UK games retail can expect another 18 months of decline before things start growing again, says Asda.
The firm was talking following last month’s E3 conference, with games chief Andrew Thompson describing the games on show as ‘unbelievable.
’“The quality is so high now,” Thompson told MCV. “You don’t really see poor quality next-gen games. And in many ways that makes this job quite difficult. When you are at a grocer with 25 chart spaces you do have to ask yourself: ‘How am I going to get all these in?’ I guess this is a nice problem to have. And the big titles just keep getting bigger. Last year the Top 20 was worth 40 per cent of the market, this year we think it will be worth 50 per cent.
“All three entertainment categories have had a tough time in terms of consistent year-on-year growth. The games market can regenerate itself through innovation, and in particular new hardware launches. We think the market will grow again in 2013, but we will see a decline this year. Music, video and games are still such a significant proportion of our home and leisure category, it is about a quarter of Asda’s H&L sales. So it is still very important to us as a business.”
Asda’s entertainment team is now focusing its efforts online, with former games buyer Alastair Islip moving online earlier this year to work alongside former GAME exec Frazer Locke.
“We have a big target in terms of online and getting a foothold in that market,” added Thompson.