It’s no secret that the game industry has been in somewhat of a slump recently, but with games like Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite and SimCity making so much noise, there’s been a lot of talk of things turning around. It’s a positive outlook, but it would seem that certain analytic companies that have been keeping an eye on things don’t share our opinion.
In fact, one such company has predicted that this slump is going to continue until we see the release of Grand Theft Auto V and the advent of the next generation of consoles.
We’re still waiting on a report from the NPD Group for an official report on game sales in the U.S throughout March to give us a better idea of what state the industry is actually in right now. The report is due tomorrow, but Arvind Bhatia from Sterne Agee reckons that things won’t be good and has informed investors that the March sales are predicted to be down by 10 to 15 percent.
That’s a hefty amount of video games not being sold, especially when you consider that BioShock Infinite launched at the end of March and generated well over half a million sales in a matter of days.
In spite of this, Bhatia has predicted that whilst BioShock Infinite will most likely be the best selling title for March, there will still be a surprisingly large drop in sales which will be part of a continuing trend.
It’s expected that this bad streak will be ended in September, leaning towards the end of the year. GTA 5 and Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 will be released in the final months of the year and that should hopefully provide enough turnover and generate enough excitement throughout the consumer side of the gaming industry so that we can get out of this sales rut.
Some of the reasons behind this lack of faith are key titles such as Gears of War: Judgement and God of War: Ascension that both released this past month, but suffered with lacklustre sales that didn’t live up to previous releases in the respective series.
To bolster the early BioShock Infinite sales was Tomb Raider though, which enjoyed the strongest opening week in the entire history of the Tomb Raider franchise. Whilst that sounds great, it turns out that Square Enix feel that Tomb Raider failed to live up to expectations in terms of sales.
All this and more has analysts predicting such harsh futures for the gaming industry. Hopefully they’re right and GTA 5 does help to turn things around. On the bright side of things, the game industry is stronger than ever before so we will easily survive this slump that we’re in.
Hopefully developers will learn a lesson from this and turn towards even stronger games in the future. With predictions running that Microsoft will reveal their next-gen console at this coming E3, that will hopefully inspire even more faith in the game industry. as well as contribute towards getting out of this negative trend as soon as we can.