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UK retail game sales are half of expected



/ 5 years ago

UK retail game sales are “half of what they should be”, an analyst has claimed.

The UK games retail market is 25 per cent down compared to last year, according to a report by MCV.

2012’s major new games are selling between 10,000 to 48,000 copies during their first week on sale, sources told MCV. Last year big games were selling 35,000 to 80,000 copies.

The first UFC game outsold the UK’s current number one game, UFC 3, by 3:1 during the same period, MCV reported.

“We are trying to understand it, but everything is selling well below what it should,” a publisher said.

“It is an absolute nightmare. I’m not making half the money back I’m spending on marketing.”

Why is this happening? Don’t blame specialist retailer GAME, which has been unable to stock some recent new releases.

“There are some stock shortages at retail, but I don’t think that’s what’s causing these figures,” the UK boss of an unnamed Japanese publisher said.

“The big games of last year are available cheaply. But also consumers don’t want to spend money, and we as an industry are not giving them any reason to change their minds. I will be watching Mass Effect 3 and Syndicate very closely.”

GAME Group Marketing Director Anna-Marie Mason told Eurogamer this week’s Vita launch was vitally important for the UK games industry.

“The traditional packaged goods market, year on year, has been in decline,” she said. “Even at our most busy period last year, as an industry, that market shrunk, and it shrunk significantly.”

In a separate MCV report, Chart-Track, which releases UK sales data, said boxed retail still accounts for 70 per cent of the UK software market – what amounts to a £1 billion industry.

MD John Pinder said publishers “would have bitten your hands off” ten years ago for the sort of sales figures posted today.

He stressed the importance of the industry managing the transition to digital “very carefully” and called on publishers to “learn from the mistakes of the music industry”.

“Hopefully games will learn from that and manage its transition in a way that doesn’t destroy its big revenue area – which is boxed retail,” he said.

“Right now we have the perfect storm. The appalling state of the economy combined with the end of the console lifecycles.”

Source: Eurogamer



  • gavin

    I have been a regular buyer of games on PS3 and XBox, but £40 has become a lot of money to spend out on. Certain companies who then start charging for numerous download content after the game has been released makes me feel conned. I have started buying second hand games now. Would rather wait a few months and get the game for a fraction of the price either in places like game or on ebay.

    I would also like to see more cheats available for games instead of trophies for doing well. If I spend £40 on a game and I simply find it too difficult or give up because I have to keep going back to the start of a level, I increasingly choose games more carefully. Older games on say the ps2/dreamcast had various cheats available. One of the attractions of the Saints Row series are the numerous cheats which make me come back to the game time and again.

    Reduce the prices, and give things with the game as part of those prices and not expect people to spend 3 times as much to get a limited edition with posters etc. I feel several games lack something unless I have spent a fortune on downloaded content. It seems sometimes games are stripped first and then features,levels added back at a price to me.