UK games retail down 38% – But what is being done? Nothing it would seem.
According to Ubisoft’s Alain Corre, the market is desperate for new ideas and if it doesn’t get it, spending on video games will continue to fall.
Alain’s concerns arose after it was reported last week that sales for the UK games market is down 38% year-on-year.
Why? The answer is simple – UK gamers are becoming increasingly tired of sequels and cookie-cutter games which in turn has seen an estimated £130m loss across the sector.
“There have been too many ‘me too’ games in the business in the last few years,” continued Alain.
“After a while people will go ‘eh’ and move on. But give them something fresh and they’ll buy a console just for your game.
So what has retailer GAME got to do with any of this? Well everything, actually.
Popping into our local GAME branch during my lunch break Friday just gone I was surprised to see no new releases adorning the front gondolas – the first thing you’ll see on entering any GAME store up and down the country. In place of what should have been Dragon’s Dogma and Lollipop Chainsaw was another re-release of Battlefield 3, yes a game that is more than half a year old.
After a look around the store I eventually stumbled across a couple of copies of both Lollipop Chainsaw and Dragon’s Dogma unceremoniously stuffed away in the lower regions of the PS3/Xbox360 charts.
Knowing the store manager I asked “Why aren’t GAME promoting these games, it’s not like they’ve had poor reviews, quite the opposite?”
“We only a had a couple of copies of Lollipop Chainsaw in on each system, same for Dragon’s Dogma the other week”
What are GAME playing at? How on earth are consumers going to become aware of new games when even the UK’s premier retailer are ignoring them in favour of pimping an 8 month an old game that everyone has already bought and played?
Game retailers are the last line of defense in promoting new games and products into the conscious mind of the general public, but if all we can expect from these retailers, these so called “pillars of the games industry” is this continued stance of ignoring new ideas in favour of gambling everything on making a quick buck via the same old games or, worse still, those that are more than half a year old – a strategy that has not only seen GAME close nearly half of its stores, but one that continues to see the retailer struggle – then how can the games industry expect to turn things around?
Some within the industry claim we’re not heading for an industry crash because we are, in fact, already in one – it just happens to be a slow burner.
I’m beginning to agree with them.