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Is North America The Most Important Region In Gaming Today?

Gary A Swaby of The Koalition writes: Lately the whole regional debate in gaming has been spawning numerous arguments and debates across the Internet. I decided I would write this editorial to explore the reasons for and against the argument of North America being the most relevant region in gaming today. Though I have my own opinion on the whole thing, there are opposing points that I cannot ignore, thus I will take both sides of the argument into perspective.

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TheLeprachaun2628d ago

Development wise, possible. Along with the UK,Japan and Korea of course.

However, when it comes to the consumer market I'd say Europe is easily as important, if not more so.

JsonHenry2628d ago

I haven't looked at any sales data in a while but the USA/Canada (people seem to forget they are part of North America) region per head typically buy more games/gaming related peripherals than per head in Europe and Asian countries.

Maybe this has changed in the last 10 years but North Americans typically have more expendable income than their European counterparts. (as a whole)

TheLeprachaun2628d ago (Edited 2628d ago )

Perhaps. I don't really follow sales so it was more an educated guess than anything.

However, I believe europeans have a higher GNI than Americans. I know ireland certainly does.

Redrum0592628d ago

Honduras is the most important country in the gaming industry

Go Honduras! :)

DaTruth2628d ago

"Maybe this has changed in the last 10 years but North Americans typically have more expendable income than their European counterparts. (as a whole)"

No, they just have the most credit and use it the least wisely! (Whoever disagrees must have missed the whole Credit Crisis thing and had their head in the mud for two years)

ProjectVulcan2628d ago (Edited 2628d ago )

North america is important for the industry regards hardware + software sales, but two out of three current home machines are japanese, and the two main handhelds are japanese.

When it comes to software development though, western regions in general have been taking a lead that japanese developers have admitted is worrying them. The collaboration of western devs and western technology has opened a distinct gap. The industry is a knife edge balance of the right hardware with the best software.

At the moment it seems to me the right hardware for the wider market is still japanese and has been for decades. The most important software is whatever sells, and with some clear exceptions, its been overwhelmingly western. Japan is still near inpenetrable for western software, but other asian countries have fully embraced the likes of WoW and starcraft 2, distinctly western developed games.

il-mouzer2628d ago

"Maybe this has changed in the last 10 years but North Americans typically have more expendable income than their European counterparts. (as a whole)"

I've lived for a short period in the US, sure wages are a tad higher than mainland europe and there's a far bigger market, however considering the wage of the average Joe, compared with what he has to pay to live a suitable lifestyle in the US and the EU (West - since East is by miles cheaper) there is a huge difference - US is much more expensive. Apart from that medical care is free in Europe.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2628d ago
tinybigman2628d ago

and i pretty much don't care which region is important as long as i get my games.

lelo2play2628d ago (Edited 2628d ago )

Not taking in to account Canada, the USA is the biggest consumer market of gaming in the world. I would say that the USA is probably responsible for 40-50% of the consumer market in gaming of the world.

1st - USA
2nd - UK
3rd - Japan

outrageous2628d ago

...is the most critical gaming market in the world. It's all about average household income and North America has it.

snp2628d ago (Edited 2628d ago )

North America is the biggest single market, for sure. But it's a minority of the total market if compared 'what's not North America'.

The rest of the world - particularly the developing world (parts of Europe and Australasia have always had large disposable incomes) - isn't sitting still. I mean, you only need to look at movies, for instance (which are a little less nebulous in terms of getting figures). Two or three decades ago two thirds to three quarters of a box office revenue came from the US. Now that figure is reversed, and it's more often than not only a third or a quarter of a movies income comes from North America. (As a single example, only 27% of Avatar's 2.75 billion (and counting) gross came from the US). And i suspect those numbers would be even more skewered towards the 'other than North America' column, were language barriers and countries also having their own films/cultures not factors.

Redempteur2628d ago

UK ?? Uk ? seriously ??

WHy Uk and nor europe ?? i dunno PAl territories ..

Uk only ? not a chance ..

lelo2play2628d ago (Edited 2628d ago )

@Redempteur "Uk only ? not a chance .. "

Yes UK. Japan was the 2nd biggest market in the world, but the UK surpassed Japan in 2009. There were articles in N4G pointing that out. You can look for them. UK is the 2nd biggest gaming market in the world.

@snp
Since you pointed out Movies.... Avatar... that was one of a few cases where USA was only responsible for 27% (below 40%) Lifetime Grosses. Most movies have 40% or more of their Lifetime Grosses from the American Box office.
Some examples from last years top hits:

Transformers 2 - 48.1% Life Gross from America
http://www.boxofficemojo.co...

The Twilight Saga: New Moon - 41.8% Life Gross from America
http://www.boxofficemojo.co...

Up - 40.1% Life Gross from America
http://www.boxofficemojo.co...

The Hangover - 59.3% Life Gross from America
http://www.boxofficemojo.co...

Star Trek - 66.9% Life Gross from America
http://www.boxofficemojo.co...

... or movies from this year
Inception - 40.1% Life Gross from America
http://www.boxofficemojo.co...

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - 44.6% Life Gross from America
http://www.boxofficemojo.co...

Iron Man 2 - 50.2% Life Gross from America
http://www.boxofficemojo.co...

Like it or not, the USA is the biggest market in the world. I'm probably not exaggerating when i say USA is probably responsible for 40-50% of the gaming market.

snp2627d ago (Edited 2627d ago )

You're being a little selective there lelo2play.

Would be better to just take the top ten movies, rather than pull out this or that one - some certain kinds of movies (particularly superhero movies or home spun comedies) will do better than others in the US, others will do better overseas (ie. Bond.) The biggest movies period (ie. the ones that break through to another kind of sales area - eg. Titanic and Avatar) will make a majority of their money internationally - it's simply what they've gotta do to make that kind of money.

Looking at the top ten only one movie has a majority of it's sales revenue from the US - Dark Knight. And for the Dark Knight to make the top ten required it to become the third highest grossing flick ever in the US - and yet it's still only 7 overall. Toy Story has a smidgen over 40% of its revenue from the US, but it was also released quite a bit earlier in the US than it was in many other countries so that ratio will favour the international market more as it comes to an end of its run.

But the bit you missed is the comment i made that this is JUST taking the US MOVIES grosses overseas. International markets have their own movies/tastes. Bollywood is worth, literally, billions. French, German, Australian, Asian, British, Korean movies - that the US would barely have heard of - can gross up to hundreds of millions. Anime is worth billions across Asia.

You're kidding yourself if you think the US is worth half the worlds $ market, or even 40%. It's closer to a third - and on breakout flicks moving towards a quarter - on ITS OWN GROUND (ie. English speaking, American orientated and marketed movies given international release). Tallying all 'total world film' revenue i doubt it would be 20% these days, frankly.

I mean, there's movies like The Host. Generated 2 million in the US versus 87 million internationally. Asterix - 3 million in the US, 108 million outside the US. Full Monty - 45 million in the US, 211 million outside the US. Spirited Away - 10 million in the US, 265 million outside the US. Ponyo - 15 million US, 186 million rest of the world. Howl's Moving Castle - 5 million US, 230 million outside the US. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - 10 million US, 93 million outside the US.

snp2627d ago (Edited 2627d ago )

Forgot to add, Inception is also at 61.3% foreign gross now, to, so you cross that one off your small, highly selective, list of 40-50% US grosses. It's just only just been released in a number of overseas markets - whereas it's at the dregs stage in the US - so it'll likely end another in the >two thirds foreign column.

ed: Correction to my post - Toy Story 3 is now >60% foreign earnings. Alice In Wonderland (second worldwide top grossing movie of the year so far, not on your list) is moving up on 68% foreign earnings.

But yeah, stress again, as a $ percentage of the vast majority of (large) US movies, foreign markets make up >two thirds for the most part these days; and taking cinema attendance to any/all films (American/non American) US patrons would be lucky to represent a fifth of total world film revenue. Which, being the US is only a 20th of the worlds population is naturally as it should be (is quite impressive over-representation even at that level), though i do get the impression it really irks at the ego of some to not - as well as being the 'biggest single market' - also be the be and end all market overall. (which coming from a smaller country (in population) is a strange pathology, but there you go - is what it is.)

snp2627d ago (Edited 2627d ago )

4 disagrees.. (on two sets of posts in this line of this thread) then nothing for a while. Then hours after i've posted, and a couple of days now into the thread (when barely anyone presumably is still following it) at once suddenly '4 disagrees' spring up (literally within minutes of one another). The probability of those being 4 genuine distinct people.. not high.

What, i wonder, inspires one to create four different accounts, and then methodically switch back and forth between each one to target this or that post? Bloody odd behaviour. And really lonely looking - sorta sad.

Site really should do something these sort of folk - if just for their benefit (I'm not accusing you btw lelo2play - i'd say dude is probably a mute - but just whoever it was - the timings of the disagrees made it so blatant it was/is one person). Again, disagree's - even random ones - doesn't bother me, but someone creating four accounts to dish them out and give themselves a false sense of solidarity with themselves. Mate, that's quite kooky... (I'm presuming the person with "quadruple internet n4g power!" is just as likely to revisit this, so i'm sorta talking to you now.)

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 2627d ago
zootang2628d ago

I Still haven't found a game better than MGS4, so I'll say Japan.

2628d ago
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xavier-tooth2628d ago ShowReplies(2)
HeroXIV2628d ago

Must be tied with Europe surely?

Independent_Charles2628d ago

we got some real good developers here in england. not to say is none anywere else.

wray772628d ago

The most important region in gaming today is the one you're in.

MiloGarret2628d ago

Why? It makes absolutely no sense.

Myst2628d ago

Actually it makes sense. People are more often than not going to look at there own country over other countries as to getting video games. Specially if they are looking to buy said games.

Now if we are talking about development then I can see how your comment comes into play.

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