CORRECTED: Gameworld: Sequels keep video games buzzing in 2008

Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:40pm EST
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(Corrects game title in para 6, developer para 5)

By John Gaudiosi

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters Life!) - Despite the sluggish global economy, video game sales remained recession-proof in 2008 as game sequels were snapped up by fans and music games struck the right note.

Sequels like MTV Games' "Rock Band 2," Bethesda Softworks' "Fallout 3" and Konami Digital Entertainment's "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" won over game critics and consumers.

"In uncertain economic times, gamers do what every other consumer does -- focus on quality brands," said Sid Shuman, senior editor at GamePro Magazine.

"If game purchases are limited, gamers will flock to core titles that are guaranteed to satisfy like "Call of Duty: World at War," "Gears of War 2" and "Grand Theft Auto IV." Think of them as gaming comfort foods."

Rockstar Games' "Grand Theft Auto IV," which was released back in April, has sold over 11 million copies worldwide. The first next generation story in the award-winning franchise presented gamers with an open world sandbox to explore.

Xbox 360 gamers will be introduced to a new storyline come February 17 when "The Lost and Damned" expansion pack is released digitally via Xbox Live with the new episode introducing Johnny Lebitz and his biker gang, The Lost.

With the average age of a gamer today 35, mature-rated games like developer Epic Games' "Gears of War 2" have risen to the top of the global charts. This sci-fi shooter that sent Delta Squad into the heart of Planet Cera to take out the monstrous Locust Horde sold over 3 million units in its first month.   Continued...