Video: HMV PR boss talks up massive Diablo III launch

Wednesday, 16th May 2012 14:36 GMT By Johnny Cullen

During Monday night’s launch event for Diablo III, Sam Clay spoke to HMV PR boss Gennaro Castaldo on its significance and how the movie and music industries could take a page from games.

Gennaro Castaldo has been at HMV for short of 30 years, but has said the response to Monday night’s Diablo III launch was one he was “privileged,” noting the music and film industries should learn lessons from gaming’s fanbase.

“I think music and film should be here. Our two biggest ever launches in HMV’s history are games related: Diablo III and World of Warcraft and nothing’s come close, I’d say,” Castaldo told VG247 in the video above, speaking at the official launch at the retailer’s flagship Oxford Street store in London.

“The only thing that actually has come close a little bit was Oasis in 1997 with the release of Be Here Now and all around the country, there was queues outside stores. But that was one of those moments where it kinda seemed to connect with a mass audience. This isn’t a mass audience, it’s a very specialist audience and they’ll go to any lengths to be part of it.

“I think if the music and film industry could bottle up what is here, they’d be a very happy business because there’s change happening in their business. They can’t quite understand it, they don’t quite know what their customers or their fans want, how they’re behaving.

“Whereas if I was a games publisher or distributor, I’d be very happy because I’d know I’d have the most loyal fans anywhere on the planet that are into games. This is an incredible response and it’s one I feel very privileged to be witnessing.”

There’s more there in the video above, including the possibility of more midnight openings from the retailer.



  1. Kabby

    Funny thing is a lot of HMV stores have removed PC games from their shelves entirely. They don’t give a shit about gamers. They participate in these PR stunts it to exploit the loyalty of fans. Milking them for maximum cash outlay before their competitors stores are open.

    Disgruntled consumer bile aside, the coverage of the launch and associated events has been pretty good on VG24/7. Nice work.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. AHA-Lambda

    “Funny thing is a lot of HMV stores have removed PC games from their shelves entirely.”

    Umm, try that with any retailer that sells games. The bottom has fell out of PC retail for so long, this isn’t news anymore, it takes something like a blizzard game to release for any shop to notice.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    You look at any retailer they only stock mostly
    Warcraft, Sims, budget and thats it. HMV used to have a superb range of PC titles a few years ago – especially at Oxford Street.

    Kicking the PC gamer out of retailer clearly has been a strategy that has failed since console gaming clearly didnt pick up the slack, despite attempts at turning to pre-owned. Any retailer that snubbed PC gaming, deserves to rot.

    I think going forward, with more games turning to digital(console games included), we will probably see less of these big launches, which is a shame.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    Why would a PC gamer want to go to retail though? You can have your game delivered within ten clicks of a mouse.

    I don’t think it’s retail snubbing PC gamers, I think it’s very much the other way around.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    And I bet the retail PC market is a preview of the coming generation of consoles market too. So long as one has storage room, there is very litle reason to buy retail. I know console collectors won’t aree, but they are in the minority against the general public.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. GrimRita

    @DSB they snubbed PC gaming way before the arrival of Steam and the internet. Its changed because retail forced the change, then, when Amazon and Steam cashed in, started to complain about online.

    Its almost like with GAMES downfall – they abused their position but when they needed the help, they didnt get anything and served(the old board) right.

    Another few years, retail will be dead and I think its about time the Government started to include digital sales in their figures, because sure there might be ‘doom and gloom’ on the high street but online, its booming

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    @6 As I recall it was pretty much the whole industry that snubbed PC gaming. Retail were really just following the producers. That was during the Vista era, which were pretty much the most awful years I’ve ever had playing on the PC.

    Then, just as everybody was slowly pulling away, they realized the damn thing was profitable and now they’re falling over each other to win back the market.

    Which is hard to do, because they weren’t prepared.

    I think it’s a lesson in technological Darwinism. The most adaptable platform may be threatened by invasive species, but it will always find a way to get ahead.

    If there’s room to upgrade, it’ll be upgraded. If there’s room for new business models, new business models will be introduced. In a lot of ways it’s far more appealing in terms of business opportunities than a console. The only leverage held by consoles is install base, and flatlined hardware configs.

    It’s the difference between doing business in a free market growth economy, and a third world dictatorship.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. noherczeg

    I like the fact that when a 10 years old Blizzard project materializes everyone suddenly hails to the platform.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a PC player too, but I find this very strange to even talk about as much as it is talked about these days. Every single living being on this planet knew that it’ll sell trillions. This is like an exception in it’s own platform. How many games are produced / year? Hundreds, but they’ll never ever receive this level of applause and gratitude, because they are not anticipated as much / not as polished, good as Diablo.

    A single title doesn’t mean too much imho in this case. The only effect I can imagine is that maybe other studios get a bit more motivated by this wich is a good thing but won’t do much overall.

    PS: I love the game :)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. GrimRita

    @8 You forget – Blizzard are the masters of polishing turds. Look at WoW, Star Craft 2 – generic, nothing new but everyone loved it and probably the same with this.

    They could probably make an ‘Old McDonalds’ farm game and it will score 10/10 and the world will go mad…(C) 2012 incase Activdevils are looking….

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    @8 I wasn’t basing any of that on one game, though.

    The PC has been making more money for EA per release, than any other platform for a couple of years now. Activision doubled their (non-MMO) profits on the PC over the last 3 years. The consoles can’t compete with those numbers.

    It’s not a coincidence that EAs two biggest investments over the last 5 years, Battlefield 3 and SWTOR, have been aimed at the PC audience.

    It’s not a courtesy. It’s cash money. Not releasing a PC version often means you miss out on a third or more of the revenue you could be making.

    You could also be damned sure that Blizzard wouldn’t be making games for the PC if the market wasn’t there. The only people losing money on the PC are the ones who don’t want it bad enough, and bog themselves down with pointless DRM. That means Ubisoft and THQ.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. GrimRita

    The PC market is a huge money making machine – probably more than console if you count microtransactions – look at League of Legends and probably DOTA2.

    However, by throwing money at a game, doesnt guarantee its success if it sucks (SWTOR with a 700k drop in players since launch)but on the face of it, there isnt a physical copy to produce(if DD) which must save a few quid and increase the margins they make on a PC game sale.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Yoshi

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Edo

    @12 :) .

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DSB

    @12 +100

    Spot on :D

    #14 2 years ago

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