Biz Story: Dig. Distribution Vs Retail

Hey friendos, drummed this up a couple days ago on my blog http://gamesbizguru.wordpress.com/. Let me know what you think.

Last Friday, a little game called The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released. After a heavy night of drinking, I sat in my underwear at 3 in the morning and began the install process on my PC, after already pre-installing the game on Steam.

Meanwhile, my brother had just arrived home but an hour before from a sub-zero temperature wait at the local EB Games (Canada’s GameStop equivalent), to recieve his pre-ordered copy of the game on Xbox 360 at a midnight release.

And thus is a microcosm of what the games industry is going through now in terms of marketing and selling games to consumers. PC gamers are embracing digital download services like Steam, with 35 million active user accounts. With retail sales for PC plunging, it is safe to say that much of the PC crowd has moved on to digital distribution. The key here is convenience, as there is no need to go to the store and physically exchange money with the digital model; all you need is a credit card number or a paypal account, and an internet connection.

However, the stumbling block for digital distribution is the fact that it is so PC centric. Retail sales are still king in the console markets. Why? Because there’s simply no infrastructure for big, new games to be downloaded on to consoles day one. Both the 360 and PS3 have their fledgling full-game download services, but they almost always only carry older, “classic” games, with a few exceptions for the PS3 (such as Warhawk). With blockbuster games like Modern Warfare 3 receiving nearly 9 million preorders at retail, it’s apparent that brick and mortar stores aren’t going anywhere.

…Or are they? There are some glimmers in the distance for the digital platform. For example, Sony’s new PS Vita will not use any physical media, relying on consumers to download their games over the internet to their devices. With new technologies in other fields like Netflix and the Roku box (which both rely on the internet to stream or download media onto a device), who’s to say the console manufacturers won’t follow suit with their new systems in the future?

It may sound farfetched, but it could be as easy as offering publishers a better infrastructure to get their games to market digitally, with higher profit margins than manufacturing copies of games and shipping them off to retailers. It’s hard to imagine today, with retailers and publishers having such strong relationships, but let’s not forget about the relationships between the publisher/developer and the hardware companies, which are arguably just as strong. Certainly more radical things have happened in technology in recent years

How did you guys purchase Skyrim? Is it indicative of how you buy most of your games?

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Biz Story: Gamestop Expands Market Strategy W/Release of Tablets

Here's more of me flexing my writing muscles. I make some points about what the new GameStop branded tablets mean for both the tablet and the gaming market. Here's a little bit.

Today, in select US stores, games retail giant Gamestop released an array of “gaming” tablets from manufacturers Samsung, Asus and Motorola, all which come with a bundle of six pre-installed games and range in price from $329.99 to $429.99. Buyers can also opt to purchase a proprietary GameStop branded wireless controller for their new device for an extra $49.99.

These tablets signify GameStop’s entry into the tablet ecosystem, still ruled by Apple’s iPad. But, with a focus on branding their Android devices as platforms for gaming, there is a chance that GameStop may be able to carve out a niche for itself in a market already flooded with various SKU’s by most major hardware corporations.

See the rest at my blog: http://gamesbizguru.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/gamestop-expands-market-strategy-with-release-of-android-tablets/

Also, feel free to leave comments, criticism etc.

Night, duders.

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News Story: Nintendo Stock Has Decreased Nearly 40% in Last 6 Mth

Hey, this is an original news story from a gaming business blog I just started. Here's a little snippet.

As the holiday season looms, Nintendo no doubt seeks to recoup their recent net losses in the Japanese Nikkei market. With a net drop of 38.82% net value since early May 2011, Nintendo stock is losing ground, with it’s competitors Sony and Microsoft not faring as poorly in tough economic conditions (the latter actually gaining nearly 4% net value since the same date).

Nintendo has seen turbulent times lately, as it’s 3DS platform launch was underwhelming earlier this year. The Wii has also fallen in the weekly hardware sales charts, consistently selling less than the Xbox 360 and PS3 in the last 12 weeks. (source: VGChartz)

What do you guys think? Check out the rest here: http://gamesbizguru.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/nintendo-stock-has-decreased-nearly-40-in-last-6-months/

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Hello!

After a nearly two year hiatus of using the deeper features of GB, I have decided to once again delve into true community involvement. I have changed my username from Tallica9000, which reeks of High School metal jizzpantsery, to a much easier to remember nickname that I have acquired from friends over the years.

Also, I have decided to start some sort of blog called http://gamesbizguru.wordpress.com. I hope to marry my interest (and soon education) with economic forecasting and industry analysis with my sickly addiction to games. It's mostly to provide a creative outlet and perhaps build up some content for a resume, but hey, if you like it tell your friends! I'm hoping to get it underway soon, but working an actual job full time takes it out of you, brother.

Anyways, if anyone reads this, look to see me a little bit more prominently on the forums and probably on the wiki too.

See you around,

Joe

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