Can someone explain this to me?
Wasn’t it just yesterday that video game industry trade group the Entertainment Software Association issued a press release high-fiving itself over record sales of game software in 2008?
Why then, today, do we learn that GTA publisher Take-Two Interactive is griping about used game sales?
Here’s what the ESA said yesterday about its record-breaking year:
Overall computer and video game industry hardware, software and peripheral sales climbed to $22 billion in 2008, with entertainment software sales comprising $11.7 billion of that total figure—a 22.9% jump over the previous year— the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today… on the strength of a December sales month in which industry revenue ($5.3 billion) topped $5 billion for the first time in any single month. By comparison, as recently as 1997, the industry generated $5.1 billion over the entire year…
And here’s T2 CEO Ben Feder (left) whining (via Cowen analyst Doug Creutz) today:
"GameStop continues to aggressively push their used game business, which is having a meaningful negative impact on sales of new games," noted analyst Doug Creutz, following a meeting with Take-Two CEO Ben Feder this week.
"Management is frustrated with this trend and is examining ways to ameliorate the problem, which includes strategies around online play and downloadable content which extend the lifespan of AAA titles."
GP: We have to ask: how "meaningful" can the supposed "negative impact" of used game sales be with game publishers having just completed their best year ever?
Or, is this another case of a greedy media corporation trying to squeeze every last nickel out of its customers?
UPDATE: I should make it clear that "whining" is my characterization of Ben Feder’s position. Doug Creutz merely reports on Feder’s concerns in an investor’s note detailing his Tuesday meeting with the T2 CEO.