Analyst: First-Party Titles Increasingly Important
We all know how important exclusive titles can be in any generation, especially when they start to become few and far between. And during an NPD preview for the July game sales, Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson presented his thoughts on the issue, and concluded that exclusive first-party titles may eventually be the key to success. They're already making up an "increasingly larger part of the industry." (source: GameSpot).
Wilson turned us on to several very intriguing facts: firstly, he found that games published by the "Big 3" (Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo) represented more than 30% of the total game sales revenue during the last six-month period. But he took things a step further by comparing this number to the first six months of 2006 and of 2002. As it turns out, first-party game sales only comprised 20% of the total revenue during those time spans.
"A compelling lineup of first-party games has had a positive absolute dollar impact on the industry in this still-early phase of a console cycle," Wilson told GameSpot. "It compels consumers to upgrade to new hardware, especially in combination with third-party games. However, it has made it difficult for a few large publishers to maintain their historical percentage industry market share. The net result can be positive or negative depending on the individual publishers, although in every case it exacerbates competition in what is already an ultra-competitive year."
Now, looking to the future, we see more games that will likely support Wilson's theory. Nintendo is offering the likes of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy for Wii owners, and Microsoft has Halo 3 and Mass Effect this year alone for the Xbox 360. Sony is no exception, as 2007 will see Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Warhawk, and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, and next year will bring Gran Turismo 5. Without any doubt, exclusive titles still play a major role in this generation, and of course, first-party games will (obviously) be exclusive. Need any more reasons to own all three platforms?
8/21/2007 Ben Dutka