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2009 Sees Game Industry Become More Competitive

2009 Sees Game Industry Become More Competitive

There were a lot of releases delayed at the end of the year, spilling over into 2010. As such you might be forgiven for thinking that there were fewer games released in 2009 than in recent times. EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich has released statistics that show 2009 had an increased number of game releases, up from 1,092 to 1,099 debuting in the US.

Even though the number hasn’t changed a great deal, a continual steady flow of games has wider implications when combined with other factors affecting the industry. As part of the report compiled by EEDAR’s Gamepulse service Divnich made the following conclusions: “For just the current generation home consoles (PS3/360/Wii), 2009’s release quantities increase the total availability of games to consumers by 55 percent. Unless retail shelf space grows by the same amount–and it isn’t–than the retail shelf life for an average game decreases dramatically. Additionally, each year there are at least 50 games that achieve a permanent spot on retail shelves (Greatest Hits, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, etc.), which decreases the total amount of retail space available for newer titles.”

This lack of “shelf-space” combined with consumers being more reserved in their spending habits as we come out of a global recession means that game titles are also likely to see reduced sales overall and a slight reduction in profits.

The report also revealed significant increases in sales for DS and Wii titles, rounding off a good year for Nintendo. Ps3 titles and Xbox360 titles were slightly down, something that is attributed to digital distribution becoming more popular. Developers supporting DLC could also lead to fewer releases over time due to games longevity being increased as a result.

As such Divnich expected a five to eight percent decrease in the number of games that make it onto shop shelves in 2010 with this perhaps even being as much as ten percent if digital distribution methods become more successful in the new year.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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