From one of the world’s fastest booming markets a decade or so ago, we now read the news with half an expectation to hear that another studio has gone under – or a chain of game-selling stores has pulled down its shutters for the last time.
It’s with a sense of relief that the games industry is counting its takings from Easter. KitGuru pulls out an honest copy of Excel.
The gurus of old (you know, the ones in bright robes, who sat beneath trees in the Far East, contemplating the movement of branches etc) were fond of saying that you cannot know darkness, without seeing the light.
For the UK games industry, ‘the light’ was November 2010, where titles like Black Ops and technologies like the launch of Kinect, helped bring more than £113 million into the UK retailers coffers. In a single week.
Easter 2013 is the first time in 2013 that weekly sales have gone past £20 million. There’s the darkness for you.
‘Joy’ in 2013 measures up at around 1/6th the sales volume from the best week ever – just a few short years ago.
The previous 2 weeks only managed £24m – between them.
That’s an average, over those 2 weeks, which is around 10% of the best week ever.
It’s like taking a household that used to run on £2,270 a month ($3,400) and then seeing if they can live on £53 a week ($80). According to some experts, it can be done, but they don’t seem to be volunteering to try it.
Even worse, is just how skewed the sales were for this £20m – with a huge chunk of that being delivered by BioShock: Infinite.
For the other hapless games that were also launched to take advantage of the season’s increase in game revenue, there was a lot of scrambling to cover costs for Army of Two, Tiger Woods, Sly Cooper and Lego City.
The fight against pure evil was immensely popular over the Easter break.
KitGuru says: If the move t0 4k screens comes along next year, then things will become even tougher for game companies as the ‘biggest and best’ games could end up costing more to produce – while at the same time having a smaller target audience available of people who have the right set up to buy them. Against that backdrop, support from nVidia, Intel and AMD for new titles will be crucial. Surely.
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