Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A response to a post on Slashdot.

Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog takes a look at the numbers for last year, and makes an interesting observation: hardcore gamers are probably not the future. Specifically, last year's videogame sales numbers show a huge trend in the adoption of mass-market licensed games. We've also previously discussed the extreme popularity of casual games. Despite Gears of War selling around the same amount as Cars (both around 2 million units), the cost in time and money to create Gears was substantially greater than the cost to create the Pixar-licensed title. The result?

"As growth continues, we're bound to see some substantial changes. As it stands, hardcore gamers are still a pivotal purchasing force in the games market: most of the top ten titles were what I would consider "hardcore" games. However, the trend away from the hardcore and towards the casual is becoming increasingly more predominant. We've talked quite a bit lately about the growing demand and response for casual games, and when coupled with the shocking sales of licensed products, I'm left wondering whether or not the number of hardcore gamers is dwindling."
- http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/13/1754223&from=rss

After reading this from Slashdot, I began to question where I fit in the whole gaming world. I used to consider myself as a hard-core gamer, but not these days. Yes, my blood begins to teem when I hear news on Halo 3… But… Let’s take a look at when I play a game…

I get home after a full day of work, no time there to play games, and just plain tired... Now that I have kids, I can not play a game like Gears of War when the kids are awake. It is a totally gory, head smashing, blood-curdling game that is really not appropriate for the young to play, let-alone watch. So, I have to save that until after the kids go to bed. Besides, when I get home, the girls want to play with Daddy and not have Daddy play Xbox and ignore them. Weekends are shot, there is always something going on with the girls. And then there is the “Honey-do” list. I don’t know about the rest of you, but my wife gets really irritated if I neglect the chores and just play Xbox. So, keep the wife happy, (and me from sleeping on the couch) - do the list…

Then there is the money aspect. At $60 a pop… That is a lot of coin to shell out on a game that may or may not be any good. Yes, there are a few games that I am waiting to come down in price before I buy. Games like Rainbow Six, Need for Speed, and Call of Duty 3. However, I am not going to spend $60 on a game like Cars. That is just not going to happen. Besides, at the rate of games coming out for the Xbox 360, it seems like there is a new game every month. Lots of $$$ going out!

So, let’s recap… When do I get to play games? That would be when the kids are not awake and assuming that there is no “Honey-do”s to do. Not much time at all.


Alex Scoble said...

I would suggest taking a look at Gamefly.com for renting games.

In my younger years I spent way too much buying games, but with Gamefly I get to play just about as many games as back then and only pay $15 to $30 a month depending on how many games I want out at once.

Let me know if you want to try it and I'll send you link for 2 free weeks.

Very Lost said...

I actually have looked into Gamefly, since I love Netflix. However, it seems like a waste to me, since I do not have that much time to actually play. I am sure that I would have games waiting to play that would sit collecting dust. Thanks for the offer and I will keep it in mind if the situation changes.