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View Full Version : May 2011 video game sales worst in five years


RobertoOrtiz
06-15-2011, 02:17 PM
Quote:
"After riding high from the thrill of E3 last week, the video game industry got a harsh slap in the face Monday.
As reported by the NPD Group, sales of video games in the month of May were down 19 percent compared to a year ago -- the worst performance for the industry in nearly five years.

You have to look back as far as October 2006 to find a dive this steep. And, making matters worse, none of the industry's fortunetellers saw it coming. Analysts had expected May to be relatively flat thanks to a Wii price cut (http://blog.games.yahoo.com/blog/653-nintendo-cuts-wii-price-to-150) early in the month.

Game software sales came in at $375.8 million, $90 million less than May 2010. Year to date, the industry is a worrying 14 percent off of 2010's retail sales pace."

http://blog.games.yahoo.com/blog/766-may-video-game-sales-worst-in-five-years

Kabab
06-15-2011, 02:51 PM
Probably has a lot to do with steam? Since they don't release sales figures and a hell of a lot of people are buying games from steam now particularly a lot of indie titles..

Rez007
06-15-2011, 03:03 PM
I saw this in USA Today about a week or so ago...which seems to show a current and future trend to gaming.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2011-06-05-e3-mobile-gaming_n.htm


I can't find the link to current and projected sales figures for hardware that was in the article as well. So, I am just typing it here from the article in USA Today.

Platform_______________2010__________2011

Smartphones________553 Million______815 Million
Tablets______________17 Million_______36 Million
Consoles____________183 Million______227 Million


To me it seems like a healthy projected growth all around, however with the massive influx of casual gaming, especially on Smartphones where games are offered more and more as "free," people are going to start expecting more of their games to be free...and if developers supplement that by going the free route and using marketing/advertisements to pay their expenses, I wonder how those numbers figure into the overall sales figures for games.

mustique
06-15-2011, 03:11 PM
console tech is getting old, games are getting boring...

Kabab
06-15-2011, 03:18 PM
Do you really think that smart phones are stealing console and pc game users? I think the type of games people play and the reason are very different between those devices..

I think its just this generation of consoles is getting towards the end of their cycle so nothing is really as exciting any more...

Bring out the next gen and release games which look like that Unreal demo and watch the sales flood in...

Charkins
06-15-2011, 03:20 PM
Probably has a lot to do with steam? Since they don't release sales figures and a hell of a lot of people are buying games from steam now particularly a lot of indie titles..

Steam might not report sales, but the big developers who are selling through steam report, don't they? I wonder exactly what is factored in. I've bought all of my games in the last... 3 years from Steam. Besides, 1 month in 5 years is bound to sell less, even if 14% is pretty significant. Ebb and flow. I predict next month sales will be up. :)

Rez007
06-15-2011, 03:27 PM
Do you really think that smart phones are stealing console and pc game users? I think the type of games people play and the reason are very different between those devices..

I think its just this generation of consoles is getting towards the end of their cycle so nothing is really as exciting any more...

Bring out the next gen and release games which look like that Unreal demo and watch the sales flood in...

I just posted the article that was in the paper, however, in my opinion, "Yes" they are to an extent. If casual games is where the money is - developers will go that route. I read somewhere that EA took a hit as well, however, their Smartphone and Tablet area was doing well...i.e. Chillingo

Looking at some of the games that were at E3, I think BF3 was looking really nice and will defintily be some competition for the COD franchise, and I beleive that next year is when we should start seeing the new consoles surfacing...

SheepFactory
06-15-2011, 06:37 PM
There weren't any big must have games released last month that would increase sales. I am tired of idiot analysts crying chicken little every time a months sales is less than the year before.

Crotalis
06-15-2011, 06:42 PM
There weren't any big must have games released last month that would increase sales.
Exactly what I was going to say. All of the anticipated "Big Name" titles aren't coming out until later this year. I wouldn't be surprised if, in a few months time, we end up with a month that far exceeds the figures for the previous year.

Artbot
06-15-2011, 06:53 PM
Might have something to do with the de-evolution of game design.....


http://i.imgur.com/PLHBn.jpg

Venkman
06-15-2011, 06:55 PM
There weren't any big must have games released last month that would increase sales. I am tired of idiot analysts crying chicken little every time a months sales is less than the year before.

It's going to be followed later this year with sales records being broken when Modern Warfare 3 and the other big names on each of the platforms are released. :)

Sky
06-15-2011, 07:02 PM
HA! I love the image artbot.

There were no big releases and the game industry landscape is changing. Like sheepfactory said, not a lot of good games came out. Though I am a bit shocked that L.A. Noire didn't help those figures more.

And I'll bet that social/mobile/casual and digital download games were on the up and up last month. The times are changing throughout the industry. Nothing to be all doom and gloom about. It's been a crazy couple years in games, but the dust will settle and there will be more opportunity.

SheepFactory
06-15-2011, 07:41 PM
Might have something to do with the de-evolution of game design.....


http://i.imgur.com/PLHBn.jpg

No they still make frustrating games today. That image is wrong.

kemijo
06-15-2011, 08:08 PM
Might have something to do with the de-evolution of game design.....


http://i.imgur.com/PLHBn.jpg
Exactly this.

vfx
06-15-2011, 09:30 PM
No they still make frustrating games today. That image is wrong.

I think this refers to level of difficulty and satisfaction - not frustration like todays linear game process.

_vine_
06-15-2011, 10:52 PM
It's the end of the world. The game industry lost $90 million dollars compared to last May.

Oh wait, it didn't because only half as many games came out in _retail_ in May. So they actually made more revenue per game.

Artbot
06-16-2011, 12:05 AM
No they still make frustrating games today. That image is wrong.

"Frustrating" is not the same as "ridiculously repetitive and pointlessly difficult".

bjoern
06-16-2011, 12:50 AM
I just feel sad for people who play games on a mobilephone...
get alive, stupid idiots...

DuttyFoot
06-16-2011, 02:18 AM
this article will fit in nicely i think.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/15/console-vs-pc-redux-how-mobile-gaming-will-reshape-the-industr/

personally i don't see pc or console gaming going anywhere soon, however i have heard some people saying that the next consoles might be the last.

Kabab
06-16-2011, 02:41 AM
The thing is games are being sold differently in a way where its harder to get figures..

Before when all games where sold via retail outlets it was a lot easier to get sales numbers..

Now there are so many ways to buy games (steam, xbox live, PSN, D2D, iphone, Andriod, Facebook, direct web sales, retail etc etc etc)...

So its impossible to get figures like they used to... So whilst the figure they are reporting from overall the game industry may have grown significantly!

CHRiTTeR
06-16-2011, 04:46 AM
There weren't any big must have games released last month that would increase sales. I am tired of idiot analysts crying chicken little every time a months sales is less than the year before.

qfa

*filler filler filler*

amsams
06-16-2011, 05:24 AM
im such a fanboy, i read "Maya 2011 video game .. "

xD

DuttyFoot
06-16-2011, 05:35 AM
your not the only one, lol. when i saw the heading i saw maya too and felt a little disappointed when it wasnt, lol

ashrafazlan
06-16-2011, 08:17 AM
I just feel sad for people who play games on a mobilephone...
get alive, stupid idiots...

what's wrong with playing games on phones?

beestee
06-16-2011, 02:54 PM
Just finished playing Red Faction: Armageddon myself...great work Volition!

Now just make me a full blown modern Descent already, quit with the teasing! For those that weren't aware, RF:A has a throwback level modeled after Descent.

I also picked up DiRT 3, another great game and one of my favorites for multiplayer right now.

For those that just wait for the next iteration of *insert favorite shooter here* year after year, you are missing out on some great gaming.

ha-dou-ken
06-16-2011, 03:11 PM
im such a fanboy, i read "Maya 2011 video game .. "

xD

That's what I saw too at first! I was like "...what?!"

Sky
06-16-2011, 04:06 PM
what's wrong with playing games on phones?

No kidding. I like the fact that I can bust out a game on my cell phone while I wait at the doctors office or for the oil change on my car to finish. When I play a console game or a PC game I feel like it's a time investment. I can't just play it for five minutes anywhere I want.

Artbot
06-16-2011, 06:00 PM
what's wrong with playing games on phones?

Nothing. Ignore the ignorant troll.

HughBowen
06-16-2011, 06:11 PM
Steam might not report sales, but the big developers who are selling through steam report, don't they? I wonder exactly what is factored in. I've bought all of my games in the last... 3 years from Steam. Besides, 1 month in 5 years is bound to sell less, even if 14% is pretty significant. Ebb and flow. I predict next month sales will be up. :)
yea Steam doesnt report its sales.

http://www.gamespy.com/articles/116/1163281p1.html

SheepFactory
06-16-2011, 06:17 PM
"Frustrating" is not the same as "ridiculously repetitive and pointlessly difficult".

Try playing something other than Angry Birds maybe?

Skamierski
06-16-2011, 06:23 PM
yea Steam doesnt report its sales.

http://www.gamespy.com/articles/116/1163281p1.html


bought the last 9 months 30 games from steam.
so i think you could be right :)

and i know many people purchasing plenty of games on steam

HughBowen
06-16-2011, 06:48 PM
bought the last 9 months 30 games from steam.
so i think you could be right :)

and i know many people purchasing plenty of games on steam
yea most ppl on my friends list have 100+ games on steam

SheepFactory
06-16-2011, 07:01 PM
I have also bought %90 of the games I bought from steam.

Bran
06-16-2011, 07:49 PM
Might have something to do with the de-evolution of game design.....


http://i.imgur.com/PLHBn.jpg

an image that tells more than hundred of words. i totally agree with it. :)

Artbot
06-16-2011, 10:44 PM
Try playing something other than Angry Birds maybe?

So by your insult you are saying you disagree?

And I've never played Angry Birds.

godo1
06-16-2011, 10:44 PM
Hahaha, this is a great photo, really !!!
I remember what games looked like when i was young.

SheepFactory
06-17-2011, 02:50 AM
So by your insult you are saying you disagree?

And I've never played Angry Birds.

Insult?

And yes I disagree. If you have something to prove your point other than a internet meme please share.

roginafalengi
06-17-2011, 05:03 PM
Insult?

And yes I disagree. If you have something to prove your point other than a internet meme please share.

"Bethesda: aim to make it “really accessible”" (Source [GamersMint] (http://www.gamersmint.com/bethesda-consoles-to-be-the-lead-platform-for-skyrim-aim-to-make-it-really-accessible))

lately a lot of games are being simplified, not all of them, some of them are still challenging on the higher difficulties, but still.

Artbot
06-17-2011, 06:17 PM
Insult?

And yes I disagree. If you have something to prove your point other than a internet meme please share.

Sometimes things are memes for a reason. But you are just being willfully ignorant if you don't see that there has been a steady trend toward publishers trying to widen sales to new gaming customers. Everyone who buys shooters will already buy the latest shooter. Everyone who is a RTS or RPG fan will buy those games. But they are niche markets compared to the number of potential customers out there, and those new customers are not hardcore gamers. They prefer short, fun, easy to understand games without much depth.

It almost goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that game production schedules have gotten shorter over the years, and the combination of a tight economy and more conservative publishers wanting a safer ROI has led to cutting the scope and size and "cutting edge" gameplay experiments from most products. This means more repetitive and uninteresting gameplay for the user.

I could spend all day citing stories & articles about this, but I feel I'd be wasting my time and yours.

CHRiTTeR
06-17-2011, 06:52 PM
"Bethesda: aim to make it “really accessible”" (Source [GamersMint] (http://www.gamersmint.com/bethesda-consoles-to-be-the-lead-platform-for-skyrim-aim-to-make-it-really-accessible))

lately a lot of games are being simplified, not all of them, some of them are still challenging on the higher difficulties, but still.

Yes the upcomming driver game was also made easier on publisher's request because that way it has a bigger target audience.

Wozzie
06-18-2011, 06:16 AM
Might have something to do with the de-evolution of game design.....


http://i.imgur.com/PLHBn.jpg

To be honest I never understood this mentality.

Games are meant to be fun, since when was being stressed out and agitated (two emotional states we go through great lengths to avoid) fun?

Most games have a "Sell the house. Sell the car. Sell the kids. Find someone else!" setting for the elite gamer with nothing else in their life, why do I need to be bogged down on one level for 50 years because I have the audacity to want to check out the the visuals and experience the story?

I've been meaning to pick up FFXIII since it came out and you know why I haven't? I was told "after like 20 hours it really starts to open up" that's a hell of a lot of time to lose playing a game.

Also worth noting is that in 1994 if a level was pissing you off you could just skip it or put on god mode or something, developers no longer want to give us that option and you have easier games.

ChukChuk
06-18-2011, 07:20 AM
To be honest I never understood this mentality.

Games are meant to be fun, since when was being stressed out and agitated (two emotional states we go through great lengths to avoid) fun?

I think it comes to down your perception of fun. Some people feel that something easy is what they enjoy while other people can't enjoy themselves unless they are being challenged.

Most games have a "Sell the house. Sell the car. Sell the kids. Find someone else!" setting for the elite gamer with nothing else in their life,

Tue but even those modes on some games are too easy now a days e.g. COD MW2. I completed it in veteran in my first run through in about 6 hours
But there are those games that do make you want to smash your controller at times Demon souls being a very good example.

Hooch
06-19-2011, 05:41 AM
I think is more like this. :)

http://i.imgur.com/5kt66.jpg

marcuso
06-19-2011, 06:48 AM
I think is more like this. :)

Haha, so true!

MikkoK
06-19-2011, 07:44 AM
sales of video games in the month of May were down 19 percent compared to a year ago

That 19 percent sounds like the difference between Red Dead and L.A. Noire sales ;)

beestee
06-20-2011, 02:20 PM
I've been meaning to pick up FFXIII since it came out and you know why I haven't? I was told "after like 20 hours it really starts to open up" that's a hell of a lot of time to lose playing a game.

Also worth noting is that in 1994 if a level was pissing you off you could just skip it or put on god mode or something, developers no longer want to give us that option and you have easier games.Every game in the final fantasy series is a drawn out experience since the NES, that is one of the factors that appeals to the fans of the series. If it's not your cup of tea, then there are certainly many casual games available now that can fill your need for a quick fix.

In 1994, PC gaming was way beyond console gaming in terms of popularity, and online gaming was just starting to pick up speed in some of those PC games. Games today capitalize on the 'God Mode' features by making them commonplace within the games and centralizing gameplay around them. Think armor abilities in Halo, perks in CoD or nanotech upgrades in Crysis. And why not? If a few are going to do those things through cheating just to enjoy the game more, why not make it part of the game for everyone to enjoy?

ambient-whisper
06-20-2011, 04:26 PM
problem with ff13 is that you cant really do much until about 20 hours in the game. all other ff games slowly opened up. ff13 keeps itself closed more or less until about half way.

DrBalthar
06-20-2011, 10:05 PM
I think this interview with a UK game industry veteran brings it pretty much to the point. I have more respect for fellows like this one than all these big game executive running around right now

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz1zOO0oz2I

and

http://youtu.be/lRNN-0BuFyA

JakeJK
06-21-2011, 03:02 AM
Might have something to do with the de-evolution of game design.....


http://i.imgur.com/PLHBn.jpg

Hehe, I would agree if I hadn't played meat boy for the last 6 months. Fantastic game and really difficult at times :)

AnonyMouse
06-21-2011, 03:23 PM
I think there are still very good new games but there are also very big companies which gains more popularity and it is much difficult to find what you need - there are really a lot of games.
Also I think in the past people just played for fun and now we have some fashion tendency which tryies to put everything non-related to it outside of the path. Many people believe in that as players (and I think as gamedesigners too) so as a result there are a lot of very similar games and manipulated users.

DrBalthar
06-21-2011, 08:18 PM
I think there are still very good new games but there are also very big companies which gains more popularity and it is much difficult to find what you need - there are really a lot of games.
Also I think in the past people just played for fun and now we have some fashion tendency which tryies to put everything non-related to it outside of the path. Many people believe in that as players (and I think as gamedesigners too) so as a result there are a lot of very similar games and manipulated users.
I doubt that, it has more to do with risk shininess. Because bean counters rule at the moment and not only in the game industry in the whole big creative industry (meaning games, movies, tv). Hence all the same thing, sequells, prequells, reboots. the 100th comic hero book adaptation. Things like Pirates4 that should never have seen the light of day (well actually not even the previous #3 and #2). Would 1977 be now. George would find a hard time to get Star wars done.

SheepFactory
06-21-2011, 09:36 PM
Hehe, I would agree if I hadn't played meat boy for the last 6 months. Fantastic game and really difficult at times :)

6 months?

You need to visit your doctor because I bet you have high blood pressure now. :D

aliismail
06-24-2011, 08:36 AM
I think this interview with a UK game industry veteran brings it pretty much to the point. I have more respect for fellows like this one than all these big game executive running around right now

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz1zOO0oz2I

and

http://youtu.be/lRNN-0BuFyA

Great links! thx

I think games overall are making a much higher profit and revenue but as many said its diversifying in different markets and going through different stages. am simply surprised how a company like zynga could make so much profit and use up the time of some of the gamers with their ridiculous games.

the sequels and lack of creativity in big games won't last for long or you could pretty much safely say that eventually people will get bored from them and when the cost of making a high end game decrease due to easier to use engines and simpler game development. you would see much more creative games made by small companies who are not controlled by evil corporations.

Davidq19
06-24-2011, 09:22 PM
We haven't even struck november yet and we're already complaining about the sales at this time of this year? I'm not saying that the games we've had until now were great (not even playing any, just reading a bunch about them..) but ever heard of the saying; seven ups and seven downs.. half this year is a downer, kay.. now the other half is coming up with incredibly awesome games.. Alright, let's see.. bf3 was mentioned earlier.. Oblivion the elder scrolls 5 Skyrim.. call of duty mw3.. mass effect 3.. assassins creed revelations.. the new bioshock.. maybe the new hitman game.. infamous 2.. serious sam 3.. the list goes on..

yeah check it out here.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_games_in_development

I bet the market is gonna fix itself easily this year.. there are just too many epic sequels coming up ie. gears of war3 That they've all been pushed up to the end of the year for several reasons.. more time to build or making a huge sale on christmas..

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