Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Innovation Revelation

The July/August issue of the CEA's Vision magazine reveals some interesting details about the gaming industry including a $16.51 billion rise in shipment revenue this year.

The interactive magazine (accessible via the CEA website) also discusses gamer/consumer trends such as gamers buying into 'franchise titles' such as Halo and Mario Kart, the rise in accessory purchases for our consoles and digital delivery of video games through websites like Steam.

The gaming industry has always relied on new innovation in game play and fresh new ideas to keep consumers coming back. Unfortunately for gaming developers and publishers in this tough economic time, they can't afford to gamble. With hit franchises like Call of Duty and Halo selling record numbers, video game publishers just aren't as willing to risk creating a new intellectual property. Developers are being pushed to develop their main franchises because of publishers stubbornness. Take the publisher Activision for example. Activision has some of the top franchises in gaming, including Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and the Tony Hawk series. As the years have progressed Activision has pushed the developers of these titles to churn out one game every year. In the gaming industry it usually takes around a two to three year cycle to create a quality game. By forcing their developers to finish new titles in only a twelve month span, Activision has seen its revenues fall and its heavy hitting franchises reduced to a shadow of what they once were. With executives like Bobby Kotick running things it seems as though these frivolous precedents will continue for years to come. For the gaming industry it seems like until the economy improves and gaming is on the rise, all bets are off.

1 comment:

Ethan said...

I like Call of Duty as much as the next guy, but I'd have to say it has seemed like the same game the past few iterations. Where games used to excel was creativity, and now it seems like all I have been seeing are copies of hard hitting franchises i.e. Saint's Row. The main exceptions I have seen to this trend are indie games which seem to be gaining more and more popularity because they are free to take whatever risks they want when creating new and innovative titles. I guess my question to you is, do you think that the industry has any hope of getting out of this rut and going back to creating interesting games like Mirror's Edge and Assassin's Creed?