U.K. Industry Warns Against Lower Prices

U.K. Industry Warns Against Lower Prices

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The U.K. videogame industry is starting to sweat over lower retail prices on hardware and software, and has suggested to retailers that they should be making efforts to keep prices up.

Recent competitive price cuts across a number of U.K. retailers have led many industry figures in the country to ask retailers to halt the practice in order to ensure that prices of new game releases don't drop precipitously. "Price cuts in an industry which shines above the gloom [of the economy] can only be the strategy of those concerned that their mode of delivery to the consumer is facing threats, and they are doing their best to accelerate their own demise," said Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens.

Alan Pritchard of Sega U.K. echoed that sentiment, saying, "We have seen the loss-leading activities that [retailer] Morrisons ran before, and it is not something that Sega would encourage. Development costs are not getting cheaper so it is important for retailers to sustain full SRP [suggested retail price] points."

Activision's Andrew Brown suggested that instead of reducing prices, retailers should try to find other ways to ensure continued retail sales growth. "We recognize the short-term pressure on retail, especially if we are on the edge of a recession," he said. "But I believe retailers should drive growth by developing improved in-store solutions, rather than forcing the prices down. The overall strategy needs to be sustainable."

There have been several price promotions for both hardware and software at major U.K. retailers recently, including reductions of up to 50 percent on new releases at Morrisons and significant price cuts elsewhere on titles like The Force Unleashed, Wall-E, Too Human and Resistance 2, and representatives of the retail industry said the practice would continue despite the wishes of the game industry. "We feel we're offering great value for our customers," said Andy McFie, the software buyer for Asda, who said further price promotions were "inevitable," while a spokesman for GAME added, "The U.K. games market is very competitive and has been for years. We remain focused on our offer and are confident in our proposition."

Source: MCVUK

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I can see why they might be worried, but... with the amount we pay for games, there's gotta be a way to cut the prices without screwing the companies over. Give and take, apparently this is a lost art?

And you thought Australian Politicians were bad....

Pity they didn't do this when Asda monopolised the Harry Potter release, but then...

Why are game companies complaining about this? By becoming a loss leader it's Morrisons that lose the money, not the devs/publishers as they will be paid a flat rate of what they demand and retailers/wholesalers will take it or leave it. The only effect this has is that it may lower the threshold that wholesalers/retailers are willing to pay, but I guess they don't have a good enough grasp of the economy to know that the price equilibrium has wiggle room in that:

High cost - lower sales
Low cost - higher sales

Usually end up around very similar turnover numbers.

How DARE these places try and charge fair prices for games, instead of making us pay twice as much as other countries?

Where's my pitchfork? I've got to smack a bitch.

I just got mercenaries 2 for £23 in a Morrisons. HA HA

Parents will never pay for a PS3 game in Britain for their kid unless it is some sort of special occasion like christ has come back to earth and given everybody pie. Xbox and Wii games can at least be picked up in some sort of bargain bin but the PS3 has few titles which are all £££

What a stupid thing for the developers to say. The development costs are fixed once a game is completed, and price of actually making the game disc and distributing it is the only additional costs they face afterwards. If they sell 100 games at £20, then they make a similar amount of cash as if they sold only 50 games at £40. Also, compared to the prices US gamers pay we get a pretty raw deal here in the UK.

I'm gonna head to morrisons... thats some cheap games!!

Tho somehow I recon they wont be "great" games... mostly old and movie based games. :/

You've got to love old game collections like Sold-Out, Xplosiv and Good Old Games. A substantial part of my gaming collection consists of old games I've bought on "three for £10/£20" offers.

The people warning against lower prices are just a bunch of greedy, corporate fat-cats sweating over the state of the economy and their fear of the beautiful red line on the wall that tells them all they want to know about their sales starting to angle downwards...

Glad to see some stores are finally doing something about overpricing in the UK.

The major retailers been price fixing & ripping us off for far too long.

Amazon.co.uk price for Too Human: $69.88
Amazon.com price for Too Human: $56.99

harhol:
Glad to see some stores are finally doing something about overpricing in the UK.

The major retailers been price fixing & ripping us off for far too long.

Amazon.co.uk price for Too Human: $69.88
Amazon.com price for Too Human: $56.99

Huh. And there I was thinking such a thing was illegal and would have the company's sued/fined for lots o' cash (exact number don't you know?)

There is no law about selling for the same price in different regions.

Within the U.K. we have different food, petrol, whatever prices within chains of stores. Look at McDonalds in the North and one in London, and one in a service station on the M1. They all vary in price due to a combination of local compatition (or lack their of) and general state of living (the south is wealthier on the whole).

Thing is, certainly some things will have extra tax within the U.K. and i guess thats fine, although why the consumer must take all the hit of teh 17.5% rise in price, while the publishers take none of it does always confuse me somewhat. The biggest complaint I have is with digital games, or subscriptions.

Recently EA Mythic tried to make U.K. players pay MORE then people in the EU and America. I don't have the exact figures, but they werent using current currency exchange. U.K. ended up paying more then EU, and EU more then America. However they've since reduced it so that the U.K. pay the same as the rest of the EU, but I'm still a little peeved by it.

I always enjoyed EvE-online's payment system, as you always paid in dollars, and it just converted it from your bank into $ straight away using the current exchange rate. Meaning while the rate was good we were getting "cheaper" subscription costs. :D

TheBadass:
How DARE these places try and charge fair prices for games, instead of making us pay twice as much as other countries?

Where's my pitchfork? I've got to smack a bitch.

Burn the heretics!

Way to take a stand for piracy.

I mean, he is correct in saying that game retailers are staring down the barrel of a gun, and that gun is called online distribution, but that's no threat to developers. As a famous alien once said: "They are alone. They are a dying race. We should let them pass."

But suggesting that retailers should be charging more money will do nothing to endear you to the people who actually want to trade said money for your game, and will only encourage them to consider donning an eyepatch and parrot.

new game in UK - £39-£50 ish
roughly converted into dollars- $80-$100
New game in US - about $30-$40

Boo UK gaming industry

New games in NZ avg at the $$130 mark. So ususally if I dont umm... download the "extended demo" <.< then I will wait a few months for it to drop in price. So either way I refuse to pay that amount. If they dropped it to something reasonable right away then I would have no reason to wait.

PS3 and Wii games go for $100+ here in holland, the top offenders being WiiFit($210!!!) Anything else with a wii extension($150+) and AAA PS3 titles($120)

For the cost of all extra bits of the former i could build a pc that dwarves the latter in terms of power and get a huge pile of A and AA titles bundled with various bits that would most likely be the same size as both their catalogues combined. Atleast pc and x360 prices are steady at $60. Handheld prices are $40 for psp and anywhere between $5 and $120 for the ds, depending on how "healthy(propaganda-y?)" the game is supposed to be. Yes DS EyeTraining i'm looking at you.

avykins:
New games in NZ avg at the $$130 mark. So ususally if I dont umm... download the "extended demo" <.< then I will wait a few months for it to drop in price. So either way I refuse to pay that amount. If they dropped it to something reasonable right away then I would have no reason to wait.

Australia here. I don't think there's anything we can do except pout and bang our heads against brick walls at the state of price markups our retailers get away with. Especially when someone else is lamenting how CHEAP everything is >:(

TheBadass:
How DARE these places try and charge fair prices for games, instead of making us pay twice as much as other countries?

Where's my pitchfork? I've got to smack a bitch.

Seconded.

Am I the only one who thinks this is good news as an Australian? I import the LE of Resistance 2 for an even better price - hell yeah.

Although one question - why did you choose a pic of Resistance 2, and even then choosing the most mundane one?

dekkarax:
new game in UK - £39-£50 ish
roughly converted into dollars- $80-$100
New game in US - about $30-$40

Boo UK gaming industry

Where are you getting $30-$40 for a new game in the US from? Not that it's much better, but new games in the US are $50-$60.

thebobmaster:

Where are you getting $30-$40 for a new game in the US from? Not that it's much better, but new games in the US are $50-$60.

Only for topical games. After months the price will drop to around that area, assuming you can wait long enough. Then there are sales and such, which could lower it more.

Get a job at a retailer and you could add an employee discount to that as well.

Or you could always rent it for a few days.

Much sympathy to the UK gamers. I'm American, so unfortunately, I don't feel your pain.

DeadlyYellow:

thebobmaster:

Where are you getting $30-$40 for a new game in the US from? Not that it's much better, but new games in the US are $50-$60.

Only for topical games. After months the price will drop to around that area, assuming you can wait long enough. Then there are sales and such, which could lower it more.

Get a job at a retailer and you could add an employee discount to that as well.

Or you could always rent it for a few days.

No, no they don't. Unless you buy them used, you cannot expect the price for them to drop one dollar until either:
1. A sequel is on the way,
2. It's been put on a Greatest Hits list, or
3. The game hasn't sold for a REEEALY long time (2-3 years may be a good number) and the stores just want to unload it.

My question is:
would YOU be less likely to buy the new game-I've-been-looking-foreward-to because it was at the Suggested retail price?

Anyhow, we all know what happens when one retailler is big enough to kick the bum of all other, smaller companies. *glares menacingly in the direction of Wal-Mart*

j1-2themax:

No, no they don't. Unless you buy them used, you cannot expect the price for them to drop one dollar until either:
1. A sequel is on the way,
2. It's been put on a Greatest Hits list, or
3. The game hasn't sold for a REEEALY long time (2-3 years may be a good number) and the stores just want to unload it.

Condemned 2,$39.99 at Best Buy. Along with Ninja Gaiden II, Devil May Cry 4, Lost Odyssey, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom, Time Crisis 4, Alone in the Dark, and Clive Barker's Jericho.

Turok for about $30.

Dark Sector for around $20.

Not sure about starting prices since I am unable to locate a price history. These games are for the PS3 and/or the 360, since the Wii has somewhat lower development costs and are generally cheaper. Notice it does not include sports games. Also does not include PC games since I still have yet to find one starting over $50 thats not collector or special edition. Or I may need to open my eyes a little more.

Some may be Greatest Hits but who cares since it is a lower price. Not to mention the GH version are released months later.

Also the release dates of those games should be within the last year.

Now cue the predictable rebuttal about review 'scores' and 'ratings.' Not really the point of this discussion but I'm sure it will come up nonetheless.

DeadlyYellow:

thebobmaster:

Where are you getting $30-$40 for a new game in the US from? Not that it's much better, but new games in the US are $50-$60.

Only for topical games. After months the price will drop to around that area, assuming you can wait long enough. Then there are sales and such, which could lower it more.

Get a job at a retailer and you could add an employee discount to that as well.

Or you could always rent it for a few days.

Well, after "months" it's not exactly a new game, is it?

dekkarax:
new game in UK - £39-£50 ish
roughly converted into dollars- $80-$100
New game in US - about $30-$40

Boo UK gaming industry

Your salary in the UK - £40,000
Roughly converted to $US - $70,000
My salary in the US - $40,000

Comparing prices doesn't work like that.

thecaptainof:
I can see why they might be worried, but... with the amount we pay for games, there's gotta be a way to cut the prices without screwing the companies over. Give and take, apparently this is a lost art?

I agree. There must be some sort of middle ground instead of either of the extremes.

thebobmaster:
Well, after "months" it's not exactly a new game, is it?

Depends on your definition. You can't wait longer than the two weeks a game is considered topical then nuts to you.

 

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