NPD reckons 2010 will “be a really exciting year” for games industry

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 7 January 2010 18:51 GMT

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NPD’s Anita Frazier reckons 2010 will be a “really exciting year” for the games industry, with Q1 to possibly be the “biggest quarter in videogame history” thanks to titles that slipped from 2009.

The analyst predicts that, on the PC front, digital distribution will take over the retail market, and mobile and social gaming will be a huge contender.

“We expect 2010 to be a really exciting year for the video games industry,” she wrote. “First, Q1 is shaping up to be the biggest quarter in video game history as several marquee titles slipped from this year into next, joining the already strong line-up of new releases.

“Motion-sensing controllers will be a focal point as Microsoft’s NatalL will likely make its way to market during the year.

“In PC games, sales generated via digital distribution will overtake those generated at retail, and there will be some big PC game releases, most notably from Activision Blizzard.

“Perhaps the biggest issue facing the industry in 2010 is the proliferation of mobile and social gaming, much of which is free to the consumer. While they can’t replace or replicate the gaming experience that a full frontline game offers, they can and do satisfy the gaming craving for many occasional gamers.”

Frazier went on to say that the existence of such games are “putting pressure” on the casual games side of the industry, and the pressure will “spread to the more traditional segment of the industry” by putting downward pricing on content.

Social gaming is indeed being courted by companies like EA, who purchased casual and social media outfit Playfish last year, and even industry vets like Sid Meier, who recently stated that he’s looking into creating a Civ MMO for the Facebook crowd.

The future is now, kiddos.

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