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In Other News – 13 August 2014

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Are shooters on the decline?


An interesting pie-chart (well, as interesting as pie charts can be, really) over at Dual-shockers has sales data from the Entertainment Software Association compiled from NPD reports, and it shows that shooters are no longer the predominant genre of videogames (in the US).


According the the data, it seems that “Action” games had outsold “Shooters“ in 2012. Of course, that brings forth question of what exactly constitutes a shooter, and hat makes an action game, as most action games have shooting elements, and most shooters are filled with action.

It seems that for the purposes of the ESA’s report, that “shooter” includes first and third person games where shooting is the primary mechanic, say Call of Duty, Battlefield and Gears of War. Action games include games where shooting can happen, but it’s not the defining aspect of the game; games like Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, Devil May Cry and the like.

I really hope this does show that shooters’ popularity is waning. I’d like to think gamers are growing more and more weary of the genre, and are keen on opening  up to new experiences, giving other genres like strategy games and RPG’s a bash.

The other interesting bit to note is that according to the data, “Casual” games made up just 3% of the market; so perhaps that bubble has well and truly burst.

Tags: ,

Author:Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.
  • Trevor Davies

    I remember reading once that shooters are only a small percentage of games released by number, but have massive sales.

    • John Ambitious

      Makes sense

  • Trevor Davies

    Row row row your shooter, gently down the stream.
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, proofreading is but a dream.


    • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

      hat did you just say????

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew


    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim


      • TiMsTeR1033

        that is not proper, you must be an example to us all.

        • Trevor Davies

          He’s a good example, I was being a dick lol

          • TiMsTeR1033

            hush dear boy you know not what you speaketh

      • CrasH

        You do know you spelled that wrong…?
        the correct spelling is D U C K

    • CrasH

      Did you know that 3 mistakes in a row….

      is a hattrick…

      Could not get any more cheezy is I tried.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Not really sure that you can use this data to infer anything really, now if we were looking at trends over time – and it showed that comparatively shooters (presumably FPS and TPS) are in decline, then it would be a more fruity discussion.

    All the pie chart is showing is that at this specific moment, Action games sell marginally more than FPS games in the US, but then Geoff also hit the nail on the head… When’s an action title an action title and when does it become a shooter? You could even go further and ask, is the difference between the sales between action and shooters statistically significant. In other words, are we seeing something real in the data?

    • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

      I think Gears is a perfect example of a shooter, when all you do is shoot, move and shoot. Action employs other mechanics like platforming

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    lol … “CASUALS are killing the industry” They cried ……

    Man RPG is just over 6 percent, yowzer! I sure hope shooters are dwindling…..I have had enough of this genre

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      I wonder what the sale figures say about South Africa. What are the most popular genres in our neck of the woods?

      • John Ambitious

        I would love to know

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        That would be very interesting. I think games like COD and gears are very popular here, well judging on the games that are always in stock at retailers, though I doubt we could use that as a basis for judging what is popular

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          Don’t forget Fifa… It’s huge in SA.

          • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

            Yup that too, it is insanely hard to find an RPG of two years ago, yet retailers are sill selling FIFA 11

          • John Ambitious

            I’ve found the best old games at very random Musica’s in the middle of nowhere.

          • TiMsTeR1033


          • TiMsTeR1033

            gee wonder why…..

          • John Ambitious

            You got me

          • TiMsTeR1033


          • John Ambitious

            In other words…I don’t know

          • TiMsTeR1033

            ummm hmmmmm what do we have alot of in africa….

          • John Ambitious

            Poverty? Crime? Then stuff like Fallout should sell like hotcakes!

          • TiMsTeR1033

            black people like soccer eish

          • Jonah Cash

            Hey!!! I take offence!!! I is not to be blaaaack!!! I is to be white, but I love me some sokkor!!! I’m also a big fan of rugby, and my team will be playing this weekend(Cheetahs), wonder what the Sharks and Stormers fans will be doing????

          • TiMsTeR1033

            having a dop more like cheaters LMAO!!!

          • DBL_ZA

            I’ll be supporting you people. Definitely not the Pink Cows, especially after the whooping we gave them last weekend (trollololol).

            To me the Bulls are like Man Utd. Their fans love their team. The rest of the world would rather die than support them, even if they were the country’s last hope at winning something.

          • TiMsTeR1033

            I rather not watch rugby at all. but thats just me.

          • DBL_ZA

            Lol I can fully appreciate that. It’s not fun when your team isn’t in it anymore

        • TiMsTeR1033

          u cant find halo 4 in a cna for 8 months so that is popular

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        I’d play GTA Gauteng Edition

        • DBL_ZA

          Only if there is a Julius mode/DLC, where the prostitution industry becomes nationalised and anything you take is not deemed theft, but “asset expropriation without compensation”

        • TiMsTeR1033

          Id go to jail for loving that game too much! driving down joburg cbd on pavements shooting taxis! watching countless people become rag dolls :) a guy can dream!

  • TiMsTeR1033

    rowing more and more LMAO!

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      lulz. fixed.

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        Nooit dude, nooit :P

  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    Its true becoz PIE CHART says so

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    The fact that sports games are still so big makes me ill.

    • John Ambitious

      I get you man

    • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

      I mean who plays that right?

      • TiMsTeR1033

        do I really need to point it out?

    • Jonah Cash

      It is because of idiots like me that they are WINNARS!!!

  • Brendon Bosch

    Sensible gamers ftw

  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    Pity not more RPG :(

    • TiMsTeR1033

      rpgs are slowly dieing due to fact young gamers dont like them as much

      • Theo Steenekamp

        Well then, lets make the younger games die slowly. See how they like that!

    • That Green Twit

      Yeah. :<

  • Xelus

    Truth be told, you can expect this to happen if you have 10 million shooters all with the same damn plot and the same damn look. 2 original shooters, the rest are spinoffs of those shooters, didn’t expect anything more, innovation and originality is what game developers lack, at least the big corporate ones that is. Indie game developers however have some pretty damn epic concepts!

  • DBL_ZA

    IMO, it’s difficult to specifically say “this is a shooter, this is an RPG, this is action (no, no sparta, action)”, because so many games nowadays blur the lines between genres, that it makes a report/pie chart such as the above quite inaccurate, depending on what the people who created the report class each game as

  • Ryanza

    There has not been a lot of really good first person shooter games this gen.

    Rage had a good shotgun and ak47 but lacked in story and driver issues. Bioshock Infinite had a good shotgun but to me it felt like i was just shooting at the same type of police enemy most of the game and no visual weapon upgrades, wtf.

    Far Cry, Metro, Borderlands, Bioshock 1, Battlefield, Deus Ex. Not a big list.

    I love Bioshock 1 because it was good and it was new. Not a lot of good and new games this gen.

    Lets see, Far Cry got better, Borderlands got better, Bioshock got better, Battlefield always gets better, and Call of Duty has stayed the same since 2007.

    I think Call of Duty sums up this gen of first person shooters because it made the most money.

  • Macethy

    Hey look! The casual section is a whopping 3.0% of the entire market! Let’s focus solely on making games for them said every EA executive…

  • Tarisma

    Wow really surprised that casual is 3%

  • hairyknees

    Header WIN! :D

  • Paul Fouche

    they losing a lot of good soldiers ( men and woman) to games such as wow :(

  • The Joffster

    “Action” seems like a very vague and dubious genre. I could hardly think of any games I’ve played in the last year that couldn’t be described as “action” apart from more experimental indie games like Paper’s Please.

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