Hardcore Gamers Sticking to Retail

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Hardcore Gamers Sticking to Retail

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A new report claims that rumors of the demise of retail have been greatly exaggerated.

The widely-held belief that gamers are rushing en masse to embrace a digital future is only partially true, according to a new report from analyst firm Wedbush Morgan. Casual and social gamers are definitely making the move and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, but it seems that "hardcore" gamers actually have a preference for retail. Because of that, the report says the "packaged goods business" should be viewed by the industry as two distinct sectors: hardcore games, selling primarily on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and casual, which focus on the Wii and DS.

"Our thesis has been borne out by the 2011 figures (according to the NPD Group), with Xbox 360 software sales up 12 percent, PS3 software sales up four percent, DS software sales down 21 percent and Wii software sales down 31 percent," the report says. It goes on to note that the slide of Wii software sales is "largely correlated to growth in free-to-play social games," while the DS is being victimized by mobile and tablet games.

That's not to say that things aren't changing among the hardcore demographic. Core gamers have become more selective about what they buy, resulting in a growth of "top-tier" games even as overall sales have slowed. Software sales are expected to continue to decline through the summer but then bounce back for the holiday season and even to a position of overall growth for 2012, driven by a strengthened release schedule and demand for 3DS and PS Vita games and the forthcoming Wii U, which will slow - but not stop - the slide of casual and mobile sales at retail.

Source: GamesIndustry

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Doesn't seem to suggest WHY certain gamers are sticking to retail. I'd be curious to know that. Further study needed, perhaps, unless the reports haven't picked up on it.

Would be nice if they included pc in those numbers..

Well this is certainly good to hear. I was starting to loose faith in gamers.

I honestly have to hope that the reason why is that gamers are starting to understand what these people are doing and how they are tryin to destroy sections of the industry in the name of corporate greed and profit.

Kudos people, regardless of the reasoning, youve done the right thing. Please carry on.

The only time I buy a physical game from the shop is either:

a) impulse buy; Ive been shopping in the city centre, I see a game shop and decide, "Oh, just a quick look then..."
b) its for the console; Ive yet to buy a digital title on the 360. Ive got two 360s in the house and its nice to have the option to easily switch between which one Im playing on.
c) its a special edition pack and comes with random goodies.

Oirish_Martin:
Doesn't seem to suggest WHY certain gamers are sticking to retail. I'd be curious to know that. Further study needed, perhaps, unless the reports haven't picked up on it.

Speaking for myself, I prefer physical media. I don't like the idea that Sony or Microsoft can arbitrarily decide I'm not entitled to content I've paid for... either because I've violated their ever-changing TOS or just on a whim. (Although Sony seems to have figured that one out even for media-based games. Way to go, Sony!)

Linking "hardcore and softcore" to consoles is such an horrible thing to do.

I would sincerely consider a Wii owner which plays Madworld and No More Heroes more hardcore than a ps3 owner that plays only CoD.

Oirish_Martin:
Doesn't seem to suggest WHY certain gamers are sticking to retail. I'd be curious to know that. Further study needed, perhaps, unless the reports haven't picked up on it.

That's the interesting question, definitely. A lot of it ties into the definition of "hardcore" as well. For me it's a question of ownership: A game isn't "mine" unless it's in a box, on my shelf. I suspect that's the case for a lot of gamers. It's not particularly rational, since even most retail games are dependent on some kind of online component these days, but the games I "own" are the ones I can look over and see. Games on Steam, GOG, Origin, etc., don't fit that bill.

Mortuorum:

Oirish_Martin:
Doesn't seem to suggest WHY certain gamers are sticking to retail. I'd be curious to know that. Further study needed, perhaps, unless the reports haven't picked up on it.

Speaking for myself, I prefer physical media. I don't like the idea that Sony or Microsoft can arbitrarily decide I'm not entitled to content I've paid for... either because I've violated their ever-changing TOS or just on a whim. (Although Sony seems to have figured that one out even for media-based games. Way to go, Sony!)

Oh sure, I can appreciate that, I currently prefer physical media also for a few other reasons.

My point though is that these arguments seem to have been thrashed out online time and time again, but some actual data from a survey, e.g., would be welcome.

viranimus:
Well this is certainly good to hear. I was starting to loose faith in gamers.

I honestly have to hope that the reason why is that gamers are starting to understand what these people are doing and how they are tryin to destroy sections of the industry in the name of corporate greed and profit.

Kudos people, regardless of the reasoning, youve done the right thing. Please carry on.

Really? You are happy that a shit retailer like GameStop still gets support from it's blind customers?

Mortuorum:

Speaking for myself, I prefer physical media. I don't like the idea that Sony or Microsoft can arbitrarily decide I'm not entitled to content I've paid for... either because I've violated their ever-changing TOS or just on a whim. (Although Sony seems to have figured that one out even for media-based games. Way to go, Sony!)

Still no reasing to stick to normal retail. Especially if it is a chain like GameStop or GAME. *hint hint, online retailer*

But these figures arnt that correct as its all dependent on what titles are released. No good AAA titles released means shops make less money. Even "hardcore gamers" (guess they game on sides of mountains or something) are not going to spend money on crappy games just to keep shops from closing.

Tubez:
Would be nice if they included pc in those numbers..

That's assuming enough stores still sell PC games to be counted, and not removed as anomalies.

Tubez:
Would be nice if they included pc in those numbers...

PC gamers say, "Who the *#$% goes to a store?"

viranimus:
Well this is certainly good to hear. I was starting to loose faith in gamers.

I honestly have to hope that the reason why is that gamers are starting to understand what these people are doing and how they are tryin to destroy sections of the industry in the name of corporate greed and profit.

Kudos people, regardless of the reasoning, youve done the right thing. Please carry on.

Really? Because I live for a future with zero retailers and matter compilers.

Oirish_Martin:
Doesn't seem to suggest WHY certain gamers are sticking to retail. I'd be curious to know that. Further study needed, perhaps, unless the reports haven't picked up on it.

I think a good chunk of that may come down to the infrastructure in the US sucking. A lot of people don't have the means to download, either because they lack broadband or because they don't have the speeds to make it viable.

This is why I think the DD model will be a while before it becomes the norm, more than any real objections or people who hang on to the physical model.

Though further study would be needed to see why, and how much.

I forget... is a "hardcore" gamer defined by how much they play, or what they play?

Andy Chalk:

Oirish_Martin:
Doesn't seem to suggest WHY certain gamers are sticking to retail. I'd be curious to know that. Further study needed, perhaps, unless the reports haven't picked up on it.

That's the interesting question, definitely. A lot of it ties into the definition of "hardcore" as well. For me it's a question of ownership: A game isn't "mine" unless it's in a box, on my shelf. I suspect that's the case for a lot of gamers. It's not particularly rational, since even most retail games are dependent on some kind of online component these days, but the games I "own" are the ones I can look over and see. Games on Steam, GOG, Origin, etc., don't fit that bill.

The hilarious part being that games that you get from GOG are probably more yours than most of the games you get in a box. But I get what you're saying.

1) The study if void since it doesn't say anything about PC's.

2) The middleman is the root of all evil.

A very interesting article, which I'm very glad to see :)

There's no Steam equivalent for XBox360 or PS3 for top-tier games. If you want to buy Skyrim for your XBox360, you get it at retail, you don't decide "retail or download?". Once that discrepancy is solved, game retailers are going to find themselves in the same position that music and book retailers have been facing. Obsolete.

And... PC gamers aren't considered Hard Core now?

SinisterDeath:
And... PC gamers aren't considered Hard Core now?

If you give more than 400 dollars for a machine you ain't hardcore enough. :P

TheKasp:

viranimus:
Well this is certainly good to hear. I was starting to loose faith in gamers.

I honestly have to hope that the reason why is that gamers are starting to understand what these people are doing and how they are tryin to destroy sections of the industry in the name of corporate greed and profit.

Kudos people, regardless of the reasoning, youve done the right thing. Please carry on.

Really? You are happy that a shit retailer like GameStop still gets support from it's blind customers?

Mortuorum:

Speaking for myself, I prefer physical media. I don't like the idea that Sony or Microsoft can arbitrarily decide I'm not entitled to content I've paid for... either because I've violated their ever-changing TOS or just on a whim. (Although Sony seems to have figured that one out even for media-based games. Way to go, Sony!)

Still no reasing to stick to normal retail. Especially if it is a chain like GameStop or GAME. *hint hint, online retailer*

Why would I want to pay either the same price or more for a game and then have to wait a week for it to get there.

Pyrian:
There's no Steam equivalent for XBox360 or PS3 for top-tier games. If you want to buy Skyrim for your XBox360, you get it at retail, you don't decide "retail or download?". Once that discrepancy is solved, game retailers are going to find themselves in the same position that music and book retailers have been facing. Obsolete.

^That for starters. Probably the other reason why the "hardcore console gamers" aren't flocking to digital downloads is since for those that can be downloaded from the live/sen(whatever the psn is called now? I have it and still don't know...) tend to retail at the same price or higher than the physical copy of the game which should put off the majority of people.

Well we know this isn't true because GameStop and the like don't sell PC games anymore, just softcore console stuff. ;)

Das Boot:

Why would I want to pay either the same price or more for a game and then have to wait a week for it to get there.

A week? I have to wait 3 days if I import a game, less than a day if I buy it in my country.

And why? Well, maybe because you can get games for less without supporting a shitty store that gives even less shit about you than amazon?

TheKasp:

Das Boot:

Why would I want to pay either the same price or more for a game and then have to wait a week for it to get there.

A week? I have to wait 3 days if I import a game, less than a day if I buy it in my country.

And why? Well, maybe because you can get games for less without supporting a shitty store that gives even less shit about you than amazon?

But I cant get them for less. Literally amazons prices just cant compete they are to expensive.

Maybe if Sony and Microsoft's online stores for their consoles weren't so sub-par, you'd see the market picking up a little more.

There is a reason that PC gaming went from slowly dying to being a major force in the market again, and it's due to strong digital distribution services.

Jahandar:
Well we know this isn't true because GameStop and the like don't sell PC games anymore, just softcore console stuff. ;)

My PS3 is pretty picky about codecs, but I can get some pretty hardcore stuff on there.

Wait, what were we talking about again?

Perhaps by hardcore here they mean 'anyone not playing on Facebook or App store?'

TheKasp:

Really? You are happy that a shit retailer like GameStop still gets support from it's blind customers?

Its better than blind customers giving support to publishers who would screw up not only the game industry but ALL industries in the name of their profits.

Azuaron:

Really? Because I live for a future with zero retailers and matter compilers.

Perhaps that is a noble goal, But you live for a future that would see media centric companies reach unmitigated levels of greed and basically obliterate entire industries and cripple the entire economic structure. So unless your suggesting you live for a future devoid of money and commerce, then your living for a future of economic annihilation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is not about gamestop, despite their picture being on the front of the article. Its about All retailers physical who sale games, Walmart, Kmart, Best buy, Target, Sears, ect ect ect, and thats just in the US alone. However, Gamestop has its place in the market because basically the used market is the only thing that regulates the market. Without it, prices inflate due to less people buying new. Prices stagnate, because there is no direct competition or any reason to lower the price. Do you REALLY need proof? Simply compare a PC exclusive whereas it is not subject to used markets in the same way that consoles are. Look at the MSRP of say, Starcraft 2 as a PC exclusive, versus Halo Reach. In 2012, MSRP for SC2 is STILL 49.99, whereas Halo Reach is 25.99. Both equally large fan bases supporting the games, Both well made games, but because there is no active competition to drive the price down, Star craft 2 still 2 years later sells at the same price of a brand new release.

But I digress, the point is physical retail. With physical retail we still hold rights of ownership with the freedom to sell or trade what we have bought instead of being a license to use. The rise of digital distribution is also the reason why we keep seeing Generation 8 consoles will not allow used games rumors repeatedly coming up, because it is plausible.

TL;DR
This isnt done to ensure those starving artists who make between 40-80k a year are getting fed. Its to maximize the profits to the corporation behind it by cutting out the middle men and putting tens to hundreds of thousands of people out of work in the process. Remember that. When you try to get behind the noble intention of artists getting paid, what your really doing is being blinded at all the peoples lives you would potentially ruin for no other reason than to allow the rich get richer.

Das Boot:

TheKasp:

Das Boot:

Why would I want to pay either the same price or more for a game and then have to wait a week for it to get there.

A week? I have to wait 3 days if I import a game, less than a day if I buy it in my country.

And why? Well, maybe because you can get games for less without supporting a shitty store that gives even less shit about you than amazon?

But I cant get them for less. Literally amazons prices just cant compete they are to expensive.

Where the hell are you shopping because it sure aint gamestop? They're always the last to drop new prices and their used prices are $2-3 short of new. I occasionally see better prices than amazon in some stores but not gamestop.

Yea, I like physical copies too but I wont even walk into a Gamestop unless I have a giftcard or something. That place is such a ripoff.

About the article:
I find it interesting that the console that moved the most units is selling the least amount of software. The industry is definitely not healthy. Unfortunately it seems that the most interesting games are on the consoles that have not saturated the market as well so the best games have the smaller market to sell to.

GonzoGamer:

Where the hell are you shopping because it sure aint gamestop? They're always the last to drop new prices and their used prices are $2-3 short of new. I occasionally see better prices than amazon in some stores but not gamestop.

Yea, I like physical copies too but I wont even walk into a Gamestop unless I have a giftcard or something. That place is such a ripoff.

See I have never understood this argument of yours. It may just be because I live in Canada but gamestops/EBs prices are always really good. They constantly have amazing sales and give a ton in credit if your trading in for a new game. For example I got Assassins Creed Revelations for $30 not that long ago.

viranimus:

This is not about gamestop, despite their picture being on the front of the article. Its about All retailers physical who sale games, Walmart, Kmart, Best buy, Target, Sears, ect ect ect, and thats just in the US alone. However, Gamestop has its place in the market because basically the used market is the only thing that regulates the market. Without it, prices inflate due to less people buying new. Prices stagnate, because there is no direct competition or any reason to lower the price. Do you REALLY need proof? Simply compare a PC exclusive whereas it is not subject to used markets in the same way that consoles are. Look at the MSRP of say, Starcraft 2 as a PC exclusive, versus Halo Reach. In 2012, MSRP for SC2 is STILL 49.99, whereas Halo Reach is 25.99. Both equally large fan bases supporting the games, Both well made games, but because there is no active competition to drive the price down, Star craft 2 still 2 years later sells at the same price of a brand new release.

Blizzard game are not good for such example, until recently the Diablo 2 battlechest was still selling for $49.99 and the Starcraft battlechest didn't start to go down in price until a few months before Starcraft 2 release. They kind of have an history for keeping price high for extremely long time.

Seems like a bunch of bullcrap.

I think they stick to brick and mortar retailers, because that's pretty much the only option they have, yes, digital distribution exists on the 360 and PS3, but they're obscenely expensive.

I still think that a Steam-like model could do wonders if the next consoles are to embrace digital distribution.

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