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2012 Videogame Sales Down 20%

As Tabletop Games Surge

Published: 10/08/2012 03:24am
Videogame sales dropped 20% in the U.S. in the first eight months of 2012, according to The New York Times.  This follows an 8% decline in 2011 (see "Videogame Sales Decline in 2011"), and occurs at the same time as tabletop game sales are exploding (see "Hobby Games 'Explosive'").  Gen Con, the nation’s largest convention devoted to tabletop games, just had a record year (see "Gen Con Nets 41,000 Unique Attendees").  
The decline in videogame sales is attributed to a variety of reasons, including the proliferation of cheaper or free online and mobile games.  A lack of new hits is also a factor.  But we have been seeing what appears to be a secular rotation toward face-to-face gaming, as gamers who stare at screens at their jobs all day seek out a more social experience in their leisure time.
Despite the industry's exponentially larger size, videogames are even compared negatively to comics; the New York Times article cited above quoted videogame critic Chris Suellentrop: "Cultural impact is about more than sales.  The industry has had plenty of blockbusters, but it’s still looking for what Art Spiegelman did with Maus--bring broad respect to the medium that winning the Pulitzer Prize did for the graphic novel."
 
 
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