Now that weíre in April, E3 is only a couple of months away. This is the year of Wii U and in just a couple of months weíll have a full understanding of what the new Nintendo system offers. Whether or not weíll hear from Sony about their new console, is a wait and see. But for now, I have several predictions of how the game industry will possibly move forward in the future.
Gamestop decline in profits
Gamestop is like the McDonalds of videogames. It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest gaming retailer in the U.S at least. By buying the competitor gaming retailers, Gamestop has been a Juggernaut and the primary store for buying videogames. Not only Gamestop makes their money buying and selling the latest and greatest games, but they make a butt load selling old and used games. Now, Iím not a business major as you might have read from my profile, but this is what I understood of how Gamestop makes their money. For one, Gamestop buys games from the manufacturers and sell them to the consumer more than what they pay for from the manufacturer. But the biggest way they make money is, they buy used games from the consumers and sell the games back much more than they pay the consumer. Selling used games for more than what they buy from consumers is one of the biggest money making schemes Gamestop is known for. Now if, the rumor about the next Sony and Mircosoft consoles is true; the rumor that both consoles wonít be able to play used games, this could hurt Gamestop financially. I doubt that this would put Gamestop out of business, but Gamestop can suffer a big loss from this.
The game industry could suffer more than now
Though the gaming industry today is now a viable and generally accepted form of entertainment, the next gen of gaming could put this industry at a standstill. Here are a few reasons: cost of games and systems, cost of development and time and the fact that the next Sony and Mircosoft consoles may not play used games. For those who are aware of how the game industry works, are more than likely aware that games cost a lot of money and time. As a programmer in practice, Iím aware that game development in its various forms takes time to develop. Whether itís developing a new game engine from scratch, modifying in existing engine, programming sound, system programming, graphics, etc, all of this takes time. And the higher the quality of production, the more a game cost to make. As technology advances so too, will the cost and time of game development. With that aside, the factor that may cause the game industry to suffer the most is the possibility of the next Xbox and Playstation may not play used games. Gaming has always been an expensive form of entertainment and with economic recession or not. Many people cannot afford brand new games. I know I canít, I usually wait until a price drop or catch a deal on Amazon or eBay. A game has to be really special for me to buy a game brand new. What also makes matters worst is that people may have to buy full production games in a virtual store in the next gen as it seems that the industry is moving towards the buying software digitally age. The internet may be more accessible for people today than people in the late 90ís and early 2000ís, but I still know a plethora of people who donít have the internet, let alone a computer. The game industry is moving too fast to traverse to that kind of movement yet. And I think many people are not going to go for not playing used games for long, which could hurt Sony and Microsoft big time if people are not buying these consoles. This could give Nintendo the edge since so far, we havenít heard that the Wii U not playing used games. People, who didnít consider the Wii as a console of choice last gen, might consider the Wii U this gen.
Or it can go the other way
Itís possible that Wii U could suffer from Sony and Microsoft next gen consoles not playing used games. No matter how crazy Sony and Microsoft designed their systems to do, people may still buy them anyway just because they either donít like Nintendo or may feel Nintendo wonít satisfy their gaming needs. If both companies are successful in the near future then, third party companies will want to develop for them instead of Nintendo because their games wonít suffer from the used game market. So far Wii U has not been reported to not play used games and because of it many people may wait to get a game used when itís cheap. While in the mean time, people who own the next Xbox and Playstation if the rumor is true will have no choice, but to buy brand new games; which will make the gaming companies want to develop for them more, because again all will not suffer from the used game market.
I thought this HD era of gaming was full of surprises as far as marketing strategies, but I believe this upcoming gen will even be more surprising. I donít know what the future holds, Iím no professional marketing analyst, just a broke college student. All I have to say is to wait and see.