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Konami calls for ceasefire in UK price wars

Friday, 2nd September 2011 04:12 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Konami’s European arm sees the worth of the UK games market diminishing if retailers continue competitively undercutting prices.

“UK games pricing is very poor. Retailers are always reducing prices and the profits for publishers are getting smaller,” the publisher’s European head Kunio Neo told MCV.

Neo said Konami is better positioned than other publishers because it looks to wider European sales.

“We’re based in Germany and despite the economic conditions in many other countries, Germany is doing alright. So we’re not as affected as a US publisher that has a UK office. They’re suffering because they focus their sales on the UK,” he explained.

In response, a spokesperson for an unnamed publisher said he’d be glad to skip phone calls from irate, undercut retailers, but sees benefits as well.

“There’s nothing I can do. Legally I can’t make them put prices up. While it can be frustrating, the result is that we do sell more boxes,” he or she said.

“Other firms talk about devaluing the market, but I bet they don’t mind when they see how many extra units they’ve shifted. The sheer number of UK games retailers means shops are having to be more aggressive with prices.”

The UK is one of the few Western territories where publishers and platform holders regularly shy away from setting recommended retail prices; it also boasts one of the largest concentrations of competing retailers.

Thanks, GamePolitics.

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25 Comments

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  1. JimFear-666

    raise the price and no one will buy your game idiot…

    #1 3 years ago
  2. triggerhappy

    Interesting. A brand new standard edition game delivered to my door from amazon sets me back £35, which I think is just right. I got Human Revolution from greenmangaming.com and paid a measly £23 for the PC/STEAM version. Sorry… just had to add that in there :P

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Night Hunter

    STFU Konami. This is the best part:

    “We’re based in Germany and despite the economic conditions in many other countries, Germany is doing alright.”

    Yeah, because in Germany or here in Austria a new game will cost you 60€ or more, sometimes even 70€, thats about £52/£61. And then at least at the big retailers the prices just don’t go down for months, sometimes you still pay the same price after a year. So yeah, Germany is doing allright, still I buy all my games in the UK because if I bought them over here I would have to buy used games …

    #3 3 years ago
  4. StolenGlory

    Kunio Neo is an awesome name!

    Just putting that out there :)

    #4 3 years ago
  5. viralshag

    I have a few friends dotted about Europe and some of the prices they pay is astronomically high and quite ridiculous. One of my friends, in Norway, said that his gaming would suffer greatly if it wasn’t for Steam as retail shopping would just be too expensive.

    I have no problem paying the usual £39.99 for a brand new console game, I personally think that is the max I would pay these days. If I can get it cheaper, I certainly wouldn’t complain. It is getting harder for me to go to retail for console games these days, if it is on Steam I will usually go for that option.

    Personally, I think the UK has some of the best and most reasonable pricing for games. Like people said above, if you put it up any more and I will be visiting even less than I do now.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Ireland Michael

    To provide an Irish perspective, the average game here launches for €49.99.

    In dollars, that’s roughly $71.

    Yeah, cheap country we have here.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. viralshag

    @ 6, How much is that in Leprechaun Gold?

    I’m joking! Obviously. Please don’t think of me as some bigoted racist haha.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    @2 Two shillings.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Christopher Jack

    @6, $100-110 here. I want the exact same thing that’s happening in the UK to happen here, both GAME & EB Games keep everything at the max RRP & rely solely on trade ins or those with deep pockets. JB hi-fi is the only competitive retailer here- not that they have to do much, just drop the occasional game to $89.

    To prove my point http://www.game.com.au/preorderspecial

    #9 3 years ago
  10. TonyF

    In France, the costs of the more expensive games reach 69,99€, which is about $99,74 or £61,55. The average price is between 59-69€. Don’t play the victim Konami, your pockets are pretty full in Europe…

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Lewis247

    What the hell are they talking about? In the Uk certain big blockbuster games are still high as fuck in pricing. Some retailers still sell modern warfare 2 for £40+.

    So basically what he is saying is games should be more expensive that what they truly should be, so they get more money out us…

    Anyway, Konami have no fucking right to complain. People buy their games and they should be happy about it. Feel bad about the game companies whose games are pretty decent but fail to make good sales.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. xino

    is this guy crazy!?

    we are all suffering here in London
    wtf?

    increase in:
    food prices
    travel prices aka the farking Oyster and train ticket
    house prices
    car insurance!
    congestion charges
    wtf is all this sh*?

    London is a terrible place to live right now as everything is so expensive!

    And this guy is telling us that games prices in UK are too cheap, good luck raising the price and see who will buy the game.

    Originally I used to buy preowned games from Gamestation, now that I have money most of the time I try to get games day 1 release.

    The recession is bad and encomony is bad, I’m still trying my best to support the industry. Lately I’m renting games now, due to too many trash games coming out.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. TonyF

    @xino : yep, I went to London last year, the ticket price in the underground is hallucinating ! But all countries have their difficulties nowadays, and hearing that game prices are too low, screw you Konami. Maybe you could just higher the quality of your game, and then people will buy more.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. viralshag

    I’m gonna agree with #12, living in London is currently a pain in the arse. If you don’t have an Oyster card… well boy, you better have a small fortune to get around. £4.00 for a train, £2.20 for a bus… what a joke. It’s not even like the services are worth that cost with crap timetables and over crowding. God knows how we will cope suring the Olympics haha.

    And don’t get me started on trying to find somewhere decent to live. £700 a month for a boxy studio flat with just a microwave and sink for a kitchen… gtfo, brah!

    #14 3 years ago
  15. AHA-Lambda

    ok someone please explain this to me but how does a retailer discounting a game affect the publisher here? Stores tend to discount to get rid of excess stock or for loss leaders to get people into their stores, which i can see other retailers could bitch about but why publishers?

    Once the retailer has bought copies of the game to sell to the public, shipped from the publisher what is it to them if they discount it? Surely konami in this case still gets their money as they always would have =/

    sorry if that sounds daft but i’m trying to figure this out in my head.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. viralshag

    @15, Nah you’re not the only one. The relationship between publishers and retailers has always been bit of an unknown to me too. Because you’re right, if a retailers purchasing department buys, say, 1000 copies of a game, isn’t that done and paid for?

    That’s why I assume some games that initially sell so poorly get dropped to sale price so early, for the retailer to try and make back some of the money spent on stock?

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    It does sound very strange.

    But it seems like he’s talking about pricing as a whole, across the board. If all the stores are setting precedents by selling stuff cheaper and cheaper in general, then Konami would have to accept it or say goodbye.

    You can’t be selling EA, Capcom and Square Enix games for 35 euro a pop, and expect to sell a Konami game for 50.

    Look at stores like Play for example. The cuts they do go beyond simply being a Jersey company, and then you have Amazon and others playing catch-up, which ultimately means less money for publishers.

    I don’t know what Konami are doing, but given all the grabs for money that publishers are rolling out these days, my sympathy is somewhat lacking.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Ireland Michael

    ITT: People suddenly realising that what consumers want isn’t what Corporate wants.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. OrbitMonkey

    Can’t even remember the last game of Konami’s I purchased brand new… I think it was MGS4…& I felt cheated then!

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DuckOfDestiny

    Game prices are being reduced! Where?

    Whenever I go to any of the shops in my area all the games are priced around £35-40. Even games which have been on the market for some time are still usually £30+.

    Still, I can’t complain, it’s not like I buy any of them, I do all my game shopping on Steam.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Len

    @12&14: Try living in NY, it’s even bloody pricier than London.

    I import a lot of my games from the UK now as just cheaper as you know the price will be slashed a few weeks after launch, never seems to happen here much at all.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. DSB

    @20 “Whenever I go to any of the shops in my area…”

    There’s your problem.

    If you go to a brick and mortar store, then you’re asking for the highest price around. You’ll not only be paying for your game, but you’ll be paying for their rent, their heating, their paychecks and everything in between.

    You can’t expect to go to a brick and mortar store these days and get a good deal, unless you’re dealing with something like Walmart or Best Buy.

    @21 Amazon.com dude. Even if you don’t get free shipping, it’ll still be cheaper than an import, and with no risk of paying levvies.

    I love being in the US when it comes to buying stuff on places like Amazon. It’s between 25-50% less than anything in Europe. I can easily save 200 dollars on an iPod touch, just in a brick and mortar.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. ruckus

    “The UK is one of the few Western territories where publishers and platform holders regularly shy away from setting recommended retail prices”

    Isn’t that because it’s illegal?_?

    #23 3 years ago
  24. freedoms_stain

    Sounds like he’s calling for price fixing, which is illegal here.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Len

    Ta DSB, I’ll take a look at the prices. Usually get it delivered to my UK address and fwd’d on.

    #25 3 years ago