Software org projects growth in gaming biz

The Interactive Digital Software Assn., which owns the Electronic Entertainment Expo, has issued a report that forecasts strong growth for the PC and vidgame software business.

IDSA president Douglas Lowenstein said the org reached its conclusions despite an onslaught of negative publicity about the entertainment software industry. The report addresses the online gaming industry, but its main focus is on so-called “shrink-wrapped” products like CD-ROMs and vidgames sold at retail and through mail order.

Lowenstein pointed to several factors that bolster the org’s contention. Those include a projection of $5.3 billion in vidgame sales for 1997, growth in the U.S.-installed base for computers and increased demand for entertainment software overseas.

He added that Hollywood’s failure to set cash registers ringing with CD-ROM sales shouldn’t be interpreted as a death knell for the industry. “The fact that studios didn’t make a lot of money doesn’t mean it isn’t a strong business. But if the studios keep approaching this as a ‘throwaway,’ they’ll keep creating mediocre product,” he said.

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