Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Flooding Hits Game Industry

So according to this report, 1,099 games were released in 2009. That's electronic games at retailers only, so it doesn't count downloadable-only games and non-electronic games. I don't know if anyone does a count of download-only games, but it would surely be somewhere in the thousands just due to the App store. (Of course, there's the issue of whether or not you count updates...)

The natural consequences of this huge number of releases are clear: games stay on the shelves for less time, since shelf space is certainly not increasing (given the loss of retail chains like Circuit City, one could argue that shelf space is decreasing). Which tends to lower average unit sales per title, which puts pressure on sales prices, all as game budgets for AAA titles (at least) continue to go up.

It's not hard to see why big electronic game publishers have been laying off people, cutting development, and generally feeling the pain. With industry sales lower than last year, there are fewer dollars to go around, and more games to spread them over. It's going to be an interesting year as companies scramble to change their business models, or invent entirely new ones.

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