terça-feira, 5 de abril de 2011

Game (and Entertainment) Market Part.1

This week i am starting to post about game (, film and music) market. I've researched the reports of 4 major organizations: Entertainment Software Association, Motion Picture Association of America, Recording Industry Association of America and International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Here are the links to those reports:




(the above link looks strange(virus-ish) so you can get the report at http://www.riaa.com/toolsforparents.php, by clicking at the American Music Business Brochure Link ... toolsforparents isn't really a good name for that ...)

Now to the juicy part ...

The first surprise came when checking the revenues from 2009:

Revenues (2009):
Game Industry - $10.5 billion (US) - $144.3 billion (World)
Film Industry - $10.6 billion (US/Canada) - $31.8 billion (World)
Digital Music - $3.13* billion(US) - $4.2 billion (World)
Physical Music - $4.55 billion (US) - n/a

* I had to compare different reports to reach this number and might not be entirely accurate.

Err ... I wasn't expecting the game industry to beat hollywood by 4.5 times in revenues. Actually a bit more than that. Film Industry is reasonably stable oscilating from 9-10.6 billions since 2002. In 2010, it repeated 2009 and scored another 10.6.

From the ESA report (page 1): The real annual growth rate of the U.S. computer and video game software industry was 10.6% for the period 2005-2009 and 16.7% for the period 2005-2008. From 2008-2009 it had a strong retreat (-10.3%).

The Digital Music Report (2010) from IFPI presents (at page 10) a "market share" of revenues coming from the different digital markets:

Games - 32%
Recorded Music - 27%
Films - 5%
Newspapers - 4%
Magazines - 2%

Here the surprise was the low share of films .... I would guess it was quite higher.

I was looking for an "official" number for digital/retail sales for the game market but couldn't find any. Assuming that the US revenue of digital music was used to calculate the share presented above we could estimate the digital revenues of games in the US to be about $3.94 billion or 37%. Steam, Direct2Drive, World of Warcraft ...

All that reading was good to realize that the game industry is A LOT bigger then i expected it to be. The massive amount of revenues compared with other big industries made those seems quite small. If i were starting a game company in the US, after reading this, i wouldn't overlook the retail sales something i would consider seriously before.

For the next week i will talk a bit about the info on employment in the game industry. About half of the linked report is about it (like average total earning and things like that .... ). I ll try to make a few comments on piracy and the RIAA report (the music industry reports are the only that mention piracy .... and they over do it).

I ll also search for "oficial" stats about online/retail revenues and Windows/Mac/Linux share of game market as well. That would help a newbie game dev to know who is the buyer and how it likes to buy.

Till next week!

segunda-feira, 4 de abril de 2011

Interactive Movies

Do you remember the old role playing game books ? Where the author was able to change the story by redirecting you to certain pages depending on your decisions ?

It would be nice if we had games and movies merging in a concept that could actually do that. Imagine: You are watching a movie and for a few minutes you are required to take control of the main character till you reach a point where the cinematic would guide you again.

Most games today do that to an extent. Just an example, Mass Effect 2 does exactly that, but just in the first sequence (image above). There is more behind that idea. It could actually make the film industry a bit more interesting again. Why should i buy a DVD if the movie will always be the same ?

Movies done this way could have a default sequence that would be played in today DVDs (or in the movies) but also a few "extra" scenes that would only be reached by "playing" the movie. Now that is something i would buy.

Video Games can play DVDs. Computers can play DVDs and games. Games actually use that to explain the scene or just as part of the game play. So the technology is out there just waiting to be actually put together.

Till next post !