A year to remember

Despite traditionally being the quieter time of the year, the first six months saw new iterations in the Metal Gear Solid, Devil May Cry, Grand Theft Auto, Mario Kart, Gran Turismo and Super Smash Bros. franchises – and that’s not including the release of a certain Wii Fit.

There’s been no let up this Christmas either. November 14th was hailed as the biggest release day in the industry’s history, with many anticipating one of the most lucrative Q4 periods ever. And with releases such as Gears of War 2, LittleBigPlanet, Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia, World of Warcraft, Fable II, Left 4 Dead, Wii Music, Call of Duty, FIFa ’09, Need for Speed, Sonic Unleashed and Football Manager, who can blame them?

Yet it’s not been a simple case of sticking the games on the shelves and watching the money roll in. For all the positives, 2008 has also been one of the most competitive years so far. There is a host of new retailers stocking games – including Borders, The Entertainer and Next – GAME and Gamestation are opening new stores (as are certain independents), whilst supermarkets, DVD retailers and toy shops are continuing to expand and widen their game ranges.

And on top of all of that, the retail community has had to deal with intense price cutting from the supermarkets, economic uncertainty, the fall of Woolworths and EUK, too many new releases, last minute VAT cuts and even stock shortages.

So it’s with this understanding that Christmas Day can’t come round soon enough. A chance to walk away from the crowds, put the economy to the back of your mind and enjoy the fruits of a hard earned rest.

The games industry has managed another record-breaking year in the face of intense economic turmoil, and we all deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.

So stuff the turkey, pull the crackers and sip the Christmas Wine. You deserve it. For you never know what 2009 may bring…

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