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The video game industry has finally suffered from the struggling economy

The U.S. video game industry fell 31 percent down to $1.17 billion in the month of June, according to research group NPD, who noted it's the largest decline for the game industry since 2000.

"This is one of the first months where I think the impact of the economy is clearly reflected in the sales numbers," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said.  "This level of decline is certainly going to cause some pain and reflection in the industry."

Video game software sales declined 29 percent down to $625.8 million, with hardware sales dropping 38 percent down to $382.6 million.  Video game accessories, including controllers and other add-ons, dropped 22 percent.

The best selling title in June was Activision Blizzard's Prototype, selling 419,900 units, with THQ's UFC 2009: Undisputed video game coming in second, selling 338,300 units.

"The first half of the year has been tough largely due to comparisons against a stellar first half performance last year," Frazier also said in the report.

It's likely consumers are waiting for blockbuster game titles releases and for hardware prices to fall -- then they'll think about spending money in the struggling video game industry.  Until then, consumers are expected to continue saving money during a turbulent economy that has hurt other technology sectors as well.

Although Sony is under pressure to slash the price of its PlayStation 3 game console, CEO Howard Stringer denies the need for a price cut any time soon.  The Microsoft Xbox 360 game console is expected to have a price cut this fall, while there are even rumors the $249 Nintendo Wii game console will drop prior to the 2009 holiday shopping season.

Analysts are optimistic the industry will pick up throughout the rest of the year, but console makers need to lower prices and each console must have at least one major game release.

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Not all about the economy
By AlexWade on 7/17/2009 8:38:42 AM , Rating: 5
I was going to purchase a game on Steam, Dawn of Discovery. It looked like a really good game. But then I saw it had TAGES DRM and a 3 activation limit. Even on Steam, it had the activation limit. I immediately decided not to buy that game. And I will never buy that game so long as it has any DRM. I started to play another DRM-less game I already bought instead, Medieval II Total War. This was a lost sale due to DRM.

In fact, I will not buy any game with DRM in it. And I am not alone. Why does the movie, music, and video game industry blame anything and everything except themselves? They say there are pirates or the economy is down or something. They never say their product is bad, which for many movies, albums, and new games is very much true. They never think people are avoiding their product because of the DRM. I personally will not be assumed to be guilty until proven innocent. Especially on video and computer games.

It is not all about the economy. The industry should look at themselves first. But they won't. People hate being wrong.

RE: Not all about the economy
By TSS on 7/17/2009 10:27:23 AM , Rating: 5
(sorry for the long rant (didn't notice that untill the end -.-), but as a gamer for atleast 15 years, i've seen it all grow into the mess it is now. summary: they ask too much money for too little entertainment).

how about buying a PS3 game for 30 euro's (hey nice price nice game, gotta get that!) then when you get home find out there's about 60 euro's worth of DLC on it.

and if you don't buy the DLC.... well compare it to beeing on a playground where everybody has nike's while your stuck with generic sneakers. it's not a fun experience.

or CoD4. it cost 60 euro's on release. in guilders (the old dutch coin), that's 130 guilders. in 2002 when the euro replaced the guilder, games where 100 guilders tops (for the AAA titles). a 30% increase in 6 years, i will not stand for it. ESPECIALLY when it cost $49,99 in america which at the time, was about 30 euro's.

or crysis. 50 euro's worth, and granted, the single player was fun and looked good. only the multiplayer was hacked since beta, and crytek does NOTHING to prevent or fix it, and i'm a multiplayer guy. of course, you find this out after purchase since they don't put something like that on the box. i downloaded and finished crysis:warhead just to give a stab at crytek and found that game to be pretty bleak in entertaining me even while it was "free".

empire: total war and hellgate: london are good examples too. both games have had a 6 months beta test, AFTER release. i recently checked the total war forums, to see if the game was worth buying yet (i love the series too), but it appears it's still unplayable for alot of people. most of them have similar hardware as me as well so i'm not even going to try.

how about red alert 3. i've played and owned every command and conquer, except this one. i did download it to try it out (as by now i'm very skeptical about quality in games). couldn't even finish the japanese campain because of horrid imbalances. the american campaign was really easy though. basically i found myself playing to get to the next cutscene, instead of playing to have fun at the game.

by now everything i download i don't even consider to purchase. because i've already considered it before the download, and concluded it wasn't worth the money. *to me*. like fallout 3. in essence, it's a great game. i just finished it in a day, found there's no way to keep playing after the end, saw 5 of the 6 alternate endings (by just loading the save from the beginning of the last level) and was pretty much dissapointed. compared to the time i spent in oblivion, it really wasn't worth the purchase. so i didn't.

now it's not like i download everything then find a "excuse" to not buy it. i've bought left 4 dead, and with the original content as well as the FREE content released later (the survival mode) i've had months of fun.

i've bought and finished metal gear solid 4. the ONLY game EVER to make me feel i was playing a movie. hell, if you don't have a PS3, i'd say buy a PS3 to play that game, it's worth *that* much. i've also bought and finished killzone 2, which was another great looking well designed and well playing... first person shooter. it's not like proven concepts cannot produce another great game! killzone 2 shows this!

i've played wow for 2 years. for about €30 per 2 months, bought the original box (€30,i started late), the burning crusade (€30) and wrath of the lich king (€30). that's €450 euro for 1 game! why am i this mad?! because it was FUN. and i don't regret spending a single penny of that money.

nor do i regret quitting the game a month ago because it wasn't fun anymore. blixxard will not be recieving any more wow money from me.

the ENTIRE entertainment industry have lost sight of what they really are, an ENTERTAINMENT industry. they can only see $$$$$$.

what they don't see is they would earn a boatload more money if they'd go back to actually entertaining, instead of focussing on more revenue. i am not alone in my spending, there's enough people willing to give out the same money i have described above.... if we recieve enough entertainment in return.

and that goes for games, music, movies, books like novels, magazines, newspapers (news is nothing more then entertainment), and even live shows of performers.

RE: Not all about the economy
By MightyAA on 7/17/2009 11:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
I think you hit on part of the sales issue with WoW. New sales are down... but subscriptions? There are more and more subscription games out there like WoW that dig into new sales. Plus I think some sites like Steam don't report sales and there are more and more online download sales.

Another factor is online mulitplayer games. Used to be that with single player games, you'd finish and go out and buy another game. With online multiplayer, the shelf life is a lot longer since each session is different.

And a final factor is new releases. There just aren't that many. The only new stuff I see is hooked into a movie release sales aftermarket, and they aren't that good. Other than that, it seems like 4 or 5 big releases a year, the rest is garbage latched hooked into some overall marketing scheme like a action figure line... It seems like the small software companies got gobbled up by the large corporations who've sold out to gimmick games and the fast buck.
I love picking on EA and the Battlefield Series. Anyone else notice the content got significantly smaller and the bugs (and game cost) significantly more with each new release?

RE: Not all about the economy
By paydirt on 7/21/2009 10:35:06 AM , Rating: 2
Um, June just sucked as far as titles released. I'm eager to see year-on-year comparisons instead of monthly comparisons when there are no cross-platform blockbusters.

RE: Not all about the economy
By captainBOB on 7/17/2009 11:55:18 AM , Rating: 2
how about buying a PS3 game for 30 euro's (hey nice price nice game, gotta get that!) then when you get home find out there's about 60 euro's worth of DLC on it. and if you don't buy the DLC.... well compare it to beeing on a playground where everybody has nike's while your stuck with generic sneakers. it's not a fun experience.

Probably the best example of that is Halo 3, I paid $60 (and it still $60 to this day) for that game only to realize that I had to pay an additional $30 for the DLCs which are required to even play multiplayer at this point. Then they screw up the ranking system and make it hard as hell to gain exp.
Now its collecting dust while I play COD4.

By StevoLincolnite on 7/17/2009 4:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
I paid $99 AU, and it's now $89 currently.
As for the Halo 3 DLC, there is:

1) Cold Storage Map pack. (Free).
2) Mythic Map Pack. (800 Points, or Free with Halo Wars Limited edition).
3) Legendary Map Pack (600 Points.)
4) Heroic Map Pack (Free).

That is 1400 MS points all up, 1000 points is $16.50 AU, 500 Points is $8.25 AU, for a total of $21.75. - That is Australian Pricing which "Seems" significantly higher than the US.

You can also play the following playlists without any of the DLC: Lone Wolves, Social Slayer and Social Skirmish.

With the Free DLC you can play: Squad Battle and MLG.

The Playlists get changed often enough, but I don't think that paying $20 bucks for DLC is that bad if it's something I will be spending a few hours doing, Cheaper than buying a DVD at $25 which I end up only watching once.

The biggest issue I had with Call of Duty 4 is the stupidly short Single player, despite it being awesome and jam packed full of action, it was over in about 4 hours for me, since then I haven't played the game, Multi-player also didn't work for me very well.

The most worthless DLC I have ever seen is the Horse Armor for Oblivion, it was expensive, and it didn't add much, in-fact it didn't change the game play at all.

RE: Not all about the economy
By Samus on 7/17/2009 4:54:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather pay for a subscription than have to deal with DRM.

RE: Not all about the economy
By gerf on 7/18/2009 8:12:20 AM , Rating: 2
ESPECIALLY when it cost $49,99 in america which at the time, was about 30 euro's.
How much of that is due to VAT and/or import duties on your part? Note that we add on sales tax on top of that price, which can be as high as 10%.

RE: Not all about the economy
By AlexWade on 7/18/2009 8:43:11 AM , Rating: 3
One of the games I still play is Transport Tycoon. A mid-90's game, over 10 years old. I still play it. Great games last forever. Many of the newer games try to wow you with graphics but offer nothing else. Just like a lot of movies. The truly great games and movies and albums never grow old.

Unfortunately, who makes money on old material? The entertainment industry is now less about making a quality product and more about make as much money as you can while you can. They care so much about protecting that money that they install that accursed DRM. If you truly want to make money, you need to make people happy. Making a sorry product and blaming piracy or the economy is not going to get your more money. It will alienate your audience, what means they are less likely to give you money.

Some time back, I started playing Toejam and Earl again. Timeless game. Lots of fun. I miss the days when video game makers had to earn your money.

And yet, even though the entertainment industry treat the consumer as less than dirt, we are still at fault for the slowing sales. If not the consumers, anything else other than corporations themselves. Entertainment is not a totalitarian state, we have a choice. And we are choosing not to be raped.

RE: Not all about the economy
By Triple Omega on 7/18/2009 9:03:56 AM , Rating: 2
What I've noticed is that since this whole anti-originality thing is going on(They are doing nothing but beginning with the same old thing and working from there.), I've starting searching more and more for independent developers that DO have original ideas. So far I've found:

- Infinity (

A space-sim with automatically generated star-systems, stars, planets, moons, even cities and orbital structures. Because of this the number of stars will be insane! Estimates run from hundreds of millions to real-life like hundreds of billions within the galaxy. Also it is a level/experience-less game. The only limit is money.

- Achron (
The world's first meta-time strategy game.
Basically it's an RTS with time-travel. Meaning you can play in different times at the same time.(And not just in singleplayer!) Now you REALLY need to check this out to understand what I'm on about as it is really amazing and impossible to explain in a few words here.

- iHacker (
Since Uplink it's been a bit quiet in the hacking-simulation world. Exosyphen has made some, but they are just the same as their old ones, nothing new.

Now iHacker is finally trying to be something new and different. The main part is going to be online with singleplayer, co-op and versus missions and possibilities. If your into hacker games you should really check it out.


Now I'm far more interested in the outcome of these developments then in any of the great upcoming AAA games, including Modern Warfare 2 and Diablo 3. I just finally want something new again. Something that isn't just an evolution of the old and familiar. Something that I won't feel I've played before.

RE: Not all about the economy
By Belard on 7/20/2009 1:58:11 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the links to Achron... sounds interesting...

As they say... while the persons head explodes...

RE: Not all about the economy
By ninus3d on 7/17/2009 11:20:32 AM , Rating: 1
I was going to purchase a game on Steam, Dawn of Discovery. It looked like a really good game. But then I saw it had TAGES DRM and a 3 activation limit. Even on Steam, it had the activation limit. I immediately decided not to buy that game.

Admirable, unfortunately this is a big loss for you my friend, the game is absolutely incredibly good! I cant stop playing it which is why I'm tempted to say you dodged a bullet there!

However, as long as you use the game through a steam account you will never notice the DRM, it only kicks in when you export the game from your user account.

A bit dependent on where in the world you live and how hard your principles go, you can buy the game but download the illegal copy.
Of course, this still would still end up giving your hardearned cash to the developers who did somethign you disagreed with though.

I used to be a "pirate" (Arrrrh) as a result of the horrible difference of downloading myself for free or going to a store and buy it, having to use the optical drive etc.
Steam killed this for me and I have repurchased a majority of the games I played without paying for earlier in life.

Still think the games should be a bit cheaper then they already are on steam though as I cant really resell the games in an easy to do (or, I think, even legaly?) without a lot of account hassle?

RE: Not all about the economy
By AlexWade on 7/17/2009 11:33:45 AM , Rating: 5
I am a person of principle. I rather "miss out" than support something that is just plain wrong. I am sending a message. I will not buy any game with DRM on it. Period. (I do not consider CD check true DRM because it does not install anything on your computer, just checks to see if you have the CD.)

RE: Not all about the economy
By Sdaas on 7/17/2009 12:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
yeah I really think people pirate out of the means of easy of access. ever since Steam started to offer every Video Game I every wanted to play I don't think I've even looked at another means of playing a game.

RE: Not all about the economy
By plonk420 on 7/18/2009 5:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
I used to be a "pirate" (Arrrrh) as a result of the horrible difference of downloading myself for free or going to a store and buy it, having to use the optical drive etc.

did you also find it cheapened the game? i think i may have found that to be case... also the "rainy day" i was waiting for never came, so i stopped bothering.

RE: Not all about the economy
By elgueroloco on 7/17/2009 11:28:57 AM , Rating: 4
I think you nailed it right there. DRM and crappy products and business practices are driving people away. The harder they fight piracy (usually by punishing the honest consumer), the less games they sell. The entertainment industry is generally recession-proof, so they can't just blame this on the economy.

I keep waiting for them to learn:
"The more you tighten your grip, Governor Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

RE: Not all about the economy
By Hiawa23 on 7/17/2009 12:59:02 PM , Rating: 5
Gamefly has been a savior for me. Did many just think the Gaming industry wouldn't be affected by the recession when most industries are down, other than the repoman.

Honestly, I own all three consoles, but I can't see wasting $60 on games when my company has cut back hours, I have a 11year old, bills continue to to skyrocket, mortgage, car payment, so I rent most of my games.

I think alot of gamers fall into my category. Gamers are going to be more selective when it comes to gaming purchases period. When you are looking at how to pay for this bill or that bill, or put this food on the table, or pay for childcare, games don't seem as important as they used to.

RE: Not all about the economy
By Daphault on 7/17/2009 1:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Well stated. For me it's all about the DRM and activation limits. The cost is a non issue; I would even pay double the current market for a good game that offered hours of decent entertainment and no limits on something I supposedly purchased.

Even though I want to play them, I've purchased zero PC games with DRM the past two years... solely because of DRM and activation. What a shameful waste of this GTX 295.

RE: Not all about the economy
By seamonkey79 on 7/17/2009 6:48:07 PM , Rating: 2
I also have not bought a game that has limits and DRM... I think the last new game I bought was in 2007... before that, I bought pretty much every nice new game that came out.

RE: Not all about the economy
By sxr7171 on 7/18/2009 10:52:49 AM , Rating: 1
I'm glad there are people like you in the world. Unlike those Kindle buying nuisances there are people who refuse to sell their souls for quick thrill.

RE: Not all about the economy
By Belard on 7/20/2009 1:27:45 AM , Rating: 2
I too, refuse to BUY any heavy DRM game that has activation limits and install root-kit like software that runs in the background. But I even go one step further (I'm having a brain-fart on the proper word) but I "blacklist" ALL titles from such companies... why should I spend any effort on my part figuring out if a title has SecuROM 7 or not?

So all EA titles are off my list period. And there were about 6 games I was looking to buy in the past 18 months. Mirrors Edge, Spore, Crysis Warhead, Left 4 Dead, Deep Space, Bio Shock. When they started the -Limited- install crap & rootkits, etc... SCREW THEM!

1 - Doesn't stop pirates. People who I have shared my views have offered me DRM free versons of some of these games. Ie: hacked/pirated. I *could* buy the game and install the hacked-version... but (A) that could effect multi-player functions (B) the principle of the matter.

2 - Its a waste of their money (doesn't stop pirates)
3 - Can cause the game to NOT function properly because of DRM.
4 - Its insulting to your customes
5 - Some of us UPGRADE our systems every 6~12 months. Also, what if theres a OS or Virus problem 1-3 times a year and the OS has to be reloaded and the game re-installed - OOPS SCREW YOU! What if its 2015 and the person WANTS to play the game... sorry, out of installs? WAIT - I paid $60 for this crap and I can't install it?!

I still play UT2004, its been through at least 4 OS upgrades / PC builds since then.

Just stick to CD-KEYs... UT3 = CD key. H.A.W.K.s = CD key / CD in drive (I hate CDs in drives), Supreme Commander = CD-Key. UT 2004 = CD-key. Gears of War =Disc in Drive, I bought these.

Research & Purchasing
By bubbastrangelove on 7/17/2009 8:56:51 AM , Rating: 5
I know after my purchase of Battlefield II I've started researching games much more thoroughly before purchasing a product. EA really soured my perceptions of customer support and overall game support for that particular title.

So many bugs they failed to address - I couldn't get that game to play for 2 months because it kept telling me to "insert disc 2 into drive" when it was already in inserted. It was a well known bug affecting thousands of users (turned out to be a coding issue on systems that had more than 1 CD/DVD drive) and they never answered emails, phone calls - tech support was a joke.

Then trying to get a server up and running to the player base was a nightmare they didn't address until months down the road. That game had so much potential but they released it way too early in the name of the almighty dollar.

Fool me once...

Never again EA or any other business releasing software before it's ready. Once they have your money they don't give two shits about your satisfaction or the software functionality.

RE: Research & Purchasing
By Screwballl on 7/17/2009 9:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
agreed... I have been on a personal boycott of EA for several years now because of their shady and greedy practices. I have not legally bought or paid for an EA game for at least 3 years now (not to say I have not "tried" a few from torrents like spore and CNC3, but when I saw they sucked I deleted every trace of them).

RE: Research & Purchasing
By Alphafox78 on 7/17/2009 9:21:28 AM , Rating: 2
I learned my lesson with EA after Battlefield I. Battlefield 1942 with the modern war addon (FREE BTW) was so much more fun IMO.

By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 7/17/2009 10:34:51 AM , Rating: 5
You are not alone. The BF2 debacle has ticked off so many people. It could have, and should have been a fantastic game. But they never finished it. Funny thing though, they are supposed to release patch 1.50 for BF2 next week.

There are plenty of bad games out there that don't get the fury that BF2 did. I think its because people saw the potential, and saw what could have been. Kinda like meeting an attractive woman in a bar and then noticing the adams' apple.....

RE: Research & Purchasing
By Dribble on 7/17/2009 10:56:39 AM , Rating: 2

The fun of trying to get it to support my wide screen monitor was nothing to the fun I had trying to set up a keyboard layout I liked (left handed so default no good). Something so simple should not require lots of hacking in a text editor.

Then there was the fact there was no easy way to practice with hard to control things like planes off line - it would only let you play 16p with bots which meant (a) tiny map so plane kept going off the map (b) bots kept nicking the plane or shooting you down.


RE: Research & Purchasing
By MrBlastman on 7/17/2009 11:06:33 AM , Rating: 4
There are scumbags like EA, then there are guys like Valve (queue the L4D groaners, more on that in a second) who really support their customer.

I bought the Orange Box about a year and 3/4 ago - and I still play Team Fortress 2 on a _very_ regular basis, at least a few times a week. Granted, there are no other shooters worth a darn that are like TF 2 - and require the skill that TF 2 requires - at least, that are popular (there are plenty of old ones that require more skill, like the original QWTF), my point is after almost TWO years, Valve is still releasing free updates and patches for the game.

They actually listen to the community and do not ignore us, unlike EA. I've had little incentive to spend money on much anything else because of this. When the economy is down, I see this as a great value.

As for the L4D people, I feel your pain - but, you should have seen it for what it was when the demo came out. Fun for a little while but not nearly enough content to last, nor worth the full original price in the end.

Never, ever buy a game based on future promises. Buy it because it is good as it is right then and there and worth the money. If it isn't then, what is going to keep people buying it so they can justify finishing it - or - prevent them from deciding to instead make a sequel and keep you paying for it (which is what businesses do).

EA - I am still pissed at you for killing Origin (Ultima, Wing Commander) and all the other great IP's you paid for and then shat on.

RE: Research & Purchasing
By bubbastrangelove on 7/17/2009 11:54:46 AM , Rating: 2
I realize I'm getting a bit off topic here but I think Valve's biggest mistake with L4D was how they setup the server system in comparison to all their other multiplayer shooters. CSS, DoD, TF2 all allow users to pick what server they use. The benefit of that groups with the same mindset tend to flock to a certain server, a guild emerges and you have a place to visit where it's a safe bet that your going to be able to join a game with people of the same skill set and philosophy.

Finding a good game in L4D is a crap shoot; player pairing is almost exclusively random (I realize the community exist but it work much better in theory than in practice from my experience), half the players leave for a new server after a bad round.

I don't understand why they deviated from the player/server format that brought them so much success.

RE: Research & Purchasing
By V3ctorPT on 7/17/2009 2:08:32 PM , Rating: 3
But now they released a patch that adds new lobby system...

8 months after the game came out, they finally make a new lobby system... I still think that it's a beta version, the real server browsing will be in L4D2 :D

Or in L4D Underground or L4d Modern Warfare 3...

Valve is turning to EA

By Golgatha on 7/17/2009 8:51:59 AM , Rating: 3
Although Sony is under pressure to slash the price of its PlayStation 3 game console, CEO Howard Stringer denies the need for a price cut any time soon. The Microsoft Xbox 360 game console is expected to have a price cut this fall, while there are even rumors the $249 Nintendo Wii game console will drop prior to the 2009 holiday shopping season.

Analysts are optimistic the industry will pick up throughout the rest of the year, but console makers need to lower prices and each console must have at least one major game release.

Everyone who is thinking about buying a new console is expecting a price cut on them before the end of the year. There have also been very few good games released over the last few months and nothing I would consider a system seller. Closer to the holidays, we'll see game sales pick up (especially with Modern Warfare 2, Starcraft 2, etc coming out), and towards the first quarter of next year we'll see system sellers like Mario Galaxy 2, God of War 3, Final Fantasy XIII, etc. coming out.

I think late 2009 and early 2010 will be a boom time for the industry. Seriously, do we have to have record sales all the time and in every quarter?!

RE: Well...DUH!!
By inighthawki on 7/17/2009 9:28:49 AM , Rating: 2
(especially with Modern Warfare 2, Starcraft 2, etc coming out)

i think blizzard sacrificed most of their sc2 sales with the split in 3 and lack of lan combo...

RE: Well...DUH!!
By Taft12 on 7/17/2009 10:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
If by "most" you mean a fraction of a percent, then yes you are right!

RE: Well...DUH!!
By gereth86 on 7/17/2009 12:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
It is certainly not "most" but if you think they are only losing a fraction of 1% of their total worldwide sales I think your very wrong on that aspect.

Looking at Korea (The heart of sc1 professional leagues), the large majority of players do their gaming at LAN centers, not at home on a personal computer. Therefore I believe the exclusion of LAN support will be a severe cut in sales overseas, not so much in the US. Frankly, I am severely disappointed Blizzard has chosen to do something like this. After supporting and buying nearly every release, I feel like I just got slapped in the face.

RE: Well...DUH!!
By inighthawki on 7/17/2009 10:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well ok, i certainly did not mean "most" to mean a significant portion, but i think u are even further off than i am about the "fraction of a percent". I knew about 4-5 people who were interested in buying the game, including myself, but i dont think any of us are going to bother anymore because of the lack of lan support. Most of the games i buy are directly aimed at excellent lan games that are quality enough to play online as well, but if theres no lan, i certainly don't want to bother paying $40, or even $30 over a set of 3 games to have to play lan over the net.

Dear Games Industry...
By DarkElfa on 7/17/2009 2:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
Dear Games Industry,

You are wasting your time, effort and money and ours using DRM that is completely ineffective while making pirates laugh. Find a different way to fight these guys without abusing your buyers. Oh, and put some common sense into your game development along with all that effort because your recent game have been 90% ass.

Dear Microsoft,

Please stop charging for every single damned thing people have to do on your console. You gave us an amazing achievement system that awards us useless points while you could have at least made them worth MS points towards Live purchases and at the same time you charge players just to play online and then only give us one lousy profile per gold account. You are one of the wealthiest companies in the world and yet you are still the cheapest and stingiest.

Dear Sony,

You sir, are an arrogant A-hole. You think you're awesome and that you can swing your schwartz in everyone's face because you had 2 great consoles before your latest debacle. You know the one I mean, the one you stuck the BR drive in just so you could finally win a lousy format war that is nearly irrelevant and you screwed your fans and developers do it by making your stupid console overtly expensive. But hey, at least you won the HD disk war, right?

Dear Nintendo,

Are you F***ing kidding me?! You renamed your crappy Game Cube a Wii and added a motion sensor remote and sold like hotcakes to the young, the elderly and the stupid. You are not clever, you're short sighted and the crap you're pulling could cripple the games industry for all hard core gamers.

RE: Dear Games Industry...
By Totally on 7/17/2009 3:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
After reading the Sony bit, you realize that you let MS off way too easy...RROD, E74 error...the former a direct result of rushing the 360 to the market, if you had also been following the news back then you would know that a built-in HDDVD had been also cut for then same reason partially, HDDVD spec hadn't been finalized and would have pushed the launch date back a few months, in additon to reducing the overall system cost.

Now here's some food for thought since MS cut the HDDVD drive for the 360, and now games are released on regular dvds. Why do they cost $10 more than the previous generation console games, and their PC counterparts? Where does that $10 go? to whom? Why are we, well you I don't own a 360, paying $10 for technically nothing?

RE: Dear Games Industry...
By DarkElfa on 7/17/2009 5:35:36 PM , Rating: 3
These people just rub me the wrong damned way. I mean the developers complain about sales yet they sell us garbage, MS nickel and dimes us to death and Sony just doesn’t care about what anyone thinks because they’re “untouchable”. Bah!.

Ninty on the other hand lost touch with gaming reality circa N64.

The fact is that these yahoos keep giving gamers what they think we want instead of what we’re asking for and then shake their collective heads in disbelief when it all goes south.

They can all get stuffed as far as I’m concerned. If they want to understand why they’re losing money they can go look in a mirror. They’re all a bunch of unimaginative, cheap, arrogant and out of touch bastards and this is their legacy.

RE: Dear Games Industry...
By phantom505 on 7/18/2009 10:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
What a pointless rant. The only relevant part is the fact that the quality of games has been horrible.

Nintendo actually added a new dynamic, which if it fails and turns into a gimmick, so what. They aren't single handily destroying anything. I thought you free market freaks on this site would get that.

Sony blew it and so has M$. Now they are losing money. Someone will change their tune and grab all that money that is walking away (in theory).

For now I'll enjoy my "children, stupid people, and old people's toy" and play games like FF4 The After Years since that has been the most entertaining game I've played since....well the SNES (and go figure since it has SNES graphics). Hopefully before I run out Wii games to play I'll have my med school secondary applications to fill out.

RE: Dear Games Industry...
By themaster08 on 7/19/2009 6:00:20 AM , Rating: 2
I agree entirely.

Nintendo has done nothing to the industry except provide us non-hardcore gamers some long needed entertainment.

It's quite the opposite in fact. In latter years it's casual gamers who have taken it up the rear due to more and more focus on hardcore gamers.

Being a casual gamer, playing CoD 4 or 5 online, there's just no point. I get absolutely annihlated by those weedy teenagers playing on it 16 hours a day to become 10th prestige or whatever it is. And for what?
Perhaps I'm a bit out of my depth playing such a hardcore-based online game with my level of CoD expertise, but I try to have fun and give things a try. Watching the killcam more than I'm playing is anything but.

With sales of 50 million+ consoles it's proof that there are as many casual gamers, if not more, than there are hardcore gamers.

I play games for fun. I want a console that is fun. I want games that I will enjoy. I don't want to play a game just to be better than the next person. The Wii seems to be the only console which provides this.

By Digimonkey on 7/17/2009 8:31:57 AM , Rating: 5
"The first half of the year has been tough largely due to comparisons against a stellar first half performance last year," Frazier also said in the report.

I think that's the sum of it. There are games that sale consoles, and games you just have to play. I don't think any of those type of games have came out this year.

RE: Hmm
By Regs on 7/17/2009 8:53:34 AM , Rating: 1
It takes more and more resources to keep us satisfied each year. It was only natural that ball of yarn could grow and larger.

RE: Hmm
By Lerianis on 7/19/2009 1:27:54 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen a few. Ghostbusters: The Video Game was one. Crysis: Warhead was another.

As to consoles? I don't know, I honestly got out of the console market to be blunt. Been thinking of getting back in now that so very few games other than MMO's are released for the PC, but I'm waiting until Christmas when I am really hoping that the prices for the consoles will have another 50-100 bucks knocked off them.

By RamsayGetLost on 7/17/2009 8:52:51 AM , Rating: 2
When no one has released an amazing shooter since CoD4:MW (09/07), it's no wonder. Nothing else compares. *can't wait for MW2*

RE: uhm
By Totally on 7/17/2009 9:29:45 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, it was good until everyone learned to just grenade spam.

RE: uhm
By RamsayGetLost on 7/17/2009 11:40:42 AM , Rating: 2
i just taught myself how to tube a couple months ago. i still prefer the good old trusty m4a1+red dot. or suppressed p90.

i agree about the spam though. never used to happen in the CS days.

Console stalemate being a factor?
By killerb255 on 7/18/2009 4:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
For the first time since...well...ever, there is no one dominant video game console in the industry.

During the dark ages in the early 80s, the Atari 2600 was the dominant console (even though a lot of the games were crap).

Afterwards was the NES/Famicom, which began the 8-bit era. The only competitor was the Sega Master System (not sure on the Japanese name). Developers knew that they would have the most success with the NES.

8-bit winner: NES, no question.

Next was the 16-bit era, the first real console war: SNES/Super Famicom vs Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. That was a real console war--a lot of games were released multi-platform back then. Both consoles had quality first party titles as well.

The victor eventually ended up being the SNES after fighting games took off: the Genesis' age was beginning to show, and Sega went hog wild with the addons like the Sega CD and 32X.

During the 32-bit era, Nintendo shot themselves in the foot with the Nintendo 64/Famicom 64. Cartridges were dated and expensive to make, while the newcomer, Sony, had a runaway success with the PlayStation. Guess where one of the most popular RPG franchises had gone to?

Sega had the Saturn, but it had problems with marketing (it was released five months early with almost no library) and development (it had a reputation for being difficult to develop for).

Either way, despite the high quality first-party titles on the N64, there just wasn't enough third-party support for Nintendo to win this one. The newcomer, Sony, was the winner.

RE: Console stalemate being a factor?
By killerb255 on 7/18/2009 5:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
Next was kind of interesting: four consoles were in the race, but there was still one console that developers knew would allow their titles the greatest market penetration: the Sony PlayStation 2! Remember that whole fiasco: sold out for months, eBay prices through the roof to get a PS2?!!!

The PS2's competition?

1) Sega Dreamcast: It was a fine system. It has none of the problems of its predecessors (difficult to program, add-ons o'rama). The Dreamcast was where the whole homebrew-for-consoles community began. However, Sega couldn't overcome their past reputation and had to bow out of the console business...

2) Nintendo GameCube: Better, but still not enough. Nintendo finally decided to go with a disc format, but they had their reputation for producing "kiddy" games to fight against. Sometimes it seemed like Nintendo didn't even try to fight this...

3) Microsoft's Xbox: talk about a newcomer! It did okay thanks to the likes of Halo, but still nowhere enough to overtake the PS2...

Either way, the winner of this, despite the crowd, was the Sony PS2...

That brings us to today:

PS3 versus Xbox 360 versus Nintendo Wii.

Sony was the reigning champion over the past two console generations, but success kinda warped their minds. They thought they could sell a $600 console on brand name alone. One would have thought the Neo-Geo would have been a lesson not to do that ($600 console, $100+ games). Therefore, all that success got washed down the toilet.

Nintendo: The Wii was a runaway hit! All they had to do was pretty much overclock a GameCube and add a motion-sensitive controller! Those things are selling like hotcakes! However, the hardware is dated compared to its two competitors, and there's that "kiddy" reputation that still lingers from the last two generations...

Microsoft: They're doing surprising well considering that they're the newcomer in the console business. They're playing off Sony and Nintendo's mistakes and relishing in it!


Microsoft has some drawbacks as well:
1) "Middle child syndrome." Let's face it: in families, the middle child gets forgotten. Markets are no different.

2) Persistent hardware problems. When people spend their hard-earned money on something, they expect it to work. Even though Sony's PS2 had its own fair share of hardware problems (DRE, anyone?), it seems that the RRoD seems to have far more sinister fame.

3) It's Microsoft. Apparently, the 00s decade is the decade of "If it's a large company, it has to be evil." Therefore, the name "Microsoft" scares people away.

By killerb255 on 7/18/2009 5:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
Overall, the bottom line is that there is no winner of this console war.

In most cases, competition is good for the consumer.

...but for some reason, that doesn't seem to apply to consoles...

When there is no winner, developers get scared to commit to one console.

Should they go with the past winner, Sony, and deal with the significantly lower market penetration?

Should they go with Nintendo and its rally, and deal with the limitations of its dated hardware?

...or should they go with Microsoft, the perceived "tool of the evil empire," "the middle child," the company that Japan was shying away from in the past, and the company with the least amount of console experience?

Tough questions to answer. In the past, there was always a clear answer: NES, SNES, PS1, and PS2.

Now there is no clear answer.

Instead, many companies are looking at handhelds for a clearer answer: Nintendo DS vs Sony PSP? Easy: the DS of course! Sony mismanaged the PSP (UMD format, anyone?)

So until there is a clear winner, the gaming industry is going to be at a stalemate...

By Totally on 7/17/2009 12:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Since 2000, really interesting, experimental titles have stopped being released or are far and few in between, only safe and more of the same have been pushed through the door the past few years. What's the point of buying a new game if you already own it, just a different coat of paint.

RE: Well
By Lerianis on 7/19/2009 1:30:42 AM , Rating: 2
Huh? With that kind of thinking, you could say that all 3 of the Super Mario Bros games for the Nintendo are the same game, just with a 'different coat of paint'.

No, the games are very different. The storylines are usually very different as well, and that is partially what I am playing the games for (notice to the companies, READ THAT PRIOR STATEMENT WELL).

not enough data
By Danger D on 7/17/2009 9:51:37 AM , Rating: 2
I think a one-month decline is too little to pin on the economy. People are jumping the gun a little attributing everything to the economy. I've read at least two other stories on this site that say video games are "recession-proof."

No triple AAA titles
By parge on 7/17/2009 10:17:34 AM , Rating: 2
The reason that despite my new HDTV my game buying habits have tailed off is because so far this year, there has been almost no AAA titles for me to spend my hard earned cash on. Simple as that.

game decline
By frozentundra123456 on 7/17/2009 11:09:33 AM , Rating: 2
I dont play on consoles, but the PC game market is so bad now because of a lack of new and innovative games. The economy probably plays a part, but if there were a new game out comparable to Modern Warfare or Sam and Max or the KOTOR series I would buy it. I just dont think it is worth buying another generic shooter or bloody zombie killer. Maybe some games coming out soon will be worth it (Starcraft 2, Mass Effect 2, Diablo 3). Even those are not really new and innovative, just extensions of games that were great in the past.

By KingConker on 7/17/2009 11:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
If you are like me you're buying second hand C64 titles on eBay for a couple of quid!

Sanxion, Delta, Parallax, Monty on the Run etc on tape.

Emulators, nah - we have the real a deal a C64 permanently connected in the office on a projectors and one at home.

Seriously, go back to your roots - relive the classics!

Listen to the marvel of the SID chip and the work of Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, Ben Dalgliesh, Chris Hulsbeck and more...

My biggest disapointment
By Randomblame on 7/17/2009 2:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
Starcraft II - no lan support.

Its the economy, stupid!
By Skott on 7/17/2009 4:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
This is the worst recession since the Great Depression. Is anyone really surprised sales are down? Of course this is just one more thing for the Chicken Little people to cry about how PC gaming is dying. LOL

Recession proof
By Icehearted on 7/20/2009 11:55:19 AM , Rating: 2
This article is a pack of lies, as anyone that has ever heard the industry's experts say over and over that the video game market is recession proof, so the economy has absolutely nothing to do with a business that is reliant, in part, upon the economy.

<sarcasm ends here>

Seriously, every time I saw a bloated middle-aged nerd rant on about how the downturn would have no affect on sales whatsoever I chuckled a little. They brought this on themselves.

By Codeman03xx on 7/20/2009 7:34:27 PM , Rating: 2
Its pretty simple really. Make good games, I mean game companies are getting to greedy and crappy games are a result. Like for instance the Starcraft 2 might be a decent game but its in 3 parts and NO LAN SUPPORT!!! There is no new blockbuster games coming out, just kind of a dead year i guess.

Saving Money?
By DM0407 on 7/20/2009 9:39:26 PM , Rating: 2
Until then, consumers are expected to continue saving money during a turbulent economy that has hurt other technology sectors as well.

I'm not rolling in cash in this bad economy. I am spending less but I'm not saving anymore.

By Beenthere on 7/17/2009 11:04:37 AM , Rating: 1
According to the "economic experts" things are just fine. They claim the economy is collapsing at a slower rate so the loss of 500,000+ jobs every month is of little concern - except to the person losing their job. Unemployed people don't spend much money on games or other non-essential items.

The High Prices Are Another Factor
By Lerianis on 7/19/2009 1:21:45 AM , Rating: 1
I've talked with many of my friends and acquaintances who game, as I do, and they have said that the prices are just WAAAAAAAAY too high recently.

There is no reason that a PS3 game should be near 60 dollars, not in the slightest, Blu-Ray or not. Same thing for XBox360 games.

Most of them either wait until the games drop in price to half or one-third that and buy, or simply do not buy at all and 'pirate' their games because they cannot justify spending that much on a game or by the time the game is that cheap... it's disappeared from store shelves.

If the discs were a little more 'rough and ready', i.e. they were a little more scratch-resistant, I personally would be willing to buy these games more often than I do.... but lately, I barely get one year of life out of a DVD before it's scratched beyond repair.... don't ask me why that is, because I treat the things like they are made out of stained glass, i.e. like they are EXTREMELY FRAGILE, and it isn't my drive that is doing the scratching, because I've checked that.
I don't know how many times I got a 'read error' with my PS games and even with my XBox games, and went into the bathroom and found the discs FULL of scratches when they had just been sitting in the cases for a month or more.

By Earthmonger on 7/19/2009 9:58:28 AM , Rating: 1
I haven't bought a single game this year, and here we are, July. The biggest two reasons are:
A) There isn't a damn thing recently released that interests me. Seriously.
B) I can't get the titles here. There are three titles I was going to buy, available through These titles aren't available locally. But, Amazon refuses to ship two of the titles here, and the third has an EU release date a full six months AFTER the US release. What bullshit.

So, that's why I ain't buying. I don't pirate games either. So, it's old games and MMOs that kill my time.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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