Monday, 5 July 2010

Pachter: "The Industry Is In Persistant Decline"

The games industry. We love it, everyone's talking about it, it's not a cheap entertainment medium but there's a huge following. Yet every year we seem to be declining, as an industry so the stats say. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has expressed his concerns:
“We expect investors to remain spooked by the May results, as they are beginning to reinforce the notion that the videogame industry is in a state of persistent secular decline."

“Despite May’s easy percentage and dollar comparisons and long-anticipated debuts for a handful of games, it became clear that several of May’s games performed well below expectations as the month progressed.”
Even though Nintendo is printing money, they're in decline too Pachter said:
“Wii software sales were down 29 percent year-over-year, and DS software sales were down 13 percent, while PS3 software sales were up 58 per cent and Xbox 360 software sales were up 29 per cent."

“We think this is remarkable, given growth in the Wii hardware installed base of 44 percent and growth in the DS installed base of 33 percent over the last 12 months. In our view, this indicates that Nintendo’s customers either are not finding enough software to satisfy their needs, or need less software than the typical Sony or Microsoft customer.”
Personally, I believe the industry is stuck between being an art, and a business. We recently attended the Game Horizon Conference about the future of videogames and one of the points raised included: 'why spend millions and millions on a platform specific, genre specific title that looks beautiful and plays brilliant' when you can knock up a free to play microtransaction funded browser title available to everyone, everywhere and make stupid amounts of money...?

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