The 1983 North American video game crash has changed home consoles and continues to affect us even today. Are we on our way to a second crash? Console Gamer discusses the implications.
Myth #1: There was a video game crash in 1984.
Myth #2: E.T. for the Atari 2600 caused that crash.
Myth #3: There will be another video game crash.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, although I disagree with certain things in this article, the author still make some important and sobering points about the current condition of the video game market.
Concerning the Myths: In 1985 Atari had record console sales. ET was actually released in 1982, and it sold over 2 million copies. Atari just over produced the title. There wont be another crash, but there will be a market adjustment. And somebody is going to drop out to make room for Apple. Always three there are, no more, no less.
But... there's always been more than 3... In fact, 3 is the lowest number of consoles we've ever had in one gen and it's only been this gen. Even last gen we had Dreamcast, PS2, Game Cube and XBox.
DC stayed around for the whole gen, right? Oh wait...
But there's only ever really been one which identified a console era. After the Atari 2600, during its "reign" in fact, there were literally dozens of other consoles, including some from Atari, and yet things didn't get back to normal until the NES. Sega eventually got into things but they were ever in Nintendo's shadow until the PS1, which is when we got another glut of systems. The Dreamcast came and went while the Big N technically ran off to handhelds, which left MS shouting how they were #2 while Xbox1 was tens of millions behind the PS2. Now we're here with three systems at a time when handhelds practically have as much if not more of the public's attention as consoles. The Wii has won in terms of numbers, though most real gamers don't pay those any mind as MS and their following call the 360 king, the PS3 a has-been despite both being practically tied at least in regards to world numbers. And that's not even counting iPad/iPhone and PC gaming as Steam gives the last prominence when its been here all along. All the prior gens there have been on clear leader. This gen there are none which is why its a mess.
One of the main reasons for the crash was that there wasn't any quality control as far as games is concerned. Pretty much anyone could release a cheap game on the Atari. Their was no internet and no reviews for these games. We are facing a lull, but I doubt we'll ever see a crash. Adults are into video games now, where as before it was adults buying these for there kids and they decided to stop buying. I don't see adults giving up on games, I would say the industry could take a hit if they block used games or go digital only. Flux would be the word for it.
Exactly, for every Missile Command there was ten E.T.'S
The main problem with the videogame industry is the economy is still bad. People just aren't buying many games. Funny how they missed that part in their article.
Exactly. Many people just don't see that.The whole industry is taking a hit and turning to $hit and people are still having petty arguments about who is slightly ahead. Something needs to happen to up the game buying. It can't keep going like this.
We need Washington to start working on creating jobs. I guess we have to wait until next year since the two parties don't want to help the other look good for the Presidential election. What a sham. We should start voting all of the bums out of office. Until the job problem is fixed this problem won't go away.
I say the crash is in the process of happening. Several aspects of game making have been crippled on HD consoles, iPad, MMOs and social gaming have further drained creative resources, and the way console gaming now mimes PC gaming leaves no room for development of console gaming. The crash is in the process of happening, but when its over many aren't even going to be aware of it. The industry will still be there, consoles may even still be there, but gaming itself will have changed.
I don't think we're going to see a crash, but rather a change in focus on the gaming medium as we know it. Think about it, gaming has changed so much in this generation alone. Catering towards a substantially larger audience, a huge focus on online multiplayer experiences and an an ever growing emphasis on mobile gaming via iPad, iPhone and Android powered devices. I for one am boycotting the rest of this console generation (After Max Payne 3) because I simply do not like what this industry has become. The design focus and philosophy has altered so much and is far removed from what I enjoy about gaming and find myself simply not excited or not liking the vast majority of 'hot' new titles coming out. It's not a 'growing up' thing, I just think games are no longer designed around the philosophy of having FUN. It's all about pleasing everyone, realism and copying what works with little to no innovation. I'm sick of all these so called AAA games being no more than rehashes of what I played last year, or even last generation (Resident Evil 5 springs to mind) I could go on, but that's not what's being discussed here. I think we're just entering a new 'age' of gaming. One that will usher in a wider range of people, while possibly splitting up those who have been gaming for far longer. If there IS a crash, it won't be for the same reasons as in 1983. It'll be for different reasons and circumstances. And like most things, it will all come down to money and greed. So screw you modern gamers with your hyper realistic visuals, unoriginal and soulless games. I'm going back to the 90's/early 2000's where games were fun, innovative, and had a unique identity. Then again, I play games for a reason most will probably disagree with. I play videogames to get AWAY from people, not to participate in a circle jerk online with people across the world. And if I DO want to play with people, they'll be sitting alongside me, on my couch, drinking beer. How it SHOULD be.
Well-said. And this is why I tend to have more respect for Nintendo and the Wii despite the shovelware. They were trying to bring the fun back to an industry that was tking itself way too seriously. They're the reason why I care about video games again.
Ok, I was a game freak and 10 years old in 1983. They didnt call it a crash back then, they called it the great videogame shakeout. What happened was there was a glut of low quality games everywhere. I think Atari was trying to grow their market with the 400 and 800 and then the 5200 but no one knew what the difference was. All three systems had the same games being released like Joust. The c64 was the outlier. The quality of graphics was a quantum leap. Compare Pitfall 2 on the Atari 2600 to Kings Quest. In the end a lot of grab ass game publishers went out business. People gamed on the c64 until Nintendo brought Nes and Robbie the Robot to our shores. Problem today is not that there are too many bad games, now there are too many good games on cellular phones. What is causing the shakeout is IOS. Serriously, it's Apple. Too many gamers are satisfied with 99 cent games. This will cause the console market to crash.
I think so. I've been predicting that for a while. Oversaturation of garbage, lack of AAA quality games, ever growing plundering of the consumers wallets, arrogance from major companies, and the blatant disregard for what the people want. ....and that just sums up Capcom alone.
The crash at the end of '83 was actually the second video game crash. The first one happened at the end of the 70's when the market was over flooded with dedicated consoles. "Today, there are still many bad games out there, but I believe that because of channels like the internet, game reviews, rentals and social media, people can find out if a game is good, bad or popular. There is more choice!..." Sometimes you still can't find out if a game is any good except to take the plunge and buy it. I've seen way to many bad games getting a great score. I think too many game journalists are more concerned with pleasing the publishers than being honest with the public. One thing that me and my friends have talked about before is if a third video game crash could happen if the causal gaming crowd were suddenly leave the video game consoles for the next trendy thing. With Nintendo and MS banking so much on casual gamers these days, you can't help but wonder. It certainly would be ironic if Nintendo, the company that brought us out of the last crash, started the trend that headed us into the next crash.
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