October/November 2008 was an absolute WATERSHED in gaming.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. sales of videogame hardware and software rose 18 percent in October from a year earlier, after falling 7 percent in September, as Nintendo Co Ltd’s Wii console sold over 800,000 units, market researcher NPD reported on Thursday.
Video machine makers said the results boded well for the holiday season.
“We feel cautiously optimistic (going into the holidays), we don’t see anything in this (NPD) data that leads us to believe there’s a pullback,” said Microsoft spokesman David Dennis.
Dennis said the release of the Microsoft-produced “Fable II” and Bethesda Networks’ “Fallout 3,” which ranked as the first and third best-selling games in October, helped increase the Xbox 360’s consumer attach rate. Xbox sales will get an even greater boost in December by “Gears of War 2” sales, as the game has already sold over 2 million copies since its release on November 7, Dennis added.
This is happening for a couple reasons, one of which is good, one to watch out for.
First up…the bad part. Gaming is an industry now. A big one. An important one, that moves a lot of money. The timing of releases with sales cycles is very important. A movie might have a shelf life of a year or two before it hits big, games don’t work like that. Yes, there are gems and indies that make good, even great, games…but the economic of the situation are pushing toward the high end.
This means fall releases. These are the Christmas games. So all the AAA titles are going to generally come out around my birthday (Halloween)…probably from here on out for the next 10 years or so. And largely because of the linked story, strangely enough. It turns a lot of heads when you show big growth during a downturn. A lot of heads.
Now, that’s the downside. The upside….
Think for a second about your history as a gamer. My own started on the 2600 about the age of 5. It’s been somewhat consistent since then, ranging from consoles to PCs to handhelds and back to to fully realized Console/PC/Mobile situation where I can pretty much have a solid platform to play on anywhere, for anywhen.
There is a whole generation like me. Some of you even posted in this thread. Many of us followed different paths in life, usually with a PC around somewhere. Some of us ended up in that place….making those games we dreamed about.
This is the generation of game designers and artists and industry that is *just now hitting its stride*. This is my generation of game-makers, and we’re farking awesome at it.
Mainly because if we suck at it, we’re not afraid to register our frustrations on the internet within seconds.
And since we just elected a President who collects comic books and plans to do a weekly YouTube address to the world….we’re in charge now. The geeks done took control.
Yea, the real world might suck some time, but we’ve learned we have the power of gods to create worlds of our own. The power of gods to decide that our world is a good one.
And after having wandered around a few of the ones my compatriots have created, may I say, and say solemnly…good show, sirs.
Good shows, indeed.