Black Ops sold two million copies in its first four days, in comparison with Take That’s latest album which sold 520,000 copies in its first week (itself being the biggest first week album sales of the century).
Games are developing at such an incredible pace and it’s evident to everyone that sales are increasingly concentrated on a smaller and more select group of high quality titles at the top end of the market, making success in the gaming business more challenging than ever.
We all know the creation of such high quality titles is hugely expensive but I firmly believe the era of the blockbuster game is here to stay and as such we need to remain as focused as we’ve ever been on developing strong franchises and introducing new IP.
That said, it’s also fascinating to watch gaming rapidly diversifying into so many new areas. We’ve already enjoyed a successful transition into the casual gaming market and most recently Just Dance 2 and Michael Jackson: The Experience have performed really well, showing that there is still life in the Wii market – particularly in the dance genre which seems to be thriving.
In fact, not only are we immensely proud of the 1.4m units that the original Just Dance has sold, it’s incredible to see it still selling 20,000 to 25,000 units each week, even after the launch of the sequel.
But 2011 will be interesting in terms of gaming growing in the digital/online space. Ubisoft will have a greater focus on web-based games and games delivered via mobile platforms or via XBLA and PSN. These new channels will undoubtedly come with new challenges but also lots of new opportunities we hope.
My closing highlight is focused on the technological innovations of the year – the Kinect and PlayStation Move launches.
These have given publishers the opportunity to develop our game experiences even further, thereby continuing to evolve gaming as a whole.
It is this evolution of technology that has spearheaded our industry and makes it one of the most exciting places I could imagine working.
Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2011 to all.