Games industry facing first big crisis

In a chilling warning ahead of the global games industry gathering at E3’s LA Convention Center, Namco Bandai’s VP of sales, marketing and publishing Olivier Comte has outlined what he sees as the unprecedented challenges faced by modern gaming.

I think that today we are seeing the first big crisis of the video games industry,” he told MCV.

There is less money, there’s a high level of piracy, if you go into retail you’ll see 80 per cent of the shelf is made up of second-hand. And there is now a system of new downloadable sales that is becoming very strong.”

Digital is playing an increasingly important part of this transition. Whether you see it as a route to possible salvation or the aggressor that’s causing the problems is a matter of opinion.

Either way, Comte questions the relevance of the digital market in the console sector.

Today digital is a significant part of PC gaming,” he added. We are a Japanese company and Japanese companies are not known for PC titles. But we need to have a product on every platform – including PC – so in that sense digital will start to become more important for Namco Bandai. There is better margin and using a digital platform gives us direct access to the consumer.

But in terms of console, it is a little bit too early to say. The only real business model for digital on consoles is DLC because the consumer will always want to have the box because it is an expensive thing.”

To read MCV’s full interview with Olivier Comte, click here.

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