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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The industry is in for a gaming crash

The industry is in for a gaming crash

"Rant Flush the toilet I say

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usWith all the hoopla surrounding the Xbox 360 launch, the impending release of the PS3 and the Revolution, things couldn't be better right?

Mainstream media is recognising gaming as something that a wider demographic than goths-with-guns(tm) and overweight basement dwellers do, and the industry is raking in more money than Hollywood. The problem is that they are facing the same problems as the moribund entertainment industry, and we could be on the verge of another 80s style crash.

Is the apocalypse nigh? I sure think so. The last one happened at the height of Atari's power, they were invincible, pumping out hit after hit. Pac-Man, ET, Asteroids, movie tie-ins, overflowing arcades and a rabid fan base. They were in the spotlight of the mainstream press, songs making the top 10, and money coming out of their ears. What could go wrong?

To start with, a flood of games that, for lack of a better term, sucked. There were gems, but they tended to get drowned out in a sea of mediocrity. Magazines were afraid to give big titles a bad review, and scores creeped up in the name of advertising dollars. Comic books were awash in ad pages for the latest Parker Brothers 2600 cartridge, and the magazines covering the industry were thick and glossy.

Throughout the era, there was an underlying theme, originality and creativity. Rocks floating around to shoot? Eating dots in a maze? Aliens moving left, right and inexorably downward? Centipedes? Who thinks this stuff up, and what were they taking? As an aside, from what I am told, if they were working at Atari, the answer is just about everything you can possibly imagine. Things could not possibly get better.

Then it all crashed, almost overnight. A string of big budget titles sapped the money from some companies, and the public soured after purchasing one lemon too many. The industry died, almost before anyone realized it. The 2600, Colecovision, Intellivision and others made way for a string of mediocre market failures like the 5200 and 7200, all of which probably didn't make dollar one.

The industry went dormant until a tiny playing card company from somewhere across an ocean came out with a clunky little box called the NES. Before you can say phenomenon, the industry was alive again, and has been building up steadily to this day." [more]

Blogger Andy
Some interesting points but I think between the then and now is that now the industry is a mature one with a fairly well established user base. I don't think it will fall apart again unless something actually takes consumers away from it.  

Blogger D.Vader
Furthermore, the industry as a whole encompasses so much of the entertainment sector now. One thing people always spend money on, good times or bad is entertainment.

The situation is much different now. Gaming platforms are much more prudent with who develops and what gets on the machines now.  

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