Monday, February 16, 2009

What's Killing the Videogame Business?

(UPDATE: Variety reports that Midway Games, makers of Mortal Kombat, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 12.)

Slate
has an interesting article on the state of the videogame industry. While sales are rising, budgets are rising faster. That's leading to financial losses and layoffs.

The development cost of a game is now in the area of $40 million, which is the cost of a mid-range animated feature. The gaming industry is pursuing a Hollywood model, hoping that blockbusters make enough money to offset losses on other releases. I'm not sure how smart it is for anyone to raise the stakes in a time of economic uncertainty.

I'd love to know how many artists the gaming industry employs relative to TV and feature animation. It's possible that gaming employs more than the two of them put together. If that's true, I hope that the game producers know what they're doing.

5 comments:

laughingwolf said...

mark, it's all centred around greed... but then, little is not :(

/\/\ikeB said...

Its not just artists being layed off. Programmers and QA testers, even gourmet chefs were working in some studios.

Steve Schnier said...

Game developers have fallen into the "Bigger is Better" trap, putting more frills into each game.
They should take a page from Nintendo in developing the Wii system; Instead of joining the escalating resolution and bit-rate wars, Wii's developers instead went in a different direction and focused on a new user interface.

Instead of throwing more money at software development, the game developers might want to consider exploring other directions.

Anonymous said...

Steve is right. Leaping into the 'more is better' pit helped lead to the current Wall Street morass. How much companies can spend is limited. Imagination is (theoretically) limitless.

Martin Juneau said...

I already talked about the videogames industry who being much monotonous and the fact that many peoples take them too seriously than their real lifes. They are ready to buy their homes for a damnit videogame consoles newage.