Fri, Sep 02, 2011 | 04:12 BST
Konami calls for ceasefire in UK price wars
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.