Forbes: Europe prefers sports, casual gaming

News standard says region's interest in action and FPS dwarfed by that of US; Crytek CEO says EU sees shooters as "evil."

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According to Forbes, European gamers prefer racing and soccer games to action adventure and first-person shooters.

To make evidence for this claim, Forbes cites research from the International Development Group, which points out that Bungie's acclaimed sci-fi shooter Halo 3 had sold 900,000 in Europe during 2007. Conversely, Halo 3 was the number-one selling game in the US during 2007, with 4.8 million units sold according to the NPD Group.

As for what sold well in Europe, Nintendo's Brain Training ("Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day" in the US) was the top game in the region for 2007, selling 2.8 million units, and EA's soccer sim FIFA 2008 scored second with 2.3 million copies sold, according to IDG data. Neither game cracked the NPD Group's top 10 list in the US during 2007.

The article goes on to argue that the continent favors older consoles and plays more casual games. "Guns and gore don't sell as well in Europe because Europeans like short, so-called casual games, rather than the long, epic tales that keep gamers pounding on their consoles for hours," notes Forbes. "People can play these short games on trains and subways on their way to work."

Forbes notes that the PlayStation 2 still had a 47 percent market share in 2007, and that the Nintendo DS came in second place with 25 percent, according to the IDG.

Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek and director of the 2007 hit FPS Crysis, briefly weighed in with his opinion, suggesting that Europeans believe shooters to be "evil." Although that statement wasn't expounded upon, Yerli has in the past been critical of his government's extreme stance on violence in games. After several members of the German parliament called in 2006 for a ban to all violent games, Yerli indicated that he would consider moving his company out of the country if those games were to be outlawed.

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