Pachter: “The UK games retail market is a joke”

Monday, 11th February 2013 11:25 GMT By Dave Cook

Michael Pachter has placed the UK games retail sector as ‘a joke’, in relation to companies pricing games lower than the competition in bid to claim the high street.

Speaking with Digital Spy, the Wedbush Morgan analyst said, “The UK games retail market is a joke, with retailers pricing below cost to drive traffic.

“That’s great for consumers, but retailers can’t make any money on games, hence the bankruptcies of GAME, HMV and Blockbuster, and the refusal of GameStop to expand into the market. If all retailers go broke, or if games are dominated by mass merchants like Dixons, gamers are ultimately going to get fewer selections.

“The absence of GameStop and the demise of GAME limits the ability of consumers to trade in used games, depriving many of credits that can be used to purchase new games. Retail needs to make money to exist, and games retail in the UK doesn’t make money.”

Pachter’s comments come in the wake of HMV’s full list of UK stores facing the chop, which will put almost 1,000 employees out of work in coming months.

What do you think of Pachter’s comments? Has the war for lower pricing resulted in a savage marketplace where only the fittest survive? Let us know below.



  1. Gareth Harmer

    Patcher’s big assumption is that high street retail is something that gamers both want and need. With online platforms such as Steam and Origin doing a great job in the PC market, and Amazon and ShopTo getting games to console users, the high street has little to offer the dedicated enthusiast.

    While I’m nostalgic for the days of high street stores filled with knowledgeable staff that are enthusiastic about gaming, those days are fading. Online communities are now doing a great job at keeping players informed on what’s coming up and (more importantly) what’s worth buying.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. someguy2

    “if games are dominated by mass merchants like Dixons, gamers are ultimately going to get fewer selections.”
    I don’t think I’ve ever bought a game from Dixons, if he mentioned one of the supermarkets such as Asda or Sainsbury’s who do sell games at low prices then he makes a fair point but I’m not sure if Dixons is a good example of this.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Francis O

    Pachter is a fool that will be exposed soon enough.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. daytripper

    The fellow gamers I speak to in the UK are getting tired with this gen and putting cash away for the new systems

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Mr-Brett

    This is the first I’ve heard of Game and HMV charging too little, at least on anything recent. Game charge £42+ for anything that came out in the last 3 months.

    The reason I have bought only about 3 games in HMV and Game in the past two years is because they charge so much in comparison to online prices.

    #5 2 years ago

    So HMV and Blockbuster are game stores, eh?

    Way to show that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about…

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Yoshi

    Normally I don’t say much at his random ideas but this he just doesn’t understand.. and what makes this worse is this is actually part of his normal job. There’s only a few retailers that properly do this and that’s supermarkets. However when a game is lowered to an unreal price, the idea to do this is just to bring that customer into the store. Where they’ll make money is when the customers goes to the store but also does their shopping there instead of a rival because its more convenient. Or maybe you’ll buy an extra controller, or maybe purchase another electronic etc.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Beta

    I don’t trade in, I don’t buy pre-owned and my local HMV and 2 GAME stores are all still open and doing quite well according to the staff I’ve spoken to.

    Not too concerned at the moment ;P

    #8 2 years ago
  9. viralshag

    So HMV who mostly sold music and movies and Blockbuster who was primarily a rental service (until GameStation) going broke would have nothing to do with the growing demand (and supply) of cheaper online stores and on-demand services offered by Sky, Virgin, Netflix, Lovefilm, Spotify, iTunes etc and everything to do with their “low-prices”?

    Is this guy smoking crack? Do people really pay him to talk about stuff he clearly doesn’t know about? And to throw in a name like Dixons too, just to confirm his lack of knowledge… nice!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Wodge

    I think every games blog should stop posting the drivel this guy vents from his cavernous face hole.

    He is an investment banker who points out the obvious days after everyone else does.

    Stop giving him the air of publicity please.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. daytripper

    He calls people “my babies” lol

    #11 2 years ago
  12. stevenhiggster

    I don’t really think that GAME and HMV are in more trouble than retailers in other sectors. Its not just gaming retail in the UK that’s buggered, all retail in the UK is buggered.

    There are far too many reasons for this to even begin explaining it to Pachter. I have worked in retail for many a year and I have a lot of friends in different sectors of retail in the UK and everyone is just hanging on by a thread waiting for better days. Under the current government those better days are a long long way off.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Fin

    UK retail is fucked.

    Article by “Furious Francis”
    So if the PS4 controller doesn’t have an LCD screen, the Pachter is a-ok?

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Lounds

    A lot of super markets will have a low price point for launch week for certain games etc, the reason why is so gamers think ah i’ll go tesco they’re selling it £5 cheaper than GAME, then they do a £50 shop followed by a £70 fill up on petrol. Super Markets will sell a game or a Book (ASDA did this with HP) at a loss to get customers through the door.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. SplatteredHouse

    In fact, to Digital Spy’s credit, this Pachter story is a mere sliver of a more in-depth article covering the topic of UK retail’s situation for games:

    That offers a little perspective: “But a report by Kanter WorldPanel said last month that Blockbuster, HMV and (the online retailer that intends to drop its direct retail business over a tax issue and become an online marketplace) combined only account for 12% of UK games sales.”
    The story also provides information on where lost custom moved to, and at what rate. Several more opinions are presented in the encompassing piece.

    @11: “fellow babies”, and it’s a reference to an American radio DJ’s sign-off.

    I DO agree though, that ‘Pachter said:…’ is questionable as a news story, particularly here, if you consider that Pachter lacks in factual awareness of details in what he’s talking about.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Gheritt White

    Two words: Computer Exchange.

    hey’re doing business like ganagbusters at the mo’, and that’s *all* second-hand sales.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DSB

    There’s no doubt that Amazon and co. are often selling those games at a loss though, at least when it comes to the physical games. There’s positively no way they’re making any money on some of the prices they offer.

    It’s purely a question of drawing people in and getting them off the street so they make their next purchase with them as well. It’s insane to think that it actually works, but the short of the long is that Amazon can afford to fight the war that way, and brick and mortar can’t.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. ManuOtaku

    Well i understand that amazon or online retailers have more market now that the brick and mortar store, but i think that is in some part due how the society is today for mutliple reasons, for the feel of insecurity on the streets, for the lazyness of our lifestyle, etc there are a sum of reasons for this, we would work from work connected to the internet if that was the main employment method, now more that ever we are isolating as a society, brik and mortar cannot compete with that anyomere, for better or worst society has change.

    As for steam origin replacing physical media, i hope thats not the case, i prefer we have both options in order to choose what we can prefer as customers,not just services to get games, some constumers dont like services in our hobbies, not for the resale or for the entitlement, just for owning the access to the games we love, i grant for most of the games sounds reasonable, but for the games we love (insert prefered games/series) i prefer to own the access to the games.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. OwningXylophone

    @6 G1GA & @9 Viral


    Last time I went into my local HMV (Leicester, 2 weeks ago) approx 5% of the total floor space of the shop, maybe even less, was dedicated to gaming the rest is all music & films, and it’s a big old shop. I would suggest they were more of the cause of HMV’s downfall than games. And Blockbuster, well they are a rental service, and again primarily not games.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Hybridpsycho

    Stop discussing this assholes statements, his all bullshit all the time.

    Just stop talking about him completely so he’ll stop working in the business, please.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Joe_Gamer

    ugh, this fucking Pachter guy….there’s a joke here all right.

    #21 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.