Can LA Noire arrest the markets decline?

UK retail hopes L.A. Noire can breathe new life into struggling software sales.

The UK games market is down significantly year-on-year. But with Rockstar’s hyped new IP due today (Friday, May 20th), expectations are high for a May sales surge.

The current levelling off in the games market hasn’t been helped by the amount of sub-standard product out there,” HMV’s senior games buyer Jason Brooks told MCV.

While it will take quite a bit to reverse the overall market slowdown, launching products of L.A. Noire’s calibre can only help and is to be welcomed.”

Asda games buyer Duncan Tate adds: It’s been a challenging first half to the year with limited growth opportunities. Hopefully this title will drive significant volume in the first few weeks and create a halo effect across the gaming department.”

The Hut Group’s head of business development Sarah Jasper is also optimistic of Rockstar’s ability to excite the UK market.

If Rockstar can deliver the masterpiece everyone is expecting, then it is not only destined to do brilliantly in
its debut month, but word of mouth is very likely to sustain it for far beyond that,” she said.

However, Chart-Track director Dorian Bloch warns the UK games industry not to expect too much from a single release.

One game cannot reverse the current deficit,” he said.
Don’t forget that last year in Q1 and early Q2 a lot of major titles were launched, many of which were moved out of Q4 in order to steer clear of Modern Warfare 2. This partly explains the current situation, but is only one factor.”

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