From: Brighton, UK
|Does anyone know where I could find some figures about the size of the Christian video games market? Thanks.|
Capture the Booming Christian Entertainment Market with This Smallcap
Ian L. Cooper and Christian DeHaemer submit: Movie box office receipts have dropped about $500 million in a year. CD sales are in a downtrend across the country. And television networks are struggling to attract viewers with so-so lineups. But thanks to a little “divine intervention” one segment of the entertainment industry is booming -- Christian entertainment.
Quite honestly, I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it. But Christian entertainment is on fire. Coast to coast, movies, books, music and television programming is catering to 225 million Christians starving for family-friendly, religious-themed products.
Unbelievably, within this segment of the market, there sits a market virtually untouched by Christian consumers. It’s a $10 billion gaming market that could take off in the next 30 days, and quickly launch a $38 million company called Left Behind Games (LFBG.OB).
Hallelujah… Pass the Ammunition
What's all the excitement about? Ask the 70 million consumers that bought Tim LaHaye’s and Jerry B. Jenkins’ Left Behind, a book series centering on the Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus, now being turned into a much-anticipated computer game.
It may not sound as exciting as the rough streets of the Grand Theft Auto series, but it’s sure to attract heavy buying interest amongst 70 million fans. In Eternal Forces, based on the first few books of the series, hell has broken loose and billions of people have disappeared from Earth.
That’s where you come in and command the Tribulation Forces and battle the Antichrist forces, which now head the United Nations (so real), across 500 New York City blocks. Your mission -- recruit members of New York’s population for the side of God, and win over agnostics and non-believers of New York City… or kill them as the game commands, before or after they’re pulle!
Hey, if this is what’ll get 70 million consumers screaming for joy so be it.
Controversy be Thy Name
When the word “controversy” is raised among gaming circles, you’d expect for Take-Two Interactive’s (TTWO) subsidiary RockStar Games to take center stage, not Left Behind. But sure enough…
And just like other controversial games, there are the critics, who in this case argue that it will promote religious intolerance because the game is about killing those who have a lack of faith. And there’s fear that radical Muslims will view the game as a crusade against other faiths.
Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. We’re not here to take sides. But what is appealing for its fans is the fact that the Left Behind game has no sexual content, blood, decapitation, severed limbs, or vulgar language.
Fifty Million Strong
Let’s remember Left Behind has already sold more than 70 million copies of its book series. And of the millions, 72% of them play video games. That’s 50 million people. Imagine if each of those 50 million people shelled out $50 for each game. That’s $2.5 billion in revenue.
Sure, $2.5 billion in sales for this game may be pushing it, but it may not be a stretch, given the popularity of the book series.
Better yet, the company won’t just release one video game. With expected blockbuster sales of this one, expect to see numerous follow-ups. And if you think there’s demand, think again.
The Passion of the Christ was featured in free preview screenings at thousands of churches across the country. It helped bring in some $370 million for the movie. The Chronicles of Narnia was heavily marketed to church groups and youth organizations so well that it helped bring more than $290 million.
And be sure that demo copies are being spread throughout churches, camps and youth groups from coast to coast. The buying momentum will be huge.
Religion Is Big Business
Corporate America would be foolish not to want a piece of the Christian consumer market.
The Christian book market is estimated to be worth more than $4 billion. The Christian music market has become an industry powerhouse, selling 43 million albums in the United States in 2004. As a whole, the video game industry is only expected to grow… and fast. In fact, estimates are that the video games market could be worth more than $55 billion by 2008 from the $22 billion reported in 2003. Wal-Mart, for one, is smart enough to know from selling about 550 Christian music titles and more than 1,200 Christian-themed books.
Like the wild success of the Christian music market, there’s now hope for a similar boom in Christian gaming. Games, like N’Lightning’s Catechumen has sold more than 80,000 copies since 2001. Ominous Horizons sold more than 50,000.
The market is so hot that companies like Crave Entertainment, in 2005, went from selling World Championship Poker to The Bible Game, where players answer questions on biblical scenes from David and Goliath to Noah’s Ark.
Other reasons to be a Christian gaming bull:
The current video game industry is worth about $12 billion… Christian video game sales tap only 1% of that market right now… And Christian video game sales are expected to explode over the next two years.
By October 2006, the buzz surrounding this Left Behind game will be deafening. The time to buy the LFBG stock is now while it flies under radar. And if it sounds like we’re excited about the future of Left Behind, that’s because we are.
Disclosure: The authors have no position in LFBG.OB
From: Melbourne, FL USA
That you, Ned? If so are you planning on writing an article on the state of Christian game development?