Games vs Music - the games world reacts

The games world gets the girls and customers the music world looks jealously on
The games world gets the girls (and customers); the music world looks jealously on

If a new report on UK retail figures is correct, sales of video games will beat those of music and video for the first time ever in 2008. But should we music makers be worried?

We blogged on the subject yesterday, but also spoke to GamesRadar's Editor George Walter, who offered his thoughts on the news:

"As game console technology has become more and more advanced, production values in videogames have increased tenfold from pretty humble monophonic theme tunes to full orchestral soundtracks and more recently from the likes of GTA, entire jukeboxes of fully licensed music.

"To take GTA as an example, it could be argued that including entire radio stations of retro tunes as a soundscape to the game puts that music in front of a new audience and inspires them to seek out more music by those artists - the same goes for the licensed rock and metal material in Burnout. So it's nice to imagine a relationship playing out between the two industries in this manner.

"The 'internet generation' simply aren't prepared to pay for music anymore. This has yet to hit the games industry because only a tiny proportion of gamers know how to download console games for free" George Walter, Editor of GamesRadar

"I expect to see this happen most prevalently in the downloadable content for SingStar, Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which open up new revenue streams for record companies. We've already seen bands selling new and exclusive tracks through Guitar Hero - it's only a matter of time before this becomes the norm.

"However, we must consider that the music industry has been hit pretty heavily by the fact that a large proportion of the younger, 'internet generation' of music listeners simply aren't prepared to pay for music anymore - it's just so easy to get it for free online, albeit illegally.

"The reason this has yet to hit the games industry (and why there is comparatively less piracy) is that only a tiny proportion of gamers would know how to download full console games for free.

"In general I don't think these figures can be taken that music has become less popular or will ever take the place of games. We've simply had a great year in this industry - the first full twelve months with all three consoles on sale in all major territories, the release of some key Triple AAA franchises and increased mainstream media coverage have all contributed to that."