Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Future of Paintball: Isn't Paintball?

There's no doubt that there is a dedicated and active portion of the milsim community that play paintball, and see it as the favoured means of milsim fun. But is the move from milsim paintball to airsoft inevitable? I'm not asking that because of my own personal beliefs, quite the opposite in fact. I believe that paintball is far more appealing than airsoft, and carries with it a much more mature and developed culture. The reason that I asked the question is that more and more focus seems to be placed on airsoft, and some of that focus is coming from sources that were... unexpected. I'll let the facts do the talking:

Case 1: Glenn Palmer

"[...] Paintball is definitely loosing ground to AirSoft so we are developing hardware to improve on the pneumatic AirSoft equip." - Glenn Palmer during an interview with The Catshack Reports.

Case 2: Wolf of The Wolf's Den

As of today, only one of the last 5 Wolf's Den updates has been about paintball, and 2 have been about Airsoft. 

Case 3: Milsig

Milsig has recently introduced a huge amount of airsoft guns via their online store, and the vast majority of new products that are labeled as new products are airsoft related.

Case 4: Google

For the first time since Google has started publicly tracking search trends, searches for "airsoft" have exceeded those for "paintball". The switch happened somewhere in November 2010.

So what's in store for paintball? Will there always be a thriving milsim paintball niche, or is airsoft pulling a Mr. Smith?

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