UK suffers videogame 2009 sales blow
PS2 popularity slumps
The games industry is often perceived as going from strength to strength, with titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 claiming record sales figures. But 2009 actually saw UK sales plunge, market watchers said today.
Over-the-counter unit sales of console games were down six per cent compared to 2008's figure. Sales of games for handheld devices dropped a whopping 25 per cent, according to GfK Chart-Track.
Similar dips were recorded in the US, with console and handheld videogame sales dropping by seven and eight per cent, respectively, between 2008 and 2009.
Dorian Bloch, Business Group Director at GfK Chart Track, told Register Hardware that the decline – both in the UK and US – was partly due to last year’s 62 per cent drop in PlayStation 2 game sales.
“The PS2 has been a major sales driver for a long-time,” he said. “But people have moved on, and we're seeing the impact of that now."
The PS2 was launched in the UK in November 2000. It's amazing that a nine-year-old console should hold the fortunes of an industry in its hands, but that's what 2009's figures show.
Total software sales for current consoles during 2009 haven’t been disclosed – GfK reserves that information for paying customers — but Bloch said software sales for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were up last year, while Wii game sales were down about ten per cent on 2008.
Console sales dipped by 24 per cent between 2008 and 2009.
“It’s quite possible that the push to get consoles online for movies and TV, for example, affected software sales in 2009,” Bloch added.
What of the months ahead? GfK said it’s too early to tell if 2009 was just a blip.
The firm is confident that the upcoming release of “triple A” titles such as Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and motion-sensing console peripherals, including Microsoft's 'Project Natal', will help strengthen 2010’s videogame sales figures. ®
It's because the games are shit
End of. OK, OK, PC gaming is dying a death thanks to the rise of stupidly powerful console, along with the rise of stupid DRM that continually punishes PC gamers for not being console gamers.
But seriously, how crap are the games these days? Aside from the next Call of Duty or God of War game, what is there to look forward to? What game took your breath away last year and threatened to take your social life with it?
Games just don't draw me in any more. They're high on production values and graphics, and low on innovation. (And before you say it, the Wii turned out to be exactly the useless fad I thought it would be. 101 mindless party games for 6 year olds? No thanks.) I've started playing a lot more "retro" games, because they're simply more entertaining. The occasional game breaks through with great appeal, but on the whole they're bland, generic, and not worth 40 quid a pop.
I know my expectations of games are high - I lived my teenage years straight through the Golden Age of Gaming, and it was *awesome* - but 90% of the crap put out for the modern market simply isn't worth bothering with.
Much like Hollywood, in that respect...
While the number of over-the-counter sales may have plunged, I bet the number of online sales has soared. This last year has seen the download market for games mature a lot, with services like Steam, Xbox Live and PSN all rolling out stable and easy to use offerings. I never buy PC games in shops any more because I prefer Steam authentication to having to find a DVD to put in the drive, and I also buy console games for download if I can.
Whether they cancel each other out or not I have no idea.
"The games industry is often perceived as going from strength to strength, with titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 claiming record sales figures"
Don't know about record sale figures for Modern Warfare 2, but there is a record number of complaints from the PC gamers about MW2.
Main complaint is IWNet is crap and PC gamers want Dedicated Servers back. IWNet uses P2P to run multiplayer games.
IWNet is suppose to have lag free, cheat free gaming experience.
It is not lag free and if whoever is "hosting" the game disconnects you have to wait for IWNet to pick another "host" and if it fails you are thrown back to the lobby and you have to start again.
As for cheat free, wall hacks and aimbots are rife. And some "hosts" have cheats where you can start from level 1 and get to level 70 within 1 match.
Activision/Infinity Ward are doing bugger all about it. They got the gamer's money.
That's probably why they claiming record sales figures, they not giving the players a refund.
Not many I want
>>What game took your breath away last year
Only one - that was Uncharted 2. I also got Assassins Creed 2, better play than 1 but didn't take my breath away. What really says a lot is that I am currently on second go through UC2 and also online multiplayer and have not yet finished AC2.
I don't buy many games, but there are three in production I will get, Gran Turismo 5, Assassins Creed 3, both due this year and they are making Uncharted 3 this year - not sure on release.
If I own a really good replayable game, why would I want to buy a not very good different game.
The Wii has had VERY few decent games 3 or 4 I think (Super Mario Galaxy) - now everyone has a Wii of course the sales are going to drop.
A lot of the DS games are naff and according to someone I know easy to use copied games on, I find it mainly a childrens console, and there are not many decent PSP games (I know of 2 I like).
I think what does say a lot is that the children play the PS2 the most, but I ONLY play the PS3
But I can mention one really good feature of modern consoles, games saves and not having to start from the beginning when you get killed.
Modern games, when they get it right they blow away modern Hollywood cinema.
As before it is a Mk-NDI
Perhaps when the likes of HMV stop trying to charge £36 for games such as Professor Layton and Pandora's Box for the DS in the Christmas run up, then they might shift a few more copies.