Understanding Video Games text-book
Business

Date posted: May 14, 2006
Updated: May 16, 2006

It is well known that the computer game business is growing fast.

Rapidly changing from being an exclusive American and Japanese undertaking, Europeans have now entered the picture with game companies like British Eidos and French Ubi Soft. With Ubi Soft’s recent acquisition of the large and important American game company Activision the scene is set for major changes. In the newest report about the state of the gaming industry Datamonitor forecasts that Europe may actually exceed the American industry in sales. Their prognosis is that 60% of the world’s game development will take place in Europe.
Game sales
Sources: www.idsa.com & www.elspa.com & JISC report (RTF format)

Game sales

The business has several magazines devoted to interactive entertainment business only. The Gamedev.net, Gamasutra, Gamebiz.net and IE Magazine are currently the most well known and used. In the years to come, we will most likely see the consolidating tendency continue with fewer and larger players. Today Durclacher Game Investor provides analysis of the English gaming companies for investors and in France the development has gone even further. Several other sites chronicle the growing pains of the industry. Although the business is becoming more focused and the seriousness is increasing, the gaming projects are still lacking basic project management, scope control and risk management. It is perhaps quite illustrative when Bates in his book states that nobody knows, what games become successes.

One common goal is to aim for the mainstream and widen the target group from hardcore and casual gamers to encompass still larger segments. This strategy is showing results in the United States according to business statistics (www.IDSA.com).
The gaming culture as the domain of teenage boys is losing ground fast to a mainstream culture of families playing The Sims. Some even seem to think that playing computer games can be generally accepted as cool.

However, to a large degree the development of games is still stuck in appealing to hardcore gamers, a very demanding audience. These players demand top-notch technology and gameplay. So while the game culture is changing, developers are still rushing to catch up with player’s expectations. Some game genres are getting too complicated and demanding for the mainstream market.

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