The recession doesn’t mean consumers won’t buy video games — people need entertainment in every economic climate. But new stats show it does mean cash-strapped gamers are being more discerning with their dollars, and gravitating towards hits they’re sure to like.
Michael Klotz of the NPD group breaks down the numbers: In 2005, the top 20 titles accounted for 11% of sales. Last year, the top 20 games commanded 18% of the market.
Or look at Nintendo’s (NTDOY) hit Wii: The top 10 Wii games in 2008 had 44% of the market. Which means massive sales for hits like Wii Fit or Mario Kart, and little traction for the rest.
The recession at work: Good games these days offer tons of replayability (Rock Band, Guitar Hero) and/or hundreds of hours of content to explore (Grand Theft Auto 4, Fable 2). When wallets are light, expect gamers to flock to proven goods, exploring every nook of what those titles have to offer — and not take risks on mediocre titles.