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Three thoughts. First, there are a small number of forward thinking toy companies that realize they are not about toys, they are about play and entertainment. That subtle shift opens doors in terms of creativity, new product development, and how to compete for an 8 year old's attention. Next, please know that just because it's a game or an app or software, there's still plenty of crap products in that space. It's a small handful of thoughtful, creative, and experimental, risk taking companies that are willing to develop new playthings in return of thin margins. Video didn't kill the radio star, but don't get comfortable about staying the same old toy company with that knowledge. Finally, I'm discovering that the older the industry, the greater the challenge to break out of historically tried and true revenue models. I see it greatest in the world of book publishing. The toy industry is not far behind. Broadcasting is also in the same boat. The newer the industry the greater its willingness to experiment with new revenue models. It's worth pointing out that doing nothing will not help anyone in the toy space. Having the courage to reinvent everything is what the toy industry needs, in large doses, right now. Just my 2 cents.
If you look at the NPD gaming numbers, yes, there are a number of declines, and declines for a number of months in a row now. This is to be expected with a number of aging consoles. It happens in cycles, just like it did about six years ago. Aging consoles result in slow software sales, the two are closely connected. However, the bright spot in NPD gaming numbers is digital downloads, that's gaming apps for mobile devices as well as online gaming centers from the likes of XBox online for example. As gaming interests continue to shift towards mobile, without new innovation in the console market, the sales will continue todecline in all sectors except digital downloads.
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Aug 1, 2012