Eight new stories 29.5

  • Wii Fit drops out of the UK top 40 from number two the previous week. Nobody saw this coming, an almost unprecedented sales collapse. Was this supply constrained or is it an indicator of what is to come when the Wii bubble bursts? Obviously the former and Nintendo are lucky that there is no serious alternative purchase so, at the end of the day, they won’t lose too many sales.
  • Nielson Report: PEGI ratings work well for customers. This is stating the obvious but 93 per cent of respondents to Nielsen’s survey recognised the PEGI system, and nearly half of all parents questioned found it either ‘extremely useful’ or ‘very useful’. Is this a nail in the ridiculous, Byron inspired, idea to use BBFC in the UK? Let’s hope so.
  • Haze “really is this year’s most significant gaming disappointment”. Two things here. Firstly the constant IP problem of hype Vs reality, it is immensely difficult to deliver great products that live up to what a good marketing department can do. Secondly are the continuing problems with PS3 games intractable? Is gaming mediocrity built into the hardware?
  • TIGA and ELSPA in the UK team up to promote the country’s video game industry to the government, parliament, and the media. Hardly news really, this is what they exist for. It continues to elude me as to why we allow the industry to be weakened by having these two seperate organisations. One voice would be so much more effective in every way.
  • In game advertising growing pains. We are learning as we go along here and certainly some people have been building castles in the sky. Anything that interrupts play is going to do the advertiser more harm than good and in game items are more likely to be ignored than to have a subliminal impact. This idea of advertisers sponsoring individual plays of a game is excellent, it gives the gamer all the right messages. We are making progress.
  • European videogame market is bigger than the American videogame market and is growing fast. Obviously it is also a lot more fragmented, by language, by retailers and popular media and by physical distribution. So it takes a lot more knowledge and hard work. But it is worth it. The gap will open up further as Europe is less affected by the coming economic downturn.
  • 90 minute cutscenes in MGS4. The good news is that you can skip them. Given that video games have the enormous advantages of interactivity, connectivity and non-linearity it is ridiculous to throw it all away and lower ourselves to the technical limitations of cinema.
  • Japanese learning game market goes mad. In the short term this is amusing. In the long term it is speeding up the evolution of valid working edutainment. We will more quickly learn what do do in this potentially massive market and how to do it. This bears very close watching by every industry strategist, it will be a big part of our future.


  1. The Wii Fit ‘sales collapse’ is due to stock shortages.
    Why are you so intent on predicting impending doom for the Wii?

  2. Regarding Haze

    “Secondly are the continuing problems with PS3 games intractable? Is gaming mediocrity built into the hardware?”

    The game is, put simply, crap. Yes, is was marketed very well indeed and even I was sucked in. Lovely to look at, just very, very dull to play. It offers absolutely nothing new in the FPS genre. With the likes of Call of Duty 4, Unreal Tournament, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 et al, gamers have plenty of better options.

  3. It’s entirely supply constrained. GAME stopped taking pre-orders for when it’s back because they’d sold any possible amount of stock 3 times over and the store I know is getting 20 calls a day about it and numerous drop-ins, such as the person in front of me in the queue when I was legally purchasing top Codemasters product “Race Driver : Grid”.

  4. Regarding Haze:

    “Secondly are the continuing problems with PS3 games intractable? Is gaming mediocrity built into the hardware?”

    Didn’t I read somewhere that, taken as a whole, PS3 games have a higher quality rating than those of the 360 and Wii? If overhyped games mean that “mediocrity is built into the hardware”, then there is simply no good hardware at all. There clearly have been enough good games now on all the consoles to know that bad games are a software, not a hardware, problem.

Comments are closed.