Increase In Digital Distribution To Have Impact In 2010?
You know, a whole lot of video games get released every year. This means that shelf space will become a definite premium very soon...
According to figures from EEDAR's GamePulse service, analyst Jesse Divnich told GameSpot that the market saw 1,099 new titles across all platforms in 2009, which is nearly identical to the 1,092 that launched in 2008. But there's a lot more to these numbers, as there usually is when dealing with statistics. Said Divnich:
"For just the current generation home consoles (PS3/360/Wii), 2009's release quantities increase the total availability of games to consumers by 55 percent. Unless retail shelf space grows by the same amount--and it isn't--than the retail shelf life for an average game decreases dramatically. Additionally, each year there are at least 50 games that achieve a permanent spot on retail shelves (Greatest Hits, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, etc.), which decreases the total amount of retail space available for newer titles."
Yeah, we've noticed sixty-five million empty boxes for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on GameStop store shelves. Furthermore, because the number of releases is a little out of whack with the recent year-over-year growth (which wasn't much), every released game will face a stiffer battle to obtain the consumer's increasingly valuable dollar. And while the DS and Wii saw significant rises in the number of releases, the PS3 and Xbox 360 remained mostly flat, and Divnich attributes this to the big rise in downloadable content and digital distribution. Not only are more games being released without the standard disc and box, but developers are also spending more time with digital content overall. This could lead to a drop in the total number of games on store shelves; Divnich expects a 5-8% drop in this category in 2010.
Basically, we could already be looking at the initial decline of physical media in the industry, although most analysts will tell you we've still got a ways to go before digital becomes the accepted means of distribution.
12/23/2009 9:08:44 PM Ben Dutka