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#1 Posted by Seraphim84 (415 posts) -

Looking at my ever-increasing backlog of games, it's become apparent to me that RPGs above all others remain untouched despite the undisputed quality of many of them (i.e. Xenogears).  Now, I know my compulsions typically lead me to play the shortest games first, but the more intimidating open world games like Just Cause 2 or the Mass Effect world are eventually played through and enjoyed while RPGs only collect dust. 
 
Personal preferences aside though, there's been a noticeable shift in the industry away from many of the big Japanese names and developers.  RPGs have been one of the biggest casualties in this, nowhere near the huge hits they were back in the heydays of the 90s.  But I think I'm starting to figure out why.  RPGs used be the only medium in gaming capable of telling a broad narrative that felt epic in at least its duration if not its story arcs as well.  But the Xbox/PS2 days of the story-less Renderware sandbox games is over and now robust, narrative-driven stories are the norm for all types of genres. 
 
With that prime advantage gone, many RPGs lose the prime advantage that kept so many of us engaged in the silver years of gaming.  No longer do we need to sacrifice the omni-grinding gameplay for a broad-sweeping tale, we can get that from fantastic franchises like Assassin's Creed and even the more mediocre like an Alpha Protocol.  There is still a noteworthy niche of fans that continue to enjoy the grinding type of gameplay (just look at WoW: Cataclysm), but it seems like in the realm of console gaming, there is an overall feeling of "enough".  Most RPGs still in the field have attempted dramatically different takes on the traditional trappings of the genre, but nothing seems to have caught in a way that will transform the genre in a way that Devil May Cry did for third person action or what Resident Evil 4 did for horror. 
 
It's anyone's guess at this point whether or not RPGs are gonna survive the move into the next decade in their current form.  Perhaps they'll fade into darkness and make a surging return much like adventure games have as of late.  I'd much rather see them be retooled by a smart company that can give you that party-based feeling and interweaving tales within a whole world without losing those intangibles that made us replay Chrono Trigger over and over or become so attached to the Earthbound characters.

#2 Posted by KaosAngel (13764 posts) -

What are you talking about? 
 
Nomura has never made a bad game and I don't think Versus XIII will be bad considering it's made by Nomura team. 
 
Level-5 has not made a bad JRPG ever.  Atlus has been on a roll this generation and last generation.  Just because Square Enix's lower tiers can't make proper JRPGs doesn't mean it's dead.  Nomura is proof of that.

#3 Posted by ChristianCastillo (1162 posts) -

Dragon Quest IX was pretty huge in my opinion, maybe not in America but in Japan it sure was.  If they just keep importing such great games than there is no way jrpgs will ever die.

#4 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Wait, they're dying? I thought such games were doing alright for themselves. Granted, this does sound like a legitimate problem, but I don't see it becoming apparent.

#5 Posted by Brendan (8151 posts) -

I see where the OP is coming from, although there are still plenty of popular JRPG's out there the general influence on the industry is nowhere near what it once was.  Once western gamers got more action oriented gameplay with grand stories many of them felt they didn't really need JRPG's anymore. 
#6 Posted by Seraphim84 (415 posts) -

I'm not saying the games are bad per se.  It's more so that they're not the hard hitting blockbusters that they once were a decade and two ago.  The strongest games in so many years were RPGs above all else,  and everyone wanted in on the genre for that reason, but to me (speaking really only about the US market here) RPGs seem to hit far smaller then they once did.  Maybe a lot of that can be attributed to the rising costs of developing a game so they go on the DS or are made rarely for the consoles.  Maybe you could say the amount of gamers is way larger so it's more of a demographic shift more than anything.  Whatever the case, there's unquestionably a shift away from RPGs as the seminal genre that it once was.

#7 Posted by Animasta (14726 posts) -

you know why they aren't? because there's actually WRPG's for consoles this generation; name me 10 WRPG that were released on the original xbox, PS2, etc.

#8 Posted by DonPixel (2628 posts) -

As far as I understand Japan culture doesn't have the same convulsion for inovation that America has.. not saying one is better than the other just saying their diferent. JRPGs have evolve somewhat and they still big hits in japan.. so dying breed .. mm dont think so

#9 Posted by KaosAngel (13764 posts) -
@Seraphim84: Are you drunk?  The sales of WRPG are the same as JRPG.  One sells more in NA and the other sells more in Japan, but at the end they both sell close to the same.  :|
#10 Edited by Seraphim84 (415 posts) -
@DonPixel: You're not wrong.  @KaosAngel Maybe it would've been more apt to put "...are a dying breed in the US".  I'm picking on JRPGs mostly, WRPGs have gone on all sorts of ebbs and flows that I wouldn't be able to do justice to.
#11 Posted by Vinchenzo (6192 posts) -

I'm pretty sure they're doing fine in Japan. So you're wrong.

#12 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
@Seraphim84 said:
" I'm not saying the games are bad per se.  It's more so that they're not the hard hitting blockbusters that they once were a decade and two ago.  The strongest games in so many years were RPGs above all else,  and everyone wanted in on the genre for that reason, but to me (speaking really only about the US market here) RPGs seem to hit far smaller then they once did.  Maybe a lot of that can be attributed to the rising costs of developing a game so they go on the DS or are made rarely for the consoles.  Maybe you could say the amount of gamers is way larger so it's more of a demographic shift more than anything.  Whatever the case, there's unquestionably a shift away from RPGs as the seminal genre that it once was. "
Wait, what are you talking about? As I understand it, JRPGs were a fairly niche genre until 1997, when Final Fantasy VII came out. Granted, a bunch of good JRPGs came out during the 90s, but most people probably didn't know that, since they weren't very popular.
#13 Posted by ptys (1992 posts) -

We are in the age of the CRPG (Canadian Role Playing Game), enjoy it!

#14 Posted by Chaoskiller2000 (296 posts) -

hmmm I do see what you are saying... I do feel like there are much less JRPG's this gen compared to last. The quality to me has gone down quite a bit but then again some of the awesome ones (Tales series) don't get imported over anymore. I want more JRPG's I really do it just seems like America does not want more. I am not sure for the exact reasoning but when you compare WRPG to and JRPG there is a quality difference there for whatever reason.

#15 Edited by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

Because they keep forgetting to put the RPG in their J.  
 
Edit, actually reading the post, it kinda makes sense. Why deal with the worst kind of gameplay just for some plot, when you know.. ANY other game has it in spades.

#16 Posted by Caegn (69 posts) -

I'm not sure much has changed, beyond perception.  People talk about the golden age of JRPGs, but it really only seemed to have existed in the media.  Sure FF games have always sold well, and probably always will, but most others in the genre didn't push too many copies in the states.  You look at the SNES and you might think of the early FF games, but truth is a lot more people were playing star-fox and F-zero than JRPGs.  On the Playstation you had FF7 and FF8, along with games like Xenogears and Saga Frontier, as well as Lunar, but outside Square's flagship games, nothing really lit up the sales charts on nearly the same level as Fighting games and Racers did at the time.  Even on the PS2, the "JRPG console", the biggest non FF games belonged to other genres and other franchises like GOW, Resident evil, Silent Hill, Ratchet and Clank, etc...
 
Like I said, I think the only thing that's really changed has been perception.  Back in the day video game commentary was all controlled by a small group of people.  You had magazines which might do a mailbag, but nothing more, and earlier video game sites didn't have message boards or blogs.  All the writing came from a small group, and didn't really reflect the masses.  That's how you had games that were fawned over by some, like Final Fantasy Tactics or the early Megaten Games, that sold almost nothing in the real world.  You think about what you'd read and heard in the media, and you'd think that a game like FFT would have broken all sorts of records, yet only a year or so after it's printing the game cost twice as much to buy used as it did new, since there were so few actual copies in the wild.  Same with Xenosaga a generation later.
 
All these "death of" and "rise of" things we see, are a bit overblown in my opinion.  People talk about the death of PC gaming, the death of JRPGs, even in other things, like the increase of atheism, and such.  I'm not sure anything's changed.  Consoles have always been a bigger gaming platform all the way back to the atari 2600.  More action oriented games have always been the choice in the west.  There aren't any more gay people now then there were two decades ago, nor any more atheists, they just have a platform to be heard now, beyond the always play-it-safe mass media outlets.  The way it is today is pretty much the way it was 10 years ago.  And 20 as well.  It's just that with more interactivity, the new media, and new internet is no longer controlled by a select few who try to push their own views and likes upon us, and is instead a more accurate reflection of who we are and what we're interested in.

#17 Posted by Seraphim84 (415 posts) -
@XII_Sniper said:
"actually reading the post..."
A king among men.
#18 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

There seems to be endless fretting over the RPG genre, either that the JRPG genre is dying, or that hardcore western RPGs are giving way to shooter/RPG hybrids. Most of this has to do with the economics of game development, where games with large, complex stories are more expensive to create nowadays than they used to be (when text was very limited and there was no voice acting, such as back in NES days). Another problem is the broadening of the gaming public. Gamers who played hardcore RPGs used to make up a larger percentage of gamers. Yes, it was always a niche, but it was a fairly large percentage of gamers, even back in the 90s. As gamers have broadened in interest (particularly in the last ten years), demand for RPGs as a percentage of all gamers seems to have declined. It's more difficult to justify spending vast amounts of money on a game in a genre with a small base of fans.
 
It's not that the genre is dying, necessarily. The same can be said of PC gaming. It's not that there's a smaller number of people into that style of gaming, it's just that the market has changed. JRPGs suffer from a lack of true innovation, which is necessary to compete here in the states. New gamers are moving on from the classic genres toward hybrids. Developers are choosing to make endless FPS games because that's where the money is (for the moment), and we're stuck with TPS/RPG hybrids.
 
To put it the short way: for a long time, gamers wanted to be mainstream. Now they're suffering for it, as more casual gamers simply don't care for the classic genres and flock to the popcorn, quick-play genres. That change in the market is sucking up all the capital. Gamers got what they asked for, but in the long run I don't think it's what many of them wanted. So we wind up with a lot of games that are great, but aren't necessarily what we want.

#19 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -
@Seraphim84 said:
" I'm not saying the games are bad per se.  It's more so that they're not the hard hitting blockbusters that they once were a decade and two ago.  The strongest games in so many years were RPGs above all else,  and everyone wanted in on the genre for that reason, but to me (speaking really only about the US market here) RPGs seem to hit far smaller then they once did.  Maybe a lot of that can be attributed to the rising costs of developing a game so they go on the DS or are made rarely for the consoles.  Maybe you could say the amount of gamers is way larger so it's more of a demographic shift more than anything.  Whatever the case, there's unquestionably a shift away from RPGs as the seminal genre that it once was. "
RPGs are hitting as hard as they always did, it's that a lot of people who didn't buy games are now buying games that aren't RPGs.
#20 Posted by mrfizzy (1555 posts) -

ugh iv never been able to get into JRPGs for some reason, iv always felt like im missing out. 

#21 Posted by Seraphim84 (415 posts) -
@haggis: Well said.  And here's where I think something like the analogy to adventure games can be really handy.  Those are absolutely still a niche component to gaming overall, but Telltale Games and such have made that work for them by scaling down their ambitions and making modest but rich product. 
 
Since RPGs almost inherently concern themselves with a larger setting and scale, I think they'll either need to humbly push back the scale of their games or rework the system that's losing those percentage points in the increasing markets abroad.  I mean, yes, you're all right, JRPGs in Japan are as strong as they've ever been.  But there's a reason Japanese developers are start to try with concerted effort to appeal to Western audiences more.  A Japanese success is good, but a global success is more appealing  than ever.  And if they're gonna do that, the genre probably needs a good looking over.
#22 Posted by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

My take on it is, that jrpg games aren't evolving much and wrpg games are. So in a way, because of wrpg games, videogame reviewers are judging these jrpg games alot more harshly than before because the bar has been raised.

#23 Posted by Aetheldod (3733 posts) -
@haggis:  I did wanted more hybrid TPS/FPS/RPG and I dont feel bad for it , nor I see the so called "watering down to catter" as so many imply , and before someone tells me that Im a "new/causal gamer" I tell you I was born in1982 , I literally have had a gaming device since I can remember I went from the intellevision 2 , nintendo early pc , SNES , playstation N64 modern PC etc... And finally the type of games I wanted are beginning to spawn in the form of hybrids. 
 
Also the lack of enthusiasm ( not sales ) for JRPGs or japanese games in general I think are the small but irritable gameplay/design choices they take , ie , extreme level grinding , the silly load cinematics , then load game , take 2 steps  , reload cinematics (or whatever form it takes) , slow ass loadings etc. the extreme linearity or rather constraint of level designs. Designs choices that are no longer justified because of lack of computing power . Games are supposed to be fun , not chores
#24 Posted by Animasta (14726 posts) -
@HitmanAgent47 said:
"

My take on it is, that jrpg games aren't evolving much and wrpg games are. So in a way, because of wrpg games, videogame reviewers are judging these jrpg games alot more harshly than before because the bar has been raised.

"
they are though! mostly the battle systems though. when's the last time a WRPG did something drastic to the gameplay?
#25 Posted by Gizmo (5389 posts) -

Final Fantasy games are exclusive to their existing fans at this point. That pretty much sums up the whole problem with JRPG's.

#26 Posted by Pepsiman (2491 posts) -
@Caegn:  Why has this post not gotten any accolades yet? I think it hits the nail right on the head, to use a really lame cliche. Since most of us here on this site probably belong that "hardcore" niche amongst the entire video game-playing population, it's easy for all of us to have a skewed sense of marketplace realities because, as you already pointed out, stuff like the rhetoric coming out of magazines and older sites portrayed the situation differently than what it actually is. It might be true that JRPGs are "dying/declining/whatever" in terms of popularity amongst our specific niche, but I believe you're right in saying that with regards to the greater Western market in general, most games in that genre have never sold gangbusters to begin with and as such aren't really at a point of rising/falling because of that relative nature. People tend to forget that the video game-buying population is a lot bigger than just the types that goes to sites like this and as such, how we perceive games and our own buying habits don't really reflect what probably the majority of people actually do, regardless of whether they're "casual" or otherwise.
#27 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

JRPGs are dying? What?

#28 Posted by coronajumper (6 posts) -

I think the original poster ought to play Persona 4 (and perhaps also Persona 3, which is also good). They're "JRPGs" (ugh, I hate that phrase) that recapture the character-driven magic of the Chrono Triggers and Earthbounds of yesteryear, at least to an extent.

#29 Posted by Seraphim84 (415 posts) -
@Caegn:  Everything you said is absolutely spot on.  The only thing I'd say to play devil's advocate is the fact that on the PS2, I have a ton of JRPGs.  Let's say 40 or so to give it a number.  I'm not sure I could even find 40 JRPGs on the modern consoles.  There are a few great ones, absolutely, and once you count the handhelds, you're sure to go far above that number with ease, but even the very number of games inside the genre have decreased.  As much as people may complain about Wii's shovelware approach, even on that console there remains a (relative!) dearth of JRPGs when compared to 5 or 10 years ago.  Again, could be cuz of budgets, could be cuz of change in audiences. 
 
Don't get me wrong in all this, I'm not trying to catastrophize this.  I just thought talking about the increase of narrative in games and how that's done some stripping of JRPGs (for my tastes anyways) seemed to be something that I thought the community would love to sink it's teeth into.
#30 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
@coronajumper said:
" I think the original poster ought to play Persona 4 (and perhaps also Persona 3, which is also good). They're "JRPGs" (ugh, I hate that phrase) that recapture the character-driven magic of the Chrono Triggers and Earthbounds of yesteryear, at least to an extent. "
But not to enough of an extent. I played Persona 3, a lot of Persona 3, and towards the end I just gave up because the dissonance between the plot, the characters and then what I was actually doing in game got too much. The actual gameplay involved in JRPGs is practically anathema to the rest of the experience and it makes the whole thing seem like a story that's spaced out by making you do these boring tasks.
#31 Posted by Fajita_Jim (1458 posts) -
@Caegn said:
Consoles have always been a bigger gaming platform all the way back to the atari 2600.
No, the Apple IIe was a far more used gaming system than the Atari 2600. In fact, the console market was so bad in the early 80's that it crashed, but the 'Computer Game' market sailed right through it unscathed. In fact, some of the most memorable pre-PC Computer Games were released during the console industries darkest days.
 
PC gaming has remained the largest factor in gaming as far as sales are concerned. It's just the PC doesn't have a PR department. Consoles are finally catching up, however:
 


 
I do also recall playing all the classic JRPGs in their heydays, from Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy on the NES, to Ys Seven and Phantasy Star Portable 2 today. If you want JRPGs like the days of old, they're on the portables. Why? Probably because Japan loves portable systems. Seems they're never home and when they are space is at a premium. So go figure.
#32 Posted by Belmont_Shadow (173 posts) -

Look at FFXIII. that's why.

#33 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5818 posts) -

Buy a DS.

#34 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -
@Laketown: The problem is the "drastic" gameplay changes still comes though as generic, then you layer that on top of a narrative chock full of anime trappings...
#35 Posted by Skald (4370 posts) -
@Caegn: I agree. People look back and they say "Game X was so big back in the nineties" but often times, that's just their recollection. Twenty years from now, I doubt we'll remember Playfish as well as, say, Fallout: New Vegas, but whatever. Sure, some people might be getting tired of Japanese games, but that doesn't mean they're dying. 
 
Thanks for pointing that out, that's a good point.
#36 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -
@Fajita_Jim: I think it's funny that the reason JRPGs are on portables is only because it will sell better there than on consoles.
 
And it's just a coincidence they are pushing SNES-PS2 level software...  
 
I wonder what the hell's gonna happen when the 3DS and PSP2 come out.
#37 Posted by Mcfart (1729 posts) -

Tales of Vesperia and Persona 4 prove that JRPGS are not dead.

#38 Posted by Fajita_Jim (1458 posts) -
@Doctorchimp said:
" @Fajita_Jim: I think it's funny that the reason JRPGs are on portables is only because it will sell better there than on consoles. And it's just a coincidence they are pushing SNES-PS2 level software...   I wonder what the hell's gonna happen when the 3DS and PSP2 come out. "
 I thought about mentioning something like "but JRPGs in their current form don't really benefit from all the hardware consoles offer" but I could neither find an opening to introduce the thought fluidly nor did I feel like having to explain myself. But yeah, handhelds are the perfect home for JPRGs if they stop pulling that save-point crap. I'm looking at you Ys Seven, having to fight three boss monsters and over a half-hour of dialog without a save.  IT'S A PORTABLE GAME LET ME GO I HAVE TO GO DAMMIT!
 
PC has quicksave almost standard, portables need it more than PC and don't have it. 
#39 Edited by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@Seraphim84 said:

" @XII_Sniper said:

"actually reading the post..."
A king among men. "
It seems "agreeing with me" is the only criteria you have for someone reading the post, huh?
 
Anyways, JRPG's are doing better then ever these days. 10 years ago, the only JRPG franchises that sold >100k were Pokemon and Final fantasy. Pokemon and FF are still million sellers these days, and the only change we've seen in the JRPG landscape is smaller developers getting a bigger piece of the pie.
 
Oh, and just for a point for reference: FF13, despite being a piece of shit, sold more then Dragon Age and Mass effect 2 put together.
 
So...uh....yeah. JRPG's are sure dying out there....
 
@HandsomeDead said:
" But not to enough of an extent. I played Persona 3, a lot of Persona 3, and towards the end I just gave up because the dissonance between the plot, the characters and then what I was actually doing in game got too much. The actual gameplay involved in JRPGs is practically anathema to the rest of the experience and it makes the whole thing seem like a story that's spaced out by making you do these boring tasks. "

That's just personal taste, though. Gameplay was the main motivator for me when it came to playing Persona 3 and plot was a long distant second. I feel the same way yuo do about WRPG's, BTW.
#40 Posted by niamahai (1394 posts) -

 shouldnt we be celebrating the fact that since fewer and fewer JRPGs are made, the ones that do come out are all top quality?

#41 Posted by odintal (1095 posts) -
@Mcfart said:
" Tales of Vesperia and Persona 4 prove that JRPGS are not dead. "
yeah, they're just on life support and the Japanese developers are ignoring the DNR clause.
#42 Posted by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@odintal said:
" @Mcfart said:
" Tales of Vesperia and Persona 4 prove that JRPGS are not dead. "
yeah, they're just on life support and the Japanese developers are ignoring the DNR clause. "
Both of the games he just mentioned are on the top of their respective developers lists of best-selling games.
 
Persona 4 has sold more then any other game Atlus has ever put out  and ToV is only outmatched by Symphonia.
#43 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4859 posts) -

I'm more worried about WRPGs at this point. Especially Skyrim after reading that article with the dreaded "s word" all over it.

At least there are people still making JRPGs instead of trying to cater to the Gears/CoD morons to make a profit.

I almost hope that the RPG collapses and sees a TellTale style revival.

#44 Posted by Seraphim84 (415 posts) -
@mutha3: as I quoted, I appreciated his reading the post (even if it wasn't first) rather than just immediately responding (agree or disagree).  Politeness always goes a nice way with that stuff too.
#45 Posted by TehFlan (1928 posts) -
@Fajita_Jim said:
"But yeah, handhelds are the perfect home for JPRGs if they stop pulling that save-point crap. I'm looking at you Ys Seven, having to fight three boss monsters and over a half-hour of dialog without a save.  IT'S A PORTABLE GAME LET ME GO I HAVE TO GO DAMMIT! PC has quicksave almost standard, portables need it more than PC and don't have it.  "
Yeah, but the DS goes into power-saving mode when you close it, so I've never really seen that as being a problem.
#46 Posted by Sin4profit (3003 posts) -
@Fajita_Jim: that graph is a little weird to me. I'm curious as to how much double dipping goes into the PC side. WoW is technically both a boxed and an MMO game, and Casual Portals are also all downloadable games. If social networks count is that money from advertising or is the graph based only on consumer spending? Also, if they're going to segregate the PC spending shouldn't consoles be broken into Console (boxed / retail), Console (boxed / used), and Console (download)? Graphs; they weird me out.
  
As far as JRPGs, i think it's just a matter of saturation. They generally all look about the same, play similarly, and play out the same themes. I'm not big on JRPGs but the few i have played i've enjoyed but i don't feel the need to invest in the same thing over and over. Western "RPGs" vary greatly in theme and design (arguably to the point where they aren't even RPGs anymore) so there's a more expanded audience for them. 
 
My take on JRPGs - combat is more commonly strategic with a variety of actions - storys are too cliched against each other. The combat serves it's purpose well despite feeling too "same'y" from one JRPG to the next but it's the quality of the story that really carry them and when you can start to feel the formula of the story then you'll eventually want to move on to something new.
 
As far as WRPGs - they vary too much to even have a say on them - games like Fallout 1&2 have turn based combat, which gives me a sense of strategy, but lacks variety in actions (yer just shootin dudes for the most part) where as Baldur's Gate has realtime combat, feels more like micro management to me, but a variety of actions to use strategically. And both of these franchises are thematically very different from one another...then you have the modern RPG which on occasion can feel more like an action game with RPG mechanics thrown in just so it can call itself an RPG.
#47 Posted by odintal (1095 posts) -
@mutha3 said:
" @odintal said:
" @Mcfart said:
" Tales of Vesperia and Persona 4 prove that JRPGS are not dead. "
yeah, they're just on life support and the Japanese developers are ignoring the DNR clause. "
Both of the games he just mentioned are on the top of their respective developers lists of best-selling games.  Persona 4 has sold more then any other game Atlus has ever put out  and ToV is only outmatched by Symphonia. "
to put that into perspective, Persona 4 sold about as many copies as Too Human, Spectrobes, and Jade Empire. a blockbuster, it is not.
#48 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

What about Demons' Souls or the Persona series? These were pretty fresh to me.  
 
What we're seeing is a different breed emerging, and generally from different companies and consoles.

#49 Posted by odintal (1095 posts) -
@SonicFire said:
"

What about Demons' Souls or the Persona series? These were pretty fresh to me.  
 
What we're seeing is a different breed emerging, and generally from different companies and consoles.

"
Demons Souls is indeed awesome.  
Keeping my fingers crossed that the follow up is also awesome. 
#50 Posted by Fajita_Jim (1458 posts) -
@Sin4profit said:

" @Fajita_Jim: that graph is a little weird to me. I'm curious as to how much double dipping goes into the PC side. WoW is technically both a boxed and an MMO game, and Casual Portals are also all downloadable games. If social networks count is that money from advertising or is the graph based only on consumer spending? Also, if they're going to segregate the PC spending shouldn't consoles be broken into Console (boxed / retail), Console (boxed / used), and Console (download)? Graphs; they weird me out.
  

Here's a clip from the report. I'd post it but it's a .pdf:
 
 Definitions / scope 
Hardware: no hardware included, only games spending. 
Consoles: includes pre-owned and rental markets, downloadable content (DLC) revenues as well as portable console devices such as PSP, NDS(i). 
PC/Mac boxed: includes pre-owned and rental markets. 
Casual game portals: online casual gaming destinations such as pogo, miniclip, zylom, gameduell, king.com. 
PC/Mac downloads: does not include paid MMO client downloads or paid premium downloads from casual game portals. These revenues are attributed to the individual categories. 
Mobile devices: all mobile phones plus iPod Touch & iPad 
MMOs: Massively Multiplayer Online games played on PC or Mac, browser or client-based. Includes virtual worlds. 
Social networks: games played within social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, VZ Networks, Orkut.