Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
More or less fun in a recession? It’s a tough call
Still unsure whether economic recession is good or bad for video-games sales, more than a year in? If so, you’re in good company — neither does the world’s biggest games publisher. Electronic Arts’ head of European publishing says the company still hasn’t figured out whether people cut spending on big items like housing and cars first, or whether those kinds of decisions are just too hard.
“We really wonder, hmm, in economically difficult times would people in order to have SOME fun actually play more games or less games, and then, would they spend more or less? It’s really, it’s impossible to say,” Jens-Uwe Intat told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris.
In the early days of the downturn, the industry was widely thought to be recession-proof as people chose cheap stay-at-home entertainment over pricey nights out. That assumption was later turned on its head.
EA, whose franchises include Need for Speed and The Sims, was flummoxed last year when it was hit with a 10 percent drop in the market for packaged games, instead of the 7 percent increase it had been expecting, Intat said. It has since become shy of making forecasts.