UK distributors have called upon the games industry to embrace open distribution in order to improve the sector.
Several companies have claimed that an increase in competition and a greater focus on business skills would offer both distributors and retailers better protection against the effects the recession.
“Publishers need to make the market more competitive by offering open distribution rather than letting the big three dominate it,” said GLS Games director Gary Palmer. “They are too worried about their product being devalued.
“I genuinely believe that a more open market will increase the sales of their products, as pricing for a few publishers at the moment is unreasonable and will in time kill off a lot of small independents.”
Creative Distribution managing director Gareth Dain agreed, adding that introducing open distribution across the UK and Europe would “represent a true reflection of how distribution is today”.
According to Ideal Software’s owner Paul Williams, Independent stores suffer particularly badly under the current distribution landscape, denied the various benefits the open distribution model would offer them.
“We need to return to the old days where cash was king, and good business skills and communication rewarded you with the best price,” he said.
“In that scenario, the distributor that offered the best service would win, instead of the one hiding behind an exclusive where the customer has to smile through gritted teeth when ordering product.
“The exclusive model does not favour the independent customer any more – it is of no advantage for them and it offers no level of protection. What’s more, it puts retailers off stocking products rather than encouraging them to support them.”