Finding Your Niche - Part 1
A niche market is a focused targetable portion (subset) of a market sector. -Wikipedia
We live in a world of choices and possibilities. It is a fact of life that from the time you rise in the morning we are advertised to by a huge number of companies offering their wares to us and making it clear that they have what we want. We live in a free market society which is at best a storm-tossed sea of supply and demand. On this sea are the corporate fishing trawlers and private fishing boats, all casting lines hoping to capture our attention and praying we’ll chase the lure and go for a bite... hook, line, and sinker.
Free markets are not a bad thing. Free markets are self-limiting beasts wherein buyers have access to what it is that they want. Corporations perform research in hopes of understanding what it is that consumers want (we’re talking large numbers of consumers) and work hard at fulfilling the consumer's desires. As technology grows, new and better versions of the consumer’s desire(s) are made and offered to them as updates or new product lines. In a nutshell, all can be narrowed down to the following:
Consumer wants/desire/money = product & amount made for consumer
So why am I boring you with a primer on free market economics? To offer you a bit of PC gaming history, what else?! When personal computers hit the market in the early 1980s, software developers generated a large variety of game titles. In 1993 a game arrived on the scene: Doom.
Doom set new standards for graphics, first-person shooters and networked multiplayer gaming. The gaming world has never been the same since. Doom also made a point with commercial software developers: consumers want this and they are willing to pay top-(your currency symbol here). To this very day, some of the best selling PC gaming software products are the first-person shooter (FPS) and the MMORPGs. “But what about...” Yes, I realize there are other market factors such as console gaming, but for brevity’s sake I’m going to keep focused on the PC.
All of this fame has its economic consequences. The commercial game development industry is feeling the crunch as it tries to turn a profit while trying to compensate its talent - which ultimately results in fewer games to purchase and disgruntled software developers that are paid a meagre percentage of the games revenue.