UK video game retailers enjoyed a bumper Easter last weekend, with software value up 29 per cent over the previous week.
The growth occurred despite the lack of a major blockbuster release, with sales driven by the recently launched DSi and aided by intense price cutting online and on the High Street.
“Play.com’s Easter Sale started with a bang when it went live on Monday March 23rd,” explained Play’s head of marketing Richard Chapple.
“Overall volume growth for us was 60 per cent year-on-year, and games had very strong growth in value too. However the hero format for us was DS with a phenomenal growth of 200 per cent year-on-year in value.”
ChartTrack’s Dorian Bloch added: “It was a very good Easter. Sales over the previous week were 30 per cent up in terms of volume and 29 per cent in value. The growth was driven by Wii and DS, with Wii sales up 45 per cent.”
“It’s difficult to compare to last year, as Easter was much earlier and coincided with the end of the quarter, when publishers tend to release more titles. This year’s big titles, such as Resident Evil 5, Dawn of War, Street Fighter IV and Killzone 2, were released a long time before Easter.”
Special offers over Easter included Tesco taking VAT off selected chart titles, while Gamestation reduced certain new games by 50 per cent. And as a reaction to the software bundling that was taking place on the High Street, Morrisons cut £20 off the price of Wii and DSi hardware.
“We had a great response to our press ad on the Wii and DSi hardware, which helped uplift chart and back catalogue sales over the Easter period,” said Morrison’s gaming buyer Jon Biggs.
A HMV spokesperson added: “It was a very busy Easter for us, especially as our sale was on, so there were strong traffic numbers in the High Street and shopping centres. Games was a key driver for us, and it was great having DSi help to lead the