Head of Publishing at mid-tier games and peripherals company Nacon, Benoit Clerc has told Gamesindustry.biz he believes there are simply too many games being released to enable anybody other than the AAA publishers to carve out a niche and succeed, suggesting gamers are missing out on games they might want to play because of the general noise of so many releases.
“There are too many games currently on the market,” Clerc said in his interview. “We’re seeing today the results of investment made after [COVID] 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.
“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.”
Nacon, who was the publisher behind the impressive Robocop: Rogue City at the end of 2023, produced a polished game with a, granted rather niche license from the 1980s, that took its source material and turned out a product that appealed to fans of the franchise and beyond, but still struggled to gain any real momentum despite good press and reviews.
The other side of the coin
It also found out to its detriment in 2023 the other side of the coin with the roundly panned and one of the worst games of the year, Lord of the Rings: Gollum, that a license does not necessarily carry enough weight to get a game noticed for the right reasons. Without the license, Gollum would have disappeared into obscurity. With the license, it’s head was above the wall and people used it for target practice.
“Of course, one thing we’ve seen in the past when there’s an abundance of competition for a market is that pressure mounts to increase production values and budgets as companies decide throwing money on the screen is a helpful way to stand out from the crowd”, Clerc explained.
With no sign of the number of great games slowing down any time soon, Nacon will have to continue to seek out its opportunities and learn from its mistakes, hopefully building on all the things it got right with Robocop.