A couple of stories this week highlighted the current boom in games. Not only were analyst forecasts for UK game sales doubled recently, but Chief Exec of HMV Simon Fox told The Sun:
“Within the next 12 to 18 months, it’s possible games will be bigger than music for us.
“Music is in our DNA and we are totally committed to it. But the fact is, the market is moving away from music — so we are giving more space in our stores to games.”
Mr Fox was speaking as HMV revealed sales from the end of April to last Sunday were up 4.1 per cent on the previous 12 months.
He said computer games enjoyed the fastest growth, thanks to products like Grand Theft Auto IV, Wii Fit, Mario Kart and Brain Training.
He added: “In games, we grew by just over 50 per cent, ahead of the market.”
Speculation has also been flying around that Google will start publishing games. Forbes write:
There’s no question the company wants a part of the $18 billion videogame industry. The real question is: What is it planning to do to get it?
It seems they have the resources and staff in place, including ex-head of SCEA Bernie Stolar.
As ever, it’s good to see games expanding so much. However, publishers remain a massive layer of insulation between developers and profits. This is their job to a certain extent, and not some kind of evil plot, but it means that good times for games as a product are not necessarily good times for game developers. It’ll slowly make it easier for experienced developers to find jobs, but it doesn’t grant much security for studios.
(CC image by Thomas Hawk)