With only a handful of retailers and one major distributor, the Romanian games market is a small one.
Its size hasn’t put off major developers settling down in the region.Ubisoft Romania is a division set up in 1992 that has gone on to house two studios and create the Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X series.
EA also has a base in Bucharest with a mobile games studio and testing team.
Despite being a relatively small market, Romanian consumers have embraced the nicher aspects of the market, including eSports.
“There is a good representation of the hardcore gamer category with competitive eSports teams and players as well as a niche of enthusiasts looking for collector’s editions.” said Razvan Amzu, GM at Best Distribution.
The market has seen a rise in the sales of consoles as well as a spike in interest from the mass market in gaming software.
However, despite this growth in interest in the sector, some of Romania’s biggest retail chains have suffered insolvency.
This created an atmosphere of unease around the High Street in the country.
“Past insolvencies of major retail chains like Diverta and Flamingo have created an environment of uncertainty. As the law is permissive with firms declaring insolvency, the risk of crediting customers must be kept low,” adds Amzu.
“Working with international insurers and payment guarantees helps solve this issue.”
The market suffers from neighbouring competition, plus UK sites selling games cheaper than local stores – all of which contributes to the country’s price concerns.
“The grey market puts a lot of pressure on pricing, with wholesalers in Europe offering to retailers, and websites from the UK selling directly to consumers,” says Amzu.
“Some publishers understand the need of a differentiated price for a region like ours and this strategy works. Adjusting the price creates the best chances of success here.”
ROMANIA: THE FACTS
Currency: Romanian Leu
GDP (Per Capita): $8,029
Capital City: Bucharest
Altex, Flanco, Carrefour, Real, Emag, Auchan, Diverta