SCEE president David Reeves has hit out at the “crazy” price-cutting culture of the UK market – which sees top titles releasing at well below RRP and pressure forcing smaller retailers out of business.
Speaking to MCV in an exclusive interview to be published in full in its E3 issue (13/5), Reeves (pictured) expressed his dismay at the self-imposed suffering of price-cut obsessed Britain, in a market big and varied enough for everyone.
“I’ve heard those comments about it being difficult and it surprises me when you think about what is on the horizon,” he said.
Citing the number of varied formats already competing in the market, plus those imminent, he added: “I’d have thought retail would look at that and be licking its lips – these are harvest years.”
The UK has already seen dramatic discounting of software earlier this year, with High Street retailers slashing chart and day one titles to £29.99 – £10 less than RRP.
“In continental Europe you don’t see that competition where a supermarket might go a week early or put the price down at £29,” Reeves added.
“You come to the UK and frontline titles are going out at £29 not £39. It’s crazy to sell GT4 at £29 – eventually people will buy it.”
Reeves did, however, concede that the UK was a hugely successful territory for SCEE. “The UK has by far and away the biggest installed base, the highest tie ratio by a margin, the highest percentage of pre-owned sales and the highest price competition.
“Maybe you could argue those things are to the advantage, but indies are going under. In Europe indies are thriving alongside the big chains. It’s symbiosis – they live together.
"Here it just doesn’t seem to be so well balanced. I feel sorry for the independents and I wish we could do something about it. This has a life of its own.”