This Just In - Videogames Popular


If Reuters is to be believed, and I think it is, then the videogame market is continuing to outpace a flagging world economy by growing at double digit rates.  I don't know why this is good news, per se, as 1) I don't make money off the video game industry, and 2)  ... well 2 is pretty much just 1 again.  And yet, I read an article like this and then I make the Tiger Woods fist pump, and then maybe if I'm feeling frisky I do a little jig.  You know, I'm not sure I've ever told you guys how much I like writing these little snippets before I get into the boring bulk of an article.  It's really a license to try and link two completely disconnected ideas, like the fiscal health of an industry and the Tiger Woods jig.  It's a task that I approach with great enthusiasm.  If I thought I could sustain the Tiger Woods fist pumping happy dance story for much longer, I assure you, I would, but instead why don't you read on for some actual information.

Anyway, with that out of my system, let's have a look at Reuters' article:

Global video game sales are projected to grow nearly 10 percent this year, extending a decade-long surge that has a lot of life left, analysts said in a report on Tuesday.

London-based market research firm ScreenDigest and trade association Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) released their annual forecast, predicting sales in 2003 would hit $18.5 billion, another record.

There are a variety of ways people can interpret that kind of news, and I'm going to pick my favorite and posit it as fact.  This means that next year we'll see even more videogames!  Huzzah!  In all seriousness, a profitable industry is an attractive industry to enter, and this kind of news only encourages companies to produce even more product to fulfill a growing demand.  With that it also lends a certain credence to our little hobby, and entrenches it even further into the mainstream.  This isn't much of a surprise as the average gamer age continues to grow in proportional step.  While this is probably not surprising news for most of us, it's good to have the strength of the gaming industry confirmed.

And, just because I like anything that points out how poorly the music industry is managed:

Despite the global economic malaise, the popularity of video games continues to soar, a stark contrast to the music industry, which is having increasing difficulties selling compact discs.

Major music labels are expected to suffer through a fourth straight year of declining CD sales, blamed in part on rampant piracy.

It's all piracy's fault!  Listen, we're pretty solid on our piracy position here, but to be so narrow as to think that piracy is the only thing driving down music sales is, well, pretty ignorant.  After all, I think it's problematic for that argument when comparing two industrys, both rife with piracy, one of which is outpacing a weakened market, and the other which is suffering. 

- Elysium


As for the music part, there's a pretty interesting interview at AlwaysOn who talked with Sony's Chairman Nobuyuki Idei (he rarely participates in Q&A).

"Idei: The music industry has been spoiled. They have controlled the distribution of music by producing CDs, and thereby have also protected their profits. So they have resisted Internet distribution. Six years ago I asked Sony Music to start working with IBM to figure out how to offer secured distribution of their content over the Net. But nobody in Sony Music would listen. Then about six months ago, they started to panic. They have to change their mindset away from selling albums, and think about selling singles over the Internet for as cheap as possible"”even 20 cents or 10 cents"”and encourage file-sharing so they can also get micro-payments for these files. The music industry has to re-invent itself, we can no longer control distribution they way we used to. Most entertainment executives understand this, but how to exactly execute on this model is more difficult."


It will also be interesting to see if Apple gets their music marketing idea realized.