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Japanese Game Publishers Show Mixed Results

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the plus-and-minus dept.

The Almighty Buck 28

Thanks to GameScience for its round-up of financial results for Japanese videogame publishers for fiscal Q1 2004. The piece muses on "disappointing figures for Konami and Sega with a lack of big titles for the period, and with two cancelled titles, Namco also suffered heavy losses. Sony's game division also suffered, while Capcom and Square-Enix had a comparatively good period." The article also notes Nintendo's "large-scale gains", pointing out: "the Gameboy Advance SP continues to enjoy good sales while software such as 'Mario vs Donkey Kong', 'Kirby' and 'Famicom Mini Series 2' was a great success [both series together have sold over 2.7 million copies]", whereas "the bulk of the losses" in Sony's game division can "be attributed to lower hardware sales than usual", as the PlayStation 2 nears the end of its lifecycle.

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So... (-1, Offtopic)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 10 years ago | (#9960085)

When will the game wars begin?

Glitch (-1, Troll)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 10 years ago | (#9960133)

There seems to be a glitch how many posts can I toss in here before it's corrected...

Strange...Glitch still exists (-1, Troll)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 10 years ago | (#9960162)

If only I had N.P. and some hot grits to pass the time away... Darn, I've been subverted by /.

"Slashdot requires you to wait 2 minutes between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment."

Maybe... (-1, Flamebait)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 10 years ago | (#9960256)

It's an issue with my system... So, folks when are we going to start the rebellion. I mean, exactly how long can we put up with the government working hand in hand with the corporations to make a profit at the cost of humanity and basic rights? I guess I'm speaking in a UScentric way but it will not be long before the rest of the world follows suit. e.g. The Aussie's are coming really close to adopting DMCA tactics and the EU is doing the same... So folks, what's it going to be? Now or later?

Dissapointing sales for Sega? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 10 years ago | (#9960270)

Just looking at the tables for sega, they seem to be doing okay, especially in what's widely held as a downturn. They doubled earnings from a year ago, and their predictions call for 8 billion, somewhere between 4 and 8 times more than they're making now. Of course, predictions tend to be optimistic, but even if its only 4 billion, they've more than doubled earnings.

I'd be more worried about Sammy, who if I'm reading this chart correctly, earned 3 billion yen on 27 billion billion yen!

Re:Dissapointing sales for Sega? (1)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9961397)

The quarter you are referring to was 1st quarter 2003, their revenue and profit both soared if you look at it year over year.
And honestly, 3 billion yen on 27 billion revenue, while not great, isn't exactly bad.

Possibly. (0)

Taulin (569009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9960369)

Konami, Sega and especially Namco, will notice better gains if they stopped pumping out sequals and put more money and energy in something original. That is of course if they are even capable of making original games anymore.

Re:Possibly. (3, Insightful)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9960494)

Well, for the end user - original games are an exciting premise but for anyone advising game developers, sequels sell. Looking at a list of the 10 best selling console games from 2003 [here [pcvsconsole.com] ]:

1. PS2 - Madden NFL 2004 (Electronics Arts)
2. GBA - Pokemon Ruby (Nintendo)
3. GBA - Pokemon Sapphire (Nintendo)
4. PS2 - Need for Speed Underground (Electronics Arts)
5. NGC - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Nintendo)
6. PS2 - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Rockstar)
7. NGC - Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Nintendo)
8. PS2 - Tony Hawk's Underground (Activision)
9. PS2 - Enter the Matrix (Atari)
10.PS2 - Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (Electronics Arts)

These are sales figures from North America. Looking at that list, the only game there that was not an established game franchise is the Matrix game - and that was already an established movie franchise. Simply put, companies that want to make money need to exploit their established characters. The video game industry is still relatively young and perhaps after more maturing, originality will sell games. For now, companies should bet on sequels selling. The link I provided provides a list of the best selling games in Japan for 2003, which paints a similar picture.

Now, I will agree that companies should not "pump out" sequels. Companies need to realize that in this industry, established characters are a license to print money, IF you protect your characters and make sure that poor release after poor release does not devalue them. For instance, the most recent Tomb Raider game was a sequel that did not sell because it was a bad game with an established character. Companies need to use established characters but also release quality games.

Re:Possibly. (2, Insightful)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9962196)

These are sales figures from North America. Looking at that list, the only game there that was not an established game franchise is the Matrix game - and that was already an established movie franchise. Simply put, companies that want to make money need to exploit their established characters. The video game industry is still relatively young and perhaps after more maturing, originality will sell games. For now, companies should bet on sequels selling.

Going through the list, only 3 of the titles (Need for Speed, Madden, and GTA) outsold the previous title in the series, though, so companies should beware of the diminishing returns of sequels. In many cases (especially the Nintendo titles), the ratio of sales was nearly 5 to 1.

I would attribute the difference in Madden, NfSU, and GTA as having to do with:
-Madden's competition getting worse
-NfSU actually being a better game than previous titles in the series, in addition to having more popular appeal
-GTA:VC riding off the controversy and popularity of GTA3, having come out perhaps at the height of GTA3's rising sales, and perhaps having stolen some sales from GTA3 in the process (not to mention people's confusion over the fact that Vice City and San Andreas are more expansions rather than true sequels to GTA3).

Re:Possibly. (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#9965796)

When you say that Madden's competition is getting worse...are you referring to games like NFL 2K5?

Gamerankings.com scores NFL 2K5 at 91.7 (got an 89 last year) and Madden at 93.4. Take out Gamespy's skewing of the scores, and they would be dead even.

On the other hand, there are FEWER games competing- but they are not getting worse. This year there is no FEVER, and some other game I can't remember. But, there is NFL Street, also from EA, but a different game.

Re:Possibly. (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9978892)

When you say that Madden's competition is getting worse...are you referring to games like NFL 2K5?

No, I would be referring to the 2004 editions of all of the games, since Madden 2005 was just released. Incidentally, in 2003 Madden, Sega's title, and Microsoft's title were given equal scores by a large number of reviewers. In 2004, though, Madden scored significantly better than either. This year, Sega's title has apparently gotten significantly better, but Sony and Microsoft have dropped out completely to improve their titles for next year.

As for NFL Street, you're looking at a completely different type of gameplay; although it still appeals to a section of Madden's audience, it's not all of Madden's audience, and it will appeal to some outside of Madden's audience, as well (just as the Blitz series did at one time).

Re:Possibly. (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#9964071)

What I find interesting about this list is that there is only one ps2 exclusive game on there. People would be better off buying a gamecube. That way they can play 7 out of the top 10, and many of those games would have better graphics.

Re:Possibly. (1)

KAMiKAZOW (455500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9964224)

You mean GTA? That's not even exclusive any more.

Re:Possibly. (1)

Taulin (569009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9972687)

Yes, I agree that sequels will make money, but only for a limited time. This is the point I am trying to make as to why these companies are seeing dwindling sales.

All those you listed are sequels, and people wonder why sales in video games are 'lacking' or becoming less.

japanese games (1)

mono_indy (203761) | more than 10 years ago | (#9960456)

i know this is going to sound a bit odd, but do you think sega would be doing better if they created another console? i love my dreamcast and know that there are so many people out there doing multiple things with it that sega would be sure to profit. also, even if they just release a few, couldn't they make money? kind of like a special edition console that can kill the big three limited to some small number that will cover costs and turn a profit. in a fantasy world, that would be the ultimate.

Re:japanese games (1)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9961442)

It would be a tough sell to investors, and Sega probably doesn't have the cash on hand to risk it on another console deal. Manufacturing those things isn't exactly cheap, and if it would flop, investors are going to flee from Sega like crazy.
I can't say they will never make another console, but there would have to be a stron financial incentive for them to do so, and with Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft already prepping their next gen consoles for release, there is no way that Sega could get in on time, and judging from the dreamcast, if you don't get in early, you already have the deck stacked against you.

Re:japanese games (1)

mono_indy (203761) | more than 10 years ago | (#9961648)

you make some very good points. but, if sega decided to release a limited release console that would be guaranteed to sell every one with limited release games (and also backward comliant with dreamcast games) that could be a little different.

then again, i have been pining for sega to get back into the console business.

Re:japanese games (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9962085)

there is no way that Sega could get in on time, and judging from the dreamcast, if you don't get in early, you already have the deck stacked against you.

Ummm... the Dreamcast was a current generation console, it was just about a year earlier than the PS2.

The only ways in which the deck was stacked against them were the failures of their consoles between the Genesis and Dreamcast, the ad blitz from Sony pushing a console no one would be able to buy for over a year, and the fact that the PS2 had backwards compatability to combat any perceived weakness in their launch library. Oh, and then there were the batches of various popular games that didn't work properly in the Dreamcast's launch library, which got far more press than the batches of PS2s that couldn't read DVDs (probably because most of the launch titles for the PS2 weren't DVD-based).

Games Are Deep (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9962206)

I know if an RPG takes up 200hrs. The last thing I am going to do is squeeze in 2 RPGs and cram in 400hrs. Games nowadays, while not the most innovative, are deep as hell. You spend all your time unlocking this and that.

Which also brings up another point.... why do I want to buy all these games just to unlock stuff day after day. Where's that FUN FACTOR.

Re:Games Are Deep (2, Insightful)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#9963257)

I'm not sure if you are a FAN of me-sucky-long-time RPGs, or if you are against them...but that's not the point. (The point is that this gives me an opportunity to spout my own opinion...)

I hear a lot of the "oh, RPGs don't sell as well, because they are so good, and so deep, that you only need to buy one or two a year."

And of course, usually this is said while giving a negative reference to sports/FPS games. Because we all know that RPGs are like the be-all and end-all of the gaming world.

Well I beg to differ on a few points here.

#1- Sports games can take up tons, and tons, and tons of time. For instance, my latest addiction is NFL 2K5. I'm almost done with my first season (Super Bowl party this weekend!) and I've got at least 30 hours playing 2K5. Each game takes about an hour. Then you spend time fixing up your crib, and looking at stats. And depending on your style of play, you need to scout out the next team. And of course, playing outside of franchise mode against friends, on-line, etc. And then there are off-season trades, changing the playbook, etc. I really expect to go at least 3 seasons with my team (Buccaneers) so I can see the effect of my trades, drafts, etc.

If past history is any indication here, I will easily spend 150+ hours on this game off-line and on-line combined. (You can actually argue that this type of game IS an RPG...but then a bunch of true-RPG sissies might threaten you with some form of phone phreaking, and the only time you'll get any peace is during the annual Comic-Con)

#2- Rainbow Six 3 is another good example of a non-RPG game that can be a major time sucker. Every wife/girlfriend/little sister has heard "just one more round" coming from a Rainbow Six 3 player. I say it again, and again, and again. While on-line, you can see how many kills other players have, and when you figure how much time they've spent on the game, it's astounding.

So I don't believe it at all when RPG fans blame the lower over-all sales of the RPG genre on "the games are so deep, you don't need as many". I prefer to blame it on "No 'Lord of the Everlasting Butterfly' the rest of the world does NOT want to pretend that they are the wizard of all fairy insects".

Okay...I think that is all for now. Because It's Time For Buccannnneeeeeeeeerrrr Footballlllll!

(And a personal, heart-felt apology to any RPG player who is not currently wearing a black T-shirt, and does not speak any languages whose basis comes from fantasy literature.)

Re:Games Are Deep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10008716)

I got NFL 2k5 that game is far superior to any madden game.

Re:Games Are Deep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9965577)

Most True Hardcore Gamers shun Sports games.

But go ahead and admire your collection of 234 football games, some of which only differ by updated rosters and uniforms..

I wont stop you.

Could PC sales have analogy to this? (1)

Neo's Nemesis (679728) | more than 10 years ago | (#9962752)

PC gamers are waiting with hands on all their moolah to purchase all the gold that comes out when HL2, Halo2, Stalker, etc are released. This might actually put the buyers of other consoles at confusion, since they might find they should also stay back for some time. Also, as handhelds are putting in more of gaming, people are choosing mainly between a mobile, a PS2, or PC.

Nintendo don't cut the Advance titles!!!! (2, Interesting)

FriedTurkey (761642) | more than 10 years ago | (#9962896)

If Nintendo is smart they will continue the line of games like the excellent "Mario vs Donkey Kong". The original game boy had a lifespan of 8-10 years. The Advance series is getting cut off in 4-5 good years for the DS. The DS is gimmicky and the graphics upgrade isn't work purchasing for the use of a stylus.

Nintendo feels it needs to go after an adult market like the PSP. What they need to do is develop more adult oriented games like Advance Wars and people will still buy a SP. As an adult I like traveling with the SP because it's small, cheap, and the cartridges are tougher than nails. I won't be able to throw one of those PSP disks in my pocket without it breaking. I can't even keep track of my Palm Pilot stylus. How are 8 years not going to lose the stylus?

Re:Nintendo don't cut the Advance titles!!!! (1)

Benedick (737361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9964064)

If you'll read the articles from Nintendo, the Nintendo DS is not a replacement for the GBA. Heck, it doesn't even have "Gameboy" in the title, just "DS." Nintendo knows the GBA is the goose that laid the golden egg and they have no intention of killing it off.

The DS and the GBA are targeted at different markets with the GBA staying with the traditional younger player and the DS aimed more at an older player. While they don't say so right out, I think Nintendo views the DS as a bit of a gamble. Yeah, they are betting on it, but they aren't betting the house.

In the immortal words of Douglas Adams, Don't panic! The GBA has a long life ahead of it. Me, my money is on the DS being a surprise hit, which I'll play, while my kids keep on playing new Pokemon games on their GBAs.

Re:Nintendo don't cut the Advance titles!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9975505)

GNAA 10,000,000 PROST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9999437)

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda stepped off the bus and was led into the yard of the Main State Correctional Institute. He had been given ten years for participating in a stock fraud. Five with good behavior. Years spent basking in the glow of a CRT had been hard on him. His body was frail, his skin pallid. He knew he could never make it through ten years in the general population with his virginity intact. He had to get into solitary.

As soon as the burly guard unshackled him he made his move. Exhaling a feminine "hmmph" he weakly slapped the guard. He was quickly taken to the ground, receiving a swift kick to the ribs before being restrained. As he was dragged to the solitary confinement cell he felt nothing but relief. "At least in solitary," he thought "I'll be safe." Unfortunately for Rob he had picked the wrong guard to mess with.

The next few days were uneventful. The time in his cell he spent evenly between sleeping, reading a "Perl for Dummies" book he had gotten from the book cart, and masturbating furiously. His self-flagellation was interrupted on the fourth day. The burly guard he had attacked earlier stepped into his cell. The gleam in the guards eye and the mean grin on his face made Rob's pecker quickly shrivel in his hand. "You fucked with the wrong man when you fucked with Michael Simms," said the guard. "The inmates here call me The Asshole for a reason. Now come with me, punk."

The guard led him down the hall to one of several empty shower stalls. He roughly threw Rob in the stall and locked the door. Rob was petrified. His mind raced as he imagined the myriad of different tortures that could be in store for him. His worst fears were confirmed when the guard returned. In his hands were a short black dress, black stilleto heels, and a curly blonde wig. "Strip down and put this on, bitch." Rob did as instructed and was pleased to notice that the dress fit well and the heels gave him a nice slimming effect. The burly guard admired the drag queen. "The GNAA is gonna love you!"

The guard left the shower stall, only to return minutes later. He opened the door and led 20 large black men into the stall. "Rob, meet the Gay Nigger Association of America. GNAA, meet Rob. I'm sure you all will get along fine." With that the guard slammed the shower door closed and walked away laughing.

The men approached Rob, backing him into a corner. The apparent leader stepped forward. "No matter what I'm gonna fuck that purdy lil' ass of yours. Now I can fuck it dry or you can lube it up for me." Rob knew he had no choice. He kneeled in front of the leader, who began to slap his face with his 10 black inches. Puss from syphilictic sores quickly covered Rob's cheeks. When the leader was sufficiently aroused he placed his throbbing cock up to Rob's lips. As soon as Rob opened his mouth the leader violently shoved his manhood to the back of Rob's throat and exclaimed "Swallow my shit you cracker bitch!" Rob gagged as he was violently face fucked.

Just when he was about to pass out the leader pulled out, turned him around and shoved his cock into Rob's ass. Rob began to scream in agony but his cries were quickly muffled by one of the other gang member's cocks. They rode him like that for the better part of an hour. When one man finished another quickly took his place. Just as Rob was getting used to the throbbing pain in his anus the men stopped. One man lay down on the floor and Rob was told to get on top of him and take his dick inside him. Exhausted and humiliated, Rob had no will left to fight. As soon as he inserted the penis another man came up behind him and began to force his cock into Rob's already filled anus. Again his screams of agony were muffled, this time by a smelly black anus.

For another hour he was violated in this way. When the men were finished with him he couldn't walk and his mouth was filled with dingleberries and ass hairs. Before they all left the leader had some parting words for Rob: "Thanks for that sweet piece of ass, punk. We'll see you again tomorrow. Oh by the way, we all have AIDS." It was going to be a long ten years for Rob.

Re:GNAA 10,000,000 PROST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9999483)

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda stepped off the bus and was led into the yard of the Main State Correctional Institute. He had been given ten years for participating in a stock fraud. Five with good behavior. Years spent basking in the glow of a CRT had been hard on him. His body was frail, his skin pallid. He knew he could never make it through ten years in the general population with his virginity intact. He had to get into solitary.

As soon as the burly guard unshackled him he made his move. Exhaling a feminine "hmmph" he weakly slapped the guard. He was quickly taken to the ground, receiving a swift kick to the ribs before being restrained. As he was dragged to the solitary confinement cell he felt nothing but relief. "At least in solitary," he thought "I'll be safe." Unfortunately for Rob he had picked the wrong guard to mess with.

The next few days were uneventful. The time in his cell he spent evenly between sleeping, reading a "Perl for Dummies" book he had gotten from the book cart, and masturbating furiously. His self-flagellation was interrupted on the fourth day. The burly guard he had attacked earlier stepped into his cell. The gleam in the guards eye and the mean grin on his face made Rob's pecker quickly shrivel in his hand. "You fucked with the wrong man when you fucked with Michael Simms," said the guard. "The inmates here call me The Asshole for a reason. Now come with me, punk."

The guard led him down the hall to one of several empty shower stalls. He roughly threw Rob in the stall and locked the door. Rob was petrified. His mind raced as he imagined the myriad of different tortures that could be in store for him. His worst fears were confirmed when the guard returned. In his hands were a short black dress, black stilleto heels, and a curly blonde wig. "Strip down and put this on, bitch." Rob did as instructed and was pleased to notice that the dress fit well and the heels gave him a nice slimming effect. The burly guard admired the drag queen. "The GNAA is gonna love you!"

The guard left the shower stall, only to return minutes later. He opened the door and led 20 large black men into the stall. "Rob, meet the Gay Nigger Association of America. GNAA, meet Rob. I'm sure you all will get along fine." With that the guard slammed the shower door closed and walked away laughing.

The men approached Rob, backing him into a corner. The apparent leader stepped forward. "No matter what I'm gonna fuck that purdy lil' ass of yours. Now I can fuck it dry or you can lube it up for me." Rob knew he had no choice. He kneeled in front of the leader, who began to slap his face with his 10 black inches. Puss from syphilictic sores quickly covered Rob's cheeks. When the leader was sufficiently aroused he placed his throbbing cock up to Rob's lips. As soon as Rob opened his mouth the leader violently shoved his manhood to the back of Rob's throat and exclaimed "Swallow my shit you cracker bitch!" Rob gagged as he was violently face fucked.

Just when he was about to pass out the leader pulled out, turned him around and shoved his cock into Rob's ass. Rob began to scream in agony but his cries were quickly muffled by one of the other gang member's cocks. They rode him like that for the better part of an hour. When one man finished another quickly took his place. Just as Rob was getting used to the throbbing pain in his anus the men stopped. One man lay down on the floor and Rob was told to get on top of him and take his dick inside him. Exhausted and humiliated, Rob had no will left to fight. As soon as he inserted the penis another man came up behind him and began to force his cock into Rob's already filled anus. Again his screams of agony were muffled, this time by a smelly black anus.

For another hour he was violated in this way. When the men were finished with him he couldn't walk and his mouth was filled with dingleberries and ass hairs. Before they all left the leader had some parting words for Rob: "Thanks for that sweet piece of ass, punk. We'll see you again tomorrow. Oh by the way, we all have AIDS." It was going to be a long ten years for Rob.

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