Harrison: Consoles still generate majority of money in games

Harrison: Consoles still generate majority of money in games
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 22nd 2013 at 11:10AM

'We see games with multi-millions of unit sales going on for a very long time'

Consoles still generate the majority of the money in the game industry despite the rise of other platforms, says Phil Harrison.

Speaking to CVG, the Microsoft exec said there was still a substantial economy around the console business, and one that involved various stakeholders such as publishers, developers, retailers and manufacturers.

He also said that Xbox 360 “continues to make a profit”, and said the hardware itself was important because of the money consumers were spending on Xbox Live and games for its console throughout the year.

He declined to offer specifics however on whether the Xbox 360 business had made a lifetime profit.

“Well the Xbox 360 continues to make a profit, and we hope a substantial contribution not just to Microsoft but to the industry as a whole,” said Harrison.

“There are various stakeholders who are publishing, developing, retailing, distributing, manufacturing - there's still a very substantial economy around the console business, and it still generates the majority of the money in the computer games industry.

“Hardware is a significant part of that, and it's significant because of how much consumers spend on Xbox Live and the amount of games people spend every year. We see games with multi-millions of unit sales going on for a very long time.”

Usually sold at a high premium compared to mobile games, the top triple-A titles often shift millions of copies. Activision has notable ‘billion dollar’ franchises in Call of Duty of World of Warcraft, while games such as Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III has sold more than 12.5 million copies.

It should be noted however that the top mobile games have also been proven to generate large amounts of revenue. Supercell is said to be generating $2.4 million a day from its flagship free-to-play titles Hay Day and Clash of Clans.

GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons is also thought to be bringing in on average $4.9 million a day.