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"Video games score headshot against DVDs this season"

Old 12-10-07, 08:36 PM
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"Video games score headshot against DVDs this season"

Interesting article from Ars Technica. Video Game Talk is taking over, Geoff!

DVD sales are lagging and game sales are up. Something's gotta give, as they say.

Retail shelf space is a finite thing in the world of brick and mortar, so each inch has to be maximized with product that is going to sell. As video games continue their rise, we're likely to see less and less shelf space given to DVDs, and more to video games and related merchandise.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier weighed in on the record game sales last month when talking about October's sales numbers. "This year [video game] sales have already achieved the annual sales number for 2005—and the two biggest months are yet to come. I think we'll see not only record-breaking revenues but record-breaking year-over-year growth when the final numbers are tallied," she said. The month before, Frazier made another hopeful comment about the industry: "Although we've been confident for many months now that the industry was poised to realize it's best year ever in terms of revenue, the results in recent months makes me even more bullish." In other words, the sales keep getting better and better, with titles like Guitar Hero 3 and Halo 3 leading the charge.

In contrast, DVD sales have been sluggish for quite some time, with the major studios taking note. Halo 3 sold more copies than the big-name DVD release Shrek the 3rd, even at a much higher retail price; the largest Halo 3 package cost an astounding $130. With the blockbuster video games going toe-to-toe with Hollywood's biggest franchises and winning, the writing is on the wall for retail space. "Intuitively, you think that consumers have a finite amount of money to spend," Bob Geistman, senior VP of sales and marketing at Ingram Entertainment told Video Business. "One has to hurt the other. Studios are becoming cognizant of the fact that they need to plan their DVD releases around games."

What is fueling this change? While it has been building for some time, games are finally going mainstream in a big way. Penny Arcade recently ran a poignant comic strip showing a grandmother's pink DS on a doily, her reading glasses perched on top. This kind of sight is proving common, as families and older consumers begin to pick up Nintendo Wiis and DSes in large numbers. Nintendo isn't the only force moving this trend forward, however, as many high-school and college-age gamers would much rather stay home and pretend to be a rock star with Guitar Hero and Rock Band games... a very social activity that draws groups of people to one house instead of going to a bar or the movie theater. In reaction, many bars are actually cashing in on the rhythm game phenomena by hosting parties with the game's hardware and offering prize while selling many drinks in the process.

At the same time, newer gamers are discovering that many developers and publishers are making titles aimed at them, and are subsequently moving their leisure dollars to those games instead of DVDs. Add to that the high-definition format war which is turning people off from upgrading to new players and repurchasing their content, and you have the perfect opportunity for gaming to become one of the most popular ways for people to spend their time.

Retailers don't have any loyalty to the DVD market; if they can make more money by stocking their shelves with video games and hardware, they will. With even 7-11 locations beginning to stock games for big launches, games could become the dominant product on the shelves of historically music- and movie-focused stores.
Seriously though, I haven't bought a DVD for myself for at least a year. I think I bought one 9 months ago for a gift; maybe.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:07 PM
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I've only bought a couple of discs each month this year. Way down from last year. As evidenced in the other thread I spent over $2000 on gaming. No comparison.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:18 PM
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I love video games and movies so I'm still buy a lot of both. But video gaming takes up the majority of my free time and I don't watch too many movies I have.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:31 PM
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My DVD watching habits have plummeted drastically since I got my 360 and became hooked on achievements. I still purchase a lot of movies, but my unwatched pile just grows and grows. I've slowed down in my game-purchasing, but am still going through the log of stuff that I haven't even played yet, as well as plenty of Rock Band, since it's just so damned awesome!
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Old 12-10-07, 09:50 PM
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After discovering the Red Box I may never buy another movie again.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:58 PM
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I am pretty much the opposite. My interest in video games has been slowly dwindling the last 3-4 years and my interest in movies has been growing.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:14 PM
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More time and money recently spent on gaming. Plus the dvd backlog is daunting, so i'm more hesitant to buy new dvds. A few years back I did get out of games for a couple years and into DVDs, so now the pendulum is swinging back.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:37 PM
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Wouldn't it make sense that DVD sales would end up leveling off though? Part of the boom had to have been because of everyone rushing out to buy old titles that they want in their collection as DVD popularity increased among the public. I'd have to imagine that once the market is saturated, there's really only new releases to look forward to. Not to mention the huge drop in prices within the last year on older catalog titles and DVD players themselves.

Video gaming is kind of a different beast, as game prices have gone up to $60, hardware is more expensive, accessories are more expensive... and no one really goes back to buy older games.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:41 PM
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The Best Buy near my work just cut its DVD section in half and used all of the space to expand the video game section.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:56 PM
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Wow, quality games outselling mediocre sequels? never.
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Old 12-11-07, 12:07 AM
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My wife even said to me yesterday that I didn't ask for any DVDs this year for Christmas, when usually I ask for multiples. I did ask for a couple of games though
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Old 12-11-07, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fumanstan
Wouldn't it make sense that DVD sales would end up leveling off though? Part of the boom had to have been because of everyone rushing out to buy old titles that they want in their collection as DVD popularity increased among the public. I'd have to imagine that once the market is saturated, there's really only new releases to look forward to. Not to mention the huge drop in prices within the last year on older catalog titles and DVD players themselves.
I think you have a point here. DVDs were insane for a good while, and there was no way for the market to sustain that level of interest. They've lost a lot of their novelty now, and I think people who were keen to own their favorite movies at first, might have turned the corner on "collecting" dvds and started to rent or wait for dvds to drop in price. I remember there would always be lines of people at Bestbuy and Wal-Mart Tuesday mornings, and there still are a few people who go out but not as much. Not to mention the new format war, which might have people holding of on buying titles.

Meanwhile, videogames have had a pretty banner year. I don't know if it's the best year for videogames ever, but I certainly can't think of a year that had as many triple A titles.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:16 AM
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What do they expect? DvD's have started to be phased out for a long time. Since they introduced down loadable content to PC's and consoles people have no need for a lot of dvd's. On top of that the new formats are out and people are slowly focusing on those instead. It is the natural order of things.
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Old 12-11-07, 09:50 AM
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Why waste money buying DVD's when there's Netflix? I still wouldn't buy DVD's anyway now that I'm Hi Def format enabled. If it isn't in HD it isn't worth watching.
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Old 12-11-07, 10:51 AM
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Personally my DVD buying has tailed off considerably the past few years. It's a combination of 1) finally owning all the catalog titles I wanted, 2) being sick of studio re-releases, 3) realizing I have so many DVDs I don't even watch (aka recognizing my collector/bargain hunter mentality had been kicking in at times), and 4) taking a step back until the HD format scuffle is more clear.

Whereas with games, they're more of an instant gratification thing for me. I'm not going to spend a week on any DVD... even my favorite movies of all time I won't watch twice in the same 4-month span. But when I'm into a game I'll pour considerable time into it. I get a lot more obvious entertainment value for my buck, whereas the DVDs I consider an investment of sorts... is it something I'm going to watch many times, or will I watch it once and never again (in which case I should rent).

Yes, I can rent games too. But I'm a lazy gamer of sorts. It takes me usually at least two weeks to be done with a game I truly enjoy. Not because I'm terrible per se, but because I take my time with games. I like to screw around in the game environment, explore, etc. After I beat the game I like to go back and find hidden things I missed, go for achievements, etc.
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Old 12-11-07, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DRG
Personally my DVD buying has tailed off considerably the past few years. It's a combination of 1) finally owning all the catalog titles I wanted, 2) being sick of studio re-releases, 3) realizing I have so many DVDs I don't even watch (aka recognizing my collector/bargain hunter mentality had been kicking in at times), and 4) taking a step back until the HD format scuffle is more clear.

Whereas with games, they're more of an instant gratification thing for me. I'm not going to spend a week on any DVD... even my favorite movies of all time I won't watch twice in the same 4-month span. But when I'm into a game I'll pour considerable time into it. I get a lot more obvious entertainment value for my buck, whereas the DVDs I consider an investment of sorts... is it something I'm going to watch many times, or will I watch it once and never again (in which case I should rent).

Yes, I can rent games too. But I'm a lazy gamer of sorts. It takes me usually at least two weeks to be done with a game I truly enjoy. Not because I'm terrible per se, but because I take my time with games. I like to screw around in the game environment, explore, etc. After I beat the game I like to go back and find hidden things I missed, go for achievements, etc.
same here
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