Industry sources have told MCV that very nearly 50 per cent of all Vita hardware sold in the UK on launch week was purchased in a GAME or Gamestation store.
That, of course, is despite the fact that the chains were not carrying Ubisoft’s Vita launch line-up of Rayman Origins, Lumines, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Dungeon Hunter and Asphalt Injection.
“As much as the world wants to bash GAME at the moment, you can’t escape the fact that if you’re launching new hardware or a big game there’s no better launch partner than GAME,” a publisher exec admitted to MCV in an off the record capacity.
“Obviously its position is threatened by not carrying some new games, and with every new release they miss the problem gets worse. But if Microsoft or Sony announced a new machine tomorrow or Nintendo surprised us with an early Wii U release they’d be mad not do whatever it took to get GAME on board.”
The source asserted that, in its opinion, “there’s no better way of getting games and consoles to gamers in the UK” and said that in his experience a game launch coordinated with GAME was nearly always more effective than other options, such as a supermarket entrance display or national print ad campaign.
“Sony owes GAME a lot for getting Vita off the ground in the UK,” the source added. “Some other publishers would do well to recognise this.”