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Thread: Here we go again...another game recession coming?

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    Default Here we go again...another game recession coming?

    This is not another doom and gloom discussion that points out that people are going to stop playing videogames. The question I want to ask is: Are we currently entering another game recession? It seems that everything now can have a videogame made for it. Heck, even our cell phones have amazing games these days. Sequels are being pumped out faster than ever. I for one see a growing trend that will continue to lower game sales for the forseeable future

    1. Too many sequels. I have been saying this for years, but at some point, people get tired of playing the same type of game

    2. Newer games not as fun as older ones. Sound familiar? I cant tell you how many times I picked up a recent game only to find myself going back to the orginal due to be either easier to play or more fun.

    3. Fewer hardware sales. This generation is slowing down, and the portable market has a potentially smaller market in the future(3DS, VITA)

    4. More people are just not buying new. The amount of games being played is the same or more, but many folks are now going to just play something old, something really old, or just catch up on previous games that have not been played.

    So what do you folks think? Are we headed for a game recession, or are we just fine?
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    We're just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swlovinist View Post
    This is not another doom and gloom discussion that points out that people are going to stop playing videogames. The question I want to ask is: Are we currently entering another game recession? It seems that everything now can have a videogame made for it. Heck, even our cell phones have amazing games these days. Sequels are being pumped out faster than ever. I for one see a growing trend that will continue to lower game sales for the forseeable future

    1. Too many sequels. I have been saying this for years, but at some point, people get tired of playing the same type of game
    Nah. Eventually Call of Duty will start to drop off, but for now, it's selling more copies than ever. Skyrim sold ten million copies, which is something like eight million more than Oblivion and five or six more than Fallout 3. The MMO landscape is changing to micro transaction based free to play stuff, but that's doing very well for companies like Turbine and Aria. When people get tired of that, something else will come along. People got tired of shady mascot platformers, JRPGs and fighting games, each in their turn, and when they did, they didn't stop buying games (on the whole, I mean). They moved on to different and new experiences.

    2. Newer games not as fun as older ones. Sound familiar? I cant tell you how many times I picked up a recent game only to find myself going back to the orginal due to be either easier to play or more fun.
    That is entirely subjective. I love the older stuff too, but I've had more fun with games this generation than any that preceded it. I'm not alone, here: someone is buying all the new fangled games. They're buying a hell of a lot of them too.

    3. Fewer hardware sales. This generation is slowing down, and the portable market has a potentially smaller market in the future(3DS, VITA)
    I can't speak to the lower hardware sales, other than the 360 is still selling tremendously well and the Wii has something like 100 million consoles in homes, but I agree that the 3DS and Vita are probably going to lose out to smart phones and tablets in the long term.

    4. More people are just not buying new. The amount of games being played is the same or more, but many folks are now going to just play something old, something really old, or just catch up on previous games that have not been played.
    Used game sales are certainly up, but plenty of people are buying new stuff. In fact, the number of games that sold upwards of one million copies last year is pretty inspiring. Catherine, the hybrid dating sim block puzzle game, sold 200,00 copies here in the states, and you don't get any weirder and niche than that.

    So what do you folks think? Are we headed for a game recession, or are we just fine?
    No sir. I think we're experiencing the very beginning of a very sharp evolution in how we buy, play, and make games, but the video game market isn't going anywhere; if anything, it's growing. You might not enjoy where it's at right now, and that's perfectly fine, but looking at all the sweet stuff that's coming out, and seeing people I know who are getting into games for the first time because of the Wii or Kinect, from where I'm sitting, it looks pretty good.

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    Boobie in for the win.

    Pretty much /thread IMO.
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    Nothing to see here, move along.

    Gaming as a whole has really never been stronger globally and in North America. Just 'cause systems better suited for another age (3DS/PSVita) aren't selling as well doesn't mean a thing in terms of the overall health of games. The same can be said for just about every other point you made.

    There's so much more going on beyond the traditional industry and it's really exciting in some ways. But it's a shame about the Vita considering it's the nicest piece of gaming tech I've ever held outside a Japanese Saturn controller.
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    Recession/collapse - absolutely not
    Constant industry transformation - absolutely yes

    When the collapse happened in the 80's, there were two main ways to game. You played games on your TV through some box that had some wires on it and a stick, dial or buttons that you pressed in your hand or you went to an arcade to pump quarters into a machine the size of your refrigerator. Now with so many games in so many different places with so many interfaces, it's just a matter of which experience the customers want now.

    The way we think about games is constantly evolving and the companies that comprise the game development market will follow because they have to in order to remain profitable.

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    1. Too many sequels. I have been saying this for years, but at some point, people get tired of playing the same type of game
    I don't have the numbers, but aren't many of the top selling games sequels?

    2. Newer games not as fun as older ones. Sound familiar? I cant tell you how many times I picked up a recent game only to find myself going back to the orginal due to be either easier to play or more fun.
    I assume you are still talking about sequels. While many people share your feelings, I don't think it'll cause a gaming recession. If people grow tired of the sequels, they'll quit buying them, and then the developers will just make something else.

    3. Fewer hardware sales. This generation is slowing down, and the portable market has a potentially smaller market in the future(3DS, VITA)

    Sure it's slowing down, but most people already have one of the modern consoles.

    X-Box 360- Over 65 million sold
    PS3- Over 62 million sold
    Wii- Over 95 million sold

    These number make this the most successful generation of consoles.

    4. More people are just not buying new. The amount of games being played is the same or more, but many folks are now going to just play something old, something really old, or just catch up on previous games that have not been played.
    Modern Warfare 3 had the most successful entertainment launch of all time, and it was only months ago. New is still the way to go.

    So what do you folks think? Are we headed for a game recession, or are we just fine?
    We are just fine.

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    I don't think we have anything to worry about. As others have pointed out, the devices we use to game may change and it's possible one or more of the big three companies could get out of the video game business after this next generation if they continue to lose money, but as the economy turns around, people will start spending more on gaming again. Heck, considering how high unemployment is and how many other low cost entertainment options people have, I'm shocked sales aren't down more significantly this year. The fact that video games have weathered the economic storm as well as they have is a solid indicator to me that the industry is vibrant and growing.

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    I wouldn't mind seeing the market for "AAA" games go down the shitter in favour of cheap arcade style games.

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    Some good things have been brought up in this thread. I dont agree with all of them, but still believe that we are going to have an off year or two ahead at least.

    Things to note:

    Game sales are down 34% from a year ago. The industry this last year shot its load of awesome games, and now comes the "off years". Mark my words, we are going to have some so-so games now enter this year.

    I think that the "success" of the industry is too consolidated. I agree that there are very successful multiple million selling franchises in the industry, with some major franchises milking tired game mechanics with no end in sight. With all the winners have come some terrible losers. A game not selling these days wont hurt you, it will kill your game company.

    As for COD, Call of Duty WILL be the next Guitar Hero. I am not an anti-shooter gamer, as I have all the COD games but the last one. A huge HALO and GOLDENEYE fan as well. It is just at what point does a gamer say NO to an annual shooter skin job?

    On to the transformation topic, I agree that it is happening. What I dont see if that the transformation equaling game sales. Gamers have been spoiled into buying digital copies at much cheaper prices. I dont see this equaling into better sales.

    Also, with the game industry really starting to pressure the used game market, this could actually hurt sales if the ability to purchase a used game becomes unavailable. The Online pass is just the start of thing.

    The next two years, I see the "scraps" and leftovers being released for the current consoles. Sure there will be some decent games coming out, but for the most part it will be just a shadow of this last year...which was amazing I admit.

    I just dont see next gen systems bringing anything great to the equation. I dont really even see the VITA and the 3DS expanding the industry for that matter either.

    I have so many awesome games to still play through that it really does not matter to me either way. I know that some are going to totally disagree, but that is okay. I bring it up for conversation and debate, and not to be wrong or right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swlovinist View Post
    Game sales are down 34% from a year ago. The industry this last year shot its load of awesome games, and now comes the "off years". Mark my words, we are going to have some so-so games now enter this year.
    Thats not entirely true. That 34% decrease is only from retail, which NPD noted themselves in their actual report. And since digital across all sectors(console, handheld, tablet and phone games) is well over a billion dollars annually I would say that the industry is doing much better than you think. In a few months NPD will release their full report that includes retail and digital figures. That won't cover 100% of everything but it will give us a much clearer picture instead of just going off of retail in-store sales.

    As for COD, Call of Duty WILL be the next Guitar Hero. I am not an anti-shooter gamer, as I have all the COD games but the last one. A huge HALO and GOLDENEYE fan as well. It is just at what point does a gamer say NO to an annual shooter skin job?
    Ever heard of a game called Madden? Apparently it's been out for over 20 years annually. And get this, it actually sells multi-millions of copies every single year. Weird huh?

    Edit: I know Madden isn't a shooter series but it's still an annual series with nothing more than a new coat of paint each time out.
    Last edited by The 1 2 P; 02-16-2012 at 11:31 PM.
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    Madden is totally different. It has survived at times for being a total monopoly. It also caters to a specific fan base...rabbid sports gamers. Due to the sport of football changing each season, it is easy to milk out a skin job to cater to that demand.

    Only in time will total sales see reflection of how down we are from previous years. Whether or not we are down 34% or not, I bet you we still will be down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swlovinist View Post
    Madden is totally different. It has survived at times for being a total monopoly. It also caters to a specific fan base...rabbid sports gamers.
    And you don't think there are rabbid shooter fans that play nothing but fps games? You don't think there are COD diehard fans that play nothing but COD online multiplayer all year round until the newest one comes out? Those fans will keep COD going because console fps games are not a fad. COD now sells around 15-20+ million units per installment. Even if that dropped back down to 2-6 million that franchise will indeed continue. I actually wish they only released them every other year because the community would certainly persist long enough for that. But they will keep coming out yearly because people keep buying them yearly and the numbers are still going up.

    Only in time will total sales see reflection of how down we are from previous years. Whether or not we are down 34% or not, I bet you we still will be down.
    I wouldn't be surprised if we were down but you need to keep in mind that a significant amount of sales will not be a part of that list. Walmart(who only a few weeks ago agreed to finally share their video game sales figures with NPD) will be absent as will Steam. Between the two of them you are talking about atleast another 500 million in video game sales annually. And while those are two big ones there are many more that won't be counted. This matters because they are obviously a big part of video game sales every year and while their numbers should be factored in they won't be because of their own personal policies.
    Last edited by The 1 2 P; 02-17-2012 at 12:22 AM.
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    keep in mind that Walmart has not been counted in the past, so in actuality, their sales could be less now then what they have been in the past. I dont think that shooters are a fad, what I do think is the COD franchise is on the downward slope. When the series makes one too many(like it will) and another competitor or series advances the fanbase will move on. Activision/Blizzard just see the $$$ and dont care about content. The moment they overstep this tired franchise and milk too many is when the series will go belly up. I predict that when this happens, it will have an impact on game sales.

    The problem with the industry right now is that sequels are the norm. Instead of having a sequel every now and then, we have one pumped out every year. The revenue result from a successful sequel is too much a draw for several companies now. In the past, we had a game come out and a lengthy time in between games. This helped generate hype and create demand for games. It just seems now that every year we are to expect yet another game from X franchise game, paired with portable X version of the game, combined with smartphone X version of the game.

    At some point, people are going to express with their wallets, that they have had their fill. I expressed this years ago, and still believe that there will come a time when the industry will go to the well of a franchise and it will not be as full as it once was. What goes up, must some time come down.
    Last edited by swlovinist; 02-17-2012 at 12:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swlovinist View Post
    keep in mind that Walmart has not been counted in the past, so in actuality, their sales could be less now then what they have been in the past. I dont think that shooters are a fad, what I do think is the COD franchise is on the downward slope. When the series makes one too many(like it will) and another competitor or series advances the fanbase will move on. Activision/Blizzard just see the $$$ and dont care about content. The moment they overstep this tired franchise and milk too many is when the series will go belly up. I predict that when this happens, it will have an impact on game sales.
    Well it's not going to happen this gen. The brand is just too strong. Battlefield 3 launched right beside them to go head to head. Battlefield 3 has sold 10 million units so far. And even with that kind of direct competition COD still broke their previous record, all entertainment records and is on track to outsell last years version(if they haven't already). You factor that all in and you get back to what I originally said: if this franchise is ever going to slow down(and I believe it will eventually) it's not going to be during this generation.

    The problem with the industry right now is that sequels are the norm. Instead of having a sequel every now and then, we have one pumped out every year. The revenue result from a successful sequel is too much a draw for several companies now. In the past, we had a game come out and a lengthy time in between games. This helped generate hype and create demand for games. It just seems now that every year we are to expect yet another game from X franchise game, paired with portable X version of the game, combined with smartphone X version of the game.
    I agree with you here but as I've already stated companies will keep making them as long as people keep buying them. Certain titles get to a point where the brand name is actually stronger than the actual products and they start selling on name recognition alone. Even if the products aren't great they will still sell. You can say this about the Star Wars brand, Sony brand(all their electronics) and now you can add COD to that list. People don't even know what the next one will be called(Black Ops 2 and a space game have been rumored) or what the storyline and multiplayer modes will be. But they are still going to buy it and would probably preorder it today if they could.

    I also wish series like COD, Halo and Assassins Creed would stop bringing out new entries every year but theres money to be made. And even if you decide with your wallet theres another 20 million people who will decide with their wallet the opposite way. I think next gen is the safest bet to when the annual releases will dry up a bit. But then again, they might continue even more. We just have to wait and see.
    Last edited by The 1 2 P; 02-17-2012 at 12:58 AM.
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    I agree that next gen is when the rubber meets the road. Alot of game sales will also depend of perception of a game system, value of what it has to offer over the previous models. I personally think that Sony and MS want to cautiously roll out their next game system. For that I am grateful, but wonder if this year is going to be a drought year due to some projects being held back for the next gen consoles. I do have to admit that the current gen consoles has sold better than I have ever would have thought, though I wonder how many people had to buy two/three consoles to replace ones that died.
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    It's easy to say GAMING IS GOING DOWN and then when it does, to say I TOLD YOU SO!

    I think there will be ups and downs, but I believe gaming is here to stay. It's not a fad or a trend. It's a burgeoning form of entertainment that we will enjoy in one shape or another for our entire lives. Games won't look like they do today in 20 years or 40 years, so we can be nostalgic (and figure out a way to set up servers to play online and MMORPG games of yesteryear). But gaming is moving forward and permeating nearly everyone's lives.

    Definitely portable gaming is evolving into something different. Will the PSVs and 3DSs of the world survive what the iPhone and similar offer? Hard to tell how many generations of dedicated portable consoles we have left in our future.

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    Specifically for japanese games? I think so. Less and less seem to be coming to the west, smaller companies are dying out, quality RPGs are not as abundant as they were in the PS1, or even the PS2 days.

    Surprisingly enough we just got xenoblade and the last story so I still have some hope.

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    The gaming industries sales were down significantly this year versus last year. Expectations are usually the sales will exceed the previous year. It's obviously down because last year saw the Kinect and Playstation Move launches. This year we had only the Nintendo 3DS which many (not me) believe launched over priced and then had some key titles post-poned until more consoles were in consumers hands.

    I think the Kinect and Move failed to give us anything to buy over the holiday season and developers are holding back some content for the next gen; espeacially if games will be Wii-U portable as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuken View Post
    I think the Kinect and Move failed to give us anything to buy over the holiday season and developers are holding back some content for the next gen; espeacially if games will be Wii-U portable as well.
    Let me fix that:

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    I think the Kinect and Move failed because greedy devs have no original thought.
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    I would have to say I am seeing more of a shift to buying new games instead of used. With popular games amazon offers very fair trade in offers, and gamestop as well when you hit the right promotion. With the amount of games now coming with one time use online passes or codes it becomes a greater expense or risk to buy used. Also used game prices have in my eyes been climbing up to the point where it isnt worth buying used. Gamestop used to have everything in stock and it is not uncommon anymore that they are out of stock of used games.
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    Default Here we go...another post on whether game sales are going to be in the toilet?

    At least we're not seeing threads like this one being posted every quarter or so like they used to be.

    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/show...-crash-in-1984
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/show...h!!!-THIS-YEAR!!
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/show...u-Are-At-Fault
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/show...lump&highlight

    (it pains me to link to a zmweasel post, but):
    http://www.digitpress.com/forum/show...ey-re-Effed-Up

    Some of those date back to 2004. People were probably saying the same thing since the 1990s. There's no crash, sales aren't going to drop off a cliff, life will go on, people will continue gaming. Etc., etc.
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    I recall writing a blog post about this subject. Short version is: gaming is too big now for something like the "crash" to happen again.

    The worst I could see happening is games going the way of comics, where once they were a cornerstone of our culture but now they're a niche medium that only nerds know or care about (and even then, they're still well-known thanks to movie adaptations).

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    I think that some here thought that I was hinting at another crash. Not at all, but merely expressing that that the game industry could easily fall into a recession. As my post says, this was not intended to be a doom and gloom report. What I am merely bringing up is that there is a possibility that the next years will be a dip, a recession, a pause. I believe that what the game industry experienced in the mid 90s when games jumped from 16 bit carts to 32 bit CDs could happen again. It was a rough transition. Many game companies suffered. The technology was all over the place.

    The future of videogames as we buy it will drastically change over the next ten years, both good and bad.
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    I don't think we're entering a gaming recession, but I think we'll be entering one of those weird temporary game droughts in the next 1-2 years? As the current console generation winds down over the next few years and the new consoles come out, we might see a decline in quality games being released for current consoles b/c they'll be coming out later for next gen consoles.

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