Despite the popularity of the Wii and DS leading Microsoft and Sony to expand their casual appeal, the games industry may have to depend on its more traditional ‘core' market to surviving the economic crisis.
A report from Associated Press states core gamers a proving crucial” to giving the industry a better chance of success than other businesses that rely on discretionary spending vulnerable to the recession, thanks largely to their loyalty and willingness to buy games regularly.
IDC video games analyst Billy Pidgeon said: As long as hardcore gamers have a job, there will continue to buy games.”
Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan, estimates core gamers account for around half of all video game sales, adding: They may be wealthy, they may be poor, but they have no clue we are in a recession.”
In 2007, games hardware and software sales amounted to $18 billion in the US. The NPD group predicts this number will increase to $22 billion for 2008, even with discretionary budgets suffering reductions. By contrast, US consumer spending on home video has declined, slipping by 2.4 per cent to $14.2 billion for the first three quarters of the year.