the State of Gaming 2024

maynard

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A lengthy, comprehensive look at the industry by the premier analyst in the space

I would say the trends cited don't sound encouraging for Star Citizen

but RSI keeps expanding while others are laying off, so who knows?
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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That's a fair chonkin' article.

Made a bunch of interesting points, inflation, what that actually means for the value of money and how even if revenue had stayed on an even keel numbers wise with cache being worth less than it is the market has still shrunk. Interesting. Did I loose focus and start skimming half way though...? No, it was more like a third of the way through but it was still interesting.

It's kind of what I'd expect to see if the world was run by mostly by accountants than by artists or visionaries... Which it is.
 

Lorddarthvik

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Oh gawd, what a freakin mess. Soooo much absolute nonsense. I swear to god if you made me read an article written 90% by AI.... cos it sure as hell feels like it. Most of it could make sense, just not to someone with more than one braincell.


Very TLDR for the article:
Dude makes up totally out of touch nonsense reasons as to why the games market hasn't seen the impossible rise post pandemic that was predicted mid-pandemic, while ignoring the crashing economy as a whole yet does no comparing to any other sector. Admits that the current growth, not retraction, of the games industry is on par exactly with pre-covid predictions. Keeps citing adjusted for inflation numbers, yet ignores the market crash and record high inflation as a reason for less growth, and that we are out of the pandemic so obviously numbers will be lower. Yet keeps bringin up "during the pandemic" like it tracks... Totally ignores the existence and numbers brought in by indie titles up until the very end and even than glosses over it like the growing billions of dollars in indie gaming don't even exist, focuses solely on big name companies.
For about 0.5% of the article he touched upon the problem of innovation being a risk (like SC) and how live service games take money and effort to retain their profitability and player base (also SC). He concludes that he has no fucking clue what's gonna happen but the normal level of growth will continue after this ad-break.




Let's take it from the top:

"the “streaming wars” are causing pain across film and TV, yet consumer spending continues to grow year-over-year." vs the shrinking gaming.
I highly doubt that. Day by day we get more and more news on how studios, most notably D+ fudged it's streaming numbers and actually becoming the loss leader in the category, other studios shuttering their streaming services fully and so on.. Those consumer spendings, I'm pushing X to doubt on em hard.

"When gaming contracted in 2021 and 2022, " Excuse me WHAT? This is just outright not true. The PC hardware market basically skyrocketed and the supply crashed Because of the pandemic and all the free money being thrown around, Because every single fucking person on in the first-world needed something to work and PLAY on! Absolute bullshit...
As very effectively countered by his own numbers later down the line!
And also by everyone else like shown here by visualcapitalist dot com.
1706663553201.png


A 20% BOOM into the pandemic, than year over year it still grew by 7%! I dunno but I don't feel like bigger number is means shrinking but okay, I'm no anal-ist.



"Another argument ran that the scarce supply of Generation 9 consoles and top-of-the-line graphics cards was holding back revenues. The theory had three prongs. First, the inability to find a new Xbox, PlayStation, or Nvidia GeForce RTX meant that consumers could not spend on these devices, which typically comprised 10–12% of annual video game spending. " Oh so NOW we are accounting for money spent on hardware in the same category as spent on game software... okay, great. So because ppl didn't want to spend 6-10x MSRP on a video card, it means the market was a bust... Despite nvidia and basically everyone else in the business closing those years with record high revenue. Makes sense, sure... So when it comes to the goal, you account for spending on hardware as aprt of the gaming industry? or spending on gaming by the consumer?, but when it comes to money spent, you ignore it because it could've been bought for home office work. Yeah, makes sense, sure.

"The shortage also limited accessories revenues, another 4–5% of total spending, as some secondary gaming devices, such as a monitor or headset, need to be replaced for the player to take advantage of their new console or GPU."
Show of hands here, how many of you bought a new monitor or mouse or keyboard just because you bought a new PS5, or a 4060?. Cmon, nobody? Yeah, fucking thought so.

Even if his numbers are correct, the reasoning is total nonsense for the PC/Console side.

As for the Mobile games spending, sure, I believe whatever he comes up with. Never cared never will, it is what it is. China smahing down hard on it's gaming incl. mobiles has hurt though, don't see that mentioned anywhere here.

From the article:
1706662406820.png


Pretty simple isn't it. People had to get back to work post covid. The economy is crashing, we were being told during covid that it is/will crash, anyone who can make money will have to do that more and harder, less time to play. Why is this a problem? Who was stupid enough to expect anything else happening???

He just keeps casually dropping in the "adjusted for inflation" into the numbers... my Dude, my Man, for the love of god, how about you ACCOUNT FOR THE RECORD HIGH INFLATION AS A REASON!!!
Personally I pay over double for my cost of living. Yeah video games are still 60-70 Euros, which is great cos now it's the same as if I had to pay a 120-140 for them a year ago. Surely from the SAME INCOME as 2 years ago, that has Not been adjusted for horseshit, I will spend my money on games exactly like I did before!
Yet somehow, this is still a mystery. He can't get over the "why" of consumers spending less on games.


"Of course, there are occasional insurgents in the top 20. In 2022, the brand-new franchise Elden Ring ranked 2nd in the packaged sales charts (and won Game of the Year at the Video Game Awards and DICE)"

I'm sorry what? Brand new franchise??? Hahahahahaa fuck off... Dude has absolutely no clue.


He starts dissecting the industry categories like VR and Mobile and AAA PC/Console.
This shows how out of touch he is with reality. PC and Console should be separated. Or more so Nintendo should be separated out, it's userbase fits into the the Mobile category more than anything really...

First of all, how about looking at the numbers Indie releases made. Shit little titles like Hades and Valheim and Jump King and Lethal Company pulling in hundreds of millions upon millions. Yes the landscape is changing but it isn't crashing and burning! The 1000 people who got fired from Blizzard are already working at new small companies that are desperately trying to live up to the success they found. The number of these small yet successful studios and games is only increasing. How do I know? I look at the real fucking world that's how! The best selling game title on steam has been some indie game month over month over month, I get on twitch and see with my own little eyes that every single streamer is playing the same new hype indie title (or showing tits but lets ignore that for now)! Youtube is full of videos on Andy and Laylay and Palworld and all these "streamer game of the week" titles! The only mention I see of CoD is how they fucked up No Russian for the "modern audience" while 99.999999% of their consumers are the "old audience" aka normal ppl!

Second of all, grouping consoles and AAA PC in the same group and trying to give an explanation covering both is just fucking dumb. There hasn't been a new console out in how long???
Also, accounting for Nintendo in the same category as PC, wildly different group of consumers expecting totally different products!

Anyways we finally get into some sensible territory
"Amazon’s $200-500 million MMORPG, New World, launched to considerable audiences in 2021 – peaking at nearly a million concurrent users and an estimated 10-15 million in its first 30 days. Three months later, players were down 96%, and two years later, it has more than halved again. Today, the game averages roughly 300,000 monthly players – a still substantial sum, but far from one which earns its initial budget or justifies substantially ongoing investment. "

Overinvestment/overspending just like in the movie industry, incentivized by the same reason of literal free money given out by certain investor groups.

Looks folks, we can try to avoid the "politics" of it as much as we want but reality doesn't give a fuck about our feelings when it comes to the truth.
Which were the huge flops of the past years? The games overseen by woke investment. Like by the infamous Embracer group, that managed to ruin multiple studios including Volition, the creators of the best damn space sim we had before SC came along, Freespace. (I'm also really worried that my friends and Digic Pictures will get the boot because they got Embraced like a year or two ago and now half the company has just either left or got fired.)
Then theres ofc Forespoken, hundreds of millions spent on a game that was mostly broken, and utterly bland and boring at best. Then ofc theres CoD with its wokeified remake, bombed. Starfiled lived all but 2 weeks, they spent the time and money getting hip with the "modern audience" yet they forgot to add in actual content to play, now it's at mostly negative reviews on Steam. SpiderMan2 which was from a technical standpoint the exact same game as SM1 yet they spent like 400mil+ on it. They added more nonwhite skintones, male bashing, and exclusion, I'm sorry I was meant to say diversity and inclusion ofc. For 400mil. It was really worth it...
Overspending on shit titles with piss poor execution to push a message, and than expecting the masses to just eat up the slop like nothing happened. Just like Hollywood.

Please note that I'm not trying to blame everything that's happened in the games market on "going woke going broke" yada yada "feminism" blah blah "politics in mah games" blah.
Far from it. But it did add on to the pile of why the games industry, accounting for the AAA titles mostly, might be in a bit of a decline. They did the same thing that Hollywood did, and got the same result, and are now laying off (most likely not very useful) workforce excess that they picked up due to the unlimited free gold cheat they were given, that just stopped working.


BUT, the last third of the article might be a bit more interesting regarding our case:

"The underlying challenges facing live services titles are the same as those facing single-player packaged ones – but far greater. After all, such a game is not trying to be an occasional snack, but to change a player’s diet altogether. More challenging still, this game must all change the diets of the player’s friends. Even if a publisher produces, in a simplified sense, a Game 4 of 10 friends prefer to the one they presently “main,” their experience playing that Game is nevertheless inferior if their six friends don’t come over. As such, this new game will struggle to retain the four it once attracted - and overall, those four users probably find that most of their needs and wants are already met by the games they already player and which keep being updated, too."

Yeah, he does hit on the point that it takes money to run a live service. This is why SC will remain in it's current funding model for as long as it possibly can. It IS a Live Service game. No ifs or buts. It has to remain so, as he later explains in like a billion paragraphs, taking risks in innovation is, well, risky. It takes time and money most big companies are not willing to take because they got a board to please, and failing to do so might bring about the closure of the studio. Going bankrupt when your risk taking doesn't pay off means the same without a board is a thing as well! How many times do you think CR could ask us the investors basically to lend him some more money? Would You be willing to spend another extra 50 bucks if he puts out a video saying that the project is in danger? I'm not sure there would be enough of us that do so.




Okay I'll stop tearing this shitpost of an article a new asshole. When it comes to reasoning, the writer is a 100% out of touch with reality in the above cases so there is no point.

What factually happened:
- gaming, along with streaming and all sorts of media consumption, has seen an insane growth during the pandemic for obvious reasons.
- investors go crazy! as they don't wanna miss the boat
- ANALists like this dude have predicted that the world will burn because of covid, but much sooner, during covid. It did, but not as much as they wanted it to. They were slightly off, as it's only hitting real hard now
- end of the world was postponed, analysts predict impossible growth numbers by 2025-2030
- pandemics over, people have much less time to spend on media consumption, who could have expected that...
- 2023, economy finally really crashes (it did, no matter what they try to lie to you on the news. Just look at your wallet and tell me it's not true). People have waaay less spending money.
- politically charged media investment aka DEI free money schemes crash and burn, market crashes, everyone pulls out as fast as they can
- gaming industry goes "omg the investors will want to see sales now!" and let go of some folk, cancel some projects previously funded by above
- ANAList does surprised Pikachu face, writes an hour long read that mostly makes no sense if you were alive in the last decade and concludes: I dunno, somethin will happen. Reasons that bigger number is actually worse than previous years smaller number cos it's not the number he wanted to see.






More importantly: Should we be worried that CiG will be in trouble because "OMG the gaming industry is over!!"
No, absolutely not.

Even this ANAList says so in the end, although for all the wrong reasons.

"Hope to Play

That gaming will return to growth is without question. What’s less certain is whether, how, and when it might grow above core economic growth or population growth rates; and whether, how and when it might advantage upstarts, rather than further insulate the leaders, and the impact it might have on industry jobs, too."


They did hit(?) record revenue this year despite the world burning. I think we will fall back to pre-covid numbers in increase, and once the dust settles in 2-3 years and the economy recovers thanks to some new global war or just the money printing machines catching up, we will be golden again.
 

BUTUZ

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STATE being the correct term to use about the gaming industry
 
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