NPD Sales Results for June 2015 [Up2: Batman, Splatoon]

Bgamer90

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I don't really see this as doable. I bought a XB1 last year for 330$ with a gift card (either 30 or 50$, I forget) and Halo:MCC. And that wasn't necessarily the best deal. I just don't see them offering the same or slightly worse deals this year when the sales gap has been re-growing all year.
The games this year are much better "pushes" to bring people who still game on 360 over to current gen in my opinion. Last year had a lot of cross gen games and remakes.
 

daniel77733

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I disagree. Halo 5 is going to be a big game and Tomb Raider will be fine if MS makes it this year's AC Unity by bundling it (I'm assuming that they will).

I think we'll see the standard 500 GB Xbox One at $299, a 1 TB Xbox One with Tomb Raider at $349, and a special edition Halo 5 Xbox One at $399 this Holiday season.
Halo 5 will be big but I don't see it outselling Battlefront or COD especially after Halo: MCC and the fact that Bungie is long gone. Packing in Tomb Raider defeats the purpose of paying for it to be timed exclusive. I look at it this way - Microsoft is hoping that enough people want to play Tomb Raider at launch and thus, will purchase an Xbox One console in addition to the game. To me, packing in Tomb Raider just seems like an even bigger waste of money that was spent on getting it to be timed exclusive.

As for bundles, since you posted your bundles for Xbox One, I'll post mine for PS4.

-Call of Duty Black Ops III themed console with 1TB hard drive for $400
-Battlefront themed console with 1TB hard drive for $400
-Exclusives console bundle...black matte console, 1TB hard drive and games including Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son, The Last of Us Remastered, LittleBigPlanet 3, The Order: 1886, Bloodborne and Uncharted collection. All eight games are via digital download.

The difference between the $400 price tag for PS4 and $350 or lower for Xbox One will be made up for the bigger hard drive, themed console or the eight games in the exclusive bundle.
 

Bgamer90

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Halo 5 will be big but I don't see it outselling Battlefront or COD especially after Halo: MCC and the fact that Bungie is long gone.
COD and Star Wars are obviously bigger brands but the game is going to do well simply due to it being the first Halo game this gen. It's an important Halo game though since I feel like it will pretty much make or break how the series will be viewed in 2016+. The game needs to really do well in critical reception.

Packing in Tomb Raider defeats the purpose of paying for it to be timed exclusive.

I look at it this way - Microsoft is hoping that enough people want to play Tomb Raider at launch and thus, will purchase an Xbox One console in addition to the game. To me, packing in Tomb Raider just seems like an even bigger waste of money that was spent on getting it to be timed exclusive.
I disagree. If anything, I see it as them taking full advantage of the game only being on their system this Holiday season. It will be easier for Tomb Raider fans who don't have an Xbox One to get one, and it will further help MS' to make some people think that it's a true exclusive game.

As for bundles, since you posted your bundles for Xbox One, I'll post mine for PS4.

-Call of Duty Black Ops III themed console with 1TB hard drive for $400
-Battlefront themed console with 1TB hard drive for $400
-Exclusives console bundle...black matte console, 1TB hard drive and games including Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son, The Last of Us Remastered, LittleBigPlanet 3, The Order: 1886, Bloodborne and Uncharted collection. All eight games are via digital download.

The difference between the $400 price tag for PS4 and $350 or lower for Xbox One will be made up for the bigger hard drive, themed console or the eight games in the exclusive bundle.
I could see Sony doing the first two (COD and Battlefront) but that last one doesn't seem believable at all. EIGHT games with three of them being 2015 releases? That's a lot.
 

daniel77733

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Bgamer90 said:
COD and Star Wars are obviously bigger brands but the game is going to do well simply due to it being the first Halo game this gen. It's an important Halo game though since I feel like it will pretty much make or break how the series will be viewed in 2016+. The game needs to really do well in critical reception.
Agreed. 343 has their work cut out for them. To me, Halo IS Xbox and if it's not in the 9 range for pretty much everyone, I think that it will be seen as a disappointment. Sales wise, it will sell but im pretty sure that those who played Halo: MCC are at the very least concerned with how the game will turn out.

Bgamer90 said:
I disagree. If anything, I see it as them taking full advantage of the game only being on their system this Holiday season. It will be easier for Tomb Raider fans who don't have an Xbox One to get one, and it will further help MS' to make some people think that it's a true exclusive game.
I just see it as those who want to play it at launch would need an Xbox One anyway so why throw away a sale in software? To me, packing in Tomb Raider is worse than packing in Halo because they had to pay to get the game to be timed exclusive. Just have to wait and see.

Bgamer90 said:
I could see Sony doing the first two (COD and Battlefront) but that last one doesn't seem believable at all. EIGHT games with three of them being 2015 releases? That's a lot.
As much as I was hoping for it to be a trilogy, The Order bombed and is already $40. By year's end, it could be $20. Bloodborne still sells here and there but compared to all the other games coming out at the end of the year, it's not going to do much. Uncharted will definitely sell but for those who don't have a PS4, starting out with Sony's best two franchises in Uncharted and The Last of Us along with Bloodborne would be hard to beat. Plus, all those games would be via digital download so their value is much lower compared to if it was the discs.
 

unapersson

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No one wants to comment on my post?
It was a good read and I couldn't agree more with most of what you said, but I do have one comment. You mentioned a unified store on mobile that allows games to be shared, but there are basically at least three different competing ecosystems: iOS, Android and (to a lesser extent) Windows phone. They're all incompatible, though much like consoles there are common libraries that allow cross-platform development. So it's perfectly possible to upgrade your phone and fine yourself locked out of all your old content, much like switching console brand but with the added complication that you don't really keep your old one.
 

ZhugeEX

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It was a good read and I couldn't agree more with most of what you said, but I do have one comment. You mentioned a unified store on mobile that allows games to be shared, but there are basically at least three different competing ecosystems: iOS, Android and (to a lesser extent) Windows phone. They're all incompatible, though much like consoles there are common libraries that allow cross-platform development. So it's perfectly possible to upgrade your phone and fine yourself locked out of all your old content, much like switching console brand but with the added complication that you don't really keep your old one.
Thanks for the kind words and for bringing up my comment on App stores.

Here is the original quote:
Today it does not matter what smartphone you have, whether it be Samsung or Sony, the reason being that the software stores are unified in that all games can be played on all phones. Of course there are some exceptions but this is the general rule.
It's bad wording on my part, what I mean to say that the Android and iOS stores are very similar in that they house the same gaming applications. So regardless of phone you will be able to play the same game your friend plays and vice versa.

To explain further, as most people today have a smartphone they can easily download games and play them on the go. When recommending the game to a friend it is very likely that your friend has a smartphone capable of playing the same game you just downloaded. There is a lot more unification across software stores in terms of the gaming applications available.

When someone recommends a PS4 or Xbox game it's not a simple process to get the game. For example a user will need to pay $399 for the console and then $60 for the game. This is one of the reason why mobile games are so popular, they are accessible and they appear as free to play + are designed to keep users engaged. Everytime I use my Mums phone there is a new game downloaded to the device. She plays some real crap but it's the accessibility and ease of use + recommendations from friends which has allowed her to play games.

One of my friends does not consider himself a gamer. He does however play Clash of Clans on Mobile. This is just one example of someone who may not purchase a console in the future because they have no compelling reason to.
 

unapersson

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Thanks for the kind words and for bringing up my comment on App stores.

Here is the original quote:


It's bad wording on my part, what I mean to say that the Android and iOS stores are very similar in that they house the same gaming applications. So regardless of phone you will be able to play the same game your friend plays and vice versa.

To explain further, as most people today have a smartphone they can easily download games and play them on the go. When recommending the game to a friend it is very likely that your friend has a smartphone capable of playing the same game you just downloaded. There is a lot more unification across software stores in terms of the gaming applications available.

When someone recommends a PS4 or Xbox game it's not a simple process to get the game. For example a user will need to pay $399 for the console and then $60 for the game. This is one of the reason why mobile games are so popular, they are accessible and they appear as free to play + are designed to keep users engaged. Everytime I use my Mums phone there is a new game downloaded to the device. She plays some real crap but it's the accessibility and ease of use + recommendations from friends which has allowed her to play games.

One of my friends does not consider himself a gamer. He does however play Clash of Clans on Mobile. This is just one example of someone who may not purchase a console in the future because they have no compelling reason to.
Yes, that's a good point, the barrier for entry is a lot lower, though a lot of developers still seem to favour one or the other, so you can still wind up recommended a game you can't play. I've seen plenty of "Android?" or "Android, or I riot!" style comments on iOS only announcements for instance.

Of course if you're willing to drop the cash you can get a tablet of the other flavour, but that's more expensive than a console in some cases.
 

g0dofwar

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I don't think we'll see MS go as hard with deals as last year. I think we'll only see one SKU at $299 (the standard 500 GB Xbox One).
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I disagree. Halo 5 is going to be a big game and Tomb Raider will be fine if MS makes it this year's AC Unity by bundling it (I'm assuming that they will).

I think we'll see the standard 500 GB Xbox One at $299, a 1 TB Xbox One with Tomb Raider at $349, and a special edition Halo 5 Xbox One at $399 this Holiday season.
This is madness! By year 5 an Xbox One will be worth $100
 

g0dofwar

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ZhugeEX said:
When someone recommends a PS4 or Xbox game it's not a simple process to get the game. For example a user will need to pay $399 for the console and then $60 for the game. This is one of the reason why mobile games are so popular, they are accessible and they appear as free to play + are designed to keep users engaged. Everytime I use my Mums phone there is a new game downloaded to the device. She plays some real crap but it's the accessibility and ease of use + recommendations from friends which has allowed her to play games.

One of my friends does not consider himself a gamer. He does however play Clash of Clans on Mobile. This is just one example of someone who may not purchase a console in the future because they have no compelling reason to.
Have you not heard of Playstation Now?
 

ZhugeEX

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Yes, that's a good point, the barrier for entry is a lot lower, though a lot of developers still seem to favour one or the other, so you can still wind up recommended a game you can play. I've seen plenty of "Android?" or "Android, or I riot!" style comments on iOS only announcements for instance.

Of course if you're willing to drop the cash you can get a tablet of the other flavour, but that's more expensive than a console in some cases.
Yup, as mentioned there are some exceptions. But we're now getting to a point where game developers on mobile are no longer going iOS first like it used to be the case. Of course it still happens but the app store is so massive that you'll either be able to find the exact same game on Android, also on iOS. Or there will be a clone game of some sort. And for most people that is enough.

And at the end of the day Mobile gaming is popular among everyone. Even hardcore console gamers will play mobile games every now and then. Obviously they are no where near as good as HD console games but who hasn't played snake or angry birds for a couple of minutes because they were bored.

Anyway, Mobile is where my expertise lies due to the role I'm in at the moment and because I've been following the mobile industry for a long time. There is a lot of convergence taking place within mobile and whilst in some industries like traditional telecommunications and consumer cameras there are negative effects, there are also positive effects from convergence within commerce for example.

Lets use a couple of examples to demonstrate my point. The camera industry for example has come a long way since the 20th century. Before the year 2000 we saw the camera industry double in growth pretty much every decade. The biggest camera brands on the market were Canon, Minolta, Nikon and Konica in cameras, Kodak and Polaroid in film. Between 2000 and 2010 we saw the camera industry grow by about 10 times and suddenly everyone had a camera and was using it.

However, it wasn't the pioneers of the camera industry who stood at the top. In fact we saw Minolta and Konica quit the industry, Polaroid went bankrupt.... twice, Kodak went bankrupt and Canon and Nikon had to drastically change their business to focus on professional high end camera equipment. Now the big players in the camera industry are Nokia, Samsung and Apple, all smartphone manufacturers.

This is an example of how an industry changed drastically due to the effect of mobile convergence.

Now lets look at the Watch industry. Many analysts predicted that the watch industry was going to decline sharply due to the introduction of mobiles. You had a clock and alarm on your phone and it was digital and people would look at their phones more than 150 times per day. A lot of people in the past would buy multiple watches for different events and locations but now people weren't buying watches at all and relied on their mobile phones to tell the time. Because of this unit shipments and revenue dropped from 2007 though 2010 however the watch industry rebounded and started to focus on its high end offerings by making up the loss in unit sales with high margin high end watch sales. It worked and now the watch industry revenues are back up to 2007 levels despite less people buying them.

This is an example of how an industry changed as well, but was ultimately able to come out with minimal negative effects.

Whilst this may not be the best example I would say that the future console markets represents the watch industry a lot more in what is happening next compared to the traditional camera industry.

Those who want to buy games consoles are core gamers and they are the ones driving console sales at the moment. They are also the ones who buy multiple software titles and additional hardware and software to enhance their experience. So the console industry has seen its contraction where smaller publishers have left, less games are being made and ultimately there are less users. But publishers are working in different ways (as explained in my previous long post) to increase revenue per user and we should start to see total revenue grow again whilst at the same time seeing new entrants investing in the console market such as indie developers and entertainment companies.

Hope this makes sense.

Have you not heard of Playstation Now?
It's only available on a limited number of platforms and requires a hardware purchase (Dualshock4). I think PS Now is as much an introduction to PlayStation as it is an added value service for existing PlayStation customers.
 

Biker19

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I don't think exclusives are the thing that gave XB1 an advantage last year. Games like Master Chief and Sunset Overdrive barely made any sort of dent, the main thing that won it for MS was their crazy loss on HW, taking it down to 329 with 4 bundled games.

They can't do that again with their base price already at 349.

I'm pretty sure the higher ups over at MS have had just about enough of the reckless money sink the XB1 has been just to stay competitive in their main market.

Halo 5, Tomb Raider, and the other games this year are just going to get compromised by the other major third party games coming out in the same timespan i'd say.

Launching TR on the same day as FO4 in particular is just asking for trouble.
Back to PS4 vs Xbox One from last November and December. Xbox One outsold PS4 by an estimated 626k in those nine weeks. In the first six months of 2015, PS4 has outsold Xbox One by 277k. Overall, the difference is 349k in favor of Xbox One but between July, August, September and October, chances are that number will be greatly reduced. Xbox One can win in November and December but it doesn't mean much if you're losing 80% of the time in the other ten months.

This is why in my opinion, I don't see a price drop for PS4 until next year some time. Microsoft will have a far better lineup than PS4 this holiday season but yet, Sony will just get it back next year with Uncharted 4 and SFV. Funny thing is that looking at the exclusives for Xbox One this year, I wouldn't be surprised if Bloodborne turns out to be the best exclusive on both consoles and that was released months ago.

It's the bundles, free games and possible price drop to $300 that will sell Xbox One just like last year. Only difference is that this year, Sony has big third party deals and those deals are arguably better and more important than the exclusives and bundles that Xbox One will have.

Whatever ground Xbox One is able to gain in November and December, they lose it between January and October so why lower the price of the console? Despite the higher price tag and no exclusives this holiday season, Xbox One still isn't going to gain as much ground as you would think that they would.

And on a related side note - am I the only one that finds it funny in regards to Microsoft paying for Rise of the Tomb Raider to be timed exclusive in order for it to compete against Uncharted 4 which was then delayed and now faces a bigger problem being Fallout 4? Sorry but that's just too funny. LOL.
I agree with both of you. Microsoft's strategy is basically relying on November & December for big sales. Question is, how long can they keep this up?

I say, not very long. They've already played their cards with price cuts, fire sales, & free games long enough.
 

AniHawk

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If you guys have like 5 hours then I recommend reading this quick report I wrote in the last 30 minutes. I'd love to hear your thoughts-
i think your conclusions are sound, and well supported with data. however, i don't see the kind of growth publishers are seeking as a positive for the industry. and while i agree with your last statement that it's a great time to be a gamer, i don't think it's because there's a paywall for multiplayer, fewer game coming out for dedicated hardware, and publishers looking to squeeze more money out of their consumers from these games. what's great about this gen is mostly on steam and mobile. steam, for being a place where games such as gone home can be a surprise success, as well as a new home for older titles (we're starting to see japanese rpgs build a userbase there). and mobile for getting developers in japan to take it seriously, like sega, square-enix, nintendo, and konami, and the continuing evolution of design leading away from simple puzzle games into other genres that traditional gamers might call fuller-fledged.

basically, that's where the increase in variety will come from. it's where a breadth of gamers will be found.

this is problematic to the people clinging to dedicated hardware for a few reasons. the first being that their userbase shrunk dramatically. if you're microsoft, you're not selling to a worldwide audience like you did before, and you're not reaching families like last gen. if you're sony, then no one's interested in the console experience on handhelds the way they presented it, especially on a worldwide scale. and then most obviously if you're nintendo, the breadth of people they reached last gen mostly went off to other things, whether it was mobile, ps4, or other platforms. the problem here is that the userbase isn't necessarily primed to grow next-gen when costs get bigger yet again. given the studio closures last gen and the lack of new blood this gen (except maybe madcatz?), it's hard to say this trend will reverse itself. i just wonder when the other shoe is going to drop, and if they can have fewer games getting more money out of fewer people and still run a business. another issue is that it seems sony and microsoft are both attempting to reach new audiences through hardware, which is a good thing, but it seems the hardware will be experimental and extremely high priced. i can't see this as a way they'll be able to drive growth. with microsoft, i actually believe there's a better chance hololens gets support internally, but with morpheus, i think dreams is the only major first-party game you'll see from sony. with kinect, microsoft made sure a couple games were made by talented teams, like rare and harmonix. sony mostly shopped move around to their b-teams like they did when they developed psp and ps vita games. if they're going to make advancements in hardware, i think it needs the effort in software to back it up. this was the problem with the 3d in the 3ds and the screen in the gamepad as well.

the final problem is the lack of getting families involved on the xbox one and ps4 in particular. while minecraft, disney, lego, and skylanders all hit these machines (and jurassic world for the first time actually seemed to do well on them), i don't think the idea of a several hundred dollar platform with $60 games has been the focus of kids and families for about five years now. i think sony and microsoft have realized they're lacking in this way, but i wonder when the point of no return is and if it isn't already too late, especially when mobile is so much more prevalent at this age group. these are all problems for next-gen.

so i guess in the short term, it's a good thing most people are still making money across the board. in the long-term, it doesn't look like the dedicated hardware model will last in its current form, and i don't think enough is being done to adapt to the changing marketplace.
 

Square2015

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Alright let's do this, hopefully this goes over well.
First we have the pretty-damn-detailed Nintendo comparison graph (one could spend hours studying this thing, many stories to be told here):


THEN here are the top 10 console sales for the June in each cycle (put together to the best of my ability):


HISTORICAL REPORT:
June 09:
The much media covered Wii version of Tiger Woods launches, with very impressive sales for an EA Sports title on a NIN platform. The Wii Motion PLus launches and sells 169,000. Punch-Out!! sells another 100k in its second month to top out near 300k. The Wii itself sells about 360,000 units [to X360 - 240k, PS3 - 165k].

June 04:
Zelda Four Swords Advlaunches...alright I guess (better than Japan), Harry Potter- Azkaban debuts at 89k on GC. Custom Robo sells 49k in its second month nearing 100k LTD. March's hit, Pokémon Colosseum, falls to #40 and breaches 600k LTD. GC itself sells 110,000 units [to XB 230k, PS2 430k] .

June 99:
Star Wars Ep 1 fever has taken over America (and the world I suppose) with its theatrical release last month, no surprise the first EP1 game tops the chart this month. "Pod Racer" is in second month and this is just the stand alone version (the N64 bundle was released last month). NoA has scored a victory by continuing to have the license for exclusive Star Wars titles (Lucas Arts) since the NES days as N64 stays competitive with PSX. The poorly-press reviewed yet much anticipated Superman 64 comes in strong in its first full month (many checked out this title just to see how bad it really was). Ken Griffey's Slugfest disappoints and can not rank any higher than #29 with just 35k sold in its second month (LTD stands at 61k), last year's Ken Griffey was a massive success having sold over 550k up to this point. The N64 itself gets a nice boost from Ep1 as you can see from the graph N64 sells over 180,000 (to PSX's 230k) this month.

June 94:
Look at Super Metroid go, over 200k in its third month! The feud between NoA's and Sega's baseball IP continues, with Sega edging out the lead this month again, albeit barely with World Series Baseball ahead of Ken Griffey Jr. On further down Mega Man X (#19) reaches 95k LTD, 3D racing debuts on home consoles with Virtua Racing (#15) debuting with about 15k sold but at an average price of $90. On the HW side, for the third month in a row NoA releases a bundle, this month its the Mario Paint Super Set. The consoles themselves sell: 150,000 GEN to 140,000 SNES.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=167802939&highlight=#post167802939 May 15
APR '15: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...postcount=2484
MAR '15: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...postcount=3799
XMAS report '14: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...postcount=2394
SEP '14: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...postcount=5568
AUG '14: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...postcount=2855
 

Game Guru

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Mine craft is currently the exception, not the rule.

And to the above post, I don't think ps+ indie games are going to attract mobile gamers. They're where they are because the ecosystem supports them where they are.
So is GTA even back in the PS2 era golden age. The highest selling GTA on PS2, San Andreas, sold 17 million and is the best selling game on the PS2. Many games today that are open world ultimately derive that from what GTA did back then. Right now, we are only starting to see publishers do their takes on Minecraft. The way genres in gaming are formed is that a game comes out that is so unique and popular that other publishers start cloning that game, and then those clones change things from the original source, and some clones are unique and popular enough in their own right to become a full-blown genre. Street Fighter II gives birth to Street Fighter II Clones which give birth to the Fighting Game Genre. Doom gives birth to Doom Clones which give birth to the FPS Genre. GTA gives birth to GTA Clones which give birth to the Open World Action-Adeventure Genre. DotA gives birth to DotA Clones which give birth to the MOBA Genre. Minecraft has a number of clones, but stuff like LEGO Worlds and Dragon Quest Builders are the Minecraft clones starting to form a new genre. Even a small chunk of the Minecraft audience is going to be a lot of money.

Interesting points, but it should be noted that mobile makes most of its money on high margin customers as well. Apple and Samsung make a large amount of money on their high margin hardware and it is the mobile whales that make the majority of money for mobile publishers. It isn't grandma with the cheapo Android phone playing mobile games on occasion giving mobile the majority of its money. It's the people really dedicated to their smartphones and tablets and using them doing so.

And to be fair, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony each did major screw ups which lead them to where they currently are. Microsoft made a console for Americans and ended up with a console that only sells in America. Nintendo made their successor to the Wii Remote a complicated followup that ends up only being useful for select games and lost people who wanted the simple controls. Sony was unable to secure Monster Hunter, their biggest PSP hit, as a Vita exclusive. Even with 3DS, Nintendo made a number of mistakes that they need to rectify for their next handheld to do better like having relatively outdated hardware even for the time period of release, a high initial price, and focusing on a visual gimmick without having the visuals to justify it. The PS4 gave people exactly what they wanted from the next PlayStation console and it's the glowing success in the market.
 

Plinko

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The fact that Superman 64 charted makes me laugh and cry at the same time.
 

Square2015

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I can guarantee that aside from some very disappointed children, most of the buyers had read IGN's review and thought "I have to see how bad this game really is."

...

I was one of those peeps.
Haha same here, after either IGN or EGM's review I rented it to see how bad it was...I just remember how much "fog" it had on the "missions". Didn't one EGM reviewer give it a 0.5?

It's funny to think those sales could be due, in large part, to poor reviews.
 

QaaQer

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i think your conclusions are sound.....
a couple of points:
1) this gen has seen the rise of WB. They are set to be a major player going forward, so publishers can see huge growth in this space, and not in a zero-sum way.

2) the family focused console and expensive family games made exclusively for that console may be an anachronism now. And any hardware manufacturer pursuing that market is going to fail.

I just don't know how one can get parents to buy a $350 machine and $60 games when junior seems happy to putz around on an old ipad and watch youtube videos of minecrft on the old laptop. The only strategy that makes sense is to make $60 family software and get it on machines people are buying for other reasons: parent(s) who buy consoles for themselves and PC.

You might be right that in the long term, this will lead to fewer kids becoming console gamers in their teens, but it might not. The allure of playing a cool assassin or batman to the 13 year old is going to be strong whether they played games on console before or not.
 
Jul 31, 2007
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1999/00 was hard times for N64 owners.
I was firmly gearing up for the Dreamcast at that point.

I had almost $400 saved for it and a bunch of games and accessories. But I had to see just how bad Superman 64 was. I spent the rest of the summer getting my cash back up and beyond. I spent almost $600 on DC stuff before the beginning of the next year.

To this date the DC is my largest library of games on a single platform. Though PS4 with PS+ is quickly catching up.
 

AniHawk

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The fact that Superman 64 charted makes me laugh and cry at the same time.
here's a short list of games that superman wound up outselling:

vagrant story
star ocean 2
xenogears
dragon warrior vii
shenmue ii
grandia ii
 

ZhugeEX

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i think your conclusions are sound, and well supported with data. however, i don't see the kind of growth publishers are seeking as a positive for the industry. and while i agree with your last statement that it's a great time to be a gamer, i don't think it's because there's a paywall for multiplayer, fewer game coming out for dedicated hardware, and publishers looking to squeeze more money out of their consumers from these games. what's great about this gen is mostly on steam and mobile. steam, for being a place where games such as gone home can be a surprise success, as well as a new home for older titles (we're starting to see japanese rpgs build a userbase there). and mobile for getting developers in japan to take it seriously, like sega, square-enix, nintendo, and konami, and the continuing evolution of design leading away from simple puzzle games into other genres that traditional gamers might call fuller-fledged.

basically, that's where the increase in variety will come from. it's where a breadth of gamers will be found.
Thanks for your reply AniHawk, always been a fan of your posts.

To clarify, when saying that the kind of tactics publishers are using is going to allow growth in the industry, which is a good thing, I meant that it's a positive for the companies themselves. Yes there are some advantages for gamers but ultimately that point was saying that video game publishers have the opportunity to grow their business through focusing on successful core IP's that will appeal to a core gamer audience and by creating added value content in order to maximise revenue per user.

With the contraction in the publishing/dev market we've seen the big players come out on top, the middle leave and the bottom filter out as well. The opportunity also lies with Indies on console as well who have the opportunity to replace that middle layer and I'm sure we're going to see indies grow this gen and other small teams work on bringing small to medium size experiences to console. Digital is a growing medium and there is plenty of opportunity on console as we've seen that some games don't need retail releases to be successful.

PC/Steam as you say is currently undergoing a turnaround at the moment and there is a lot of growth going on in that sector. I'm sure that MS and Sony want a share of that as well hence their push with indies on console and providing them with the tools to bring games to the platform.

this is problematic to the people clinging to dedicated hardware for a few reasons. the first being that their userbase shrunk dramatically. if you're microsoft, you're not selling to a worldwide audience like you did before, and you're not reaching families like last gen. if you're sony, then no one's interested in the console experience on handhelds the way they presented it, especially on a worldwide scale. and then most obviously if you're nintendo, the breadth of people they reached last gen mostly went off to other things, whether it was mobile, ps4, or other platforms. the problem here is that the userbase isn't necessarily primed to grow next-gen when costs get bigger yet again. given the studio closures last gen and the lack of new blood this gen (except maybe madcatz?), it's hard to say this trend will reverse itself. i just wonder when the other shoe is going to drop, and if they can have fewer games getting more money out of fewer people and still run a business. another issue is that it seems sony and microsoft are both attempting to reach new audiences through hardware, which is a good thing, but it seems the hardware will be experimental and extremely high priced. i can't see this as a way they'll be able to drive growth. with microsoft, i actually believe there's a better chance hololens gets support internally, but with morpheus, i think dreams is the only major first-party game you'll see from sony. with kinect, microsoft made sure a couple games were made by talented teams, like rare and harmonix. sony mostly shopped move around to their b-teams like they did when they developed psp and ps vita games. if they're going to make advancements in hardware, i think it needs the effort in software to back it up. this was the problem with the 3d in the 3ds and the screen in the gamepad as well.
Yes, the userbase has shrunk dramatically, as have the number of publishers and games, I think I'll refer to my post above this quote to answer. In that indies are the new middle end developers, AAA devs are trying to maximise revenue per user and that core gamers are still buying consoles. So consoles aren't in immediate danger, but they do need to try and find other ways to get that userbase back up and as you say, morpheus is one option.

I'm not too optimistic about Morpheus due to the reasons you've mentioned in that it's experimental, it may not appeal to the mass market and that it may be high priced.

I do however disagree that software will be an issue on the Morpheus, I think Sony in the first year at the very least will push plenty of games, some first and some third party, but I don't think games will be an issue just due to the amount of buzz around VR right now from an industry perspective.

the final problem is the lack of getting families involved on the xbox one and ps4 in particular. while minecraft, disney, lego, and skylanders all hit these machines (and jurassic world for the first time actually seemed to do well on them), i don't think the idea of a several hundred dollar platform with $60 games has been the focus of kids and families for about five years now. i think sony and microsoft have realized they're lacking in this way, but i wonder when the point of no return is and if it isn't already too late, especially when mobile is so much more prevalent at this age group. these are all problems for next-gen.

so i guess in the short term, it's a good thing most people are still making money across the board. in the long-term, it doesn't look like the dedicated hardware model will last in its current form, and i don't think enough is being done to adapt to the changing marketplace.
Whilst I mentioned above that there are lots of reasons why the userbase isn't expanding, ultimately the industry can still grow when it comes to revenue and ARPU. I do agree that publishers and platform holders still need to find a way to attempt to grow the market. One way they can do this is by bringing teen friendly casual games that encourage social and multiplayer experiences. That's the way they can attempt to bring back in casual + family audiences and we are seeing a strong push towards that but at this point it's hard to say how successful it'll be. Certainly the bigger the IP the more of a crowd it can draw in. I don't think consoles are totally dead to casuals but I do agree about your conclusion.

In the short term (then gen) the core gamer will continue to support the console industry and attempts to bring in casuals don't matter too much if they succeed or fail. In the longer term it's hard to say exactly what will happen. At this point I'm not really commenting on the next generation of consoles until we hear more about NX and once we get later into the 8th generation.

Interesting points, but it should be noted that mobile makes most of its money on high margin customers as well. Apple and Samsung make a large amount of money on their high margin hardware and it is the mobile whales that make the majority of money for mobile publishers. It isn't grandma with the cheapo Android phone playing mobile games on occasion giving mobile the majority of its money. It's the people really dedicated to their smartphones and tablets and using them doing so.
Absolutely correct, and this is why we're seeing revenue increase this year and potentially over the next few years despite a declining user base. The console market isn't 100% stable right now but the contraction in the market has already happened and it's up to the publishers making video games to ensure their strategies cater to the core gamer userbase, contain multiple revenue streams, and are successful in the market place. And for indies and smaller developers to target a wider audience as well.

Casuals are always good to have though because they are guaranteed to bring in revenue through hardware purchases and the occasional software purchase. What happened last gen was publishers tried to cater to the casual audience too much by releasing too many titles each year which backfired due to low sales because casuals weren't really buying much software anymore. Once they cut it down to a few games per year the games didn't sell well either and it was too late.
 

EGM1966

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No one wants to comment on my post?
That's no post. That's a space station...

Actually I have read it now and seems well put together. For me the key takeaway from current market is that smart/mobile devices are eroding need for dedicated gaming devices and that it's probably only their core exclusives keeping Nintendo in the game. In many ways Sony has tried to put out devices that differentiate more clearly from a hardware perspective - twin sticks, etc - only to see the market lack much interest. Nintendo doesn't feel that differentiated to me - 3D version aside - and it's surely the core titles keeping them in the game.

Home consoles I believe are holding up okay as they don't truly compete and for those wanting to throw a game onto their TV they seem to remain the device of choice. Sure the market is contracting relative to last gen but last gen was clearly an outlier in a number of ways. The Wii simply took off in a way that couldn't have been anticipated and while it did gain a core gaming audience it clearly gained a huge audience that wasn't interested in upgrades to new hardware with more power, etc. and ultimately was transitory.

The main element to be seen is if Sony/MS add up to more or less the same as PS3/360 combined or what has changed there if not. Right now I think they'll land below that total, although I think this gen there will be less dual console ownership accounting for some of the drop. I also agree that PC is probably taking some people from consoles as the division between the two shrinks (patches, hard drives and OS updates on both these days) and Steam continues to grow in popularity.

Overall though I think the regional swings for PS3/360 caused a bit of a spike too.

Looking at the gen before it seems home consoles are pretty solid with a strong core market still very much interested in such a device. That yet again (the previous example being the PS3 itself) the market has somewhat rejected the device launching as an "all in one" with lots of media/non-gaming focus and more eagerly embraced the device launching as a gaming console which also makes me feel the core interest is for a gaming device first and foremost. What this means for MS continued interest I don't know. They've always wanted a gaming device as a spring board to non-gaming media but I think the evidence is increasingly a gaming device isn't a terribly good spring board to anything else in particular beyond a small core of people.

So yeah I agree - home console market still looks secure but handhelds can only get tougher and tougher. The other issue I see for handhelds is the simple issue as a parent of do you get your kids both a dedicated device and a phone when they ask or insist they chose? I can foresee more and more parents forcing a chose and more and more kids taking a mobile phone/tablet as their gaming device on the go and the momentum steadily undercutting handheld market.

I do wonder sometimes if Nintendo really shouldn't go all software and push their games to other devices or move to more of a peripheral with games model - for example a cradle for phones with d-pad, etc and slot for game cartridge or option to store games in the phone's memory with a Nintendo Game App as the OS running the game.
 

qa_engineer

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Warner brothers games publishing division hit the jackpot this year, despite the PC Batman: AK flub. They hit a home run with Witcher 3 and Batman. What's funny is that the witcher 3 was marketed alongside the Xbox yet it sold more on ps4, at least it did last month
 

Jamix012

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NBA Jam on Genesis destoyed SNES version. Genesis was ahead on install base at that point?
In 1994? Nah, I believe it was pretty even around then, but the Genesis had a much bigger audience for sport games in the same way the PS3 had a bigger JRPG audience than the 360.
 

EGM1966

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Warner brothers games publishing division hit the jackpot this year, despite the PC Batman: AK flub. They hit a home run with Witcher 3 and Batman. What's funny is that the witcher 3 was marketed alongside the Xbox yet it sold more on ps4, at least it did last month
On the evidence I'd say co-marketing works a lot better for Sony than MS right now. Really that kind of marketing tends to only help in proportion to base popularity and current trends.

So because PS4 is pretty popular the co-marketing has a pretty big effect whereas for Xbox One it has a fairly low effect. In a way you could say MS is just paying to advertise for Sony.

Much as I dislike it I think timed exclusives and DLC would help Xbox more than co-marketing I suspect. I guess Tomb Raider will give some indication of that one way or the other.
 

1st Course

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I feel WB games is as big as Ubisoft/Take-Two these days. Not by employees but by revenue/profit.

They really stepped their game lately. Just this year so far they published Dying Light, Mortal Kombat X, Witcher 3, Lego Jurassic World and Batman: Arkham Knight. All top selling games and still have Mad Max and Lego Batman for fall.
 

ZhugeEX

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May 23, 2013
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That's no post. That's a space station...

Actually I have read it now and seems well put together. For me the key takeaway from current market is that smart/mobile devices are eroding need for dedicated gaming devices and that it's probably only their core exclusives keeping Nintendo in the game. In many ways Sony has tried to put out devices that differentiate more clearly from a hardware perspective - twin sticks, etc - only to see the market lack much interest. Nintendo doesn't feel that differentiated to me - 3D version aside - and it's surely the core titles keeping them in the game.

Home consoles I believe are holding up okay as they don't truly compete and for those wanting to throw a game onto their TV they seem to remain the device of choice. Sure the market is contracting relative to last gen but last gen was clearly an outlier in a number of ways. The Wii simply took off in a way that couldn't have been anticipated and while it did gain a core gaming audience it clearly gained a huge audience that wasn't interested in upgrades to new hardware with more power, etc. and ultimately was transitory.

The main element to be seen is if Sony/MS add up to more or less the same as PS3/360 combined or what has changed there if not. Right now I think they'll land below that total, although I think this gen there will be less dual console ownership accounting for some of the drop. I also agree that PC is probably taking some people from consoles as the division between the two shrinks (patches, hard drives and OS updates on both these days) and Steam continues to grow in popularity.

Overall though I think the regional swings for PS3/360 caused a bit of a spike too.

Looking at the gen before it seems home consoles are pretty solid with a strong core market still very much interested in such a device. That yet again (the previous example being the PS3 itself) the market has somewhat rejected the device launching as an "all in one" with lots of media/non-gaming focus and more eagerly embraced the device launching as a gaming console which also makes me feel the core interest is for a gaming device first and foremost. What this means for MS continued interest I don't know. They've always wanted a gaming device as a spring board to non-gaming media but I think the evidence is increasingly a gaming device isn't a terribly good spring board to anything else in particular beyond a small core of people.

So yeah I agree - home console market still looks secure but handhelds can only get tougher and tougher. The other issue I see for handhelds is the simple issue as a parent of do you get your kids both a dedicated device and a phone when they ask or insist they chose? I can foresee more and more parents forcing a chose and more and more kids taking a mobile phone/tablet as their gaming device on the go and the momentum steadily undercutting handheld market.

I do wonder sometimes if Nintendo really shouldn't go all software and push their games to other devices or move to more of a peripheral with games model - for example a cradle for phones with d-pad, etc and slot for game cartridge or option to store games in the phone's memory with a Nintendo Game App as the OS running the game.
I think relegating last gen to being an "outlier" isn't being fair. Yes the install base was very high on the Wii, but the PS3 and 360 both achieved very high install bases before the launch of next generation hardware. Whilst a lot of the Wii audience have not purchased a next generation gaming console we can see that nor has much of the PS3 and 360 owners yet. The market contraction talked about in the industry today is something that has already taken place and something that started in the latter half of last gen. What I mean by this is the number of traditional publishers, games and users in the total market have already decreased. The main drivers of console sales this generation will be hardcore, core and semi casual gamers and casual gamers will only play a small part this generation in console sales and influencing platform holders/publishers strategies.

The home console market won't decline too much in regards to install base as you say, but right now both the Nintendo Wii U and Microsoft Xbox One have failed to meet expectations for investors and consumers and so it will be interesting to see what Nintendo do with their NX platform and what Microsoft do with Xbox One to try and reverse the situations they're currently in. Sony don't have it easy though as they need to ensure that the install base for their console continues to grow in a healthy way and right now it's doing just fine. My concern is just how big the market size is and whether we will continue to see healthy sales throughout the lifecycle of the console. It's already clear, barring any successful extension tool, that the PS4 may not achieve PS1 or PS2 like sales.

In the handheld market mobile has been a huge factor as you say. Especially as the age children get a mobile phone is getting lower and lower going from an average of 13-18 around 10 years ago, it's now down to 7-11 years old. That right there is an instant entry to mobile gaming content from a young age, not to mention that a child might already have their own/family tablet for games and applications + they will have used their parents phone/tablet before as well. It's very easy for kids these days to learn exactly how a smartphone works and what they are capable of. My 8 year old cousin actually plays Minecraft on his tablet and not a PC or console to give one anecdotal report right there. This is why Nintendo have plans to make mobile games starting this year and why ultimately a dedicated handheld device will not be the best option right now for the developed market unless it has a unique selling point other than playing console like games.
 

jroc74

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NBA Jam on Genesis destroyed SNES version. Genesis was ahead on install base at that point?
In 1994? Nah, I believe it was pretty even around then, but the Genesis had a much bigger audience for sport games in the same way the PS3 had a bigger JRPG audience than the 360.
Yea..like Madden and NBA Live just played better on Genesis too. IMO.

Tecmo sport games were fine on Nintendo consoles back then tho. And some others like Double Dribble.
 

CosmicQueso

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I feel WB games is as big as Ubisoft/Take-Two these days. Not by employees but by revenue/profit.

They really stepped their game lately. Just this year so far they published Dying Light, Mortal Kombat X, Witcher 3, Lego Jurassic World and Batman: Arkham Knight. All top selling games and still have Mad Max and Lego Batman for fall.
Don't forget LEGO Dimensions.

Would suck to work over there right now. Can imagine the hours they're putting in.
 

Steverulez

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I feel WB games is as big as Ubisoft/Take-Two these days. Not by employees but by revenue/profit.

They really stepped their game lately. Just this year so far they published Dying Light, Mortal Kombat X, Witcher 3, Lego Jurassic World and Batman: Arkham Knight. All top selling games and still have Mad Max and Lego Batman for fall.
Does The Witcher 3 count like the others? They had a different "publisher" in EU (Bamco), I'm pretty sure they basically just distributed it, still a success but not one they were really actually involved in.

CD Projekt Red are listed as the publisher on the Xbox and PSN Store too (US/UK checked on Xbox, just UK on PSN)
 

anexanhume

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Bloodborne is the number one selling console game on Amazon so far this year (behind only Zelda 3DS for best selling game). I'm really curious for an update on its LTD. It passed one million by mid April.
 

Game Guru

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Absolutely correct, and this is why we're seeing revenue increase this year and potentially over the next few years despite a declining user base. The console market isn't 100% stable right now but the contraction in the market has already happened and it's up to the publishers making video games to ensure their strategies cater to the core gamer userbase, contain multiple revenue streams, and are successful in the market place. And for indies and smaller developers to target a wider audience as well.

Casuals are always good to have though because they are guaranteed to bring in revenue through hardware purchases and the occasional software purchase. What happened last gen was publishers tried to cater to the casual audience too much by releasing too many titles each year which backfired due to low sales because casuals weren't really buying much software anymore. Once they cut it down to a few games per year the games didn't sell well either and it was too late.
Of course casuals are always good to have. I was using it as a point explaining why catering to high margin customers isn't a bad thing. To be fair, I think the biggest competition for consoles is PC. I know that if it wasn't for the fact that I need a Blu-Ray Player, and that I want to buy physical games without worrying about DRM and also want Japanese games, I would be getting a gaming PC over a PS4. If I had to to go all-digital and I could not play Japanese games on anything but mobile and handhelds, I'd just stick to PC gaming.
 

Biker19

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Of course casuals are always good to have. I was using it as a point explaining why catering to high margin customers isn't a bad thing. To be fair, I think the biggest competition for consoles is PC. I know that if it wasn't for the fact that I need a Blu-Ray Player, and that I want to buy physical games without worrying about DRM and also want Japanese games, I would be getting a gaming PC over a PS4. If I had to to go all-digital and I could not play Japanese games on anything but mobile and handhelds, I'd just stick to PC gaming.
Agreed. As a matter of fact, I could easily see the PS4 be the last console to receive great Japanese 3rd party support.

And if that's the case, & if PS5 is digital only, I may as well turn towards PC gaming for that.
 

ZhugeEX

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It's too early to comment on the platform holders potential strategies for their ninth generation consoles but I would say that if we do see a ninth generation of consoles the concept won't be different from 8th gen just due to the amount of core gamers supporting the console industry right now. So what I mean is we wouldn't see anything outlandish like a "digital only console" or "no third party support" console.

I do agree with what you say about PC being a competitor as outlined in my original report.. Especially with the rise of Steam, free to play and social game titles. PC is also seeing a lot of support this generation from publishers who usually focus on console. This generation is very much about a multi platform strategy for content creators and publishers.
 

Game Guru

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Agreed. As a matter of fact, I could easily see the PS4 be the last console to receive great Japanese 3rd party support.

And if that's the case, & if PS5 is digital only, I may as well turn towards PC gaming for that.
Actually, I think third-party support from Japan will continue to be on the level it currently is or increase. Most of the collapse of the Japanese console market happened last gen because of the dedicated handheld market, much as the core console market collapsed last gen because of the casual market that the DS and Wii pioneered. This generation is the generation where the casual market for dedicated systems and the Japanese handheld market collapses due to PC and mobile. The consoles in this case can be considered relatively stable since they've suffered their collapse already.

As for why third-party support from Japan might increase on consoles... It is mainly going to be due to a lack of a Vita successor and an unwillingness to move completely to Nintendo hardware. The audience that the Vita has in Japan isn't going to disappear, but it will have to choose between PS4 and 3DS, and many signs are pointing to a push towards PS4 among Vita exclusive third-parties. After all, many Japanese games are announced for PS4 as well as PS3 and/or Vita, even games one wouldn't expect like Ys 8 or Persona 5 which would otherwise be a Vita-only release for Ys and being a late PS3 release for Persona based on past entries in both franchises.