least of which was losing the UK’s biggest games retailer. Plus SRPs are being driven downwards, and the ongoing polarisation of hit products and not much else below that is getting worse.
But still we maintain a healthy business. We are alive, and have a release line up for the remainder of 2012 that embraces all console platforms and we will continue to produce games that we know an audience desires.
By our own estimates, 30,000 people visited the Rising Star booth at the recent MCM Expo in London
30,000 people came to see Rising Star’s games at MCM Expo –proof of the high demand for its products
“ 20 June 8th 2012
– this demonstrates a thirst for our products from the consumer. Convincing retail and distribution of that is the challenge.
Our products may not be a ‘sure thing’ but we have made some great ground with our retail partners.
Martin Defries, Rising Star Games
What issues do you face when getting your titles stocked at retail? What are you doing to counter these, and what can retail do to help? We face the same issues as every other small publisher – most retailers, quite rightly, focus on the sure thing.
While we can throw up claims like our aforementioned MCM visitors – plus great pull-through via our social network campaigns, terrific reviews and a willingness to be flexible and ‘fleet of foot’ on terms and supply – our products do not have the certainty that Activision, EA, Warner Bros et al deliver with their games. It is a riskier, braver call to line up our titles where the next iteration of an FPS or a football game can sit.
That said, we have made great ground with some retail partners, and credit should go to them and our distribution partners. We also work with indie stores that appreciate something different from the sure thing or who recognise that listing titles other than sequels or established IP can be strong sellers, with decent margin and a long tail.
Our sales through online retailers such as Amazon and ShopTo have
increased year-on-year, where specialist information on the titles, through editorial support or user recommendations and referrals, matter perhaps more than price.
Your partnership with Cave has yielded a number of promising games. What can we expect next from this partnership? Unfortunately, that seems to be it. Cave has downsized its gaming division and we have reached an end.
It is a pity as we have really enjoyed working with the people and products from Cave. We took a pride in releasing three titles and we regard the positive comments around their release, developing the Deluxe editions, and the sales of all of them as a badge of honour. Certainly we are confident that we brought more gamers to these titles than their previous ‘niche gaming’ tag delivered. Additionally, it has brought a confidence to us that there is a healthy demand for schmups and the more quirky Japanese games.
In the absence of future Cave games, do you have any other partnerships in the works? We will shortly announce two key partnerships from Japan that will deliver products for late 2012 and early 2013. I will squeeze a few more column inches out of MCVat a later date by not revealing them here.
Akai Katana was the last title to be released as part of Rising Star’s partnership with Japanese developer Cave –but the publisher has some new deals in the works