If you’d like to remain optimistic about the future of the video game industry, you may not like what Superdata founder Joost van Dreunen has to say about the state of the industry and where it’s going from here. Or perhaps you will like aspects of it; one of the major points put forth in this particular piece is that the game industry is part of the mainstream, prone to shifts up and down like everything else, and the future doesn’t hold a collapse so much as a downward trend. In the long term, that’s great.
In the short term, though? Growth is stagnant, market saturation on things like mobile has been reached (it turns out you do all indeed have phones), and the console life cycle seems to be nearing its end even as there’s no real path forward to another console life cycle. There’s also a doom foretold for Gamestop in the wake of the retailer’s existing troubles in maintaining fiscal solvency. Factor in the Chinese market issues and it looks like things are headed for a downturn in the immediate future. So in the short term? Not so great.
One interpretation here is that the games industry which was previously thought to be anti-cyclical, is now in sync with the rest of the economy. Consider it a by-product for having become a mainstream industry, finally, after three decades on the fringes of the entertainment business. Games are seemingly more vulnerable to high-level economic fluctuations, prone to fickle investor sentiment, and much less insulated.