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GAME admits Christmas sales slump

GAME admits Christmas sales slump

UK games specialist chain GAME has revealed a notable dip in sales in the run-up to Christmas 2009.

UK games retailer GAME has revealed a notable dip in sales in the run-up to Christmas 2009 with sales dropping across all platforms despite the strong performance of key titles like Modern Warfare 2 and FIFA.

According to MCV the GAME Group's sales have fallen by 10.8 percent for the year until December 5th. Like-for-like sales on the same period last year have dropped by 15.1 percent and total sales are 14.3 percent down.

According to chairman Peter Lewis the plummet can be largely blamed on supermarket price cut tactics. Earlier this year many supermarkets went into a pricing war with some titles, slashing the price of games like Modern Warfare 2 far below what specialist stores were offering.

"Since the half year, there have been a number of major software releases including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and FIFA 10, which both broke records in their first week of launch," said Lewis in a statement.

"However, the exceptionally strong performance of these titles was in part offset by softer than expected sales of some other releases...We have seen strong competition in all of the markets that we operate in. In the UK, in particular, we have seen significant pricing activity from the supermarkets"

It's not all doom and gloom though - the firm also opened 43 new stores in the last six months and claims that the pre-owned market is booming.

"Over the longer term, we believe the video games market will continue to trend towards higher margin software and peripherals," concluded Lewis.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

38 Comments

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l3v1ck 8th December 2009, 12:12 Quote
I'm not surprised. You could get three or four reasonable second hand games for the price of one new one. Plus they're being undercut by the supermarkets. PES2010 £39.99 in Game, £27ish in Asda.
Bindibadgi 8th December 2009, 12:14 Quote
Because there has been 1 game released, and everything else is carpet fluff around it in terms of news and interest generated.
Veles 8th December 2009, 12:18 Quote
Well if they didn't charge full RRP on all their games and charged more reasonable prices they might be having less problems.
b1g-d0g 8th December 2009, 12:23 Quote
Got left 4 dead 2 online from game for £26 delivered before i whent into the shop at my town and it was £34 to greedy.
shanky887614 8th December 2009, 12:25 Quote
wellwhen you compare them to supermarkets they are being undercut aswell by places like amazon
steveo_mcg 8th December 2009, 12:32 Quote
I decided to buy l4d2 a couple of days after launch, check amazon £26 decided i wanted it quickly and was therefore willing to pay a premium to have it in my hand. £30 would have been fine, that covers the costs of expedited post but £35 was beyond my physiological price point.
thEcat 8th December 2009, 12:34 Quote
I quite like GAME, ten minuet walk, nice atmosphere, sitting in the park on the way home sharing my new purchase with the squirrels and I'll never forget the day they gave me £50 odd against a six month old £60 sound card as a trade in. I would have bought Dragon Age from them if the CE had come with a cloth map, it didn't and Steam got my money.
shigllgetcha 8th December 2009, 12:37 Quote
they put local independant game stores out of business and now the same is being done to them, a single tear rolls down my face for game.

anyway they make most of their profit on used games dont they?
Jamie 8th December 2009, 12:38 Quote
I just purchased a PS3 bundle from Game so it's not my fault!

I also feel all those people that bought Wiis last year have stopped buying new games, everything out on the Wii seems to be a rehash of a title people probably already have.
Mr T 8th December 2009, 12:47 Quote
MW2 - £26 from Tesco or £45 from Game i know where id go (and did).

I even walked straight past Game to get to Tesco. With price's like that they really can't compete.
yakyb 8th December 2009, 12:52 Quote
on another topic
was in HMV last night and they didnt even have a pc gaming section
Dreaming 8th December 2009, 13:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Well if they didn't charge full RRP on all their games and charged more reasonable prices they might be having less problems.

tbf a supermarket can cut the costs because they only need to hire 1 checkout person for the entire store, whereas GAME needs to hire a checkout person just for games, and so the marginal overheads are significantly higher, so they need to sell at a higher price point to make a profit. Supposedly the offset is that GAME will have better selection and also better aftersales/support/knowledge of the area, but the video / pc games market has been moving towards few but significant big releases where you don't really need an entire shop devoted to LFD2 and MW2.
Centy-face 8th December 2009, 13:09 Quote
People think it costs more to run a game store than a supermarket that is just bizzare. While its true that game has only games to sell surely because that is all it sells and it has about 3million shops now they can buy it in similar bulk to the supermarkets and while they can't slash the price as far they didn't even try, To be honest I haven't bought a PC game from a shop in several years the closest I have come is Amazon and as for portable games liek the DS they all get imported at half the cost from the US. Game shops are dying and I for one could not care less at all they are needless and obviously skew the market towards the people who pay the most for ad space and ultimately every time I have been in one the staff have not been any use at all they know about as much about games as my mum.
Greentrident 8th December 2009, 13:31 Quote
I had a £15 game voucher that took me 9 months to spend because they can only be used in the stores - where the price hike is stupendous. I had a psychological block paying £20 for something that was available from their online store for £15!
SNIPERMikeUK 8th December 2009, 13:38 Quote
I am all for shopping with Game (online), they have great deals, and delivery is quick, but the store prices are not competitive, and usually HMV undercut them...
fev 8th December 2009, 13:58 Quote
A crying shame, they have the power to turn it around. Morgan Stanley gave a warning about HMV's games business being slow too.
13eightyfour 8th December 2009, 13:58 Quote
Ill admit the only reason i ever really go into game is to look through the pre owned section tbh. Ill buy new whenever i really want something, but more often than not i end up buying some completely random pre owned game that ive never heard of because its cheap.

The supermarkets are in a position where they can offset the sale of a game against the masses of other products they sell, They probably lose money on games when they sell them cheap, but from a business point of view if you can afford to do it, and get a customer in the store its win.

The tescos where i live used to accept the fuel vouchers from the other supermarkets, just to get customers to their store.
Blademrk 8th December 2009, 14:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
I just purchased a PS3 bundle from Game so it's not my fault!

I almost bought a 250GB PS3 with 2 BR's (Dark Knight + Wolverine) in Tesco last night, but checked on Play first where the same package was over £20 cheaper plus it came with the BR remote (which would have cost me an extra £17 in Tesco) so I left it.
AcidJiles 8th December 2009, 15:24 Quote
If they continually overcharge for games what do they expect. With the internet and supermarket prices they need to reduce them to stay competitive to give consumers a fair deal rather than charging the excessive RRP price that I presonally have not paid in about 7 years (even when bought new).
CrapBag 8th December 2009, 16:09 Quote
Just bought my lad Pokemon Explorers of sky on DS.

Hmm now should I have bought it online from game for £25 or instore for £33...............

I know I'll buy it from amazon instead for £20.88.

If amazon can sell it for £20.88 then game online can sell it for £20.88 and as for instore price being £8 dearer, I know they have more overheads but that much increase is just ridiculous. Game online have to have a warehouse, warehouse and packing staff, plus postal costs.
lewchenko 8th December 2009, 16:53 Quote
Its not rocket science..

They overcharge ! Simple as that. Ive bought several console & PC titles this year and none were from GAME. Every single time they change full RRP whereas Tesco is always (and I mean always) a bit cheaper (sometimes massively so).

so if you want it right there and then.. go to the supermarket.
if you can wait .. go to play/amazon.

only if neither have what you want then try GAME... but be sure to check HMV on the way !!
SMIFFYDUDE 8th December 2009, 16:59 Quote
The reason supermarkets sell games so cheap is just to get people through the door and spend their money in the rest of the shop. Game can't afford to compete cos all it sells is games. Perhaps if they start stocking sliced bread and alcohol at cut prices they'll make more money.

I think i've only bought 1 game from Game in the last 3/4 years, i prefer Gamestation. Can't do downloads cos of crap connection.
javaman 8th December 2009, 17:57 Quote
Games are too expensive. When Virtua fighter 5 came out it was £70 in game in Belfast. Most other places had it for £50. Those sort of prices sicken me. At least their PC games are released around the £30-£35 mark for top end games and most of the rest are £25. Wii games are horribly overpriced for what they are. Although the cheapest out of the lot, I rarely spend more than 10mins playing each of them.
Theres no excuse for game every game so much higher than anywhere else. Argos, HMV, Amazon, Play are all cheaper. Yes, they sometimes sell at a loss, but I can guarentee that Ill pick up any game that game has from argos for at least £5 cheaper every time.

Another shop thats overpriced but at least does the occasional offer is gamestop. They also gave me the best excuse for their prices "we don't do loyalty cards because our prices are generally cheaper than game's are" Ive yet to see that unless its on a game they have on offer that week. I smell price fixing.
bogie170 8th December 2009, 17:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
I'm not surprised. You could get three or four reasonable second hand games for the price of one new one. Plus they're being undercut by the supermarkets. PES2010 £39.99 in Game, £27ish in Asda.

Or 22 quid online!
Rocket_Knight64 8th December 2009, 18:44 Quote
Not supprised, much the same as everyone else really. The stores are way overpriced and I will only enter if desperate for my fix or after something second hand. The website however I find to be great!
fev 8th December 2009, 21:10 Quote
This (below) annoys me, i'll talk generically.

Supermarkets work with each department having to make their own profits and hit their own targets. Games departments don't get a pat on the back and a well done because they've dragged people in to buy beer as well as Fifa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
Some crap about bread.
Ph4ZeD 8th December 2009, 21:19 Quote
Game is too expensive, simple as. Every time I go into a GAME, they charge RRP prices - such as £35 for MW2 on PC, and their PC selection is piss poor. When I moved house and was without Internet for a month, I went to GAME to try to buy D2 as a golden oldie to keep me occupied. It was a wasted trip and I bought it online later on a mates PC for a cheap price from an Amazon seller. I can't see a future for game/hmv.
VaLkyR-Assassin 8th December 2009, 22:15 Quote
I'd be able to get more games from GAME if they bothered to stock more PC games, but the PC section is getting smaller and smaller and often doesn't have the games I'm after.
AngusW 9th December 2009, 01:24 Quote
A few days ago i went into game or game station to see the prices for l4d 1 and 2 to further convince myself how good a deal the 52.99 i had just spent for the valve complete pack was and the total price for both those games was 50 quid. :P
Veles 9th December 2009, 02:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fev
Supermarkets work with each department having to make their own profits and hit their own targets. Games departments don't get a pat on the back and a well done because they've dragged people in to buy beer as well as Fifa.

While that is the way it theoretically works, they don't mind if a department's profits don't look good if they've got some dodgy long term dealings there.

For instance, TVs, my brother was driven crazy at his work by people coming in, asking for advice, then going off to tescos to buy the TV because the shop had no way of matching the price, since it was actually less than they got them in at trade price. Basically they're offering things so cheap, such as TVs, games, etc. to get it into the minds of the general public, if you're looking for a TV, go to a supermarket. They're after a big slice market share and once they have that, prices will go back up. It's illegal, but it's also virtually impossible to prove.
leveller 9th December 2009, 07:36 Quote
Game Stores shareprice took a tumble yesterday on the back of it's results.

Digital downloads UP + second hand sales + piracy = publishers push for more digital

You guys remember when the publishers tried to get second hand game sales banned? ... and the likes of Game Stores wanted to keep it?

How ironic.
GravitySmacked 9th December 2009, 08:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket_Knight64
Not supprised, much the same as everyone else really. The stores are way overpriced and I will only enter if desperate for my fix or after something second hand. The website however I find to be great!

Yeah I agree, the website is good. You can still find the odd title cheaper elsewhere (such as AVP pre-order for a steal at £17.99 on Amazon at the moment) but generally they're pretty good and always deliver a day or so early.
gavomatic57 9th December 2009, 10:09 Quote
Since Uncharted 2 there has been very little I've wanted to buy. Besides, the Steam sale kinda blew out December's game budget!
fozmcfc 9th December 2009, 11:06 Quote
Doesn't surprise me at all. I haven't bought MWF2, but from what I was told, Game were still selling it way and above the price that most online retailers were selling it for and also as they have said supermarkets.

Like with others here, I'm a PC gamer and the last 3 or 4 Game stores (including a new much larger branch) I've visited, offered me very little choice compared to the vast amount of consoles games for sale. For instances Dirt 2 was being released on the PC and yet there was no advertising for it and infact I couldn't find it on release day at all.

Online wise Game is better and I have been impressed by their service the couple of times I have used them and the prices have been better for the products I have bought than with say Play, Amazon etc...

Another thing for us PC gamers, supermarkets generally do not cater for us that much either, so we really are left with online retailers as our only real option, but thankfully there are several excellent retailers offering competitive prices and PC games are still generally a lot cheaper than their console equivilants.
Bede 9th December 2009, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
Games are too expensive. When Virtua fighter 5 came out it was £70 in game in Belfast. Most other places had it for £50. Those sort of prices sicken me.


What it all comes down to is how much you're willing to pay for entertainment per hour. £45 for MW2 sounds like a lot until you realise that you could easily sink 100 hours into the multiplayer. I personally still play the occasional single player level of MW1, so there's some replayability there. Oblivion at its RRP - there is so much to do that you could replay vanilla two or three times happily, and then there are the mods. 20p/hour? Games like VF5 you could basically play forever. Same with the FIFA games - I don't play them, but my brothers do, and that must work out at about 5p/hour :D This sense of entitlement that gamers have is ridiculous. A 2 hour film in the cinema costs about £10 per ticket. Yet you happily pay £5 an hour for a similar art form to AAA games which cost 20p an hour.

I like GAME's 2 for £20 sections, but I'd very rarely buy a recently released game from them - Steam and Amazon are better and cheaper respectively.
klimatekhange 9th December 2009, 22:19 Quote
When I went to the Game in Telford they were selling CDs. Not sure that diversification into the music industry is the best way forward.

Asda are not selling PC games anymore and most supermarkets do not stock PSP games - perhaps Game can hone in on these markets rather than selling films, books, food and CDs?

Mind you I went to Game to buy two PSP games and bought from play.com for much less - Invizimals and Little Big Adventure.
fev 10th December 2009, 20:47 Quote
I'm afraid they do mind, and I certainly know that departments aren't allowed to do the 'ol price hike trick you're talking about.

Where your brother worked more than likely made 20-35% on each TV, supermarkets work with much lower margins confident the quantity will aid profits.

Sorry but that's how it works, we don't care how many carrots are sold. Only our own merch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
While that is the way it theoretically works, they don't mind if a department's profits don't look good if they've got some dodgy long term dealings there.

For instance, TVs, my brother was driven crazy at his work by people coming in, asking for advice, then going off to tescos to buy the TV because the shop had no way of matching the price, since it was actually less than they got them in at trade price. Basically they're offering things so cheap, such as TVs, games, etc. to get it into the minds of the general public, if you're looking for a TV, go to a supermarket. They're after a big slice market share and once they have that, prices will go back up. It's illegal, but it's also virtually impossible to prove.
javaman 10th December 2009, 21:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
What it all comes down to is how much you're willing to pay for entertainment per hour. £45 for MW2 sounds like a lot until you realise that you could easily sink 100 hours into the multiplayer. I personally still play the occasional single player level of MW1, so there's some replayability there. Oblivion at its RRP - there is so much to do that you could replay vanilla two or three times happily, and then there are the mods. 20p/hour? Games like VF5 you could basically play forever. Same with the FIFA games - I don't play them, but my brothers do, and that must work out at about 5p/hour :D This sense of entitlement that gamers have is ridiculous. A 2 hour film in the cinema costs about £10 per ticket. Yet you happily pay £5 an hour for a similar art form to AAA games which cost 20p an hour.

I like GAME's 2 for £20 sections, but I'd very rarely buy a recently released game from them - Steam and Amazon are better and cheaper respectively.

Thats why im not willing to pay more £5 for DVD's lol. Games definatly the best £/hour for entertainment but atm im eying up some old gamecube games to give the wii some justification and even quite a few FPS games like lost planet and team fortress that I havent played yet. Such extreme costs for console games just puts them so low on my list. VF you could play forever, but Id rather pay £20 for oblivion and bioshock double pack and have 2 games I could play forever. Just because a game will give me alot of entertainment doesnt mean that Im willing to pay over inflated prices for it.

I think I just agrued the same point as you >.>
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