Electronista has an article regarding backlash against netbooks. They talk about PC manufacturers attacking the market to push more notebooks. In the article, Avian Securities analysts estimate that netbook sales will rise, from 37 million units in 2009 to 47 million units in 2010.
In Avian’s note yesterday they also said there were 140 million notebook computers sold in 2009 and the number is expected to reach 180 million in 2010.
How this related to the games industry is that all of this is good. This is a positive sign for browser-based games as the potential market is increasing and more people have the ability to play wherever they go. As netbooks and notebooks grow in popularity, portability and features, we will continue to see more social games. As cloud computing becomes more prevalent, the content complexity will be able to increase along with gamers’ evolving tastes.
This is a great sign of support for the coming mid-core gaming explosion.
Activision announced today that Call of Duty 2 Modern Warfare has generated more than $1 Billion in worldwide retail sales since it launched in November. After doing $550 Million in sales during its opening weekend and becoming the most successful entertainment property in its opening weekend, the title has shown that games can generate more revenue than movies. While the audience is clearly above 10 Million, the question remains as to how large the ultimate audience is.
COD2MW will likely break the $1.5 Billion mark in 2010 and raise the bar of what is expected from the industry’s largest franchises. The potential audience for games is still much smaller than movies. We likely have 5-10% of the audience of movies at the theater. With simple math, a billion dollar movie is going to reach 5-7 times the audience of a game in its first run, just because of the difference in price.
Add to this the fact that games don’t have secondary releases (DVD, Pay-Per-View, Cable, Broadcast, Airline) and you start to realize that we may say we’re bigger than movies, but we’re actually less than half the size of movies in terms of revenues and audience. We’re making great strides in becoming mainstream, but we still have a long way to go.
The true test will be when Hollywood puts out a film and they compare it to a game launch weekend. Then we’ll be bigger than movies.
According to a story in Adweek today, a new report by Deloitte estimates that:
58% of U.S. households owned a videogame console last year
44% of U.S. households owned a videogame console in 2006
The story also states a significant decline in people that had played a game in the last six months. It would seem they haven’t heard of Farmville or somehow it isn’t being included considering the groups they cite with the greatest declines are the ones that have the greatest number of active social gamers. If the report is console focused, this would make sense since social gaming is creating new gamers, but also cannibalizing the time people have for console and other PC games.