Sunday, May 11

Games earn more than movies

When a computer game ends up taking more than the double of the first week's takings of any movie, then you need to wonder what's happening to the world's idea of entertainment. I quote:

Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest instalment of the video game franchise published by Take-Two, racked up sales of $500m this week after seven days on release – more than double the record weekly take for any movie. Rival Activision had exceptional results on Thursday, with sales of Call of Duty 4 pushing profits well above estimates. While music companies and movie studios grapple with piracy, games publishers are in a sweet spot. It is much harder to copy software for the new generation of consoles. New instalments in a games franchise tend to be a technological and an artistic leap forward. On a cost-per-hour basis, a $60 game may be better value than a $20 CD. And, unlike the “dream factory” movie studios of the 1930s, there is no risk stars will defect to a rival producer or, even more inconveniently, die.

I keep on speaking at various conferences and with senior people and the fact that they are missing what's happening at the bottom is frankly frightening. Do you know that most of the 18-25 year olds, the feedstock of our future business, work and society spends way longer online than watching tv or films?

Do you know that the youth of today do not know how to value their online work any more because of rampant copying of films and music? I was at a board meeting recently and one of the board members (he has a private equity background) was talking about how people have no idea about how much to ask for, what's the funding requirement, etc. etc. They have no idea how to determine what costs are and what to charge for. I had to add to that, in my experience and what i have been seeing in banking and hearing, people who are coming into work have no idea about Intellectual Property and how to price it.

You are a spotty young chap, sitting in a dark bedroom, spending your time online. You get fed and watered. Then online, somebody asks you to code something, or translate something, or use your avatar to man a info stand on Second Life. These boys cannot make the link between the effort expended online, the time spend on the effort and the value of that. Also, how much should they ask for to simply exist.

Look at the numbers above, this weird economy is now in such a state that these spotty youths are spending more money on a game than a film!. Wake up folks, the world is changing under our eyes.

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