A Trip Down The Local Stores – Why Games Retail is Failing
Haven’t been able to do much blogging outside of the daily dose of articles here on Total Revue, but I’m finally able to get one through! Been stressful with exams over the past 3 days which is why some weekly content like New Releases or New on PSN isn’t up but fear not, we’ll bring it over the weekend (and tonight!)
1 more exam to go and I’ll be finished for the year! In the meantime, after intense revision and rewarding myself with heading into the town centre to snap up some games, I decided to pay a visit to the likes of HMV and Gamestation – note GAME was closed in our town (but not surprisingly, it was badly located and uncompetitive). After GAME Groups’s short lived administration, Gamestation is open like normal and people have forgotten about the state GAME Group were in
Decided to check them out and see if I could pick up House of the Dead Overkill: Extended Uncut for some zombie killing (post-exam relaxation) – HMV prices were really bad. A game that was released last October 2011 was still priced at £34.99! Medieval Moves priced at £19.99 and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim V was a whopping £42.99 – more than how much it cost at launch. Do they know anything about demand and supply?
This leads me onto the question about how retailers are failing at bring games to market. The focus on pre-owned games doesn’t bode well with studio support, with firms eating into their stake. High prices don’t make games sell, so they should stop that tactic which hasn’t been working for It’s a dilemma. Streamlined production to market processes has made this an expensive middleman that doesn’t know how it fits in the ever evolving chain.
I was also shocked at how bad the PS Vita area was. The library consisted of 4 launch games, even missing last week’s release of Mortal Kombat. FIFA Football, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Reaity Fighters and Unit 13. No Wipeout 2048, no Virtua Tennis 4 and no Dynasty Warriors NEXT (a few examples). It’s not helping Sony’s business when 80% (give or take) of titles aren’t even stocked and displayed on the shopfloor. HMV said the gaming business was weak for them, however the poor display of Sony’ latest handheld speaks volumes on their support for it.
The PS3 section, was the same as Nintendo’s 3DS collection – as for the Xbox 360, a huge library of games stacked up on the wall for easy visibility. Keeping things general, I feel that games haven’t been best shown in retails with how to not only encourage sales, but support launches and it’s appeal to consumers.
The lack of stocking a variety of games hurts the industry as it focuses on mainstream titles that are popular. Supermarkets like ASDA and Tesco are an example though their multi-offerings of goods excuses their poor execution. Games in retail has been slow to adjust and has not yet found a solution into competing with the global presence of internet sales.
Where are the demo units that GAME and Gamestation used to have? Why waste so much space with empty disc boxes and not with something with more visual and engaging media. The reason why GAME went into administration is because of this for several years running, doing little to keep up with the market. People are always comparing prices and are willing to save a few pounds online – how GAME Group didn’t anticipate this years ago and not do anything about it is beyond me.
Gaming in retail isn’t dead because of games, it’s retailers that have copy and pasted the routine with other goods into games when it needs a plan that’s unique and different. That’s what may kill game retailers. This is your 2nd chance GAME, don’t mess it up.