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Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Game Sales For 2002 Break Record
7:39 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

According to numbers release by the Interactive Digital Software Association, the US entertainment software industry grew to a record-breaking 6.9 billion US dollars in 2002.

According to Douglas Lowenstein, IDSA president, the increase in sales is due to a combination of factors from better and cheaper technology to an ever-growing user base:

The record-breaking sales of computer and video games in 2002 will continue in the years ahead as more ground-breaking games are introduced, hardware prices come down, and the audience for games broadens and deepens. Indeed, we believe that 2003 will be the peak year of the current hardware cycle, with software sales surging at least 10% yet again, and perhaps considerably more depending on other external factors.
Indeed, figures release by the IDSA illustrate the dramatic increase in the industry's popularity among adult American consumers - 56% of adults under the age of 45, 37% of 45 to 54 year olds, and even 26% of adults ages 55 to 64 indicated they would buy at least one computer or video game this year.

While the news will please game developers, according to the IDSA's research, the news doesn't look so good for PC and Mac gamers. Sales figures for last year show that console games accounted for 5.5 billion dollars US worth of sales, while PC games sold a measily 1.4 billion dollars US in comparison.

One obvious trend apparent from the 2002 data is that console software is capturing an even greater share of the market than ever before, accounting for 80% of industry software sales compared with 65% five years ago. Again, this is another reflection of the fact that the market for consoles is aging and broadening far beyond its original base of teenage boys.
Although not stated in the IDSA's report, the fear amongst some in the industry is that the ever-growing increase in the popularity of console games might encourage further publishers to develop console-only titles and drop PC and Mac game software altogether.

Also of note in the IDSA's report is the breakdown of game popularity demographics. In 2002, the most popular computer games were strategy games, which accounted for 27.4% of all computer game sales. In second place were children's games - 15.9%, then shooter games (11.5%), family entertainment titles (9.7%), followed by role-playing games (8%), sports titles (6.3%), racing games (4.4%), simulation titles (4.1%), and, finally, fighting games (0.1%).

In comparison, console game players most often purchased action titles, sports games, racing titles, edutainment software, role-playing games, fighting games, first person shooters, and adventure games.

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