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Are we seeing another collapse of the games industry?

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  • @Law212 That was a very good video. Not every game needs to re-invent the wheel, but the concept of gimmicks being thrown in as the main feature has urked me for some time.

    There's a reason I don't buy much of anything on launch anymore.

  • I agree about some AAA games that didn't do well are ones I actually liked. The Order: 1886 was one that scored ok...didn't sell great and had some issues...but I really liked it. Bioshock Infinite was a horribly overrated game...I mean I really enjoyed the world and characters...but gameplay was so wash, rinse repeat...which most games probably are...but it had one of the worst end game fights ever.

  • SintacsSintacs Centurion

    Honestly, I've got a lot more enjoyment out of free to play games lately than purchased games. I don't think I can really name a single game I bought that I still play as often as some of the free stuff I play. Probably not a great sign when a free game can hold attention longer than a big budget AAA game.

  • @VanishedNine said:
    I agree about some AAA games that didn't do well are ones I actually liked. The Order: 1886 was one that scored ok...didn't sell great and had some issues...but I really liked it. Bioshock Infinite was a horribly overrated game...I mean I really enjoyed the world and characters...but gameplay was so wash, rinse repeat...which most games probably are...but it had one of the worst end game fights ever.

    I call it Call of Duty: Infinite because it feels so unlike the BioShock franchise, and not because of the change in setting. It's not a bad game, mind you, but it's not as spectacular and the story no where near as much of a "brain fuck" as people said.

    "Burial at Sea" fixed some of that feel and gameplay though, which was nice.

  • @Juxtapose said:

    I agree with you, but these days I think a lot of people will complain. Look at the comments for any announcement of a game delay, and there's usually a lot of internet hate mixed in there.

    True, but I do also read in forums of people who are willing to wait. But there will always be people who complain.

  • SintacsSintacs Centurion

    @wikkiwild1 said:
    True, but I do also read in forums of people who are willing to wait. But there will always be people who complain.

    Yeah, I see this as well, but the negative vocal minority are always the loudest wit things, and tend to be the ones developers are influenced by the most sadly.

  • @EchoGolfSierra said:
    So any of you under about 40 years of age are probably too young to remember this...
    But in about 1983 the gaming industry was worth around 3 Billion annually. Then the wheels fell off and industry revenues plummetted to about less than 100 mill.

    I see this very often repeated as a fact everywhere, but it's not true that gaming ever crashed. The fact is, game development was actually surging even faster at this time!

    TL;DR version: see the chart at bottom of post. Long explanation:

    What actually happened around 1983 is that the Atari-era consoles started losing market-share as people bored of those old systems and moved over to buying the first home computers. When the Commodore 64 came out, who wanted to buy Atari 2600 games? Anyone around at that time knows that the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga etc. were 99% used for gaming, and were flooded with thousands of games. Rather than there being a gaming crash, what really happened is the big mainstream guys lost share and a huge spike in what we'd call indie game development took over on the home computers.

    I read The Ultimate History of Video Games, and I began to see the problem: there is no mention of gaming on home computers at all (except for a very brief couple of pages about the game "Doom." They mention Commodore only to introduce Jack Tramiel because he later ran Atari.) It should have been called The American History of Video Games: Except Home Computer Video Games.

    Further here's a quote from the book: "The American video game market may have crashed in 1983, but the international market continued almost unimpeded. Atari marched on in Europe and Japan. Even the Canadian market remained fairly active throughout most of 1984. Atari, Mattel, even Vectrex sales continued in foreign markets."

    So, first of all, the console market only crashed in the U.S.A., and secondly, no accounting is made of home computer gaming. What I think probably happened is that old-fart Ameri-centric stock market analysts didn't understand these newfangled vidya games, and so the only language they talked was "video game companies." Commodore wasn't a video game company, to them, and they didn't see what was really going on. Games started invading from small European developers instead of being delivered to us by Atari and such.

    I think you'll like this: The story of the size of the gaming industry is told in a chart that MobyGames compiles every year. You can see the latest update at http://www.mobygames.com/forums/dga,2/dgb,3/dgm,233233/

    So check it out: in the broader reality, in early 80s a huge spike in a lot more indie game development on home computers made the industry continue to skyrocket, with a golden age at the peak of the Amiga and start of the SNES. There was more of a fall around 1999. And then look at that next huge spike: Android and iOS bring back another surge in indie game development. NOTE: they explain the apparent drop in 2015/2016 is only due to incomplete data: "Of course, the graph is only as complete as our database is - meaning we currently undercount some new digital game platforms like PC/Mac, digital console, and iOS/Android since we don't 'scrape' those databases automatically - and the dropoff in 2015 and 2016 is because we're still entering newer games into the database."

    It's important to admit this is a look at the industry in terms of the amount of game development and available games, which is the way I prefer to judge it myself. It's not representing the profits of game development. When you really consider all platforms and all of the world outside of the U.S. too, I'd be surprised if anyone really knows the true numbers?

    Juxtapose
  • But for all of that long post above, I do understand that @EchoGolfSierra original post was more about financials... (it's just that the "crash of 1983" always gets me for the reasons shown... haha.)

    I agree that the $100+ full versions of AAA games these days is ridiculous; I worry that younger folk are being really taken advantage of by the marketing of games; the crazy hype, the game company secret deals with YouTubers, games journalists, etc. Meanwhile on Android/iOS, there is a different kind of gold-mining happening... small-but-cheap, or free-to-play-but-pay-to-advance. Micro-transactions. There are generations of gamers coming up after us for whom these revenue models and short-attention-span experiences are entirely normal and acceptable to them.

    I'm kind of fascinated to look back at the chart I linked to in my last post and see that gaming has been most dominated by one company: Microsoft. The number of MS-DOS and Windows games absolutely blows everyone else out of the water... and if you add Xbox, even more so.

    Looking forward, considering Microsoft's gaming industry dominance pretty much since the 80s, it seems wise to pay attention to Project Scorpio and their VR gaming solutions to come?

    Perhaps VR will cause the next spike on the MobyGames chart... and then some kind of indie VR... assuming the technology finally figures all the challenges out so people don't get sick etc.

  • Mecandes, I am not sure I follow your comments or find them especially poignant. Let me preface this by saying I lived, gamed and shopped during this time. Both in North America and around the world. Further I was a console gamer and a PC gamer. Also Having recently gone back to school where I majored in Business accounting and refocused many of my elective courses toward the business of gaming I would feel remiss if I didnt point out a few holes.

    Firstly....pre 1983 there was really NO pc gaming industry unless you want to count text based games.

    Secondly, Your chart displays the number of games released per platform whereas my post spoke to gross revenue. The fact that there were huge numbers of crap games released at this time was the reason for the collapse.
    Atari was almost totally the console gaming industry precrash of 1983. And pre 1983 North America WAS virtually the entire gaming world. Video Gaming existed in the UK Germany and Japan, but on a much smaller scale and was virtually non-existant in global powerhouses like China and the USSR.

    Home PC's pre 1983 literally existed in a handful of homes. Commodore existed back then and had even released a tape drive to play games but it wasnt a significant percent of market share.

    Yes it was Atari that crashed...
    But it was, Industry wide, total revenue that dropped from $3000,000,000.00 to
    100, 000,000.00 so that right there shows you how small NON-Atari based gaming was.

    It should be noted that the arcade industry was still going strong. But they typically occupied real estate in Malls and pool halls not homes.

    Home based video gaming really took it on the chin in 1983. I apologize if I didnt make that distinction clear enough in my original post.

    Now I will agree after the collapse of Atari home based PC games took off. But it is a huge mistake to say that no one wanted Atari back then because PC games were "where it was at".
    A majority of gamers to this day prefer not to PC game and instead opt for owning multiple consoles. This is proven out a few years later when at the absolute height of PC gaming....the NES and sega wars stole the show.

    So I guesss I am a little lost and confused by the point of your post....other than to pick flyshit out of peper????

    :)

    Juxtapose
  • Law212Law212 Centurion

    So all those documentaries about the game crash are all false?

  • @Law212 said:
    So all those documentaries about the game crash are all false?

    not according to my studies, but truth has always been based on perspective according to the jedi.

  • @EchoGolfSierra said:

    @Law212 said:
    So all those documentaries about the game crash are all false?

    not according to my studies, but truth has always been based on perspective according to the jedi.

    The Jedi also believed in the use of a slave army, so...

  • OzziOzzi Centurion
    Well i could see a lot of isssues arising soon.

    Trump plans to tariff games. Not to mention exclude mexico from nafta.

    All of the cases and discs are produced in mexico.
  • RajioRajio Centurion

    well it also depends what you consider the 'game industry' doesnt it? a lot of time people consider it the 'console industry' and even then they consider a few major players, not the rest of the industry as a whole. so if, say Atari crashes, in the mid 80s, does that mean the whole industry crashes?

    i should actually look at the data.

    Sintacs
  • @Ozzi said:
    Well i could see a lot of isssues arising soon.

    Trump plans to tariff games. Not to mention exclude mexico from nafta.

    All of the cases and discs are produced in mexico.

    That may simply push digital distribution more.

  • @Law212 said:
    So all those documentaries about the game crash are all false?

    Just because something is labeled as a "documentary" does not make it true. Looking at you Michael Moore.

  • Law212Law212 Centurion

    @Lactos said:

    @Law212 said:
    So all those documentaries about the game crash are all false?

    Just because something is labeled as a "documentary" does not make it true. Looking at you Michael Moore.

    Are you now going to claim all of Moore's documentaries are false?

    Also, why would the big names in game development at the time all lie and take part in the collapse conspiracy?

  • I dont want to paraphrase anyone...but what I think Mecandes was saying is the collapse was an Atari only collapse and was limited to North America.

    Whereas my point is in 82-83 Atari was the video game industry since it's revenue made up 80% of the global gaming revenue.

    Like most things it is about perspective....This applies to Mr Moore as well. His shows are factual top a point but display a very narrow perspective.
    Actually Moore and Trump are just different sides of the same coin. and you need both sides of that coin to spend it!

    Juxtapose
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