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The big World Cup gamble

Despite retailers dedicating sizeable store space to World Cup promotions and publishers spending big bucks on marketing football titles, public interest in the tournament – and related merchandise – could last only as long as England are in the Cup.

And while they’re watching the home nation, they could even leave games retail abandoned completely.

“We’ve got special showcase space for the World Cup, which will include various different kinds of product including games like FIFA,” said Woolworths trading manager for games Gerry Berkley. “But the danger with this is how long people stay interested. It could be really great, but if England go out early it could be difficult.”

And ChartTrack’s Dorian Bloch told MCV that it could be a struggle whatever England’s destiny may be. “In the run-up to the World Cup everything goes well,” said Bloch. “But as soon as England are on TV people stop shopping.”

But many in the industry remain positive as it spends big on the football frenzy.

“There will be a dedicated area featuring football-related products,” said GAME marketing director Anna Macario. “Sales of football games always increase prior to event like this and we expect sales to continue to stay high.”

Konami marketing manager John Murphy has already seen World Cup fever boost sales. “It already looks like a lucrative time – we’ve jumped up in the charts already with PES5 on Platinum. Clearly the fervour being whipped up is affecting things.”

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