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Game Sales Don't Equal Mainstream Success

| 13 Aug 2010 16:00
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Through the smoke and mirrors of revenue figures and sales numbers, the videogame industry is implying something to its audience that isn't true, says writer Ronald Meeus.

With sales figures that reach into the tens of millions, and billions of dollars of revenue brought in each year, no one would deny that videogames are a massive industry, and as social and casual gaming become more common, gaming's reach is wider than ever. But In Issue 266 of The Escapist, Meeus argues that a wider reach isn't the same thing as mainstream acceptance, and that all those big numbers are obfuscating the facts.

When you read success stories about a certain videogame or a console, the focus is almost always on total revenue generated during a certain period, like first-week sales statements of popular properties, or mentions in annual revenue reports.

They're mightily relevant numbers when you are trying to make money, in one way or another, from the sale of videogames. They state the fact that the videogame industry is raking in money, so it's a good industry to be in, right? But those sales numbers do not imply that half of the world is playing videogames these days. It's not even close.

Through comparisons with the movie industry, Meeus illustrates that videogames still have a long way to go before they're an accepted part of mainstream culture, and urges gamers to keep a sense of perspective about the industry. You can read more of what he has to say in his article, We Are Not Mainstream.

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