Are you a gamer? The games industry hates you. Sorry. But as the music business proved, big publishers and console makers can still turn things around - before it's too late.
This week, the music industry showed growth for the first time since 1999, while piracy has dropped, according to the NPD Group’s Annual Music Study 2012.
At the same time, the games industry is shrinking at an alarming rate, new releases selling less every year and overall cumulative spend weakening seemingly every week.
Proof lies in Ninja Theory’s Devil May Cry reboot. The game topped the Japanese charts, selling 116,000 copies in week one according to Media Create. That’s compared to Devil May Cry 4, which sold 245,000 when it topped the charts five years before.
NPD also revealed that the US games market has been shrinking 5% year-on-year, while the ERA states UK games sales plunged by 17.4% in 2012.
That’s the result of a generation that’s dragged on too long, people say. Partly.
But it’s also because, over the course of the past seven years, the games industry has shifted – against the consumer. Against the players.
Games used to cost £40 and had unlockable content you’d be given for doing well; beating the game or collecting collectibles.
Now, you’re given a meaningless virtual e-peen sticker (sorry, Achievement or Trophy) and locked out of some of the best content, even though it’s on-disc, unless you turn out your wallet.
Even then, DLC models are greedy. You can buy Forza Horizon (or Forza 4’s) VIP DLC pass for about £40 (the price of the game, again), but you’ll still miss out on some of the new cars released on top of the VIP content. Super VIP content? It’s diabolical.
Then there’s network passes, asking us to pay £5-10 to play online just because we dared to buy used. Are these passes, by the way, still going to be maintained even when games are no longer in print? What happens when buying used is the only option? Answer: you still stump up.
It’s the industry’s answer to everything.
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer
The "average gamer" in THEIR view is - as far as I can see it - a person ranging from being a teenanger to the end-20s.
I might be wrong, but this is the far BIGGEST group I have seen on the Games Com during the last years - and because of that I have no doubt that "the industry" is catering THEM.
The Whales, that's something different. They're imho a group entirely different from the "average gamer" - although perhaps sometimes overlapping with them.