#1 Posted by ArcHTecHGuY79 (22 posts) -

Is the falling sales of games and hardware especially games year after year a cause of concern. I keep hearing all this talk that Tablets and Phones are slowly going to make the big games we like to play obsolete. Even in a recent article on ign Peter Molyneux states that next gen consoles are going to struggle to keep up with phones and tablets. Granted I like smaller games and all but I still want the bigger games to survive or gaming will be dead to me. I just feel there is this big change thats going to happen and it won't be good.

#2 Posted by Salarn (469 posts) -

Games sales are not declining.

Large budget games will not go away.

#3 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2112 posts) -

There there, everything will be all right. shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

#4 Posted by Franstone (1156 posts) -

Peter Molyneux is the only guy in the business who can be wrong more than your local meteorologist and still keep his job.

I don't think big budget games are going anywhere. If there is money to be made it will continue.

If there are any reports of game sales falling it's probably because of the all too long stagnant console life-cycle of this generation.

#5 Posted by Donkeycow (558 posts) -

Console sales have been dropping off a fair amount, but it's the end of a very long console cycle, that is to be expected. All in all the industry is healthy and will be bigger then ever when the next generation hits, you can count on that.

#6 Posted by Zekhariah (695 posts) -

Nobody is really completely sure if the drop will continue, or how much further it might go.

There is some presumption that the long console cycle is impacting sales, that the economy figures into it, and that some unknown amount of casual type income is lost to mobile/social (with another unknown amount being made up by those sources, now that most everyone is also in that area). New consoles will be an interesting test. If a bottom to the drops is found than there might be at least some presumed stability, but without knowing the situation ends up looking potentially dire. Or if the adoption rate on new consoles is poor.

#7 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

i do hope that games don't start going towards the phones. i kind of don't see it happening just because of how consoles are. it's a home entertainment system. consoles are starting to become more than just video games.

its just going down right now as it's coming to the end of the cycle. there are rumors of new consoles coming out in the next 3 years. nintendo is bring out the wii u soon.

#8 Posted by Aetheldod (3735 posts) -

Has anybody thought that many of those sales were of the more casual type of gamers ... that now has seen that their gaming can be done on phone / tablet games? It seems pretty obvious to me , they went for a crowd that in whim will stop purchasing games just because they are not so into them like we are .... a fake growth we have had I think , and now developers expecting to keep selling as they have now see that their numbers aint adding up ... the market is just going back to were it was before this generation.

#9 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -
#10 Edited by seannao (232 posts) -

I remember hearing similar concerns like 5 years ago. The figures, even in the article linked above me, refer solely to retail games sold in "brick and mortar stores." You pick up the box from the shelf. The box gets scanned. You pay for it and walk/drive home or you had the box mailed to your home.

Any purchase you've made on Steam or even through a console-based download service is not recorded as a "sale" in the figures those articles and your fear are sourced from.

#11 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -

I want another topic from you in bold letters when the next consoles come out from microsoft and sony and people are saying game sales are on the rise.

#12 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

Yeah, I'm kind of feeling the same way. I just hope it's because this was an extended generation and stuff, and new consoles = growth.

#13 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

Not declining, becoming more obtuse. Triple A titles are well and good, but it's the next and next that serve to win. Cost effective games are very profitable.

#14 Posted by Salarn (469 posts) -
#15 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

Hey guys, I heard PC gaming is dead too.

#16 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@Ravenlight said:

Hey guys, I heard PC gaming is dead too.

Don't worry! 
I heard that the new Half-Life game is gonna save it. 
 
No it was the new Command & Conquer game. Or was it the new Call of Duty game?  
It was the new World of Warcraft expansion, that's the one that's gonna  save the PC! 
 
Or maybe it was the new Starcraft.
#17 Posted by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

It's becoming a little too "hit" based if you ask me. Same thing happened to music and movies and it was up to the indie artists to keep things interesting. I can see games heading that way and it's a bit of a bummer.

#18 Edited by Jeust (10860 posts) -
@MikkaQ said:

It's becoming a little too "hit" based if you ask me. Same thing happened to music and movies and it was up to the indie artists to keep things interesting. I can see games heading that way and it's a bit of a bummer.

This. I think the main problem is the diversity in gaming. How many Assassin's Creed will we play till we get bored? How many Halos, Call of Duty, Resident Evil, Dead Space, Zelda, Super Mario, Gears of War, Killzone, Final Fantasy, Tales Of? And how many similar franchises will we play through? Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honour? 
 
Finding some new experiences to me has been kind of hard with so many sequels and similar games.
#19 Posted by ascagnel (84 posts) -
@Jeust
@MikkaQ said:

It's becoming a little too "hit" based if you ask me. Same thing happened to music and movies and it was up to the indie artists to keep things interesting. I can see games heading that way and it's a bit of a bummer.

This. I think the main problem is the diversity in gaming. How many Assassin'gs Creed will we play till we get bored? How many Halos, Call of Duty, Resident Evil, Dead Space, Zelda, Super Mario? And how many similar franchises will we play through? Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honour? 
 
Finding some new experiences to me has been kind of hard with so many sequels and similar games.
The issue is that the current "big" franchises are either fairly old (Halo, Battlefield, MoH) or were sucked dry by annual sequels (Assassin's Creed, CoD). The good thing is that console launches are a great time for new IPs to take hold, and everyone gets something new.

The odder thing is the rise of indie games. The studio heads that would have to fight to put out creative AAA titles can now do something smaller, cheaper, and with much less risk. With the creative guys off doing their own thing, who's left to do the big stuff?
#20 Posted by Salarn (469 posts) -

@Jeust: That's the thing about gamers, they are too diverse. If you or I become bored of a game it's not representative of gamers as a whole. There more people new to games every year that AC5 or MarioParty13 is their first of the series and it's fresh to them. If a fan of a series gets bored or outgrows that series it's okay and honestly expected.

There are enough games and enough genres of games that there will always be a game to play when one wants to play a game.

#21 Edited by Jeust (10860 posts) -
@Salarn: Yeah but what is the proportion from gamers that burnout on the franchise, and gamers that introduced to each of the sequels, or how many get tired of playing early shooters versus people that get introduced to them? I think the former is larger, and as such contributes to the dwindling of sales.
#22 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

I think it's about time we listed digital sales in the NPD...

Year after year, I see NPD showing games sales declining. Year after year I notice my physical games library isn't getting much bigger, but my steam library is gargantuan.

#23 Edited by Hosstile17 (769 posts) -

This is the seventh year of a console cycle. I am pretty sure that everyone that would want to buy one of these systems has done it. As for decreased game sales, the last two years have been pretty bad. I haven't purchased nearly as many games as I normally do. This can also be attributed to the long console cycle. Many developers are saving their new IPs for the new consoles. So, everything they are shitting out is a reboot, rehash, or sequel to an existing franchise. I have nothing against sequels. But, good lord, most franchises this generation have at least 4 or 5 installments in them, just on this set of hardware. Some franchises have as many as seven entries.

#24 Edited by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

They always slide towards the end of a console generation, and this gen seemed pretty long while we still have a year left. If you remember at this point in the PS2s life new games were down to $40.

Personally, towards the end of a cycle like were experiencing I like to look backwards and find things I missed. If all of the games look the same, what advantage does a game I've never played that comes out tomorrow for $60 have over a game I've never played that game out 2 years ago for $15? People just have to get excited about new, and new games right now don't really feel that way.

I do wonder what tablets will look like in 5 years vs the then aging consoles. I mean, they will still be tablets and I probably won't want to play games on them, but tech wise they might be pretty impressive and developers might have figured some things out.

#25 Posted by MURDERSMASH (251 posts) -

Game sales are going down because we're coming up on the next generation of consoles. They'll skyrocket again when everyone is pumped about the next gen consoles.

#26 Posted by Salarn (469 posts) -

@Jeust: Well percentage wise world population is increasing along with the average standard of living that allows people have access to games. The sales of games are not decreasing, overall spending in games is higher than ever, it's just not limited first hand box sales as the report leads the reader to believe.

Download Games (Steam / Console) are not counted.

Second hand game sales (used) are not counted.

In game purchases (DLC / Microtransations) are not counted.

However, as far as the annual or 'evergreen' titles of games go, there are a large population of gamers out there who are the one or two game a year shoppers. There are plenty of people who ONLY play madden or COD every year, and they are perfectly happy with it. This is backed up by internal user tracking when you see numerous accounts with nothing but achievements from their one or two games.

As to the topic from the original poster. Sales are not declining as a whole. Big 'AAA' games will not go away. I'll concede that it's very hard to have more than a few $60~100+ million dollar FPS come out in the same year and have people care, but there will still be at least a few options.

#27 Posted by Ben_H (3440 posts) -
@MURDERSMASH said:

Game sales are going down because we're coming up on the next generation of consoles. They'll skyrocket again when everyone is pumped about the next gen consoles.

Basically. 
 
I personally haven't been buying too many consoles games, but that's mostly because so many of the recent releases seem kinda middling and I'm not the type to spend $60 on a game unless it is REALLY good. Put it this way, I've spent more on SNES games than on my Xbox and Wii combined and I've only spent $200 in total on my SNES, $70 of which was Super Mario RPG. It seems like since we are nearing the end of this console generation a lot of companies aren't willing to take risks so we aren't seeing anything other than mass sequels, which is something I really don't like. 
 
The biggest issue I have with modern console gaming is the value proposition of the average $60 game. We are seeing indie games and phone games that for $10 or less, offer roughly as much gameplay as some of the $60 console games.  After playing a lot of recent smaller games like FTL, it just seems ridiculous to spend $60 on many of the games released now because they just don't offer enough content anymore. 6 hour campaigns are just not acceptable when you are spending that much money. As a person who doesn't give two craps about story in games, it just doesn't make sense to spend so much money on what is essentially an interactive movie.  A common opinion now is that it is okay if the quality of the gameplay outweighs the quantity, but to me that just isn't the case. No matter how good the game is, if I can beat it in one or two days I will not feel satisfied with my purchase.
 
That said, I can understand paying that much if the gameplay is really good while also being of a reasonable length. I would happily pay even $100 for Skyrim, which I still am playing now a year later. I have paid a total of $150 for 3 copies of Starcraft 2 because I absolutely love the gameplay and the challenge of the multiplayer, and at probably 800 hours of it played in the last 2 years, that cost is quite easy to justify (I have one account for each race for multiplayer, which will now be useless with the expansion thanks to unranked matchmaking).  $60 is easy to swallow for games like SR3, which strike a good balance of length and story. But for games where you can beat the single player in one day, that is just not good enough anymore for that amount of money.  I like being invested in a game for a week or a couple months, and with the increasingly short length of many modern games, that isn't possible and that has led me to not buying much anymore, and instead digging into the back catalog of older consoles from a time when games did take weeks to beat. I'm chugging through Super Mario RPG right now and, to be honest, I am having more fun with it than pretty much any 2012 game I've played except maybe FTL.
#28 Posted by Bell_End (1203 posts) -

didn't AC3 do 3.5 million copies in its first week. as long as games keep pulling in those type of number i don't think we should worry.

#29 Posted by aquamarin (555 posts) -

I'm tired of the game archetypes that were established this gen that have been milked dry (Assassin's Creed, 3rd person shooters, COD clones). I hope the gaming brain-trust can truly innovate again without ending up at pay-to-win scenarios the guys were joking about on the latest bombcast.