The fixation on player counts and “dead games” makes gaming even worse

The fixation on player counts and “dead games” makes gaming even worse

Not so long ago, we definitely knew which games had sold the most copies. If you wanted to know how many people bought Splinter Cell vs. Kingdom Hearts in Fall 2002, the numbers were right there (opens in new tab), provided by a market research company called NPD, which pulls its sales data directly from retail stores. Math Magic!

20 years later we still compare games, but we now live in the age of service games, where the biggest games are free to play and the sales numbers don’t tell the whole story. We no longer measure a game’s health in millions of dollars, but in how many millions of people play it.

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