Year-Over-Year Gaming Sales Drop Five Months Straight

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PawBear

Paw Bear

Look at the problems people are having with Fallout 3.  Check the forums.  Far Cry 2 play disappointments.  I've purchased both and am well aware of their shortcomings.  This is the best these studios can do?  I don't think so.  I'll definitely consider my options the next time I purchase a game, like "don't buy".

 

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dag1992

I've never had a problem with Fallout and Far Cry 2 is brilliant. I just think too many people expected it to be constant action, it's just not aimed at that. Real warfare isn't Counter Strike or Halo.

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wut

One my reasons for buying less games are the way that they are being distributed. When I first got into pc gaming, I would walk into the local games store in the mall and could pick up any pc game that has been released for the past five years if not longer. The selections slowly declined over the years. What once was a third of the store is now reduced to maybe ten titles and half of those have the WoW tag on them. I then started to buy games online from places such as EBgames but thier selections have also been limited over the past few years. I do not like or feel comfortable buying a digital download of a game. I prefer to have the disc with which I can install it anytime I like. I still install some games that are over ten years old onto my pc and uninstall them after I have had my fix of nostalgia.

My second reason for not buying as many games is some of these games that require me to be online just to play them. A good example is Warhammer 40k Dawn of War II. I have to be online, installed games for windows live, and be logged into it just to play the single player campaign. Another example is the expansion pack for Red Alert 3. This can only be bought through a digital download. If you build a new pc and want to download the game again you would have to pay more money. I refuse to buy any more games or expansions to games with requirements such as these.

I have no problem with games that requir a key code and the disc in the drive to play it. I have always bought all of my games and had both on hand when I wanted to play a game. Internet is not always available to everyone and if they do have it, it does not mean that person has a good connection or service provider.

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dag1992

Let's face it gaming is expensive.  Forking out $50 for half-assed titles isn't going to cut it in this economy, and with few good titles in the pipeline I don't see this changing.  Of course gaming in general is nowhere near being dead, but currently in decline with developers progressively getting lazier with their cash grab games.

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MeTo

$50 games and $1000.00 PC's to run them on. $60 games and $199 Xbox 360 to run them let's see X marks the spot.

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Devo85x

say you want to play L4D2 when it comes out, assuming you dont have anything now... that is $1050 for a computer and the game, or $200 for the xbox, $300 minimum for a computer that you will need anyways, $100 if you want to save your game on the xbox, $50 if you want to play online, and I know im forgetting something but I have to leave so :)

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dag1992

Console gaming is nowhere near as customizable and in depth as pc gaming.  I'd be willing to pay a cool grand for a pc that can do a lot more than just games.

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JDK

After getting burned for $60 two or three times folks generally quit buying games.

This has just as much to do with the recession as it does crap games.

$60 buys a lot of groceries. 

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maniacm0nk3y

This is why I ALWAYS check reviews. They guide me to good titles to buy but it's not a controlling factor. By the time I purchase the games I want they are at aroud $30 anyways.

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pagen64

It's because video games are all the same. They just come in different packages. It's like Trix and fruit Loops. Same thing... just shaped different. 

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Sina

old news

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Danduhman

Frankly there hasnt been any games that strike my fancy lately while shopping around for new games to get.

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pratt

Honestly, there wouldn't be a "PC Gaming Decline" if video game developers would sit down and make at least a half-decent PC game. Of the so called "good" PC games that have been released in recent years, only an absolute handful have been worthy of being called "good" and even fewer are great.

It's not just PC games that are filled with tripe, console games suck pretty bad as well. Grab a dozen random games off the shelf and you'll be lucky if two or three are actually worth playing once let alone a second time.

Poor game development aside, the biggest knife in PC's back is the fact that no one, save Blizzard, has the guts to release a PC-only title. Star Craft 2 and Diablo 3 are going to be block buster sellers and for a slight second, everyone will be cheering in the streets declaring to the world: "PC gaming is back! Take that consoles!" And then the months will roll on, nothing good will come out, and that will be it.

The biggest issue with PC gaming is most companies are too focused on making a game that looks good (Crysis) but doesn't focus on actually writing half-decent code that will make it actually run at respectible rates. The reason Crysis ran so poorly on even hardcore PC's wasn't that the hardware couldn't handle it, it's because the coding was horrible. Case in point: Crysis Warhead actually optimised the game slightly and you saw drastic improvements in performance.

Four things need to happen for PC gaming to come back:

#1. Improve your code! Sloppy coding makes your game run like a midget through molasses, pretty bloody slow. It's not like Intel and nVidia aren't heeping out loads of money to AAA titles to make sure their benchmark numbers are on top so spend the money to get the right guys in there to write some decent code and optimize it for the hardware available. Also make sure your multiplayer content is really really good. I still don't know how CoD:WaW is so bad at multiplayer when compared to CoD4. Somewhere along the line Treyarch desided to ruin Infinity Ward's code and turn the game in to an absolute dog to play.

#2. Make games fun again! Farcry 2 looked fantastic and ran pretty well too. However a good looking game a good game does not make. Focus on making gameplay truly intuitive and fun. Give is a storyline that makes us care about the characters and what happens. That's one of the reasons why CoD4 was so good was the storyline. Nothing shocked me more than looking through the eyes of the American soldier as he crawls from the crashed helecopter, looks to the sky and sees the giant mushroom cloud, then promply dies of a combination of his injuries and massive radiation. Shocking, sad, keeps you up at night...but it was powerful and elevated CoD4 into one of the best first person shooters of all time.

#3. Be unique with your graphics! It gets tiring after a while when every single FPS game looks almost exactly the same as the last: Brown and Dull. Spice things up. I don't mean go loony toons but obviously the TF2 graphics style worked. Try to be unique with your approach instead of playing things safe. Throwing a splash of color here and there won't hurt. People moaned about Diablo 3 being "too colorful" but they'll be proven wrong when they play it and they see all the rich and unique environments that don't blend together and don't all look cookie cuttered together. What I'm trying to say is realistic graphics can't be real unless theres some color, imagination, and exaggeration to them. As strange as it seems, in order to make someone believe something they are seeing that isn't real is real all hinges on how well the exaggeration is. It's the same principal as in animation.

 #4. DLC! Downloadable content is the "in thing" right now. Fallout 3 has been the forerunner in the DLC craze as well as CoD:WaW (the WaW Zombie levels are the only redeeming factor to the game). Instead of providing half-baked expansion packs, give us a small, focused mini-level that is downloadable for a reasonable price and keep on making more little well made DLC's. The convenience of booting up your computer, getting on your web browser, and downloading a new level to a game is fantastic. No one really wants to trek all the way out to a store just to buy an expansion pack, so why not go online and get it right now?

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I Jedi

  • See: Mass Effect for PC
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pratt

I agree, Mass Effect was a fantastic game as is all the games that come out from Bioware but that game falls into the category of the "few good games" much like Fallout 3, Oblivion, Supreme Commander, and Company of Heros are on the list of good games that came out in the last 3-4 years.

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I Jedi

The problem that I see with gaming in general is that the story behind these games never gets developed will enough and much of the attention is focused on graphics design/multiplayer. However, Mass Effect proves that you can make a great FPS/RPG that has no multiplayer ability at all and sell really well. As is with Dead Space, too.

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squarebab

Enjoyed your post Pratt.  I would add improving the music/soundtrack to the games. Allowing changing themes would improve playablility. It would be fun to hear a different soundtrack playing as I go through "Dead Air" for the hundredth time. And why no popular music scattered throughout most games? Every other medium makes heavy use of it, why not gaming? Maybe something that makes use of a gamer's personal library? 

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pratt

Very interesting idea having the game pull music out of your hard drive and playing it in game...although I'm not sure how easy it would be to get that to work plus there are licencing issues that will never be resolved. Other than that, it would be pretty cool especially if the game knew to pick appropriate songs for appropriate moments.

I have to say that game sound completely slipped my mind and is definitely something that can be improved upon. Having truly interactive background music that subtly changes depending on what is going on in the game would help with game aesthetics. Most of the time it's done very crudely (like in Knights of the Old Republic) or isn't done at all (Fallout 3). It would be nice to see that done in a different and interesting way. Unfortunately I have no idea what that could entail.

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I Jedi

See: GTA San Andreas/GTA 4 for listening to in-game music.

However, music that goes along with the beat of the game? The is a hard thing to do, in my opinion. I guess one thing that could be done is for the game to pull details from your music tracks and find out if its Jazz, Rock, Classical, etc, and play it based on these factors. 

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DBsantos77

I'm looking forward to Conviction :) I love Splinter Cell. Every single release has been amazing.

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wytworm

Cant buy them if they don't make them! Where is the pipeline?

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kiaghi7

This just in... there is a world wide RECESSION ⌐_⌐

 

NO industry, of any kind anywhere is truly "recession proof", it's an idiotic phrase used to help the inept who think they understand finance and economics feel better when they loose their behinds with an image of scenario or choice with ideal results and absolutely no risk.

If the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) shrinks, there is simply that much less economic pie to divide up amongst all those that want a piece of it, and that includes ALL sectors, albeit some more than others. Traditionally entertainment has been well shielded from economic down turns, but it is not now, nor has it ever been, immune. Certain sub-sections of the microeconomy may very well contract or even collapse while others thrive and boom.

Just look at the tech crash of the turn of the millenium. It took a few years, but eventually people realized that you need more than a website to make money, you actually have to DO something, so the moronic phrase was coined "the tech bubble burst", and that did indeed make many companies with IPO's collapse as a result, but guess what? There were countless others in the tech sector that not only survived but THRIVED before, during, and after that correction. And that is what it was by the way, it was the market realizing that a lot of people made a lot of STUPID decisions, and although it took a while, the concequences of those very bad decisions came to fruition.

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