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back to article UK suffers videogame 2009 sales blow

The games industry is often perceived as going from strength to strength, with titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 claiming record sales figures. But 2009 actually saw UK sales plunge, market watchers said today. Over-the-counter unit sales of console games were down six per cent compared to 2008's figure. Sales of games …

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Terminator

there is only so much you can shoot at

and the dire economy doesn't help either I suppose...

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Stop

Online sales

While the number of over-the-counter sales may have plunged, I bet the number of online sales has soared. This last year has seen the download market for games mature a lot, with services like Steam, Xbox Live and PSN all rolling out stable and easy to use offerings. I never buy PC games in shops any more because I prefer Steam authentication to having to find a DVD to put in the drive, and I also buy console games for download if I can.

Whether they cancel each other out or not I have no idea.

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Coat

Or maybe...

...most of the games released this year were rubbish.

Add this to the fact that so many people have R4 or R4i cards in their NDSs, PSP's can be broken with a Pandora battery, and Wiis and Xboxeses's are easier to crack than a Cadbury's Cream Egg then perhaps the games are still moving, but just not over the counters.

Do these figures take into consideraton all the games or add-ons that are bought ove the internet via Xbox Live or the PlayStation Store?

Mine's the one with the DSi with the R4i, 32Gb micro-SD driven bundle with a few hundred games and some movies on there too

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Jobs Horns

Back to first life

Perhaps the recession signalled the end of playtime for all you crazy kids, and everyone needed to get back to what's real. I'm sure gaming will recover in a year or two.

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Heart

Huh?

As every man + dog will point out - this is over the counter sales.

Over the counter sales are dead long live steam, amazon, play.com.

I will miss it though, nothing quite like walking into Game and being hit by the unique combination of freshly packed videogames and superconcentrated body odour.

Perhaps I should bottle it and sell it to amazon?

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surprise? really?

Game consoles with so short lifespan and its overpriced monopolised games. It is no surprise for no one the low sales, especially at current times. What is a surprise is that they manage to do some sales by lowering their price.

But from the point of view of opening the wallet to buy a games console which would only last one or maximum 2 years until a new replacement comes into the market and where old games aren't compatible... it is a big step that people with bit of common sense aren’t keen on doing.

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Silver badge

Must be piracy

Sales rise, piracy is stopping them rising further

Sales for an obsolete console fall, must be due to piracy

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Well...

Perhaps when the likes of HMV stop trying to charge £36 for games such as Professor Layton and Pandora's Box for the DS in the Christmas run up, then they might shift a few more copies.

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@1of10 Did you read the article?

The console that defined the downward trend is NINE years old. How does the maximum of 2 years even rate in your thinking? The Xbox360 was released in 2005. The PS3 in 2006. Show me ONE computer that can run the most current games at a significant frame rate FOUR to FIVE years after it was first built with NO hardware upgrades. The end of 2005 saw the 360 come out for ~300GBP and this thing http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/desktops/0,39029979,39191376,00.htm for 1620GBP. Which one can still play MW2 online without any significant problems? Which is the better return on investment? Sorry, guess I don't possess common sense, eh?

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Pint

So basically ...

So basically a good year for Sony and Microsoft, and a bad year for Nintendo, leading to an overall drop in sales, mostly focused on the Nintendo handhelds.

But those companies aren't really in the same market any more. Nintendo are making very cool toys; Sony & MS are going forward with the traditional gamer fodder. It's not that surprising that the Wii, whose success was largely due to its novelty, is finding sales slipping. Although I would have thought they'd do well from late adopters, maybe its unavailability in Xmas 2008 has put people off for the long term.

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Silver badge

It's because the games are shit

End of. OK, OK, PC gaming is dying a death thanks to the rise of stupidly powerful console, along with the rise of stupid DRM that continually punishes PC gamers for not being console gamers.

But seriously, how crap are the games these days? Aside from the next Call of Duty or God of War game, what is there to look forward to? What game took your breath away last year and threatened to take your social life with it?

Games just don't draw me in any more. They're high on production values and graphics, and low on innovation. (And before you say it, the Wii turned out to be exactly the useless fad I thought it would be. 101 mindless party games for 6 year olds? No thanks.) I've started playing a lot more "retro" games, because they're simply more entertaining. The occasional game breaks through with great appeal, but on the whole they're bland, generic, and not worth 40 quid a pop.

I know my expectations of games are high - I lived my teenage years straight through the Golden Age of Gaming, and it was *awesome* - but 90% of the crap put out for the modern market simply isn't worth bothering with.

Much like Hollywood, in that respect...

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MJI
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Grenade

Not many I want

>>What game took your breath away last year

Only one - that was Uncharted 2. I also got Assassins Creed 2, better play than 1 but didn't take my breath away. What really says a lot is that I am currently on second go through UC2 and also online multiplayer and have not yet finished AC2.

I don't buy many games, but there are three in production I will get, Gran Turismo 5, Assassins Creed 3, both due this year and they are making Uncharted 3 this year - not sure on release.

If I own a really good replayable game, why would I want to buy a not very good different game.

The Wii has had VERY few decent games 3 or 4 I think (Super Mario Galaxy) - now everyone has a Wii of course the sales are going to drop.

A lot of the DS games are naff and according to someone I know easy to use copied games on, I find it mainly a childrens console, and there are not many decent PSP games (I know of 2 I like).

I think what does say a lot is that the children play the PS2 the most, but I ONLY play the PS3

But I can mention one really good feature of modern consoles, games saves and not having to start from the beginning when you get killed.

Modern games, when they get it right they blow away modern Hollywood cinema.

As before it is a Mk-NDI

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Thumb Up

Hmmmm

"OK, OK, PC gaming is dying a death thanks to the rise of stupidly powerful console, along with the rise of stupid DRM"

I think that's a misconception. I'm not saying PC gaming hasn't had a rough patch or that DRM isn't stupid, but apparently sales of gaming PCs are bigger than all 3 home consoles combined - for that reason alone I would be hesitant to write the market off so readily.

It's easy to see the desires of big publishers like EA who would no doubt PREFER everything to be on a nicely-controllable closed platform with a fixed update cycle, but the reality is that PC gaming is where the real innovation comes from and it's where the vast majority of passionate developers spend their formative years. Right now and for the foreseeable there's nothing the likes of EA can do to stop that.

Besides, most of the real turds in the PC market are turds because they're late, badly-ported console games, and enthusiasts know this (not that I'm saying the market is made up entirely of enthusiasts). There's no shortage of decent games that take proper advantage of the vastly more flexible PC platform and stretch even the most powerful hardware. On a technical level the PC is still untouchable, and that includes the majority of mainstream consumers who don't buy into the latest whizzbang kit.

Do a search on bit-tech.net for "PC gaming" and check out the first few hits, also check out the interview with Richard Huddy of AMD/ATi. Good articles all.

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MJI
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Thumb Up

I bought two last year

Both on the PS3

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Pint

Crap games, perhaps?

Perhaps the neverending stream of football (and other sports) games, and driving games, and half-baked poorly-made games are the cause.

The stupid DRM forced on legitimate purchasers of games have stopped me buying many titles, and MMOs have taken alot of time and money away from sales of new games.

And so many games get plugged as 'must haves' but are actually pretty awful. Mirror's Edge was a perfect example, a weak product overplugged.

It's also very difficult to get to try out games nowadays. Even the demos tend to focus on multiplayer rather than giving us a taste of the single-player experience so we can feel the atmosphere a game will give us.

The other way games could improve would be to be a pay-as-you-play. So you pay purely depending on how far you get into the game. I'd be much happier paying a £5/£10 starting cost and then the rest of the £35-£45 gets charged as I progress through the game. It should be easy to implement through XBox Live or Games for Windows.

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FAIL

No games worth buying

I'm surprised they only dropped 6%. Games have become a production line of FPS and RTS focused on 2 minute multiplayer map play. Too risky to try something new or different. Better to rebadge the game they made last year.

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Pirate

RE:It's because the games are shit #

what a load of ....

Braid ? world of goo ? if you try playing outside the mainstream, you'll find amazing games,

and just to add to your 2 games list ...Assassin's creed 2, there's one, Unchartered 2, another good game

There are just many good games as there use to be (I use to game on a spectrum and MSX, and there were some seriously rubbish games then too).

You might just be getting old :)

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Go

Speccy

"I use to game on a spectrum and MSX, and there were some seriously rubbish games then too"

You sir, just reminded me of YS's Advanced Lawnmower Simulator. Ah the memories...!

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Pirate

Real examples please

If you try "outside the mainstream" there are some gems yes, most of them are little more than glorified flash games however.

I didn't pirate WoG but I kind of wish I had.

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I'm waiting for StarCraft II...

...but apart from that, nothing about the PC gaming world has really interested me since Unreal Tournament 2004.

DRM is responsible for a lot of that, and lack of creativity is responsible for the rest. I don't really care about the price. However, since Nintendo started porting Commodore 64 games to the Wii's Virtual Console, I've bought a few of those games - and marvelled at the fast load times. ;)

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FAIL

Pricing.

There has been no shortage of great games of the 360 at least. I don't have the time to play them all.

The problem for over the counter retailers is that they insist on marking up the prices. Shopping online at Amazon marketplace, Play, ebay and the like will almost always get you about £10 saving.

Drop the prices if you want the sales.

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Crap games?

No, just too much lemming-like behaviour from game developers. Far too many of the next-gen games are either FP or 'over-the-shoulder' shooters, and don't get me started on all those feckin' music and sports games.

I probably won't buy another FPS for a long time.

There is a bit of hope though. Heavy Rain looks very interesting, God of War, GT5... InFamous also had some good ideas. It remains to be seen whether anything will beat MGS4 on the PS3 though. That is the gold standard.

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Grenade

CoD:MW2

"The games industry is often perceived as going from strength to strength, with titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 claiming record sales figures"

Don't know about record sale figures for Modern Warfare 2, but there is a record number of complaints from the PC gamers about MW2.

Main complaint is IWNet is crap and PC gamers want Dedicated Servers back. IWNet uses P2P to run multiplayer games.

IWNet is suppose to have lag free, cheat free gaming experience.

It is not lag free and if whoever is "hosting" the game disconnects you have to wait for IWNet to pick another "host" and if it fails you are thrown back to the lobby and you have to start again.

As for cheat free, wall hacks and aimbots are rife. And some "hosts" have cheats where you can start from level 1 and get to level 70 within 1 match.

Activision/Infinity Ward are doing bugger all about it. They got the gamer's money.

That's probably why they claiming record sales figures, they not giving the players a refund.

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Over the counter

Maybe more people are discovering that over the counter sales from Game, HMV etc are a rip off and have switched to buying online.

Other things it could be are:

Developers/publishers trying to spam us with crap games.

DRM on PC games that stops you from playing the game even though you've paid for it (usually because of a DRM compatibility issue). Thanks UBIsoft I really enjoyed emailing you over those three weeks and fixing it myself.

The huge global recession we seem to still be in.

Games with six hour campaigns being sold at full price.

Etc etc.

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Pint

my bad. sorry bout that.

Probably a recessionary thing... on a near-zero entertainments budget (largely swallowed by two or three event movies a year) I've just moved _up_ to the PS2, now my bro's got his PS3 (he's not so poor - it was running alongside an X360) and the old grey SCPH-3000 has finally read its last black CDR...

Quite happily making my way slowly up the ziggerauts of Gran Turismo 4, SSX Tricky, Shadow of the Colossus, etc. Between that, flash games and emulators, and what native stuff my old laptop can be convinced to run, I don't feel much burning need to splash cash on upgrades. The graphics are plenty good enough, particularly when considering the massive leap up from first-gen 3D and the comparitively subtle improvements going on to 3rd gen (GT5 is shiny alright, and blessed with HDness, but not, ahem, game-changingly so, especially on a 32" TV the other side of the lounge). Any "new" games I buy will likely come from charity shops or pre-owned from Blockbuster and Gamestop, though HMV and the like do have quite a good range of affordable PS2 titles.

USED to be a part of the gaming economy, perversely when I had little to spend (school and student days), but now there's so much quality and choice amongst the older and tail-end stuff, and so much of the new material seems very samey (just look at the editors choice lists for christmas just gone - over 90% is covered by two genres, FPS and murderous-sandbox, and a further 90% with annual release sports titles or homogenous driving games, very few good uniques)....... I can't see the point. Rather spend the money for one game on a few albums, stick the cost of a fast-depreciating console into upgrading the holiday...

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