Video Games Industry Has Superman Moment
Back in those heady days in October when financial excrement hit fans worldwide, Playstation boss Kaz Hirai said that the video games industry would be just fine, and it looks like he was quite right. The Xbox 360 has had its strongest European sales month ever in the last month, with sales up 124% on a year ago, while US industry-wide sales are up 25% so far this year. Insert your own Revenge Of The Nerds quote here.
With 75m consoles out there, the software companies are also cleaning up, as are games retailers. Game recently posted a quarterly sales rise much to the chagrin of everyone else on the high street, but said that sadly its growth wasn’t quite as much as the 24-fold profit increase last year, after which Arcadia, Woolworths et al booed and flicked things at them. We can also presume that HMV’s stability isn’t down to sales of CD singles.
And pixel-hawkers everywhere will be heartened by results released today of a survey done in the States that shows we’re all increasingly likely to get in on the game action, and that pretty much every kid (97%) in America plays video games. More surprising stats – half of women play them and a quarter of over-65’s play them, though consoles tend to be more popular with teenagers, with 38% of adult game-players using computers to play lame games that don’t involve a plastic guitar.
But the one stat that will tiresomely get pounced on by the games-are-art brigade is that 57% of adults with a college education playing games, versus 40% of those with just a high school education. See, games make you clever! Or are just an escape for clever people into a world of make-believe. Or they’re still not an option for those on low wages. Just a thought.
With Eidos, Rockstar, Traveller’s Tales and other developers all based in the UK, our gaming industry is strong, though it’s predicted to slip in the world rankings thanks to other countries giving tax breaks to their developers while we carry on charging them. Well, it’s to be expected – Gordon Brown’s an X Factor man. Can’t see him and Darling shaking away their troubles with a bout of ABBA Singstar of a Saturday night.