Times are tough. Economically speaking, at least. And when times are tough, people have less money to spend, and when people have less money to spend, big business gets worried. Gaming is a big business these days, so is gaming worried? Let's find out. Speaking at the BMO Capital Markets interactive entertainment conference today, the big cheese from EA, Nintendo, Take-Two and Ubisoft all sounded off on their thoughts for the holiday season. Those thoughts range from the optimistic to the not-so-optimistic.
Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime says:
If I look at this from an industry perspective I think cautiously optimistic is quite appropriate. If I look at it from a Nintendo perspective, I would say very optimistic.
Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot says:
In general, there's a lot of competition (from other publishers), but we see that software is selling well, just due to the fact there are a lot of machine owners who need software.
Take-Two's Strauss Zelnick:
I'm concerned that it's going to be a pretty rough holiday season. Everyone's going to be shopping less. First you are going to see less foot traffic and then less inventory on the shelves.
And finally, EA Sports' Peter Moore, who makes it sound like the glass is a little under half-empty:
We are entering uncharted water from an economic standpoint. We are holding our breath and hoping the consumer comes out to play.
Most interesting, though (at least for me), was this quote from BMO analyst Edward Williams:
The question is the person who is a little more marginal, the person who is new to gaming and is not as interested in video gaming. That's where I think there is greater potential for risk.
It's interesting because I mostly agree. People like you and me, we breathe games. We'll buy them whatever the economic circumstances. But much of the Wii's new market? Will they still buy games if they tighten their belts? I have my doubts. Guess we'll know the answer to that come January!