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Who will buy Metaboli?

Arvato denies digital retailer buyout rumours

“The average price of a boxed game loses almost half its original price after three months.” How fast individual games drop in value p20

Blockbuster: ‘We want more exclusive DLC’

by James Batchelor

RENTAL giant Blockbuster has called for more publishers to give it exclusive DLC.

by Christopher Dring

DIGITAL retailer Metaboli is an acquisition target for major video game firms. MCVhas been told twice that distribution giant Arvato is set to buy the company, but twice Arvato has strenuously denied it. “We are not currently in discussions with Metaboli about purchasing the business,” a spokesperson told MCV.

Metaboli – which provides GAME’s digital download service – is in fact one of

many potential targets for distributors and publishers. It follows Gem’s acquisition of digital distributor Ztorm. One leading expert in the sector said that the days of independent digital retailers are coming to an end, with more distributors and publishers looking to acquire B2C companies. “The implications of distributors buying digital retailers are huge,” our source said.

“This entire sector will look very different even by the end of this year.”

It comes after the firm secured a deal with EA for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13. Blockbuster customers who pre-order the game will be able to get two additional downloadable packs. One pack contains four playable Premier League stars, including Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott, while the other features US sports icons like basketball’s Dwight Howard and retired boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. Now the retailer wants to arrange similar deals with other publishers as it ramps up its pre-order efforts. “We’re delighted to have this pre-order incentive from EA – a first between our two companies and a huge step forward to delivering the type of commercial partnership we want going forward,” said

Wayne Rooney will star in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 DLC exclusive to Blockbuster

“ by Christopher Dring

IT IS ‘absolutely nuts’ online retailers can avoid tax so easily, says HMV.

The Government is closing down the Channel Island tax loophole from April, but HMV CEO Simon Fox says this doesn’t go far enough. He believes that HMV’s big name online rivals such as Play, The Hut and Amazon could move to other offshore tax havens. “For many years we have said we would like to see a

4 February 10th 2012

The closing of the tax loophole doesn’t

necessarily solve anything.

“ Simon Fox, HMV

Blockbuster UK’s head of games James Morton. “We know our customers

We’re delighted to have this pre- order incentive from EA – a first between our

two companies. James Morton, Blockbuster

will like exclusive content and we’re looking forward to delivering even more exciting offerings for games in 2012.”

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 arrives in the UK on March 30th for Xbox 360 and PS3. It’s the latest in EA’s long- running golf franchise. Blockbuster: 01895 258 866

HMV slams ‘idiotic’ offshore tax dodging

level playing field,” said Fox. “Unfortunately, the

legislation closes down Low Value Consignment Relief [LVCR] only from the Channel Islands. It remains to be seen what our competitors will do, but undoubtedly there’ll be a temptation to go to Switzerland or wherever. “It can’t be helpful to have

your VAT rate as a determinant of where you put your warehouse. It’s a basic distortion to fair competition. The closing of LVCR rules is a good thing,

but the way it has been implemented doesn’t necessarily solve anything. “[The situation] is

absolutely nuts. Just as it’s nuts for digital service providers – like iTunes and Amazon Kindle – to be located in low tax locations. “Unfortunately, all of the high growth digital markets are not delivering the Government tax revenue. It is absolutely idiotic.” You can check our full interview with Simon Fox on Page 14.


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