The NDP Group reports that through August 2010, the U.S. sales of packaged video games–including both hardware and software–has fallen 8% compared to last year. However, over the first six months of 2010, the sales of digitally downloaded video games increased 37% from the same period last year. The NDP attributes this trend to the expansion of social network gaming and cheap or free game options. Celebrity Rock Star Anand Bhatt is an avid gamer and used to spend $200 a month on packaged video games. “I also had a habit that if I liked a game I would buy a copy for several of my friends,” he says. “My previous A&R rep from the record label produced a major game for Activision and to show my support I bought a copy for everyone in the company. We had fun, but as you can imagine I dropped thousands [of dollars] in a day.”
Anand’s favorite game system is the Playstation 3 and about a year ago he switched from packaged games to downloaded and online gaming. He now uses his Playstation strictly to watch movies and listen to music. “I realized that I was beginning to get impatient and bored with games quickly, especially if the games got too challenging. I’d give up and start doing something productive. I was wasting tons of money on games that I’d only play for a couple of days,” says Anand.
Although a millionaire, Anand now spends absolutely nothing for his gaming fix.
Anand admits that the graphics and controls of most PC based games are nowhere nearly as exciting as a game consoles; however, he’s a big fan of Newgrounds, a site where creators can submit their own Flash games and movies for review and enjoyment by fellow gamers. Newgrounds has a massive database of games covering all genres and best of all, they are free to play. Musicians will also be interested to know that you can submit original music to be included in Newgrounds games which can bring you notoriety and possibly get your feet in the door to scoring larger video game projects.
Addicting Games is another site that Anand enjoys which hosts free online games. There is also a plethora of other free online games available for play or download, you just have to know how to search for them. A comprehensive list of popular free games with links can be found on the Steam User’s Forum. Also visit Pogo for a variety of free board, card, word, and puzzle games.
Anand limits himself to only a few gaming hours per week and when asked to comment on the pros of online gaming he stated, “No clutter. The drawers full of games I don’t play is rather annoying.”
You can connect with Anand via Facebook and if the two of you hit it off, he may just pass on his private information for you to join him playing an online game or two.
Ballers On Budgets was founded in 2009 as a project dedicated to educating people on how to live within their financial means while increasing their social status within their community with the aim to provide resources, information, and alternatives to spending a lot of money while engaging in a socially active lifestyle.