A new report from Banc of America Securities has predicted that the Christmas market for video games will be more intense than ever this year, with even industry leader Electronic Arts expected to lose from between a 2 to 4% market share.
The report details key clashes in almost every genre and claims that "apart from The Sims 2
, we do not consider any game this holiday out of harm's way of the competition."
It also highlights the fact that more games than ever before will be released between October and December and raises considerable concern over the wisdom of packing so many similar titles into such a short space of time.
The report is particularly pessimistic over the fate of small publishers, who are likely to be lost in the turmoil. "We have very low expectations for games of other developers with less-known brands," it states, "including Acclaim, Midway (except Mortal Kombat
), Atari, Eidos, Vivendi (apart from Half-Life 2
, if it is released) and even Microsoft (apart from Halo 2
)...With the competition out there and large number of titles, some games will just not receive any shelf space from retailers, and initial shipments of titles will be very low, even by historical standards. Expect many disasters this holiday."