back to article Recession takes chunk out of game sales

"Recession-proof" ain't what it used to be. First Google's secret money making machine starts coughing up smoke, and now the video games industry takes a hit. What's next, recession? Rainbows and unicorns going broke? March sales for the games industry as a whole dropped 17 per cent compared to a year ago, according to NPD …


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  1. adnim

    So it has

    nothing to do with oppressive and restrictive DRM. The price of games, the fact that most game releases these days are all eye candy and no content. And last but not least, 10 hours or less of game play for £29.99 is taking the piss? The poor console owners pay even more.

    "Guess we'll see next month if the Easter Bunny laid the missing cash in the games industry's basket for April."

    I know what I would like to lay in the basket of the games industry.

  2. Ian

    I think the difference is...

    That although there have been a couple of good games this Easter, that's it, just a couple and pretty much no other games at all, not even the crappy ones.

    Last year I remember having an awful lot more games arriving through my door than the measly three that have come through since Christmas. I must've bought around 20 or more games by this time last year.

    In fact, there's really no games due out this year worth buying until the Christmas flood begins in about October except maybe Splinter Cell: Conviction. Although it usually is quiet from post-Christmas until October of the next year this year really has been slow for games, exceptionally slow.

  3. asdf

    ps3 takes the piss

    Flame on fanbois. PS3 + blueray means you overpaid for two more examples sony betamax all over again. I guess adding that blueray and not being able to cut prices with a major recession looks like a gem they will study in business schools for years. Disclosure: own both and think both are 100x better than the underspecd made for 8yo and those that like dicks in the butt, WII

    # Microsoft Xbox 360: 330,000 units

    # Sony Playstation 3: 218,000 units

    But the surprise here is that Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the only console to achieve year-over-year growth. Xbox 360 sales increased 25 per cent compared to March of last year. In comparison, Wii numbers dropped about 14 per cent and the PS3 slipped about 13 per cent.

  4. Doug Glass

    Say IT Ain't So

    Games are second only to music CDs in the overpriced incredibly low value arena. This is not surprising and was predicted by some nerdy economists.

  5. John Owens

    statistics, ...

    Games' budgets have gone up exponentially resulting in only AAA games being made as only they can realistically make money resulting in less games being made overall and probably therefore less sales.

    That and piracy threatens to kill the industry.

  6. Horridbloke


    ... can suck my balls for the time being.

    I think they're actually trying to kill off the PC as a games platform, what with the malware and the limited activation nonsense. I've spent a healthy wodge of money on games over the last twenty-odd years and would happily have coughed up for the recent Burnout 11 and Crysis: limey edition titles if they hadn't been messed up. Bring out clean versions of these and I will buy them first thing tomorrow.

    I would actually consider an Xbox 360 now if only I could be confident I wouldn't be returning it multiple times for warranty repairs and having to drive to far-flung industrial estates to pick it up from seedy courier depots.

    Oh well. Guess I'll have to get a life instead.

  7. Kirk

    Not because of recession

    It's because most of the games produced in the past several years are crap. I'm playing DAOC. Why since its a very old game? Because its the best of the best and you are going to find that people who demand more will not pay for recently released crap titles as of late..

  8. Greg


    Bloody 'ell, calm down!

    At least my PS3 works. ;-) To be honest, there's only one game I'm interested in this year, and it's God of War III. I wonder which console that will be on... Hehehe.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "both are 100x better than the underspecd made for 8yo and those that like dicks in the butt, WII"

    You're the kind of person that Penny Arcade do cartoons about.

  10. Seán


    As an actual computerhead the wii is the best of the bunch followed by the PS3, the xbox 360 is a piece of shit in every overheating way possible. Get a wii if you have an old telly and aren't upgrading just yet. If you have a spanking new HD hdmi TV there's no better device to hook up t o it than a PS3.

    If you like overheating pieces of phenomenally ugly unreliability get an xbox 360, probably two for when one is busted. Wi fi isn't an extra add on it's a necessity.

  11. Andrew Barratt

    Bound to happen eventually

    Maybe if Steam sorted out the issue with distributing EA games in Europe.....

  12. The Jase


    I would think £40-£50 for a new console game and £20 for an old one is probably the reason. Games are overpriced.

  13. Pabs

    Way overpriced...

    Games today are way over priced, I just buy pre-owned or ex-rentals now, so I have to wait 3+ months to get the "latest" game, if I want it. There have only been a few exception to this rule I follow. I will only buy new games when I know they have severl days worth of game play, yes days. Like GTA4, Metal Gear Solid 4, took me about 40 hours to play each (possibly longer). The next game on my list is the next Final Fantasy as these are always excess of 40 hours play.

    I agree with adnim, games these days don't have great storys and are just filled with eye candy. A few years ago it was better, the PS2 was pushed to the max then games companies started to develope more realism into the games , now with the "nex gen" consoles its all eye candy...

  14. Aaron

    @ asdf

    how much of that has to do with the fact that 360's can be hacked and ps3's cant? I personally dont care about the format war I own all the consolses going but I wonder what percentage of 360's sell just because they can be flashed.

    As for the game sales I think its got a lot more to do with the fact in the last few months the games released have been crap. Very few titles have been worth my hard earned money.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    having access to all 3 consoles...

    the only one i play all the time is the xbox 360 - the PS3 has hidden you 'dont have a good TV then the game you just bought wont work' and the WII is a game cube in a different box with a wireless controller

    i mean please - i hate M$ but there console is better than the other 2

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So its the

    recession that's reducing sales and not copyright infringement, how did that get past the copyright mafia's spin doctors.

    Paris, also lacking any real content (inspired by Ian)

  17. B3vil

    Treat your customers badly and they will leave

    .. is a lesson that extends far beyond games

    Devaluing the 2nd hand value of games with download-only, account locked content results in less sales. (end result, people get less for their old games, they spend less on new games)

    Steam isn't too bad until you end up behind some university firewall that doesn't allow it. I've seen this first hand. Other online activation systems suffer in a similar way.

    A lack of variety in games, games that feel incomplete, over-hyped products all lower confidence in products. Given the hardware failure levels, the xbox increases are surprising.

    It's very easy to blame a recession when you're in one, but when you burn your customers time and time again maybe you should be looking at other reasons?

  18. Anonymous Coward


    "But the surprise here is that Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the only console to achieve year-over-year growth."

    It couldn't be because all the owners that adopted early or middle life are now finding the consoles overheating and despite their better judgement choose to replace them (either because the machine is past warranty or because they have invested significantly in games, peripherals and Live and cannot wait three weeks for a replacement refurb unit) when they should turn round and report them to trading standards.

    And before anyone accuses me of being a "fanboi" I own all three and spend most of the time on my xbox 360 or playing the one game on PS3 that I know other mates own, Killzone 2.

    I have personally seen 4 of my mates have 3RLOD and 1 have 1RLOD and everytime a simple bit of sanding the inside of the screwholes and cleaning and reaplication of DECENT themal paste gets them going again.

    MS have known their consoles quickly become defective hence how they keep moving the warranty goalposts to avoid investigations or accusations that they are milking consumers.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    it's nothing to do with the economy, it's do do with the same old game formula coming out over and over again, with absolutely no originality. Also, if someone wants one of the top 3 consoles, I suspect they may have already bought one, and won't buy two of them.

    I have also conclusively decided that the Wii is an utter piece of shit.

  20. Shell

    Big Bang?

    How accurate are these figure? This time last year, GTA4 was released, which massively boosted games & console sales. There's no equiv "big bag" release any time soon, so I'm not sure how much the dip is due to the economy, or just that there are no big titles out.

  21. Greg

    Games are definitely overpriced

    As has been said several times, games are certainly overpriced. £50 for a new game that's only ten to fifteen hours long? Shove it up your arse. I'll wait a month and get it for a tenner. You can tell that the asking prices for games are ridiculous because of how fast they fall. £50 in the opening week, and within a week or two the price of the brand spanking new super-amazing game has nearly halved.

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