Price furore 'doesn't harm game demand'

Michael French
Price furore 'doesn't harm game demand'

Rising prices for new releases won’t harm customer demand, leading online, indie and chain retailers have told MCV.

This week concerns over price rises for titles like Modern Warfare 2 (pictured) spilt over into the mainstream media, with BBC Radio 1, The Telegraph and The Times wading into the story MCV first broke two weeks ago.

But retailers don’t think the coverage hurts demand one bit.

The boss of a specialist games retail chain told MCV that “the price change makes little different for a game like this”, adding that their chain isn’t planning to reduce its orders or expectations for Modern Warfare 2 game when it hits in November.

“Of course we’ll have to monitor the situation and see if other titles went the same way – but some franchises can take this kind of elastic pricing. Whatever gets said in the news, the impact on customer expectations is negligible.”

In fact, Play.com's Keith Sharpe says that Modern Warfare 2 specifically still has every chance to be the year's bestselling title regardless of its price.

"The price change on Modern Warfare 2 will have absolutely no effect on the demand for the product, it will still be this year's number one game regardless," he said.

All retailers quizzed by MCV said that they won't be changing any plans for promotion of the game, or reducing their orders or changing strategy

Added Sharpe: "The strength of the brand and quality of the game will ensure it's success. You also need to remember that a large proportion of sales will come from gift purchases who will be oblivious to any price changes.

"The release of Modern Warfare is such a huge media event that our plans to make it one of the biggest launches we've ever had will not be changed in anyway and we don't see that the price changes will effect this in anyway."

Voices in the indie sector concurred.

Grainger Games’ purchasing director Chris Harwood told us: "There seems to be a general perception that the price rise is to be condemned, however, when thought about in a rational way, we believe that this price rise is understandable and not as big an issue as some have made it out to be."

Plus, he added, in-store offers and other deals will likely drive the price down anyway.

"We believe that most retailers will be releasing the title as a promotion or at an offer price anyway. The expected volume of sales would support this. The title is fantastic and customers will buy it.

"Modern Warfare 2 is an eagerly awaited release, which will inevitably sell well. We are taking substantial pre orders already. We are convinced that this franchise has the strength and durability to maintain demand; and think it is great that Activision are going to deliver yet another world class product."

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Tags: pricing , prices , modern warfare 2 , rrps

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