After enjoying a banner year in 2008 despite the slowing economy, the video game industry may find the coming year to be more of a challenge.
The mounting recession along with a lack of big blockbuster titles in the pipeline is expected to weigh on the sector in 2009. And while no one is predicting a major downturn in what many analysts consider to be a recession-resistant business, tough comparisons with the prior year and rising development expenses are expected to put more squeeze on game makers - several of whom are already coping with their own internal issues.
"Any year that you don't have a 'Grand Theft Auto' or a 'Halo,' you're going to get a cautious outlook," said Michael Pachter, video game analyst for Wedbush Morgan.
"Last year, we had 'Grand Theft,' 'Metal Gear' and 'Gears of War,' and there's nothing like that on the calendar for this year," Pachter said.