Video Game Sales Lowest Since 2006

Dan_D

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Maybe it's just the fact that there's a ton of 'craptastic' games out there with a $60 pricetag and people are getting sick of buying garbage.

This is true, but that's not the end of it.

Aye, I sure as hell am picky before I go splurging $60 on a new game period, regardless if economy is in tank or not.

I think everyone is, but no more so than during times of economic downturn.

Bulletstorm, Homefront, DNF, BRINK.

A few recent "Triple A" games that have been released to the market. HAH!

That's true. There are a few, but not many good ones.

The NPD does not track digital sales and I reckon that is where a large number of these sales has gone since many people have simply stop buying their games from brick and mortar stores since 2006.

Interesting. I wasn't aware of this.

Digital sales are doing great on the PC, but what about the other platforms? Steams success in the market can't make up for MS, Sony, and Nintendo's failure.

Well sales on Steam are doing well but how many people are buying games at full price? I'd wager many of the Steam sales are always from sale prices with fewer and fewer being preorders and launch week sales.

Maybe its the fact that most people have 360s and ps3s who are going to buy them and companies aren't pushing new consoles as quickly as they used to and people were buying far more so the market is saturated. Thus skewing numbers, and also since the economy has been down and things like craigslist become more popular people are selling and buying accessories and consoles used.


It really bothers me that shit like this is "news" not that its posted here but that crap like this hits any sort of headline. No one does any analysis on why things happen they just post shit to get views.

Good points. I think a lot of people are looking for deals to stretch their money further and further. Craigslist / Ebay sales and the like aren't getting tracked. There could be more game buying going on than ever before, but it's not happening at full price nor in retail stores.

Amazon and Wal-Mart don't report to the NPD either and I'm sure a lot of sales go through both of them. Still I don't doubt the report, there really hasn't been any exciting huge sellers releases recently. inFAMOUS 2 is great, but that's not going to push a few million units like a big AAA title would.

Good points. I'd bet Wal-Mart and Amazon account for a lot of game sales. While I rarely purchase games at Wal-Mart, I do so on Amazon fairly often these days.

I'd bet walmart has the majority of the console sales.

Probably.

Have you seen their PC game shelf? I think up until a few years ago there were still expansion packs for early ID games up there, and I never knew there were quite so many wildlife shooting games...

Their PC game shelf has shrunk lately with more emphasis placed on titles that actually sell. However I've noticed that software, DVD, and Blu-Ray sections at Wal-Marts are shrinking with space being devoted more and more to consumer electronics hardware such as TV's. Probably due to digital distribution and online sales becoming so popular.
 

Putz

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Maybe it's just the fact that there's a ton of 'craptastic' games out there with a $60 pricetag and people are getting sick of buying garbage.

yep, ive bought more legit games in the last 5 years because of services like steam, however the selection isnt that great, Blizzard seems to have it right, anything they release sells huge, I hated Cataclysm xpack but i bet they still sold millions of copies

and when diablo 3 comes out i don't think ill be game shipping for a while
 

TwistedAegis

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Personally I'm "in-between" games right now. There is absolutely nothing out there that interests me right now; I have to go back and look for older games. I never played any of the Fallout games (I know, I know) so picked up the Fallout 3 GOTY.

That being said though I think we're in the eye of the storm, so to speak. Towards the end of this year - early next year I'm not going to know what to do with myself between BF3, Skyrim, Diablo 3, maybe Planetside 2...all games which could by themselves cost me hundreds of hours.
 

Ripperjack

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Lets not forget all the MMO's that are going free 2 play. Champions Online, Lord of the Ring Online, D&D Online just to name a few.

Hell, I've even gone back to Age of Conan, once I heard that is going free play this summer. I did pay for that Rise of the Godslayer expansion, so I can play with those hawt Asian ckicks :D, but once F2P kicks in, I'll be canceling my sub, playing for free and only re-subbing once I get to the point of the game I need to pay to keep playing.
 

nerdydesi

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Maybe also because of the surge of GameFly, where you can rent console games, like I rent 3 games out at a time for around $25 a month for as long as I want. I think I'll stop it soon as I'm going back to PC 100% due to me getting sick of my PS3 and 360 having poor build quality.

I'm sure many more console gamers are renting games instead of buying them. This is especially when most console games have a very limited life and are seen as fads. Many PC games last for years because of mods and dedicated servers. But console gamers will dump games in a few months when the next big release comes out.

Because of the higher rate of renting games and buying and selling games ala Gamestop, that's why more developers want to clamp down on that. For instance with many games you buy new, you get to play online for free or get some DLC for free. If you get it used, you have to pay extra for a "pass" to gain access to online play or extra content.
 

Merc1138

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NPD doesn't track any digital sales, or sales from the biggest retailers on the planet. NPD tracks gamestop and a handful of other smaller retailers. This should be a clue to everyone in the industry that NPD is a giant waste of time.

Combine the above with the fact that all of the big AAA blockbuster titles so far this year(basically all of the stuff hyped up from e3 and other conventions last year) have turned out to be garbage. It's already the middle of June, and the only game I've played that has come out this year that was any fun for more than an hour was Mortal Kombat 9. DNF? No. Homefront? No(damn they blew a LOT of money on the marketing for this game). Brink? Couldn't get me to touch it with a 10ft. pole. LA Noir, haven't played it and doesn't really seem to be my type of game.

Speaking of DNF, how in the world does a game in development for that long manage to leave the impression that it was rushed out the door? Oh, because it was, that's how. 3drealms screwed around for over a decade, Take2 wanted their money back, and handed it to Gearbox to spend a year polishing gaming's biggest turd so the publisher could make some sort of return after the loads of cash wasted. The truly hilarous part is that Brink and Homefront seem the exact same in that regard. So of course gamers are going to be holding onto their wallets tighter. Hopefully the loaves that the AAA game industry has been pinching off in a hurry the first 6 months of the year means that time is being spent on the games due out the second half of this year so we don't end up with more half-baked garbage.
 

niconx

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Considering the economy was doing better back in 2006 I hardly think this is a bad thing.
 

MrLonghair

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The only big release in May 2006 was people placing pre-orders for HL2:Ep 1. We had bad games back then, we have bad games now, the difference is that there was more choice in what a game was back five years ago.
 

/usr/sbin

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Combine the above with the fact that all of the big AAA blockbuster titles so far this year(basically all of the stuff hyped up from e3 and other conventions last year) have turned out to be garbage. It's already the middle of June, and the only game I've played that has come out this year that was any fun for more than an hour was Mortal Kombat 9. DNF? No. Homefront? No(damn they blew a LOT of money on the marketing for this game). Brink? Couldn't get me to touch it with a 10ft. pole. LA Noir, haven't played it and doesn't really seem to be my type of game.

I thought Dead Space 2 was a pretty good game.
 

Merc1138

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I thought Dead Space 2 was a pretty good game.

Ok, I forgot dead space 2(I didn't play it). That said, dead space 2(assuming it's any good) does not make up for the massive letdowns from the game industry as a whole for the past 6 months.
 

ZDPhoenix

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Adam Sessler said it best on his E3 wrap-up. Long story short, there's really been nothing that changes the way games are conceptualized and made at the last few E3's.

No new "That's possible!?" in an industry that thrives on creativity... is decay.

TLDR: Games are expensive, we're in a recession, no big boy will try new things for fear of failure.
 

hasoos

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It doesn't help a whole lot when the developers constantly release their games early and they have a ton of problems out of the gate. How many times do we have to endure a poorly released game because it was released too early and wasn't tested well? A vast majority of the developers follow this practice. It has got so bad lately, that I have gone to the mode of not buying a game unless there is a working demo first to make sure they aren't selling me a pile of crap. Consumers are sick of spending their money and being burned.
 

WBurchnall

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Maybe it's just the fact that there's a ton of 'craptastic' games out there with a $60 pricetag and people are getting sick of buying garbage.

This ^^ combined with console gamers are probably even starting to see the graphics look a bit dated and games have pushed the systems graphically pretty far. New COD, maddens, nhls, halos, etcs with the mentioned price-tags are really just 'map packs' or 'expansions that provide not much gameplay innovation, graphical improvement or gameplay improvements to encourage people to buy it.
 

GreenMonkey

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I haven't really bought anything this year.

On Xbox: Marvel vs Capcom 3. Other than that it's old games...finishing up Lost Odyssey finally. Still playing Gears 1 on the xbox with my buddies, or Soul Calibur 4. I think my wife bought a Kinect game for the kids.

Still own like zip for PS3 games...looking forward to the Shadow/Ico remake this year, that's about it.

Wii: I don't think we bought anything...the wife normally buys anyway.

Don't really buy PC games now since I hate DRM...just a few titles from gog.
 

WBurchnall

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Whoa there! ....Bulletstorm was pretty good afaik :confused:

I think he was mocking that Bulletstorm was one of the 'best' titles out this season and he considers not to be a triple-a game up there with Halos, Battlefield 3, GOW3, etc. Sort of a B-shooter in that it had decent fun cartoony gameplay with some great storyline one-liners. Bulletstorm was a fun enough game for a $40 dollar ish price-range but wasn't a big-budget triple-a shooter by any means warranting $60+ imo.
 

ol1bit

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Lower the price to $49 and see what happens. Companies are so stupid.
 

LordCalin

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I can't say much, I buy my games @ 60 happily ... I buy every game that has a chance to be good, and curse when it's not... I buy for not just one console, or PC... but all 3 consoles + PC... I'm the game industries favorite type of consumer :/

Well almost, I have never, and will never buy DLC... if it wasn't in the game to start with I didn't need it.
 

satsunada

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There's lots of reasons for this (including shoddy reporting). You'll see a spike in gaming pop up if the NFL lockout or NBA lockout start interfering in seasons and game rollouts. People get bored.... then again, most of those people don't buy full retail price at Best Buy or Gamestop.
 

Shalafi

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I buy nothing unless it's on sale, I'm utterly cheap about my hobby now, I used to pay top dollar when you know, games were actually good and worth top dollar, i stopped that shit after Bioshock 2 came out.
 

Kiggles

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I buy nothing unless it's on sale, I'm utterly cheap about my hobby now, I used to pay top dollar when you know, games were actually good and worth top dollar, i stopped that shit after Bioshock 2 came out.

Same, although I have been this way for a long while. I figure most people are falling in the same category. Get burned once or twice at even $40 and you simply get cynical, assume the worst, and only buy games when they are on sale; all the while publishers seem to be exercising yet another hair brained scheme to try and milk more money out of me when every single one of them would be better off if the "standard" price for software was $30. Get these damned things into impulse buy territory. Plain and simple. You do NOT want your customer considering whether your product is worth it when the majority of the industry points toward "no".
 

Sycraft

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I'm also casting in my bet that digital distribution has had a big impact. While retail is still king, no question (ignore online pools which suffer from bad selection bias), digital downloads are getting real big. If you measure only retail you will see it go down, but not the offset in digital sales.

Also another part of it is that they are counting console sales. Well those account for some pretty big dollars, retail wise (remember they are talking sales figures and retailers don't take any kind of a loss). Ok, but the current gen is long in the tooth. They've been out for a long time so you have a situation of "Most people who want one already own one." So that will hurt the figure too.

I'm not saying the economy might not have an impact (though entertainment traditionally does fine in down times) but I think it is more that they are looking at a narrow cross section.
 

Hornet

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I think it would be more meaningful if they just compare total annual revenue

Its not every month of the year we get loads of good games being release. At the moment, there's nothing good out there. Check back by the end of the year and we'll see an increase again
 

Plague_Injected

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Not enough content being left out of games, not enough pre-order exclusives, not enough disc-locked content and not enough Day One DLC are obviously the culprits here.
 

_bdiddy_

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Three more crappy releases: Metro 2033 was boring! Duke Nukem Forever was forever-suckass! Dungeon Siege 3 was a piece of dung! I hope Diablo 3 doesn't let me down.
 
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Seems pretty surprising to me. I've bought more games in the past two years than I have in the previous 10~15 years, thanks to Steam.
 

jcollett

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Did not see anything in the article referring to PC games. Seems they only know about console/handheld market. PC seems to be doing well from my viewpoint.

BTW, didn't COD: Black Ops sell more on its own than this article claims the entire game market made? Seems a bit fishy to me.
 

Conker

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Not many new good games coming out anymore. People finally realizing all the new stuff is crap. Rehashed, recycled, redone ideas over and over. Nothing but skin modifications done to the same games every year to make them look like new. Tired of it. I'm still playing the classics still. No replay value in most new games. Its all just junk. I think Battlefield 3 though will be great though hopefully :)
 

XvMMvX

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Generally gaming is very cheap entertainment for me. BUT...

Multiplayer... Multiplayer... Multiplayer...

Tell me what these have in common (without taking a dig at the people who play them):

Starcraft II
World of Warcraft
Starcraft Brood War
Diablo 2
Diablo 3
Minecraft
Warcraft 3

Now add in the following and tell me what they have in common:

Battlefield 3
COD Series
Counter Strike
Quake

Great sellling games nowadays are bought for the multiplayer and logevity....I think people are tired of the force fed interactive movies. Focus on cheap single player (Like the new Mega Man 9 & 10) or AAA multiplayer titles.
 

Outamyhead

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In related news, most consumers don't want to upgrade from their quad/i7/i5 core systems they built in the last two years, because they don't need to. And online games sales are still not being accounted for, even though the last two years of games publishing have produced 95% polished turds.
 

Shalafi

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Same, although I have been this way for a long while. I figure most people are falling in the same category. Get burned once or twice at even $40 and you simply get cynical, assume the worst, and only buy games when they are on sale; all the while publishers seem to be exercising yet another hair brained scheme to try and milk more money out of me when every single one of them would be better off if the "standard" price for software was $30. Get these damned things into impulse buy territory. Plain and simple. You do NOT want your customer considering whether your product is worth it when the majority of the industry points toward "no".

While I agree with what you're saying, you have to take my comment in context, which I didn't give enough of.

I've been playing games since I was 5, I've owned every system that existed, I've probably spent more on systems, computers, and games, than a good majority of people have spent on their college educations. (well . . . :p)

Now with that in mind, gaming has been really stagnant lately, there's been nothing really new at all, and when you look at all the "best" (let's use that term loosely for the sake of conversation) games released lately, they have been mostly sequels, there's little to no dispute of that.

Going along with what you're saying about them trying to milk every last dollar out of us via sequels and DLC (yes, sequels are ways to make money, see shitty examples such as Warfare 2, Modern, 2, Bioshock, and Age 2, Dragon.

Another poster made a good point about how games are being released as "complete" when they are really incomplete and require patches and bug fixes after release, basically the Day 1 purchasers are paying for a demo. You guys remember a year or 2 back, EA wanted to pioneer the idea of you guys paying for a demo of a game before it was released so that you could play it and offer feedback?

Well, that's what Day 1 purchasers are, nothing more beta testers who paid to beta test. With that in mind, I came to another realization, with all the focus on piracy and how "they are lost sales" over the last few years by game companies and retailers, I've noticed one prevalent truth.

When a game comes out, the only sales that really matter to the dev and publisher are the Day 1 sales, they want as many of those as possible, after that, anything more is gravy, they focus all their efforts on making sure the game doesn't get leaked/pirated before that date and offering consumers every incentive to buy their game on Day 1.

So what about those who don't buy the game on Day 1? Well, more often than not, a month or 2 after the release date, you can pick that same game up for half of it's Day 1 value. This is true for most games, all except the "AAA" titles like CoD MW2, Black Ops, and the like, so on, so forth.

Even Portal 2 was able to be bought for under $30 less than a few weeks after it's release.

So, with all that in mind, and I didn't go on about people watching for Steam sales, especially the end of year Steam sales, and it's easy to see why game sales have plummeted.

I even left out consolitis out of the argument, we all know all about that, so no need to rehash that.

No originality, not many new experiences for gamers to enjoy, sequelitis, DLC nickel and diming, not enough content for the $60 price points, Day 1 buyers experience is nothing more than a paid for beta test, and games just haven't been that good lately.
 
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