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March Game Sales Trend Downward 62

kukyfrope writes "This is the third consecutive month video game sales have declined from their marks in respective months from last year. March 2006 sales are down 18% from their marks in March 2005. Are gamers saving for expensive next-gen systems or are there a limited number of games worth buying?" From the article: "The estimate also reflects $122 million in sales contribution from new platforms (Xbox 360, PSP and DS) representing year-over-year growth of $58 million (the PSP and DS were available last March), which was unfortunately more than offset by a steeper decline in sales of current generation software (-33% or $157 million)."
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March Game Sales Trend Downward

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  • by Vengeance ( 46019 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @03:17PM (#15107900)
    Probably because Wal Mart controls modern game design (or so I've read... somewhere).
  • From what Ive seen this year there has been a distinct lack of games, and the ones out there arent real good. Not to mention everyone i know that used to be hard core gamers no longer have time for it with the last years of university. I think the game developers need to focus on creating a quality game experience, which I hear the Elder scrolls provides, but I've yet to have the time to check it out, hence the problem. thats my .02c
    • You're 2 cents is worth a quarter at least. I'm in a similar boat but for different reasons.

      I used to be in the "I-buy-the-latest-and-greatest"; however, I don't have that luxury anymore. I have mortgage payments and kids and I'm more career focused. I used to go through games like toilet paper. But I can't do that anymore. So now I'm more selective and really only buy games that I'm 90% certain will be worthwhile. For instance Half Life 2 was a great buy for me and I'll play online on it quite ofte
      • by psocccer ( 105399 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @04:59PM (#15108815) Homepage

        You know I'm in the "not buying lots of games anymore" dept too, but what I think people overlook as they enter that stage is that for every one of us that moving on to other things, there's someone who's getting their first job at McDonalds and having $50 to $100 a week of free cash, which means they're now buying 4 games a month and a lot of DVD's and CD's (instead of us).

        It's not like we were the last generation of people to ever have time to play games, there will always be someone to take our place. What is really indicated by this kind of article though is that either:

        • The next generation of kids with free-time does not like video games
        • or (more likely) the current crop of games just isn't that great because we're in a hardware transition cycle so people are waiting/saving more for next-gen (and developers are spending less on making good current-gen games too)

        Never fear, come next spring sales will be up again.

    • There were a lot of games that they had indicated *would* be around about now... but they've been put off until later.

      To name a few:
      - Half Life 2 expansion
      - Final Fantasy XII (that's 12, not X-2)
      - Zelda Twilight Princess

      At least those are the ones I might have bought. Haven't seen much else out to keep my interest.
    • Now that there are bills to pay and school work to do I really can't spend as much time as I used to playing games. In highschool when the work was cake and I didn't have to work for a living I could spend as much time as I wanted playing games. On top of not having the time, cause I still find some, a lot of games comming out are just plain shit. While were on the topic of crappy video entertainment the movie industry is in the same boat. If the game of movie industries could make a quality product tha
    • Are you saying that you are the last generation in existence? Just because your generation is getting too busy with school doesn't mean there isn't another younger generation ready to take its place.
  • News just in... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lewisham ( 239493 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @03:24PM (#15107955)
    Dearth of games while developers switch all their production teams to the next generation of consoles that aren't out to much of the market yet.

    News at 11. ...seriously, this is exactly what happens during this time. I don't see how this is surprising.
    • Exactly. This article is like comparing November and December sales to January and February and saying "OMG game sales r teh d00med!!1". If they were comparing March '06 to other years that were "in-between" consoles, then I'd perhaps listen.
  • Start at affordable gaming prices (insert canned laughter here) + Inflation + Raising gas prices + Debts (increasingly a way of life!) + Raising prices in new game systems and game for said system include: + games that do not intrest me right now + waiting for games to go to the bargain/used bin anyways(well at least I DO... i RARELY buy brand new games) = SALES SLUMP!
  • Sales down? (Score:5, Funny)

    by zephc ( 225327 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @03:31PM (#15108032)
    Shhh, busy playing Oblivion. Talk later.
  • Didn't we just discuss [] this?

    I still partly attribute this trend to the MMO effect [].
    • That was the preview, this is the wrapup.
    • OK, so "the MMO effect" is basically you speculating that WoW is eating up game revenues in general? Let's see some evidence, please.
    • Didn't we just discuss this?

      Yes we did, and I think the consensus then was that everyone is waiting for DS Lite, Revo, and PS3. Sorry 360, but if you jump the gun on the next generation, you should probably have enough consoles to fill demand.
    • The number of MMO gamers in the US probably totals to around 3-4 million gamers. Even if we assume that each of those players has stopped buying other games, they still make up less than 5% of the total American market. That doesn't account for the 18% decrease.
      • You are underestimating the MMO playerbase. Also many MMO players play multiple games. What's meaningful here is 'how much gaming dollars are MMOs pulling'.

        My bet is on a serious chunk per month.

        I mean I personally spend about 50$ a month on MMO subs fees, and that's more than 75% of my monthly 'games budget' I spend (so I buy very few games, spending my time with MMOs).

        Let's take your 4 million MMO subscribers, and then note that many of them play multiple games and/or multiple accounts on single game. Let
        • "You are underestimating the MMO playerbase."

          Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if I overestimated it. AFAIK, the only MMO to surpass a million subscribers in the US is WoW. It's sold 6 million + worldwide, but around half of those accounts are in China and Europe.

          Apart from WoW, and the Lineage games (which sell mostly in Korea), only one or two MMOs have more than half a million subscribers worldwide. I don't have any recent numbers, but 4 million doesn't seem too far off, considering that beyond WoW

    • Agreed. I would much rather pay $15 a month for a game that I find fun and exciting than spend $50 on a game that I will finish and never pick up again in about 2 weeks.

      World of Warcraft FTW!
  • I guess since the commercialisation of Chri$tma$ people spend more for Chri$tma$ presents than they would spend in the follow-up months after Chri$tma$. You can only milk the Chri$tma$ cow so much.
    • It's just a guess, but I'd say that dropping the few hundred down on a 360 in December probably contributed too. Last year they -could- have spent all of that money on games, especially if there were good releases(I can't remember).
    • But people thought that you could only milk the s -> $ humor so much too, but you proved them all wrong.
  • by Jarnis ( 266190 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2006 @03:34PM (#15108061)
    As long as the 'Game Sales' keep on counting just the amount of game boxes sold in stores, and do not include ;

    - MMO Subscription fees
    - Online game purchases via Steam, Direct2Drive etc digital downloads

    They will get continuous slide well into future, and lots of 'OMG! SKY IS FALLING!!!oneone!!1111' articles. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics, as always. 5 Million people paying 15$ a month to Blizzard (in addition to all the other MMOs collecting subscription fees) must show somewhere - that's 75 million dollars a month, WoW alone - and there are plenty of others out there.

    Actual gaming dollars spent is not changing, however it's shifting towards online services & downloads. If you have stock in brick & mortar games retailer, you should dump it now. It's a deadend business destined to go only down.

    (Grossly overpriced 'next gen' console games are not helping either. XBox 360 looks fine, but 70 euros (inc VAT) per game for 'quick action' style title that you enjoy at best a few weeks = no FCKING way. Never)

  • No really, do it. Otherwise I'm taking my money and going home to play one of a billion other fun games I already have. Also, don't try to trick me into buying a game I already have by changing its name and packaging.
  • "Hey, look at what the MUSIC INDUSTRY'S doing!"

    "Dude, that's brilliant, blame PIRATES!"

    "But wait, we already have ridiculous goat-choking copy protection in games!"

    "But dude, PIRATES!"

    (assorted "Oh, yes, pirates!"; "Of COURSE!"; "Brilliant!")

    "But wait, couldn't it just be that our games all suck a-*THROTTLE* *CHOKE* *GAG*"

  • The games released so far SUCK! I don't know about anyone else, but I find that the kinds of games I buy are almost always the games that get rated 9.0+, or editor's choice, or something along those lines. Regardless of whether the review is fair or not, I'm not reading the review -- it's just that generally games that score in that zone coincide with games I've decided to buy and like. I'm not really interested in the "so/so" gaming experience. I also tend to hold out for the RPG genre, which has been in s
  • I think gaming tends to go up in summer and christmas break, I think sales would usually be higher around that time as well. We're also on the verge of new consoles hitting the market. Usually games for the old consoles tend to wind down some and people may be hesitant to pay $50 for a new game on an old system if they need to save up $ for the new system.
  • I may not be the typical gamer, but as far as PAL releases go, I've probably purchased as many games between January and March as I did all last year. Shadow of the Colossus, ICO re-release, We Love Katamari, Atelier Iris, Dragon Quest VIII... and we're supposed to be getting Guitar Hero some time soon. Plus there's even more in the pipeline. And that's just on the PS2. I suspect that while things might be declining in the US, they may not be in other territories. Then again, maybe no one's buying games bu
  • "New music sucks" "New games sucks" "New xxxxx sucks" Is there a trend here? It can't just be because we're getting old and stodgy. :P
  • I cut-n-paste for my site, and send out a daily email to subscribers. Basically, I find stories, previews, reviews that I think folks will find interesting and send them out in a daily newsletter.

    I cannot even begin to tell you how many game titles have a colon (:) in them. For example: "Hit Title : Yet Another Version". It makes me sick... I never noticed how bad and rampant it was until I started doing this daily site.

    The game industry needs to clone Wil Wright.
  • It's just every time I get ready to leave the house it occurs to me that I could play Oblivion til I get one more level and next thing I know it's 4 in the morning and all the stores are closed.

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein