Thursday, 15 January 2009

And so the shit hits the fan

One of the major concerns facing the games industry at the moment is the economic recession. Many other loved companies and industries have fallen hard in these difficult times but so far the games industry has been seen as ‘recession-proof’.

Could this be a result of Nintendo’s recent record breaking success and mass-marketing strategy? Whilst other consoles have been appealing to traditional gamers, Nintendo have expanded beyond that boundary and appealed to more casual gamers. It’s been a success so far but are casual gamers more likely to cut back due to the recession than ‘hardcore’ gamers?
Surveys and interviews have shown that many gamers don’t intend to cut back on their spending. But is this really due to the recession?

Most gamers are children and teenagers that have no responsibilities such as paying bills or the mortgage. Their disposable income is free to be spent on entertainment luxuries such as games. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the games industry is still ‘recession-proof’.

The fear of spending money will mean that more hardcore gamers will expect more for their money. No longer will £40 for a mediocre game be acceptable and so many games and companies may potentially be hit hard by the recession.

The challenge that will then face the industry is the quality of the games being produced. Not only does the gameplay and graphics need to be breathtaking but it has to be done on a significantly less investment as the gamers’ budget will be limited.

As for the future, we may see an increase in the quality of games being produced yet the quantity may lack somewhat and so many companies might find it hard to survive.

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