AfterDawn: Tech news

The traditional video game industry is dead

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 07 Sep 2012 17:45 User comments (21)

The traditional video game industry is dead Okay, so that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but NPD Group's latest figures certainly do not paint a pretty picture for the struggling industry.
Overall sales fell 20 percent in August (year-over-year), to $515.6 million, falling for the ninth straight month. Sales include hardware, software and accessories but do not include PC games, used titles, mobile titles or digital downloads.

"What we're seeing impact August results is the domino effect of the light release schedule from earlier in the year," NPD's video game analyst Anita Frazier said. "That lack of new releases has had a significant impact on subsequent month's sales."

In June, sales fell 29 percent YoY and then again 20 percent in July.

Console sales were the biggest laggards, down 39 percent, while software sales fell 11 percent: "The current hardware systems are showing their age, so it goes without saying that it would be great to have new systems breathe life into traditional retail industry sales," Frazier added. "I am anxious to learn more about the Wii U launch later this month. And with any luck we will hear news about other systems on the horizon."

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21 user comments

17.9.2012 18:15

Nothing new or interesting has hit the shelves and the games that customers are asking for aren't being made. I don't think it's really all that surprising. It's one thing to not have any idea what people want, but when people tell you what the want like Megaman Legends 3, Final Fantasy Vs, and a proper non-handheld sequel to Kingdom Hearts then I don't want to hear sob stories.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Sep 2012 @ 18:18

27.9.2012 18:27

I blame the consoles personally. I tried playing a PS3 at a friends house a while back, playing the same title I was going thru on PC at the time...I felt like I was playing a PS2. If I only had a PS3, I wouldn't be wasting money on such games.



37.9.2012 21:00

Originally posted by KillerBug:
I blame the consoles personally. I tried playing a PS3 at a friends house a while back, playing the same title I was going thru on PC at the time...I felt like I was playing a PS2. If I only had a PS3, I wouldn't be wasting money on such games.
Personally, you're blame for consoles is naive. Here's why, a lot of people don't like playing on a pc or they don't have money to get a good gaming one. So how can you blame consoles for that? I think it's the shitty games they've been making. The best games to could out in the last few years have to be, any Gears game, the Modern Warfare series and Fallout 3. And the latter of the two are out for 360, PC and I think PS3. So that shoots your theory in the foot. Not to say that some games on PC are fun to play. I personally play Star Trek Online on my laptop, while not made for gaming plays it pretty well.

47.9.2012 21:27

Originally posted by bigdan45:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
I blame the consoles personally. I tried playing a PS3 at a friends house a while back, playing the same title I was going thru on PC at the time...I felt like I was playing a PS2. If I only had a PS3, I wouldn't be wasting money on such games.
Personally, you're blame for consoles is naive. Here's why, a lot of people don't like playing on a pc or they don't have money to get a good gaming one. So how can you blame consoles for that? I think it's the shitty games they've been making. The best games to could out in the last few years have to be, any Gears game, the Modern Warfare series and Fallout 3. And the latter of the two are out for 360, PC and I think PS3. So that shoots your theory in the foot. Not to say that some games on PC are fun to play. I personally play Star Trek Online on my laptop, while not made for gaming plays it pretty well.
I'd agree with you except now it's possible to use the controller on the pc that alone makes a huge difference certainly does for me

pc games are far cheaper have more updates & look a whole dam site better than they do on a console including the effects,this is desktop pc of 2009 ex lease initial cost was 180.nz,bought extra ram & better graphics card overall about 600nz all up,only bit not legit is windows 7 *shhh we'll keep that little point between ourselves* the cost of a retail copy of w7 here is more than what it cost for the pc & all its bits i bought,even oem is a rip off

gaming consoles are portable thats about it,however pc's are getting even smaller & more powerful as well

there have been a few shitty games but not all & not everyone likes the same games there more to gaming than running round like a chicken with it's head cut off
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Sep 2012 @ 21:30

57.9.2012 21:34

no it's because new games are crap the same stupid thing over and over again with shooters bad programming you cant hide in the darkness your immeadtly shot with 1 million bullets run behind a rock with no emenies in sight 1 mile away pummeled with bullets impossible the idea of final fantasy on the ps3 was fucking garbage awfull 1 good game mass effect resitance fall of man 1


please correct my shtty typing im on internet expler everything jumping sround


Save Freedom Dont Elect Law Making Religion Nut Republicans

67.9.2012 23:41

What do they expect...the games are short as per usual and crap as per usual with no real effort to suck you into said games. Maybe programmers are just getting lazy or bullied into making a quick crap game and slop it out as per usual. I mean the days of intelligent mastery and cunning in the making of older console/pc games has all but dried up like a wet rag in the nevada desert. It's, get that game programmed as fast as you can hank no matter what state it's in as we need to make money, we'll fix the pile of crap later when it's distributed to the masses.


78.9.2012 8:04

I'm grateful to console developers for keeping controller configurations consistent, and for resisting the urge to upgrade hardware with unreasonable frequency.

However, I'll never actually purchase a console. Game prices at release are generally ridiculous, and digital distribution systems, i.e. Steam, have gotten me addicted to not having to handle discs every time I want to fire up a game for a few minutes.

If I had a disc for every game I've bought on Steam I'd have to buy a new house.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Sep 2012 @ 8:05

When laws allow unlimited ownership of ideas, it is to a society as iron fusion is to the core of a star.

When verified realities lead us to anger, we must learn to reevaluate our beliefs.

88.9.2012 13:36
Malkyne
Unverified new user

Quote:
Sales include hardware, software and accessories but do not include PC games, used titles, mobile titles or digital downloads.
Of course hardware sales are down. That happens every time we're between console cycles.

They are not counting any of the industry's current growth areas, so their numbers are pretty much meaningless.

98.9.2012 19:29

Originally posted by bigdan45:
Originally posted by KillerBug:
I blame the consoles personally. I tried playing a PS3 at a friends house a while back, playing the same title I was going thru on PC at the time...I felt like I was playing a PS2. If I only had a PS3, I wouldn't be wasting money on such games.
Personally, you're blame for consoles is naive. Here's why, a lot of people don't like playing on a pc or they don't have money to get a good gaming one. So how can you blame consoles for that? I think it's the shitty games they've been making. The best games to could out in the last few years have to be, any Gears game, the Modern Warfare series and Fallout 3. And the latter of the two are out for 360, PC and I think PS3. So that shoots your theory in the foot. Not to say that some games on PC are fun to play. I personally play Star Trek Online on my laptop, while not made for gaming plays it pretty well.
I understand that no everyone has the cash for a decent PC, but 6 years is just too long of a cycle, especially when the systems were released with specs that were (at least in some areas like ram) lacking at launch with no upgrade options. Think about it, everyone complains that games are too short, don't offer enough realism, have little or no replay value, and have too few choices. No one complains about that with Fallout or Skyrim...they complain about the memory issues. So, it is either make a game that works poorly or make a game that isn't very fun, at least not after a couple of days. The first option makes people mad, the second option makes people rent the game and never buy it unless you happen to have a large online portion that is both well made and popular (the best multiplayer mode is worthless if you are the only player).

The solution? Well, at this point it is too late to save this generation. If Sony or Microsoft had provided some way to add memory, it could have made the consoles last...but they decided to save the $0.50 per system by soldering memory right to the mainboard, so the consoles were (by PC standards) ancient at launch (at least in memory), and they only got worse from there. I'm guessing that both Microsoft and Sony have realized their error, and while a memory upgrade module is not very likely, they will probably at least come with as much ram as the cheapest laptop you can buy. Hopefully it will at least be enough that it does not hold back game development to the point that PC games fall behind PC hardware as developers choose to make games that work on all three platforms. The ideal solution that will not happen would be a modular system approach...they could make a killing selling overpriced video, memory, and CPU upgrades just like Microsoft makes a killing selling hard drive upgrades...and in the process, they could keep the next generation somewhat current for 6-7 years...but of course that won't happen because those $0.50 slots would make the accountants jump out of windows in spite of the fact that for every slot installed they would end up getting another $50-$100 in profits from upgrade modules later.

Oh, and I know someone is going to chime in that consoles are efficient because they don't have a lot of different hardware options and drivers and testing and whatnot like PCs...but I'm not talking about releasing hardware upgrades every month; I'm talking about a new GPU module after 3 and then 5 years, maybe a new CPU after 4-5 years depending on what comes with the system. Ram upgrades don't need drivers, so the only testing issue would be to test for the minimum ram to use a game (and maybe to setup the game so it automatically turns on/off features based on ram available). Heck, games already do that on PC and for more than just ram...if they can handle it with ten thousand different video card and CPU combinations, they can handle it with four different expansion module combinations.

...Sorry for the rant or the speech or whatever that just was...


108.9.2012 20:47

I enjoy PC RTS gaming & I also have (set-up to play in my house at the moment) a PS3, an Xbox 360, a Dreamcast and I have an Android tablet & phone.

I find myself playing the PC & Android games the most.
I look back so fondly on the days of things like Desert Strike etc and wonder why games had to become so boringly anal?

I know it'd be a boring world if we all liked the same things but I really have no interest in endless RPGs and aside from a handful of 1st person shooters & driving games there's not a lot on the consoles that do a thing for me.
I have ended up getting a stack of old games on XBL & get much more out of them.

Terrible to see Psygnosis die, Wipeout HD was great.

118.9.2012 21:19

Originally posted by Interestx:
I enjoy PC RTS gaming & I also have (set-up to play in my house at the moment) a PS3, an Xbox 360, a Dreamcast and I have an Android tablet & phone.

I find myself playing the PC & Android games the most.
I look back so fondly on the days of things like Desert Strike etc and wonder why games had to become so boringly anal?

I know it'd be a boring world if we all liked the same things but I really have no interest in endless RPGs and aside from a handful of 1st person shooters & driving games there's not a lot on the consoles that do a thing for me.
I have ended up getting a stack of old games on XBL & get much more out of them.

Terrible to see Psygnosis die, Wipeout HD was great.

I miss the old strategy games too...I don't want a super-realistic war trainer, I want something fun yet challenging...a modern take on chess if you will. It's been a long time since an RTS got that right IMHO...the last one I really enjoyed was Black and White. Well, GLWG was pretty decent too...by android standards.

I already missed Psygnosis...Destruction Derby is long dead, G-Police never got the second sequel they hinted at, and Lemmings lost all charm once it went 3D.


128.9.2012 23:47

I'd say Civ4: Beyond the Sword was damn good, as "a modern take on chess", myself. The Fall From Heaven 2 mod is amazing, as well.

Here's plenty of games out there, both older and new, that are worth playing. The problem is that most of the AAA titles worth a hill of beans I've seen recently were for consoles first, with a half-playable nod to PC gamers long after. Then they complain about shoddy PC sales =p .

The "traditional" game industry has only itself to blame for its excesses (I'm talking to you, Activision and EA!). Treat your core customers like shit, shove crap product out the door, and the world will not beat a path to your door.

Luckily, the faults of the big game corps. has driven a renaissance in indie and retro gaming. I can only approve.

139.9.2012 16:09

With the prices that memory is at these days 4G should fit in anything, there is no excuse for it. More than enough for a game to move around in. Equally so, 64MB for a front end shouldn't even have to be discussed. Obviously there can be at least 1GB (if not 2) dropped in for dedicated video processing. Again, this shouldn't even have to be discussed.

Given the prices of all quad core processors there should be no reason one of these couldn't be put in a console either, as I could have sworn 64 bit operations are now allowing for games to utilize multiple cores (unless I misread something).

All of these features are coming out on even some of the cheapest laptops at Walmart for crying out loud! And if these specs were for nothing BUT dedicated gaming, I'd say they would be ahead of the game (as it were).

Hell! We're getting tablets that have better mechanical & reaction specs than the consoles do now & they also sell for half the price (not necessarily good gamers though).

'Peesha' the PC's for gaming all you want, but when presented with this fact (and that it can be shown on an HD at the same time) consoles need to improve their game quickly.


149.9.2012 16:26

I think you meant "pshaw".

1510.9.2012 10:27

Originally posted by Bozobub:
I think you meant "pshaw".
I knew it was in there Somewhere... :)

1614.9.2012 9:11

If I play now I do it in my ipad

1714.9.2012 16:27

I'm old, I'm stubborn and my Mattel Intelivision works fine thank you.

1815.9.2012 12:13

My issue with this article is the incomplete information it is providing. They failed to include PC, used games digital downloads etc. In todays marketplace it is easier and safer to obtain games via.digital download, and less risky purchasing a used or discounted game. I am willing to bet if you factored in the data they are lacking here, that the game industry is doing just fine. Yes some loss is expwcted due to the dwindling world economy...but not the dire straints they are trying to make us percieve.

Also do realise that just because kick ass hardware is used in PC's....does not mean.said hardware cannot just be plopped into.a.console. There is a myriad of architecture issues to work oit, as well.as space.

1916.9.2012 12:51

Originally posted by DanandJen:
My issue with this article is the incomplete information it is providing. They failed to include PC, used games digital downloads etc. In todays marketplace it is easier and safer to obtain games via.digital download, and less risky purchasing a used or discounted game. I am willing to bet if you factored in the data they are lacking here, that the game industry is doing just fine. Yes some loss is expwcted due to the dwindling world economy...but not the dire straints they are trying to make us percieve.

You're probably right... I call the whole story akin to someone new at buying stocks through a broker. They get a portfolio started & after the first year or so they start making some money. But then one year, the books aren't making "As Much".

For all intents & purposes it could be counted as a 'loss', but in reality everybody is still earning a living & making money. I.e., your comment - they're doing just fine.

Sometimes I think they want to scream bloody murder like all gamers should unite & have one of those old 'Band Aid' concerts from the 80s & telethon up a couple billion to put some free money in their pockets.

Here's a novel concept. Pay your talent, finish the product BEFORE actually releasing it & for shits sake think about re-playability to pricing point.

It makes movies timeless - it'll make games timeless as well & gamers will pay to play/own them.

2016.9.2012 13:51

You never cease to make.me lol my pans Russ. Good point on replay value. A lot of.companies.spend so much time.cramming features in...they forget that he game needs to be replayed over and over again and not just once. Sad too.few.companies think about the gamer as an inveatment with their titles.

2117.9.2012 17:01

Originally posted by DanandJen:
You never cease to make.me lol my pans Russ.
I aim to please... I'll be here all week. Remember to tip your waitress & punch the bouncer on the way out.

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