New releases facing a tough market in the UK

Thursday, 23 February 2012 20:32 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

UK games retail market is down 25% year-over-year and sales at retail, according to sources, are “half of what they should be.”

That’s according a source speaking with MCV which told the site new games are selling between 10,000 to 48,000 during their first week on sale compared to 35,000 to 80,000 units during the same period last year.

“We are trying to understand it, but everything is selling well below what it should,” one publisher with a struggling triple-A title told the site. “It is an absolute nightmare. I’m not making half the money back I’m spending on marketing.”

“Nobody is looking at Chart-Track’s numbers so far this year and thinking ‘cool’,” said another.

“There are some stock shortages at retail, but I don’t think that’s what’s causing these figures,” added a Japanese publishing boss in the UK. “The big games of last year are available cheaply. But also consumers don’t want to spend money, and we as an industry are not giving them any reason to change their minds.

“I will be watching Mass Effect 3 and Syndicate very closely.”

Some franchises which usually fly off the shelves are also selling below expectations by not moving as much as predecessors. For example, UFC 3 was number one this week in the UK, but sales still haven’t hit what the original UFC did during the same period, which compared to the current offering sold three times as many copies.