While publishers and hardware developers are trying to figure out how to expand their audiences, it turns out, as some analysts are saying, that hardcore gamers will be the audience that will keep the videogame industry afloat during these tough economic times. “As long as hard-core gamers have a job, they will continue to buy games,” said IDC videogames analyst Billy Pidgeon as reported by the Associated Press. It’s even estimated that core gamers purchase half of all videogames sold according to Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan. “They may be wealthy, they may be poor, but they have no clue we are in a recession,” Pachter said.
Not all seems well in the industry however, as GameStop has decreased their earnings targets for the fourth quarter. It’s not that they don’t think the core gamer turnout will decrease but instead, consider it a necessary step given the economy and its uncertainty. “If the core gamers and the avid gamers are with us through these very unpredictable times, that’s a very, very good sign for us,” said GameStop chairman Richard Fontaine. Despite the recession and a dip in consumer spending, the NPD Group expects the $18 billion in videogames bought in 2007 to grow to $22 billion this year.
I’m pretty sure casual and core gamers are aware of the current economic situation, but if an army of zombies can’t stop us, then managing our finances to accommodate the economic environment won’t either.