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Video Game Industry Better than Ever?

November 27, 2008

Contrary to my previous entry and according to this article from the Dallas Morning News the video-game industry is still hitting the right buttons.

  • Sales are up 18% in October.
  • “November has been solid, too…”
  • Wallet of the Lich King sold 2.8 million copies in the first 24 hours.
  • Gears 2 sold 2 million copies over the weekend.
  • GameStop forecasts sales to grow 10-15% next year.

The article highlights what it calls the “nesting effect” – consumers staying home and needing some home-based entertainment. With stats like these, we can assume:

  • Blizzard and Epic have more money than they could ever possibly need
  • Blizzard and Epic are hiring
  • GameStop forgets we’re heading toward full digital delivery, and so their forecast of “next year” and not the subsequent years is a wise one.

Another bright spot – in a comment to a previous thread, Yehuda Berlinger notes that he was able to catalog 6,000 jobs in the game industry last year. Could they possibly have all dried up? It seems unlikely.

Still, there is the news:

  • EA reported a second quarter loss of $310 million vs $195 million loss last year. For that price, they could have purchased over 5 million copies of Gears 2.
  • NC Soft, EA, Midway, High Moon, THQ and Radical Entertainment have either had layoffs or closed multiple studios.
  • Gearbox recently fired 25 employees in an effort to trim the fat.
  • Wired.com even has a layoff tracker (scroll down for it). CNet has one, too. For specific Boston, Seattle and San Diego layoff trackers see here.

Have I, have we, bought into the culture of fear around consumer confidence? Is it worse out there? As a game industry employee, are you feeling less secure than you were before, about the same or more secure? If you want to post anonymously, just email your response to me, and I will post it separately: first initial at my whole name dot com.

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