According to a report on MCV, UK video game retailer GAME is telling its employees to be prepared for the company to go into administration (bankruptcy). The company's senior staff was told at a meeting with CEO Ian Shepherd earlier in the week that the chain has approximately two weeks to improve its luck and get its affairs in order before administrators are called in. The company is still hoping for a buyout by GameStop or some other investor.
According to a report in the Independent, U.S.-based retailer GameStop has expressed interest in buying trouble UK retailer GAME's Iberian operation. The report makes no mention of GAME's UK operations, but points to its stores in Spain and Portugal. Both companies declined comment.
Troubled UK retailer GAME will not be stocking Street Fighter X Tekken and Asura's Wrath, according to an MCV report. Both were scheduled for release this Friday in the UK. The Capcom titles join other high profile titles that were recently passed over including Mass Effect 3, Mario Party 9, The Last Story and FIFA Street.
Investors and directors are not confident in UK games retailer GAME, and one report from The Express this weekend notes that company directors are considering "pulling the plug" on the entire operations rather than lose any more money. Executives at the top of the troubled retail chain are concerned that the retailer is negotiating big titles on a "game by game basis," and some investors could lose patience with that way of doing business.
UK games retailer GAME could lose up to £2.5 million (or roughly $4 million USD) over its decision not to stock EA's Mass Effect 3, according to one analyst. Mark Photiades of Singer Capital Markets noted that lost sales and compensation to those customers who pre-ordered the game could prove detrimental to GAME's already fragile financial standing.
Photiades comes to this conclusion based on some hypothetical sales calculations:
UK video game retail chain GAME made an announcement this morning that it would not be stocking Mass Effect 3 or any other EA title in the immediate future. The publicly traded company paid for that announcement today as its stock plummeted 15 percent on the news. GAME also said that it is not stocking Nintendo's Mario Party 9, and earlier this month it decided not to stock Ubisoft’s PS Vita launch titles or the latest Tekken title for 3DS. All of this is making investors nervous and the public concerned that the company is sliding down a slippery slope.
According to a Gamasutra report troubled UK games retailer GAME has chosen 35 stores and one of its main online sites that it will be shut down as part of a strategic plan to cut costs. The move follows a rescue of the company by stakeholders and lenders. As part of its restructuring plan, Game must operate its business "within lower limits" than it has in the past and shut down 60 of its stores in the UK by 2013.
Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard said, as part of a panel at the BAFTA Question Time event (sponsored by GameIndustry.biz), that traditional retail will fall by the wayside within ten years. He was speaking only of retail as it relates to the sale of games. Gerhard believes this because he thinks that digital distribution channels have managed to serve the needs of consumers very well.
Walmart has finally decided that it will share its video game software and hardware sales data with research firm NPD Group. The firm had been hampered by not having sales data from Walmart and instead had to estimate weekly and monthly figures related to the retailer. NPD today confirmed that it has reached an agreement with Walmart to receive and analyze its point-of-sale information from it retail stores and Walmart.com.
The agreement also covers many other industries that NPD tracks, including Entertainment, Apparel, Home, Hardlines, and Toys.
According to this MCV report retailers are telling the publication that if publishers stop using online codes, they would be willing to share used game revenues with them. This would - at least anecdotally - show that online pass code schemes employed by companies like THQ, EA, and others are having some sort of negative affect on used game sales.
According to new data released by analytics firm comScore, online retailer raked in an estimated $35 billion in the United States during the lucrative holiday shopping season that runs from late November to December. The biggest jump with this 56 day shopping season took place on Black Friday - a day usually reserved for traditional retailers to make big bucks on sales. On the day following Thanksgiving, online sales increased an impressive 26 percent to $816 million. Cyber Monday also produced record results.
For its end of year sale, game rental company GameFly is offering 50 percent off its used game titles. Obviously all of these games have been man-handled by rental customers, but that shouldn't stop you from finding a good deal. At a glance - taken from this sale page - GameFly is offering Brink Xbox 360 for $6.99, LA Noire PS3 for $11.99, Two Worlds II PS3 for $9.99, Mario Strikers Charged Wii for $12.99, Enslaved Xbox 360 for $9.99, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded DS for $19.99, and Rabbids Travel in Time 3D 3DS for $19.99.
New data released by Japanese retail research company Media Create reveals that the 20 titles that launched with the PlayStation Vita sold a combined 300,000 units. This happened, according to the firm, in the first two days of Vita's launch. The system sold an estimated 325,000 units in the same timeframe. According to Andriasang - who translated Media Create's numbers, this gives the Vita an attach-rate of around 0.92 games per system. That rate might be a bit higher because these numbers don't take into account games purchased online through PlayStation Store.
GameFly is finally putting that acquisition of digital distribution platform Direct2Drive to good use. According to a Joystiq report, the video game rental company has launched the public beta for its PC game distribution client. The highlight for GameFly members is that they can play the entire PC library for no charge.
Crime is taking a bite out of retailers' fairly decent sales numbers for the holiday season so far, according to trade group the National Retail Federation. According to estimates from the group, around 40 percent of theft is caused by organized crime rings, "returns" fraud, and shoplifting. Crime has costs U.S. retailers tens of billions of dollars already according to the group.
The National Retail Foundation has launched a $10 million dollar advocacy campaign to push its national agenda onto the political scene for the rest of the year. The trade group representing traditional retailers says that it will spend some of that money on lobbyists to push a 13-point legislative agenda important to its memberships. Notable exceptions include corporate tax reform, fixing or repealing the employer health care mandates passed by President Obama, and enacting the "Main Street Fairness Act." The latter should be noted by consumers because it wants U.S.
Former DOOM and Quake designer American McGee thinks that retail is an outdated model and in Shanghai (where he lives and does business with his company Spicy Horse) no one buys games anywhere but online. In an interview with Industry Gamers McGee said that retail is just a place in China where everyone manhandles merchandise they want before they go home and buy it online.
Video game retailer GAME Australia has revamped its customer reward card with a risqué new feature that lets customers use their fingers to simulate various male naughty bits. The cheeky marketing gimmick has drawn a lot of attention - with a slight bit of it being negative. MCV is reporting that multiple complaints have been filed with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). GAME did not acknowledge or comment on those complaints; instead it talked to MCV about how wonderful the rewards program is for its customers.
While Amazon might be on the precipice of usurping legislation passed earlier this year by the state of California with a voter referendum this November, lawmakers are on the attack. The New York Times chronicles the fight going on in California in this article, which is interesting because it pits traditional retail in the state against online retailers.
Microsoft claims that over two-thirds of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions purchased are obtained at retail, as opposed to using Xbox Live to renew subscriptions or buy new ones. According to what Microsoft tells MCV, 68 percent of the premium subscriptions for Xbox Live are purchased via retailers.
Robin Burrowes, marketing manager for Xbox Live, also said that Microsoft is "very respectful" of retail, and has no plans to simultaneously release Xbox 360 titles at retail and via digital download at the same time.
Konami Europe's top executive says that publishers are taking a shellacking from retailers in the United Kingdom because of their competitive pricing and constant sales battles and he's had enough. Speaking to MCV, the publisher’s European chief Kunio Neo said that the UK market is suffering, while other territories such as Germany are thriving. He blames the constant sales battles among retailers in the UK and he has a message for them: Stop the price wars.
Independent video rental stores across the U.S. and Canada are banding together for a common cause: to promote a Video Store Day Oct. 15. The goal of this special day is to show the public that there are still alternatives to rental kiosks like Redbox and from Blockbuster, and streaming entertainment services such as Netflix and Hulu. Clearly local video rental stores have taken a savage beating at the hands of those juggernauts.
Target is ramping up its in-store trading program to include more items that have a cash value and can be used towards purchasing new goods, the retailer announced today. The company said today that customers can save money on "back-to-school purchases: by trading in their used electronics and video games. Target’s Electronics Trade-in service (in partnership with NextWorth) has expanded to 1,490 of its stores across the country where Target Mobile centers are located, and new product categories have been added to further expand the service.
Australia's Productivity Commission, an independent advisory board that focuses on the "economic, social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians," is now setting its sights on video game prices in the country. A new report entitled "Economic Structure and Performance of the Australian Retail Industry" details the sticker shock Australians face when it comes to buying video games. The report details the practice by publishers of artificially increasing the price of games.
New research from the NPD Group reveals that many consumer electronics purchases are made with the express purpose of letting the kids use them. According to the company, 78 percent of portable video game systems purchased and 56 percent of portable digital media players purchased were for kids. The research also shows that there are almost as many kids using computers (73 percent) these days as there are using televisions (74 percent). Three-fifths of kids (60 percent) are using a portable or console gaming system as well.
It only took them a decade to come around. Walmart has decided to begin providing its U.S. sales data to outside parties, including research firms we care about such as Nielsen and NPD Group. All this is according to a report in Advertising Age.
For the last 10 years, NPD has been unable to provide data for retail game sales at Walmart and its Sam's Club stores, leaving a gaping hole in the numbers that firms such as NPD provides. With access to the Walmart and Sam's Club data, NPD could provide a more detailed picture of how video games are performing at retail in the U.S.
Nielsen has said that it will start providing Walmart and Sam's Club data to its clients in "a few months." NPD has not commented officially on this story.
The National Retail Federation has released its annual Organized Retail Crime report for the previous year. The National Retail Federation’s Organized Retail Crime survey, now in its seventh year, is conducted every spring to gauge the impact and severity of organized retail crime. The survey focuses on large scale theft of goods such as jeans, videogames, and house wares - anything that is popular and easy to sell.
Are retailers in the United Kingdom discriminating against games that dare to associate themselves with Valve's popular digital distribution system? One publisher says says yes. According to Russian publisher 1C Company, some brick-and-mortar retailers are refusing to stock its PC titles that have ties with Valve's Steam platform. 1C Company claims that UK retailers have told them that if their game uses Steamworks, they won't be allowed on store shelves.
"[Steam's confidence] compares very favorably to that of the retail chains," 1C's UK publishing director Darryl Still told CVG in an interview. "[Those retail chains] recently sent a command to publishers that if they include Steamworks in their title it will not be stocked."
"Those guys need to grow up, stop bullying, and focus their attentions on making their offerings as attractive as the people they are obviously looking over their shoulders in panic at," he added.