Sean Ferrol from Games Centre in Clydebank tells MCV about how customers have evolved and how the store’s offering had to evolve accordingly, focusing on tech and trading card games.
How has business been lately?
Pretty good actually, we’re quite pleased. Watch Dogs 2 has done quite well, and the Pokémon games are flying off the shelves.
Did you have a lot of pre-orders for Pokémon?
Yes, but actually a lot of people have been into the Pokémon Trading Cards as well lately. People are going crazy for the Evolution set. I think Pokémon Go took part in it, but the whole year was Pokémon daft.
Are you facing any challenges?
Not necessarily. It’s more about the difference in our options and strategies really as software year-on-year has settled and weakened a bit. It’s more of a case of expanding on other aspects of the business and focusing on tech and trading cards a lot more.
What’s the plan exactly for that?
After Christmas, some of the stores are doing events, preview events and tournaments for Yu-Gi-Oh and cards games like that. We’re going to have trading cards nights, we will teach customers how to play the game, and they can meet people who are also into trading cards games. We also have a pinball machine and arcade machines that have been installed in the store, so now it’s more of a place where gamers can come and hang out.
How would you assess 2016?
It’s been an interesting year. It’s not a case of the challenges of the games industry; it’s more of a case of strategies and how we evolve.Though software may be down year-on-year, the store is evolving into different aspects and we are bringing in people that wouldn’t normally have shopped in a game store. One of the challenges is really to evolve to meet the consumers, because they change.
What platform performed the best this year?
Probably trading cards... but in terms of consoles, I would say, hardware-wise, Xbox has stepped up a lot, and, software-wise, PlayStation has performed better with the PS4.
What about the Switch - what are your expectations for Nintendo’s next console?
Everybody is really excited for that. Everyone’s Nintendo crazy right now, with Pokémon, so it’s coming at the right time. A lot of people are going to be on-board for the Switch.