We still don't know if Grand Theft Auto V will make it to retail in time for Christmas, but even Rockstar's mammoth IP is unlikely to prevent a year of decline in the traditional markets.
Venturebeat reports that analysts predict the release of the game could generate in the region of $700m at US retail. However, with an anticipated year-on-year decline of over ten per cent in the region, Rockstar's title would fall short of reversing the downward numbers.
Given the current momentum of the market, I doubt any major releases, even one of GTA V's size, would push the physical markets back into the positives,” EEDAR's Jesse Divnich told the site.
The traditional gaming sector is under an enormous amount of downward pressure at the moment, and it will require a strong catalyst to shift that momentum.
Indeed, Divnich adds that in these challenging times platform holders will have to be more creative than simply hanging on the next big tiple-A to ensure the success of their consoles.
For instance, they could just make one popular digital game free for a weekend,” he added. The cost would be relatively small if they could work out an agreement with the developer ahead of time.If you think about it, even a top rated triple-A digital title like Flower, Braid, Limbo, Castle Crashers – these games at this point are doing less than $150,000 a weekend.
I am sure any one of the developers would accept, say, a $400,000 payment in order to distribute the game for free for a limited time.”