This Infograph Has Plenty To Say About Retail And Where Games Are Headed

We all know that the games industry is in a transition phase. The iPhone, the massive growth of digital distributions, the decline of retail... this interesting infographic collates a heap of information regarding sales, trends and the growth of mobile gaming. It provides a fair bit of perspective.

[Via Daily Infographic]


    'play games on their smartphone at least once per month'
    See I wouldn't consider that anywhere near the vicinity of someone who really... plays games... i would think neeearly everyone who owns a smartphone these days does that.

    Also, on that last point, while some of the massive franchises in console gaming may still make more money, it's likely easier to be successful in the mobile gaming industry, I'd be more interested to see stats on the proportionate number of casual smartphone games to 'traditional (cod? really?) games in terms of profit, not to mention the massive differences in cost of making the the two.

      That's what I was thinking, one person could easily make a game like angry birds and just put it on the app store vs the massive number of people it takes to bring a AAA title to the shelves, the cost in salaries alone (not to mention hardware, software, publicity etc) would be massive, so that definitely has to be taken into account when talking about gross profits etc.

        Good luck getting past the 1000s of other apps trying to do the same thing. Although the start up costs are greater I would guess that traditional gaming has a more reliable return for most developers (ignoring big publishers who can succeed on both due to their resources alone).

    This doesn't seem to take into account online games sales... I'm sure a large portion of missing retail sales have been going online which could mean the data is giving slightly the wrong impression.

      Yeah I haven't bothered to do the math but just eyeballing looks like overall sales are consistent/slightly increasing.

        It kind of does. In 2009 the physical retail sales were, let's say, $10.5bn USD, with that being 80% of the market. We can therefore assume the total market was around $13.125bn USD.

        In 2011 the physical sales were what, a little over $9bn (let's say 9.2), but only made up 69% of the market. That would put total sales at around $13.3bn. My figures are probably off a bit, but it indicates to me things are holding steady, at least.

      There's a whole section on physical vs online sales there.

    nooooooo.....not my physical copies!!

    the internet here is too horrible for me to go completly digital

    'Action' is a vague enough genre to begin with, but "Action, sports, strategy, role-playing"?
    That is the most useless category ever. And after taking out shooters and casual what on earth is left to make 'other' take up a third of the pie? mama?

    Considering I lost my beautiful Physical Collection Spindel with all my games, I've almost gone "All Digital" in replacement copies and backups.... :/ I'm thinking this is also a large part of where people are heading XD

    I don't think smartphone gaming is on the rise. Take a look at Zygna, it's showing a HUGE decline in the number of players. Unless smartphone games start to offer something more, it won't keep increasing, people will get tired of the pay to win model.

      The pay-to-win gaming world of Zynga-ville titles and other companies looking for a slice of the pie isn't the whole mobile gaming picture though. I think the Zynga bubble is at bursting point if it hasn't already, but I think smartphones are still a viable platform for studios like Halfbrick who want to make small casual on-the-go games like Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, simply due to the convenience that most people have a device like this in their pocket already.

      It's this logic that has Microsoft working on "smartglass". People have the platform already, how do we integrate our brand with that? Hence why I think handheld dedicated consoles are more likely to die off than smartphone gaming. A few years ago I thought MS were crazy for not wanting to enter the handheld market, but I'd say that market has been in decline since around the time of the first PSP. The DS held strong, but I think we're seeing these devices lose attention, in spite of a core of dedicated fans who love their 3DS/Vita.

      Zynga != smartphone gaming. Honestly you need to peel your eyes a bit further than zynga and angry birds.

      It'll grow for a time, generate massive investment, there will be high value share offerings, then people will realise the share prices are over inflated, due to being based on continuous growth estimates, so they sell, causing a plummet in share value.

      Basically the same things that happens all the time with emerging rapid growth markets people don't understand. See the whole dot com boom.

      Even something with the growth rate of steam will level out eventually, which could cause them serious issue if not properly planned for.

    I have noticed with my own gaming habits. I started gaming early with a Master System II, and had plenty of consoles after that up to owning a 360, PS3 and a good gaming rig. But the last 18 months or so I have pretty much stopped "gaming" as in spending a decent amount of time on it.

    Nothing really excites me, seen it all before and to many other fun hobbies taking up that time. The most gaming I do these days is a hour or so a day on my Ipad, Imperium Galatica 2 at the moment.

    I would hate to see the market go digital though, I still like to browse though EB games and think, maybe I should pick something up.

    So much for consoles being a dying breed when they make up the biggest market share.

    Maybe ppls comments on there downfall are trying rolled push there own agenda.

      While there may still make up the biggest market share, the ratio of Consoles to PCs is changing in PCs favour.

    'Casual gamers are shifting to low cost online and smartphone games'

    That's what they always played, because that IS casual gaming. Before smartphone and online games (like facebook crap, not stuff like newgrounds) appeared there were no 'casual gamers'.

      There is truly as massive gap between what companies like Zynga and Rovio class as games, compared to say, Newgrounds and Team Meat with Super Meat Boy and whatnot - a massive difference. Us gamers shouldn't really waste our time worrying about stuff like that, the proof is in the pudding and Zyngas' finding out, they can't just release cheap ass wannabe games and expect massive profits. 'Coz even the casual/social gamers will start to see how shallow such games are when they start looking for something better, and find it too boot!

        Exactly. The level of community support around sites such Newgrounds means they have (and will continue to) functioned fine on their own, WITHOUT the need for massive profits, unlike Zynga etc where the sole business model is ONLY for profit. When you link this with the fact that most 'casual' gamers aren't really 'gamers' at all, just consumers, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the consumer has no connection with the publisher (Zynga) and therefore no loyalty, so if the product itself isn't up to scratch they will leave in droves without a second thought.

    i totally just got max payne for my phone

    i totally just threw my phone out for being a sucky gaming device

    I wonder how accurate this is. I've heard that Valve don't share their Steam stats for example, so that alone has to skew things significantly. The mobile stats seem much lower than one would expect them to be too.

    The reason 2008 was so good for the industry was because of a number of, what I though, were pretty obvious reasons. Most of them to do with new tech....
    - Flat-panel, HD television were in prime form in the retail market.
    - The demand for HD disc players came in via HD-DVD and Blu-Ray
    - The "next-gen" consoles had both launched and were in fierce advertising mode.
    - Devs had gotten used to making games on each platform and we were past the dodgy, launch release titles.
    - The "global economic collapse" hadn't hit yet.

    But you can't just blame the collapse for the steady decline in sales. It's also the fact that the core market really isn't as big as the industry thinks.

    The video game industry needs to realise something about their consumers: Not everyone who buys call of duty is a CORE gamer.

    Don't keep using the Call of Duty series as an example of how much money a "core" targeted game can make. A lot of people bought a console before 2009. But these days a fair chunk of them barely use it for video games anymore. However, they WILL buy the annual Madden, Fifa, NBA and COD games. So unless your game says CALL OF DUTY on the box, it ain't gona make those ridiculous sales figures.

    Max Payne 3 is a prime example of this. MP3 is an awesome game. Good story, decent gfx, solid controls and remains engaging until the end. But look at what the "experts" are saying about it? How dare they call that game a "flop"! Unfortunately, the problem is it doesn't have the sales.

    One of two things needs to happen.

    Either we, the core gamers, need to collectively stop purchasing the AAA dogshit that comes out every year, so the big publishers realise we want games with substance. Or, we resign ourselves to the fact that the only good looking games we're gona get, are gona be mind-numbingly boring as all batshit. And the only games with an original concept will be the indie dev titles on smartphones and Steam.

      I think it's mainly a business problem. For years the biggest lure for developers and publishers has been those big dumb action AAA titles, and based on the numbres, those are what they should go for - they offer the biggest bang for their bucks.

      But with changing consumer habits beginning to now effect the market (increase in casual games, downloaded titles etc), larger publishers/developers may find it harder to switch modes and cater for changing demands. But mobility is something that smaller independent developers have on their side.

      I don't think it's a 'we all have to collectively stop buying these' kind of solution. As long as there is a market for new and innovative titles, and that market continues to grow, there will always be developers trying to create new things that can make the most out of that market. There's no reason why we can't support both big AAA products as well as smaller innovative ones.

    Comparing a smart phone to a console, in terms of overall experience and games, is like comparing a go kart to a formula 1 car.

    I'm tired of hearing smart phone / console comparisons, the two shouldn't even be associated.

      You've got a rather good analogy there actually, which counters your argument. People go kart because most of them don't have the skill or finances to participate in formula 1, but they still want the thrill of racing.

      The two MUST now and forever be associated, else I should lose my counter-argument wherein my significant other spends more time playing Tiny Wings than what I spend on the PS3.

    I don't get why everyone is calling doom on consoles, it's clear in that graph that it's just following the same old pattern. The last gen (~00-06) did a rise and fall as it got older then wound down, this gen is doing exactly the same, just on a larger scale.

    70% own a console but only 65% own a PC :/

      No, only 65% play games on their PC (lots of people would own a PC but use it for other stuff)

        This is very true - I have a PC, a laptop, a Wii, a 360, and a smartphone. Until Steam releases a Linux client, the latter two will continue to be the only ones I game on with any regularity. Until then, the console's easy, my sofa's comfortable, my TV is huge, my home theatre speakers are awesome, imports are cheap (especially since I tend to pick up games a year or two after release) and I'm happy.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now