Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 3, 2014

Email: Do sales always equal quality?

So I’ve been wondering about your recent reply to that hate filled hardcore gamer about how sales are representative of a products quality. i.e. it sells because lots of people want to get at it.

I’m wondering if you think this applies to music as well? Is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” the greatest album ever made because nothing has yet to outsell it in the last 30 years? Hell, it sold over 3 times what Sgt Pepper’s did and double what Dark Side of the Moon did (its nearest competitor). Do music artists need to go back to making “Michael Jackson music” (whatever that might be taken to mean) if they want to reach those levels of sales again?

Maybe I’m making a false equivalence here with Nintendo and NES/Wii style games vs. Gamecube games. Do people even -want- to buy albums anymore?


The Internet is filled with 25 year old narcissists who believe they can define a quality video game because they spend significant time at a Gaming Message Forum. The truth is that a quality video game is not determined by what is said on a message forum or a person’s FEELINGS on that matter. What matters is the sales. What matters more than that is the profitability.

Keeping focus on the sales, and on the profitability (which is more important), bursts the 25 year old narcissist bubble that gaming media lives in. Is Minecraft a quality video game? It doesn’t matter if you personally like or dislike it. What matters is that it not only sells, it is making a massive amount of profit through the game and through merchandise licensing.

“Why should I care what is profitable to a corporation? I’m a gamer.”

No, you’re a narcissist who spends too much time on the Internet. I don’t mean you, emailer, but many gamers. Video games are products of the marketplace, and they must be judged accordingly.

I don’t know the music business. I do know that it has fallen apart. People no longer buy music even digitally. They just ‘stream’ it’. Apple spent 3 billion dollars to buy Beats just to acquire music streaming rights because no one buys music anymore even from iTunes.

I think many ‘intellectual labor’ jobs/products are seeing their value fall through the floor. Does anyone buy BOOKS anymore? Even in a digital format? Writers weren’t getting paid much decades ago. Now, they get literally nothing. Television and movies sees what is going on and is fighting very hard not to have their medium lose value.



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