Macro-economic reports seem to indicate that consumers are in an extreme retrenching mood.
This report, for example, indicates a decline in December, making it the sixth consecutive monthly drop:
I find it hard to believe that this won't have an impact on the game industry, especially considering that most of the companies are small businesses that are not operating with a big cushion even in good times.
I plan to go to the World Boardgaming Championships this August. It will interesting to see what the vendor area looks like.
Overall I am sensing a slowdown in new offerings. It appears that a lot of product plans may be on hold. Many companies are relying on a P500 system to guide their publishing plans, but if they don't have a hard P500 with credit-card backed purchase orders they may find their P500 less of an insurance policy than they think.
Games are definitely a discretionary purchase. While I don't think game playing will suffer during the recession, purchases of new games very well may. Many of us already have more games than we will ever likely play, so it will be easy to talk ourselves into deferring purchases for a bit.