Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not Going Up

The Reporter notes that feature animation's sister art-form has had twenty-four months of not great news:

Video Game Industry Slumps for Second Straight Year

Marking a rarity for the industry, sales of new video games, hardware and accessories in the U.S. were down for the second straight year, according to data released Thursday from NPD.

The research firm said 2010 revenue generated from purchases of new items was at $18.6 billion, off 6% from $19.7 billion the year earlier. ...

For a business that spent years shooting up like a rocket, back to back "negative growth" (as the euphemism goes) must be disconcerting. And there's a lot of people who move from games to c.g.i. features and back again. So this must be a nervous time for many of them.

Sadly, nothing goes in one direction forever.


Anonymous said...

Don't get too nervous:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that both movies and games have been in a slump. The anti-stereoscopic crowd blames the moviegoing slump on stereoscopic films and their higher prices. On what do they blame the slump in the games industry?

J. said...

Note that this article only talks about NEW purchases, because overall more games and accessories are being sold than last year but buyers have been choosing USED games and consoles (consumers choose "cheaper" rather than "new" in a recession). And the company that benefits from used game sales, Gamestop, had a 38% increase in net profit in 2009. It was such an increase that other major stores such as Best Buy are joining the used game market.

It is an interesting predicament for the 3 major game companies (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) because they are being punished for their own longevity and ubiquity. All the consoles and portables have been around for 4-5 years, and none have had a significant price drop in the last 18 months to spur "new" purchases.

Finally, these sales don't include the revenue from mobile games (re: iPhone, Angry Birds, etc) which are also eating away at the big 3's gamer market. And sadly, not many iPhone game studio are a viable employer for feature animators.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, the videogame-animation hybrid Epic Mickey is a hit:

Great news. The game successfully reintroduces the long-lost Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and gives Mickey back his classic look and personality. Who knows, maybe more animation - feature film animation, hopefully - concerning both characters will be the result. Win-win!

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