The UK may be out of the recession – but publisher bosses are mindful of a slow recovery for video games.
UK GDP rose just 0.1 per cent during Q4 2009, and industry heads are wary of the prospect of a ‘double dip recession’ – where the UK economy re-enters a downturn.
This caution is further backed up by GfK Chart-Track figures that show game sales for January are significantly down compared to the same period the year before.
“I’m delighted that we have seen the green shoots, although I suspect we should wait before ordering the champagne,” said Activision UK MD Andrew Brown.
“2010 will still be a challenging year for the industry and I expect not only consumers, but also retailers and publishers will take a cautious approach. Some of the trends are likely to continue for a while, such as the big getting bigger and vice versa. Overall I remain optimistic.”
Rising Star MD Martin Defries added: “I’m not booking the holiday yet. A recession is when GDP figures are negative for two successive three month periods, but a recovery is merely one three month period. Double-dip recession will be the zeitgeist expression of choice for a while yet.”
Meanwhile, Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens feels the games industry should be optimistic for the year ahead.
“There needs to be a culture of optimism and aspiration as a motivational stimulus,” he said. “Digital revenues are growing and providing more opportunity if games design is adapted to take advantage of it.
“The business model should change and the constituent parts of the industry should work together to make sure it is economically viable, being mindful that a revolutionary shift is happening.”