Publishing Exec Claims 'There Are Too Many Games' 1

We’ve probably all felt the pinch at some point: there are, quite simply, too many games. It’s not even a case of quality anymore: we all probably find ourselves in a situation where there’s more software available than we have time to try. And it’s something publishers are increasingly finding themselves up against, as they compete for consumers’ limited attention and income.

“There are too many games currently on the market,” Nacon’s head of publishing Benoit Clerc told “We're seeing today the results of investment made after [the pandemic] when the market was bursting, and every game was making a lot of money so there were a lot of investments being made. This is two or three years after that, so the games we're seeing now on the market were financed in that time and there are simply too many for customers to be able to play them.”

The industry has been decimated by closures, layoffs, and other cutbacks in the past 12 months, as publishers wrangle with spiralling budgets and underperforming products. “When you look at Steam some days, there are 50 or 60 games released in one day only so it's more difficult to get enough traction to expose a game. We're seeing releases that are without a day one, to use the old retail expression, without any exposure of a title that has been properly marketed.”

Nacon believes positioning is essential, and while it can’t compete with the major players in the AAA space, it’s found success servicing niches – like with last year’s RoboCop: Rogue City, which performed well for the publisher. But Clerc believes it’s imperative a niche is large enough to support the number of products being marketed at it.

Not only that, but as games mature, smaller publishers find themselves under pressure to keep up. “There is indeed pressure from the market because the standards in terms of production values, length of experience, and knowledge of our medium from customers are going up,” Clerc continued. “And our medium is waiting for innovation, so we do need to invest more than we did in the past, like any other mid-tier publisher.”

All this is to say it’s a precarious time for game creators: expectations are high, competition is intense, and the risks are through the roof.