Are Video Games Doing Well in a Slowing Economy?

17 06 2008

According to Rebellion* CTO Chris Kingsley they are! In an interview with gameindustry.biz, he claims that the immense variety of titles, plus means of play, have helped the game industry fight economic slowdown, and even out-perform other mediums. To Kingsley, video games offer a value for the consumer’s dollar that other forms of entertainment can’t match.

…playing games is really quite unique in terms of levels of involvement. Movies are great, but after two hours they come to an end. With games you can play them again, and have a different experience….

…Maybe you play it on easy to start with, then medium, then hard. Or with some MMOs you play once as a magician, because you already tried it last time with a barbarian – so the great thing with games is they offer a lot of variety, and people see that.

He also notes the variety of price points at which a consumer can find good products.

Plus of course there’s a range – so if people are constrained for money at the moment, there are a lot of titles out there that aren’t that old, but are at a very good price…

Kingsley seems pretty certain of digital downloads as the future of the industry, as well.

I think as we see more and more digital download options that will help the industry further, because it will give games a longer tail. I think one of the problems that the industry has faced until now is that if your game is on the shelf, great – but there are an awful lot of other games coming, and it will gradually get sideways…

….But then I suppose you’ll get another problem – how much screen space do you get [for downloads]? I think part of the problem for some people is that they’re looking for certain things, and if those things aren’t on the shelf, you just can’t buy it. Maybe those people won’t mind taking a bit longer to browse electronically, because it’s certainly a lot quicker to look online than it is to go find somewhere to park and go to the local games shop.

The fact that video games can now be played on anything from a cell phone or Ipod, to an expensive HD device is pretty amazing to me. Personally, I think the ten to thirty dollar downloadable game has a huge future. A fifty or sixty dollar price point seems a bit much when more accessible entertainment, that doesn’t break the bank account, can be found. Hopefully, prices will go down as the user base broadens. Then again, Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Wii Fit have all proven that consumers are willing to spend major cash on video games.

What do you think of the current state of the game industry?

*Considered one of the top independent studios, resoponsible for The Simpsons Game and Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron.

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One response

17 06 2008
Brent

i think one of the reasons why the industry is doing so well right now is really because of so many great games coming out. Two games have received perfect 10’s which a 10 hasn’t been given out since Ocarina of time for some sites. So this is a huge year for video games and there’s 6 months left. So I don’t think anything can slow down this industry this year at least but even next year looks promising already withe re5 so i don’t know if you can say the industry is resession proof but as long as good games like this year are being produce it’ll be hard to slow it down at the least.

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