.2 billion from $22.11 billion, according to digital entertainment market researchers NPD Group. Then a stellar December – a record sales month, thanks to holiday spending – seemed to be a sign that things were rebounding quickly.

They weren’t.

Last month’s sales were off 13 percent from January 2009, according to the NPD Group.

While there was some good news in accessory and controllers sales being up 2 percent, software declined 12 percent and hardware sales took devastating hit, sliding 21 percent from a year before.

Last week Electronic Arts, one of the industry’s largest game publishers, saw share prices hit hard. And layoffs have come to the seemingly untouchable industry: after tough third quarter declines, Activision announced that hundreds of employees would be laid off, and Los Angeles-based game studio Luxoflux would close.


Chad Eagleton said...

I think it's a combination of things. The systems have gotten expensive. Playstation 3 just now came down in price to $300 bucks. New games run a whopping $60 bucks. If you waited long enough you used to be able to find one used pretty quick for much cheaper.

The Xbox360 has been mired down with the red ring of death and an assortment of other glitches.

There used to be two game retailer shops here. You could easily move between them and find a good deal for a new game or find a better offer to trade in old ones. Now, they're owned by the same company. You can imagine what effect that has had.

Charlieopera said...

Being a obsessive-compulsive, I once played the Star Wars video that came with a PC I purchased. Seven days later, I felt the first twinges of carpal tunnel (from holding the joystick too tight for hours and hours at a time). Eventually, I realized I hadn't accomplished a single thing over a 7 day period (besides not being able to take down the big dog-looking things in the game--I was supposed to loop something around their legs but having never seen the movie ...)

Except for a 3 day affair with Madden's NFL about 10 years ago, I've managed to kick the addiction cold turkey. I figure that bullshit owes me ten days of my life.

Those things are deadly and probably a good reason too many people no longer read, can read beyond a 4th grade level and have more muscle in their fingers than the rest of their bodies. I see adults playing them on the train/ferry and it pisses me off no end.

Then again, I'm a fucking curmudgeon.

Peter L. Winkler said...

We're in a serious economic decline. Sales of everything are down.