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back to article Games industry set for $5 BILLION haircut, warn beancounters

The computer games industry is set to see its revenues slip from $46.5bn this year to $41bn by 2019, a new study from Juniper Research has claimed. That's about a 12 per cent drop over the next five years. A new market forecast probing the PC and console games market also predicted that consoles will lose market share, with 50 …

So what will you be playing in 2019?

I will be playing real soccer, real card games, real basketball... with real people. That's how we survived for thousands of years. Some people developed too much dependency on electronic devices, they forgot there is a real life out there.

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It does rain on occasion. Nice to have a PC sitting in the corner to cover the dead time.

Would be nice to have Grand Theft Auto 5 though. Not out on PC yet, despite computers being more profitable.

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there is a real life

RUMORS!

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I think I saw "Life out there"

in the Summer Steam Sim Sale.

Any good?

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So what will you be playing in 2019?

I don't understand the question.

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"I don't understand the question."

Hey, who the hell has been secretly filming me?

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"there is a real life"

"RUMORS"!

Where do you think the pizza delivery place is?

Real life is that awkward interface that turns online goods into tangible things.

It's housed in that big room called 'outside' with the annoyingly bright lighting that's out half time.

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So what will you be playing in 2019?

Star Citizen. It should be out by then.

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Real Life

"I went outside once. The graphics were awesome but the gameplay was terrible"

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Beat me to it. Star Citizen is certainly proving that PC gaming is alive and kicking, and that there are a lot of people out there willing to back its development ($48 million in crowd funding and growing).

Personally, I think the reason why there's all this 'doom and gloom' about the gaming industry is that the subscription model isn't doing so well as casual players prefer the free-to-play plus micro-transaction model. That and a lot of the recent games haven't held the attention of gamers. Oh, there are some good games out there, but they've either taken a long time to get out of open Beta (Firefall's now officially released, for example but was in Beta for years), or they're rushed out in such a bug-ridden state that the game is frustrating to play (Elder Scrolls Online and SWTOR for example).

At least with Star Citizen they've got backers in to test things really early on so they can see (and fix) the problems while the code is still 'wet' :)

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Real soccer?

Will you be beheading your enemy to use as a ball, or have you given in to the modern convenience of purchasing a leather/synthetic substitute?

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Anonymous Coward

My Wife and maybe yours too!

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Profit wouldn't slip if they wrote better games

How many times has Halo been warmed over? Valve gave up on Half-Life. Fallout drags on and on. But how much have these really evolved from release to release? Not much. Basically the same game play, with different graphics and weapons. Whoopee.

Do we see artificial intelligence? No. Not even on the level of Eliza. It's pathetic, really. Why bother mashing the keys all over again when the game is just the same? I'd love to see something that was sketched out with the "Nonplayer" comic. But all we get is a slight variation on the same theme. Ooh, different clothes and weapons! Might as well be Sailor Moon wiping the floor with Barney the Dinosaur.

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Re: Profit wouldn't slip if they wrote better games

"Might as well be Sailor Moon wiping the floor with Barney the Dinosaur."

Now, THAT's what I want to be playing in 2019.

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Re: Profit wouldn't slip if they wrote better games

Complex AI requires a lot of CPU power. PC games could have quite interesting AI but unfortunately most games a hobbled to run on consoles which have relatively weak CPUs. That's not something that's likely to change any time soon since console makers will always favour the GPU over the CPU when costing parts (because better graphics are an easy sell).

Complaining that there's no innovation in the games industry because of tipple As like Halo is rather unfair though. It's like saying that no interesting films are made any more because of Jason Statham. You're just looking in the wrong places.

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Re: Profit wouldn't slip if they wrote better games

"Do we see artificial intelligence? No."

Check out Star Citizen (in development at the moment). They've a team in to specifically develop AI for the game. Their aim is for the NPC's to be as close to indistinguishable to people as they can get it.

Thing is, it's cutting edge. Someone has to invest in it, else it's an expensive path to take and as has been said: You need a powerful machine to run it. That's why most stick to more predictable NPC behaviours, although if you look at Alpha Protocol, you can see some effort towards having different NPC's behave different ways (G22 agents act differently to Mafia goons, who act differently to the VCI mercs). Yes, it's still primative, but it makes a difference when you're facing opponents who hang back and use flash grenades verse those that try to flank you, verse those who want to get in close. Even the likes of Mass Effect shows signs of rudimentary AI in opponents.

So it's getting better, and hopefully soon you'll get your wish :p

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Re: Profit wouldn't slip if they wrote better games

I remember being promised human-like AI and movie-quality graphics when the PS2 was coming out. Fortunately, I didn't hold my breath.

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Anonymous Coward

Is there any industry where these studies that predict the future of some market are actually even a little accurate? Gartner at least seems to always get it wrong...

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Anonymous Coward

'Analysts'

Another day, another 'analyst' pulling figures out of their ass, and getting well paid for it. Where can I get one of these jobs?

That analysis itself might sound a little more believable if not for the fact that the new consoles, the PS4 and XboxOne, have well surpassed sales records for previous generations, and aren't slowing any signs of slowing down. First it was the PC that was dead, then it was the consoles that were dead ...

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Joke

Re: 'Another day, another 'analyst' pulling figures out of their ass'

Well, you can't spell 'analyst' without the word 'anal'...

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Anonymous Coward

What about the increasing Asian and South American markets? Are they not expected to buy into console games?

Will they be mostly PC and online games?

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Well, if other such countries are like mine, the chance they will go with online and PC is high indeed. Console games, for whichever reason, cost about double the US price here, while PC games are actually cheaper than in the US.

While piracy was still rampant the mindshare of console games was, at least, high. Now that the WiiU, PS4, and XBox One have better anti-piracy mechanisms, most people here have never even seen a game running on those consoles, reducing the desire to get them even for those players that can afford to pay over $100 for a single game.

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Trollface

pugs suck

>So what will you be playing in 2019?

Not sure exactly but pretty sure will still be getting annoyed with random pug team mates and still be griefing like I have pretty much done since the birth of modern online games (like waiting on the docks of UOL to steal the newly created ships of n00bs who dropped their hard earned newly bought title in the water and weren't quick enough).. May flash banging your own team and trapping them in corners last forever.

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Pseudo holographic TV and VR

One of either pseudo holographic TV or VR will probably be popular by 2019.

I think the biggest problem faced by games is that they are currently just simulating simple mechanics such as aiming, timing button clicks to onscreen action (rythm action/platformers) etc. To get out of this ghetto and towards a holodeck where you can actually talk to NPCs is going to require strong AI.

So we'll either end up there, or failing to produce better AI we'll have FPSes with ever more lifelike graphics and physics. I think this is where the Analyst's pessimism is coming from as one day diminishing returns on better graphics will set in (maybe around 2019)?

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JLV
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Paris Hilton

confused...

usually we get the "PC games are dead" mantra.

now we are back to PC games saving the day???

Far as game quality goes, it's a bit unfair to expect most new games to be brilliant. I can certainly cite a number of game franchises for having overstayed their welcome.

But every so often a new game comes out that does push the envelope. Not really different from movies, where most of the crop consists of duds. And, like movies, if you wait 6 months or so, you'll get it for much cheaper.

The difference is that many good games have good replay value.

It's also a bit unfair to criticize game AI overmuch, it's not like the non-game AI field is doing that great. With the exception of IBM Deep XYZ and cloud-based machine learning.

Back to finishing Dark Souls 2 and when that's done I'll spin up my Shogun 2 again.

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I'll be running my games on the fastest and most graphically capable tech available as always. Today that is my pc, by 2019 it'll still be a pc with a vr augment.

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So what will you be playing in 2019?

I dunno really. What do you think Gabe? Any chance of an early beta, pre release demo of HL3 by then?

Thought not.

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It's spunkgargleweewee that broke it

The "Generic Shooter" genre has produced a long series of basically identical games for the last few years.

Then there are AAA producers trying very hard to make movies instead of games, bad PC ports with stupid DRM and practically no new IP, just long series.

Show a five minute clip and they could all be the same game.

Is it any surprise that the industry is in trouble?

Almost all the games I own are "Indie".

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Re: It's spunkgargleweewee that broke it

"Then there are AAA producers trying very hard to make movies instead of games"

It's more that the investers and publishers are telling the developers what to develop. This interference and the demand for games to be released to schedule has led to games being released too soon, or developers playing safe and just reskinning an existing game.

The Indi developers are certainly where the innovation is - they just need the funding which, thankfully, the gaming community are starting to supply thanks to crowd funding and the like.

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Linux

Xbone even more doomed

I would hate to be a Microsoft stock holder right now.

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Re: Xbone even more doomed

I would hate to be a Microsoft stock holder right now.

Have you actually looked at their share price for last month, year, even multiple years?

You'd hate to own some of this?

Any PS4 owner would actually really hate XBone to be doomed. Just like XBone owner would hate PS4 to be doomed. The competition is the only thing giving consumers some chance.

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FAIL

Are analysts really *that* thick ?

of is there an element of keeping themselves in work ?

I am heartily sick of responding to every piece of demographic research that "the 50 years of today, are not like the 50 years of 10 years ago."

Now this may sound like it comes from the school of the bleedin' obvious, but it has deep ramifications for the IT industry and those who work in it.

Here's one example, from *my* crystal ball. Phones/Tablets (and their apps) will evolve to take account of the fact that someone who was (say) 45 when they bought their first iPhone, back in 2007, is now 52. With slightly poorer close-vision. They are not going to stop using their new shiny. And given they will be the richer demographic - you can sure as hell guarantee they will be catered for.

We're not stuck in some stratified society. Bear in mind, *some* of todays "silver surfers" were systems programmers in the 60s.

The most hilarious thing is the fact that politicians seem to have missed this ... they seem to base their campaigns on some idea of what society looked like 40 years ago.

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Trollface

2019??

I'd imagine most commentards will still be playing with themselves by then....

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PC? Really?

I have a 5 year old games PC that cost me £1800 (i9550, 8Gb, 4870x2) in Jan 2009. I have upgraded the GFX card once (5870) and now rarely switch it on. Am I going to spend that kind of money on a new PC again?? Not likely. The games selection is poor and repetitive and when I use the PC I am being anti-social as the Mrs is bored downstairs having run out of TV Box sets worth watching. So, I stay on the sofa and play much worse GFX quality games on my tablet. These games are cheaper if not "free" and the quality of gameplay is not that much worse than that £45 3D Shooter I once spent 45hrs playing. Yes, I don't get 2500x1600 pixels of loveliness and the controller is a bit clunky but is it worth the £1000s spent just to play a few games? In the 5 years I have owned that PC, I have played GTA4 + addons, Fallout 3/NV + addons, Borderlands, Rage, Portal 1&2, and Batman Arkham City. GTA and Fallout were worth it and Portal was fun but the rest were dull, repetitive and never got finished. I think I will stick with my Note 10.1 and find some more puzzle games along with the occasional management/sim game and maybe a 1st person shooter if anyone ever produces one worth playing.

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Joke

Re: PC? Really?

Your Mrs must be thrilled by this development.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PC? Really?

You massively over-specced your PC for the games you wanted to play. A top end gaming PC will cost you about a grand, any more than that and you're usually paying hundreds of pounds for an extra couple of FPS in-game. Most of the games you played were either console ports or resource-light Source games. You could have had exactly the same experience with a £500-£600 mid range gaming PC.

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