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

Monday, 11 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.

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21 Comments

  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.
    http://playeressence.com/i-want-the-ps4-controller-to-have-a-lcd-screen-just-to-expose-one-person/

    #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
  6. G1GAHURTZ

    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.

    @3
    Article by “Furious Francis”
    /eyeroll
    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: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/gaming/news/a457379/hmv-blockbuster-fall-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-games-retail.html

    That offers a little perspective: “But a report by Kanter WorldPanel said last month that Blockbuster, HMV and Play.com (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

    Bingo!

    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.

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    Curve Digital has announced OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title when it releases on 3DS and Wii U. The Roll7 title will be the first third-party title to offer the functionality on the systems. OllliOlli will be released on the eShop March 5 The game launches on Nintendo’s eShop on March 5th, followed by Xbox […]

  • Darkbeast electrifies latest Bloodborne video

    The latest Bloodborne video shows off another monster in the game. This one is Darkbeast and he’s full of electricity. The video is the last of IGN’s month-long coverage of the title.

  • Future Assassin’s Creed games will have greater focus on modern timeline

    Ubisoft plans to focus more on modern timelines in future Assassin’s Creed games, the company suggested during its latest community livestream. During the Twitch stream, one of the lead writers for the Assassin’s Creed series, Darby McDevitt, said the modern timeline for Brotherhood’s town of Monteriggioni could inspire future development. “That only came about because […]

  • Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is coming to Xbox One next month

    Halfbrick has announced Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 for Xbox One will release next month. The mobile title made its way onto Xbox 360 garnering 1 million downloads as of March 2012. It has a new multiplayer mode for up to four players with Battle and Party modes along with a new progression system. An announcement […]

  • New GTA 5 PC screens – shit the bed!

    Rockstar has pumped out 15 new screens for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5. Don’t touch them, because they’re electric. And if you touch them, you’ll get shocked. The PC version of GTA 5 has been delayed until April 14, which both sucks and blows. BUT! There’s a new trailer coming between now […]

  • Sony Japan accidentally erases 20th Anniversary PS4 contest entries

    Sony Japan has accidentally erased all information obtained from PlayStation owners who entered to win a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4. Those who purchased PlayStation 3, PS4, Vita or Vita TV between December 4 – January 15 were handed a calendar with a code which entered them into the contest. Somehow, all data collected from the […]

  • Hearthstone datamine suggests Blackrock Mountain expansion on the way

    Hearthstone’s next update may be based on World of Warcraft’s Molten Core raid, if datamined information posted on Hearthpwn is spot-on. According to files mined from the latest patch, three new cosmetic card backs are on the way, one of which is called Molten Core. The data suggests that pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain expansion will […]

  • Using Battlefield Hardline single-player gadgets increases your metagame rewards

    Gadgets contained in Battlefield Hardline’s campaign mode have been detailed, and each provides the player with various ways in which to solve crimes. According to design director Scott Warner, one way to “diffuse” a conflict when confronted with criminal activity is to flash your badge and ordering the criminal to freeze. Putting your gun on […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video is all about story mode, new characters

    After promising a new Mortal Kombat X reveal “soon”, NetherRealm Studios has made good on said promise by releasing the story trailer. The video shows parts of the story mode featuring Mileena, which takes place 25 years after the events of 2011′s Mortal Kombat. Outworld has become a larger threat and new fighters joining the […]

  • Destiny’s shotgun and pulse rifle buffs mean it’s time to rethink your load-out

    Destiny’s most-ignored weapons got major boosts this week. It’s time to start thinking about how to work them into your set-up. Even if you’re used to using scout rifles and sniper rifles as a general loud-out (neither class was touched by 1.1.1), the buffs to pulse rifles and shotguns should make you rethink your contextual […]

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2: five years later, what did it do so right?

    It’s been five years since the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2. What did the much-loved entry in the franchise do for the Battlefield series? Westie’s played Battlefield Bad Company 2 for over 1,260 hours on PS3 and PC. That’s dedication. In his latest video he discusses the stand out moments from a FPS classic, […]

  • War is hell in this Zombie Army Trilogy gameplay trailer

    Here’s five minutes of headshots, shambling zombies and an undead Hitler from Rebellion’s upcoming Zombie Army Trilogy. The Sniper Elite spin-off arrives on PS4, PC and Xbox One March 6 and includes three games (obviously) and a new Horde mode.

  • Titan Souls releases on PS4, Vita, PC on April 14

    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]

  • Destiny weekly update: lowdown on Inferno Crucible, Vault Transfer improvements

    Destiny’s weekly update has made some pretty significant changes – let Arekkz Gaming take you through them. Bungie has revealed the first release date for the new Inferno Crucible mode, and made it a lot easier to access your vault. You should subscribe to Arekkz Gaming. It will improve your life.

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory Feb 27, 28

    It’s Xursday again – what treats does he have for you this week? He’s in the North Tower, to the right of the Stranger’s room. Let’s take a look at the latest weapons and gear from your favourite Destiny trader. No Backup Plans [Titan Gauntlets] – 13SC ATS/8 Arachnid [Hunter Helmet] – 13SC Heart of […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will be stable on PC at launch, Visceral assures

    PC format is “by far the best gaming platform around,” says Hardline producer. “We’re doing what we can to take advantage of people’s different system with the graphics, framerate, controls, etc. We’re not just porting it over.” Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral is reassuring players that there will not be a repeat of the disastrous Battlefield […]

  • Win Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One

    We have 10 download codes for new indie puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One to give away. The be in with a chance of winning a code, just enter your details below and we’ll pull the winners from the hat on Monday March 2nd, after 2pm GMT. Pneuma: Breath of Life is a […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 delayed

    Life is Strange Episode 2 won’t make its expected release date. The first Life is Strange episode released on January 30, and we had expected the second to follow on March 13. Square Enix has since confirmed to Destructoid that the next chapter won’t make its release date. There’s been no word of the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: which character will be revealed tomorrow?

    Mortal Kombat X director Ed Boon is teasing a new character reveal. During today’s Mortal Kombat X livestream, NetherRealm said that a new character would be revealed “very soon”. Boon followed up with this teasing tweet suggesting the reveal will occur tomorrow: Very soon? As in tomorrow? :/ — Ed Boon (@noobde) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Halo played by Twitch is an exercise in great patience

    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]