Who’s buying? UK games retail at all-time low

Friday, 3rd August 2012 11:47 GMT By Dave Cook

MCV reports that games retail sunk to an all-time low last week, according to figures released by UKIE and Chart Track.

The data shows that UK games retail made £8.4 million in software sales last week which, according to MCV is the “lowest since records began”.

That said it was a slow week, typical of the summer, pre-xmas slate slump. A total of 394,688 games were sold during the week, while London 2012 entered at number one in the charts.

Is it time for new hardware to spark interest once more, or is digital the way forward? Let us know your thoughts below.



  1. GrimRita

    If publishers arent releasing, does this really come as a shock? Then everyone rushes for Christmas.

    Even if Next gen was on sale, no one would be buying because, yep – publishers arent releasing much. Its time to end this pointless cycle and offer steady releases all year round.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. friendlydave

    It needs something like New hardware to help it, I try and shop in my Local game store (24/7 games, we used to have a GAME before it closed) but recently I find myself only buying pre owned games for the ps2 and below. Prices of new games are way to high especially compared to online stores like ShopTo (where I live in a neighbouring town to there warehouse so I’ve always had next day delivery with no fail) And my current state with money means I have to almost go for the cheapest option every time.

    Basically Retail stores are Dead, and to not go of topic but currently where I live that is not just exclusive to Game related shops.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    But thats just it dave – when next gen arrives, I am certain prices will increase. Everyone has to watch their pennies today and probably be more selective in the games they buy and when they buy them.

    One example being the expansion for Shogun 2 Total War. Its £25 on Steam but visit Amazon, you can pick it up for £9.99. Anno 2070 – £35 on Steam/Ubi – £18 Amazon. (Im only a PC gamer btw! lol) andyes these are digital prices – I cant tell you store prices as I dont go in any shop!

    Either way, retail is like flogging a dead horse – the sooner the UK government see that almost everyone is moving online, maybe those retail figures will look brighter.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. AHA-Lambda

    Well I must say I ain’t bought a game since Mass Effect 3 =/

    Rentals just make far more sense to me, but if your game is good enough I’ll buy it; and there has been bugger all this year. I’ve only bought 2 games at retail so far this year.

    Stuff will pick back up again when the fall releases start coming out and hopefully with the next gen, it’s obvious that this 10 year cycle stuff just hasn’t worked.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. GrimRita

    I havent really bought much this year either. So much shit around. Last major purchase was SWTOR and that was a waste of £45.

    Then I pre-purchased GW2 for £65, purchased some indie stuff from Steam and looking forward to a bleak release schedule on the PC :(

    #5 2 years ago
  6. silkvg247

    I mainly buy digital now.. but just recently ended up preordering three physical games, all collector’s editions that I wanted :)

    #6 2 years ago
  7. majicship

    I tend to wait 12-18 months for 360 game prices to drop. I just picked up Rage for £7.99 and Binary Domain for £11.57 new off Amazon. I try to have a rule of thumb that I will wait for a game to be in the sub £20.00 category before I will buy it simply because I don’t have a lot of money to spend on games anymore. I just compared Saints Row 3 with Amazon and XBL and the digital version is £20 more expensive.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Gadzooks!

    I’m buying loads of games, but they are mostly on XBLA. It’s completely overtaken retail for me as variety is better and quality is up to retail standard in many cases. Plus, you are guaranteed a trial version.

    Retail will get a nice big spike soon with new Gears, Halo and Forza.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. VIP0R

    Maybe it’s because there’s less GAME/GameStation stores so impulse spending whilst shopping is lower and because Online sales aren’t counted.
    Most retailers don’t sell PC Games anymore either and that’s becoming a much stronger market as everyone awaits the next console saga.

    The steam sale kept me a little busy, just buying games that I never got to play first time around and still have a backlog from last year.

    It’s just going to be a mix of lack of retail presence and if you combine that with the lack of new releases it all makes more sense, its just the calm before the storm.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Eregol

    It doesn’t help that there’s basically nothing on the horizon worth getting excited about.
    Good for me, as I have loads of games I still need to play. Bad for retail as I wont be splashing cash for a while.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DrDamn

    Mainly going digital here. Great value to be had from XBLA/PSN titles and getting stacks of value from PS+ too.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. AlchemyFire

    Game started going downhill well over a year ago. Pre-orders would arrive a week after release, this was before they redid their website, which I also think ultimately contributed to their collapse and bailout. Additionally, most of the other online retailers are cheaper than Game

    #12 2 years ago
  13. reask

    I don’t know but I have not bought a game since xmas.
    Maybe its fatigue on my behalf but I just seem unable or unwilling to even finish a game in the last while.

    I admit I am an older gamer in my 40,s but with ps plus I am playing lots of games that I normally wouldn’t for free.
    The so called triple a titles seem to appeal to me less and less and I just stopped playing mp altogether as I have no wish or desire to be as competitive as the younger ones.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DSB

    How is Gamestop still alive? I don’t get it.

    I see plenty of them here in Denmark, but when I go to the US, it’s extremely common to see two Gamestops covering the same mile of ground. They’re literally everywhere you look.

    Do they have some kind of franchise option where people opt-in and they don’t have to pay any of their expenses? That’s the only way I could explain it, because there’s no way people are going to all those stores at a rate that might produce a profit.

    It’s like they’re scared of making you drive half a mile to find a store.

    Are they laundering money or something?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    Its the second hand sales that make gamestop all of their money. I mean not all of course, new still sells, but when you look at the look at the investment cost/profit margins of new vs used.

    That being said over the last few months my local GS store has been almost empty everytime I visit.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. drewbles82

    @7, I do the same, can’t remember the last time I bought a game day one, oh yeah Rock Band 3. I take my time with a game, not one to rush through and depending on my week, I probably go on almost everyday for at least a couple of hrs.
    I use to buy new day one and get through a big chunk of the game, then the next ones out so I buy that and start playing. Before I knew it I had almost 50 odd unfinished games. Stopped buying all together unless DOTW on XBLA. I have a rule now, only buy when its cheap and I’ve at least completed one of my other games. Halo CE 8.99, Fallout NV UE 14.99.

    A lot of games have DLC, just wait for the complete edition, saves you a ton of money and I can buy a lot more games than I used to and all are brand new. Next on my list Batman GOTYE, prob be cheap just before Xmas

    #16 2 years ago
  17. drewbles82

    Minecraft though has taken a massive chunk of my time, on that for hours now.
    Other than XBLA games, I won’t go digital. You see this ultra violet crap they got on blu-ray now where it has to be hooked up to the net to watch your disc. Another company tried something similar a few yrs ago, the company went bust so everyones disc were useless.

    Whats to stop one of these companies you buy all your digital content from going bust or power cut or some other crap which stops it working. You could loose your entire collection.

    #17 2 years ago

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