It’s no secret that the biggest games of the year also receive the most marketing. This year, Halo 4, Medal of Honor Advanced Warfighter, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II are bound to pull in record numbers once again this holiday season as the do every time they are released. Even fun little success stories like Borderlands 2 and New Super Mario Bros. 2 have been raking in the big bucks, all thanks to the crazy amounts of money put into their advertising.
However, a recent trend unveiled by Gamasutra has shown that the success of these games is actually hurting the overall video game industry. Video game sales of the top 20 games of the year have remained constant at around $2.5-$3 billion for the last five years.
On the other hand, the sales figures from the remaining games of the year has been dropping sharply going from $4.2 billion at its peak in 2008 to roughly $2.2 billion estimated this holiday season at a rate of about an 11% drop. Gamers are becoming more and more picky with their money and would obviously rather buy a game they saw on TV rather than something they might never have heard about.
The article’s writer, Matt Mathews, told Joystiq his opinion of the disappearing “middle-tier titles.”
“Consider games like Sleeping Dogs and Darksiders 2, each of which sold under 300,000 units in August and then disappeared from the top 10 by September,” Matthews says. “These middle-tier titles fall by the wayside when they don’t get the first-class promotions of titles like New Super Mario Bros. 2, which is now over 500,000 units in its second month on a platform with fewer than 6 million owners.”
“However, I think it likely that other titles, like say XCOM: Enemy Unknown, are on the edge and at risk of being overlooked by gamers who appear to have become more discerning with the money they’re spending on games.”
Sounds like the American population is not the only place with a disparaging wealth gap crippling its overall economy and destroying the middle class. BOOM! Now, that was topical.
Check out the Gamasutra article. It’s a fascinating analysis on the state of the video game marketplace.