Note: This is a re-post from the GameHouse blog.
Console market battles it out at E3 to prove who is not the biggest market loser
Like an episode from Game of Thrones, the largest kingdoms of the video game console market came together at E3 last week to proclaim their victories like a beast in the wild with momentum numbers, new releases and services. Swarms of press boasted E3 news from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, with all its gloss and glitter, as if it was gold that fell from the pockets of royalty.
These royal families of the video game market received much praise and applaud to briefly escape from the painful realities of the rapid decline in the console market. Just last month, NPD reported a 32 percent drop in industry-wide sales in April 2012 compared to the year prior, and May sales which the research firm will release on Thursday is expected to be just as dreary.
Meanwhile, social games go unnoticed at the world’s biggest video game conference. The social and mobile games sector are treated like commoners when compared to this royal elite, rather than diplomatic adversaries who believe that gaming doesn’t have to come with a $60 price tag and hours of playtime.
Dan Ackerman with CNET, however did notice. He questioned whether or not Facebook games belong at E3, saying, “it’s hard to ignore a huge genre of games that measure users in terms of tens of millions of monthly players… And yet, ignored these games are.”
Ackerman is completely right. E3 seems rigged by a group of elitists in the video game market. And ironically, as Ackerman points out, consoles are no longer solely dedicated to game experiences as in years past, “but that the big consoles are being repositioned as general interest living room streaming entertainment boxes.”
E3 has become the premier anti-social event in the games industry, with kings of the console world battling it out to prove not who is the best in gaming, but rather who is not the biggest market loser. They use high-def imagery, which looks like magic on the screen, and combine revenue figures from non-gaming businesses like entertainment to show industry momentum and leadership.
Many of the real winners in the video game industry did not need a stage at E3 to tout their success. Only acknowledgement from a few including CNET, and an infographic from Wall Street Journal will suffice for now. But in a few years, the social and mobile games market will likely dethrone these kings of consoles, with or without E3.