Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why the Emphasis on Sales Figures?

Can we please stop with the constant barrage of consoles sales figures being tossed around the Internet. It seems like the only thing that makes news headlines these days seem to involve market analysts and NPD numbers. I mean, do people really find this kind of news exciting? Yes, sales numbers are important, but honestly, we shouldn't base our decisions solely on how many Wiis are selling this week or how well Sony is doing in Japan.

Look at it this way... are you ever excited to hear about the latest number one movie in America? Does the fact that millions of people flock to the theatres mean you're going to love this movie? I would have to say no, the collective mob is not a good barometer for what should be considered "good" entertainment. Imagine if the stock market were covered in the media this way? But it's not, because it changes every week, every day, even every hour. Instead, financial analysts focus more on the trends that appear over time. This is what matters. The big picture.

If you're going to announce sales numbers, do it right. I mean seriously, please explain the significance of declaring the top 10 highest selling games in Japan or Europe or any other geographically isolated region of the world. Different regions have different tastes, so the success of a product shouldn't be tied to one country. It's nice to have market penetration in every region, but that's clearly not necessary in order to be successful. If you're going to post sales charts, post global numbers. Otherwise, they're utterly meaningless and only stand to fan the message board flame wars that will inevitably ensue.

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