14% is the decrease in video game sales as of August 2009—to $9.07 billion—according to market research firm NPD Group.
300% is the increase in Playstation 3 sales since the price dropped from $399.99 to $299.99 in August.
"Still, it’s hard to argue with earnings of $2.66 billion and income of $442 million during a three-month stretch, not to mention the publisher’s skyward trajectory since 2004." —Gamespot.com post on BusinessWeek naming Nintendo the 2009 “World’s Best Company,” despite a 40 percent drop in revenue
Luke Nihlen, technical director for Albuquerque-based Game Production Services, describes New Mexico’s video game industry as “nascent.” Although the state offers tax incentives for video game production—put in place with the state’s film incentives—it hasn’t stimulated much industry growth.
“We’re sort of in a catch-22,” Nihlen says. “There’s this idea that New Mexico is a good place to start a video game company. On the other hand, there’s no talent pool here…We’re kind of in a standstill until something happens to put a large infusion of cash into our industry.”
Nevertheless, some video game firms have been able to eke out a living with innovative (and indecent) niche products. Nihlen’s company is designing “serious” video games for the military, while another New Mexico company, D-Dub Software, offers “The World’s First Action Adventure Porno Video Game.” BoneTown, which features porn star Ron Jeremy, has sold 10,000 downloads ($39.99) since it was released in October 2008.
“We’re doing well,” D-Dub Business Development Manager Maximus M Baptist VIII says. “It’s not a complete blowup, but we don’t have an amazing amount of money to market with.”
Baptist says his company also is considering Flash-based online games and apps for smart phones in order to reach the growing “casual gamer” market.
Kelly Plymale, who opened 1337 Gamers’ Lounge in Santa Fe, also in October 2008, says “live” games, which allow players from around the country to team up and compete, give customers more bang for their buck in hard economic times. Players travel from all over the state to participate in 1337’s competitions, he says.
“When I was in the stages of planning and getting everything started, the economy wasn’t in the toilet yet,” Plymale says. “I’ve fallen short of projection, but I still have a pretty steady customer base.”