Inside the Industry
Last time we looked at the top sellers as reported by 105 game and educational software manufacturers. Part of that same survey conducted for CGW asked for the total number of new titles each company introduced in 1981, the first half of 1982, and for which personal computers the programs were designed.
Nearly 500 new game titles and 150 new educational titles were introduced in 1981. Statistics we gathered for the first six months of 1982 show around 375 new game titles and 130 new educational titles have already been released—80 percent of last year’s totals in just the first half of this year.
Some of the most prolific game publishers include:
|Company||1981 New Games||6 mos. 1982 New Games|
|Atari Program Exchange||36||10|
|Creative Computing Software**||16||7|
|Sierra On-Line*** (formerly On-Line Inc.)||15||6|
|Orion Software Associates||11||5|
|The Programmer's Guild||11||5|
|Avalon Hill Microcomputer Games||7||12|
|California Pacific Computer Co.**||7||2|
|Big Five Software||6||2|
|Hayden Book Company||6||2|
|United Software of America||6||2|
|Dakin 5/Level 10||4||2|
|The Software Toolworks||4||2|
It should be noted that this chart does not rate the companies by their size. It lists them in order only according to the number of new game titles they introduced in 1981 and so far in 1982.
What this chart does indicate is that over 50 percent of all new game titles were published by just 10 companies in both 1981 and 1982. If you take the statistics from the top 30 manufacturers, they are responsible for 81 percent of all new game releases.
There is also no relationship between the number of releases and how many sales a firm’s top game will do. *Indicates a company’s top seller has moved 8,000 or more units since introduction. **Is a company whose hottest product has sold over 15,000 copies. ***Denotes a game with more than 25,000 sales since release date.
Some companies which only released 1 or 2 titles have had top sellers with more than 25,000 copies sold (Infocom and BudgeCo), or 15,000-plus in sales (Innovative Design Software, Sir-tech Software, Arcade Plus, and The Cornsoft Group).
Looking at the chart on what game software was designed for which personal computers there’s a discrepancy between the number of new titles and amount of software published (500 versus 806 in 1981; 375 versus 732 so far in 1982). This is due to the fact that one title is often made into two or more versions for different machines. Also, some firms spent a large part of their effort converting old game titles to work on different computers so as a consequence, their new releases figures are not very impressive for 1981/82.
The following chart on amount of software published shows how the personal computers divide game software marketed. The “other” category includes the Commodore Vic, IBM PC, TI 99/4A, Sinclair ZX81, Xerox 820, and a few other machines.
It should be emphasized, that the market share in terms of percent of games made for a computer does not equal how many computers of that type are being sold; although there obviously is a relationship with how many consumers have those machines and the demand for games.
No matter which personal computer you own, the large number of software manufacturers are going to provide you with a variety of games for use on your particular machine.
|Personal Computer||1981 Game Releases||first half 1982 Releases||Market Share by % of Software|