JONATHAN GRIMES Director of Retail Sales and Marketing, Xbox
We remain fully committed to our retail partners and recognise the huge importance that specialist retailers have to our industry.
PETER STONE, UK General Manager, Konami
It’s our opinion that the video games industry is stronger if we have one or more specialist retailers. Therefore we see the survival of GAME and HMV to be important to us. We have worked hard with both retailers in the past few weeks to ensure they are able to stock our new titles.
GAME LIVES TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY
WITHOUT QUESTION, a challenging road lies ahead of GAME. But at least for now its staff – whether those at the Basingstoke HQ or at its 600 stores across the UK – can breathe a sigh of relief. The uncertainty, at least, is gone for now. Of course there’s still changes and some pain to come. That international sell-off or divestment, for a start. Plus it is dropping a big chunk of head office staff, and is still maintaining that it will phase out another 50 stores by next year. Yet all GAME and its partners were asking for lately was stability. Thanks to a new agreement with its lenders they have it. Plus, there is emphatic support from suppliers. We talk a lot about
market value in MCV, but the real value in this business is the relationships which make that market exist in the first place. It’s bittersweet in some ways: publishers seem to respect a humbled GAME Group moreso than when it was the unshakable market leader holding all the cards.
But at least now it is clear GAME’s journey still has mileage. And not many people were saying that last week.
REALITY CHECK FOR THOSE
WANTING GAME’S DEMISE AS FOR those naysayers – well, GAME’s blip last week was hopefully an education of sorts. Clearly only a few people understand what kind of catastrophe a GAME, or HMV, collapse would signal.
If they go, they would take more than High Street brands with them. Why else were some of the trade’s most senior figures up until all hours night after night last week hammering out arrangements to get stock into stores?
UK boxed games market plunges 30% in January
by Christopher Dring
JANUARY was a grim month for UK games retail, with sales down 30 per cent year-on-year. There was a dearth of new releases last month – by comparison LittleBigPlanet 2 and Dead Space 2were released in January 2011. In total 2,781,786 games were sold last month, down 27.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.
Revenue was down 30 per cent to £59.2m. FIFA 12was the No.1 game of the month, followed by Battlefield 3at No.2 and Modern Warfare 3at No.3. The only charting new game was Resident Evil: Revelationsat No. 45. The success of FIFA and Battlefieldmeant that EA reclaimed its place as the No.1 publisher, knocking Ubisoft down to No.2.
Anyone telling you that the grocers and online retailers can cushion the blow of an imploding specialist is talking utter nonsense.
No GAME means no specialist retail in the UK. That means a shrinking market. That means fewer games released. That means less publishing staff. That means reduced media spending to advertise games. That means magazines and websites become financially pressured. Many in the games industry would feel the sharp pang of GAME dying. Here’s hoping we don’t have to learn that lesson the hard way. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk