Gamers were treated to a number of big game releases last year with a variety of highly anticipated launches to tempt us to part with our cash. But it seems the ongoing credit crunch is hitting the games industry hard if recent sales figures and store closures are anything to go by.
According to a report on MCV sales of the big titles have hit an all time low, with the UK games market down 25% compared with last year. Even publishers are shocked at the sales of even major sequels this time round. One leading analyst has stated that sales are only fifty percent of what they should be.
Retail sources are claiming that recent new launches have been shifting between 10,000 and 48,000 units during the first week of availability. This compares to last year where it was between 35,000 and 80,000. One unnamed publisher has seen its latest triple A title struggle and said they are not making half the money that is being spent on marketing alone.
UFC 3 for instance is this week’s number one but hasn’t compared to previous releases regarding sales, with the original outselling it by three to one over the same period. Big game releases from last year are now being offered at big discounts from various retailers.
Meanwhile struggling retailer GAME has announced it will be closing an extra 35 stores as well as closing Gameplay.co.uk next week. The retailer has been having a tough time for a while now and is looking to cut back costs so it can move forward and survive. It currently has 610 GameStation and GAME stores around the country, but is looking to reduce this to 550 by the end of 2013.
The company is looking to redeploy as many staff as possible after the store closures, and customers of Gameplay will be served via Gamestation.co.uk from the start of next month. GAME stores will soon have new IT systems that will fully support its online store, and could mean a click and collect service will soon be available.
It has suffered credit issues in recent months that have led to some new titles not being stocked by the store. Many of our readers have said they no longer use the GAME stores based simply on price, as it seems unable to compete with the big supermarkets or online stores for the best prices of new games.
Have you cut back on your game spending recently?