Video Game Wars

If you are online, on Facebook, own an iPhone or other web-enabled mobile device like an Android or BlackBerry, then you are likely contributing to the loss of traditional video game and gaming system sales. With the popularity of handheld mobile devices with which mobile games may be played, and games like Farmville and Mafia Wars that are played on Facebook, traditional video game sales are slumping. In fact, video game software sales fell 6 percent to $614 to million while hardware sales tumbled 19 percent to $383 million, according to the research company, NPD. That is a huge loss for video game companies, especially considering that non-traditional sales were over 2 billion dollars.

video game warsNon-traditional video game sales are those that involve mobile devices, used games and systems and the downloading of extra content to enhance current games that are being played on tpersonal computers or gaming system. More people are downloading video games, especially those that will play on mobile devices, than ever before, and are opting to enhance their current games through digital downloads or taking advantage of the Internet’s ability to provide free games in exchange for little more than an e-mail address. reports that 53% of Facebook users play games, 50% of Facebook logins are solely to play games and 20% of users have paid cash toward enhancing their Facebook game experience. With over 500 million Facebook users, a large market has formed and will likely to continue its growth.

Because of this trend, video game designers may have to scale back their attempts at video game designs that utilize the latest technology and go back to more basic games that promote social interaction and integration with social networks over realistic graphics, enhanced game play and other standards of video game development. Some of this can be attributed to the economy and the affordability of games and gaming systems, as well. Many people are choosing to purchase used games and gaming systems in order to save a few dollars. The good news is that for video game designers who are able to create newer games that fit the social and mobile requirements of this market, there will likely be more jobs available in the future.

Video games continue to be a staple of entertainment in our world, but the means with which people acquire these games is changing. The popularity of mobile devices and the ease of game play on a social network are overshadowing the way video games wind up in the hands of users. The development of video games that satisfy the needs of the public may be changing, and while the stereotypical video game player may be disappointed by this trend, those who prefer the simpler games and their ability to interact and cooperate with their friends may become a new and larger market for the video game industry.

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