2000 Game Report: Rentals Up, Sales Flat13 Apr, 2001 By: David Ward
Telling retailers and publishers what they already knew, the InteractiveDigital Software Association's (IDSA) Annual State of the Industry reportnoted that 2000 was a flat year for the video game business, with salesdropping marginally from $6.1 billion in 1999 to $6.02 billion.
Video game sales made up $4.1 billion of the 2000 total.
Video game rentals, however, rose from $880 million to $919 million last year, the report found.
The study also noted that the stereotypical image of a game player as "a teen-age boy playing alone for endless hours is finally fading away." The IDSA report cited a 2000 survey by Peter D. Hart Associates that showed anincrease in the casual gaming audience, especially among adults and women.
The Hart study found that 43% of video game players are women, and 72% are over 18.
The IDSA report also found the top four console titles last year in unit sales were all Nintendo "Pokemon" products: Pokemon Silver, Pokemon Gold, Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Yellow.
Despite a flat 2000, in a letter that accompanied the report, IDSA president Douglas Lowenstein said the stage is set for 2001 to be "awatershed year in the history of interactive entertainment," citing leadanalysts as predicting that video and PC game sales alone with soon pass $10billion annually.
This year will not only be marked by the June launch of Nintendo's new portable Game Boy Advance, but also by the fall rollouts of the new Nintendo GameCube home console and the Xbox game system from Microsoft Corp. Microsoft has promised to spend hundreds of millions of dollars marketing the Xbox over the next few years as it takes on established game powerhouses Sony, with thePlayStation 2, and Nintendo.