UK games industry slams price cutting

The prosperity of the entire UK  trade has been placed in danger by the supermarket price cutting that has led to FIFA 10 and Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising going on sale for under 30.

That’s according to leading publishers and retailers, who have today hit out at unnecessary and worrying” discounting in MCV.

Top trade execs have even asked if the UK needs to adopt a French-style law, where Government restricts in-store price slashing.

Tesco led the way on FIFA 10, selling the title – which broke sales records this week to hit No.1 in the All Formats Chart – for just 24.97.

And MCV revealed this morning that ASDA is to sell Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising for just 27 from midnight tonight.

Konami UK  boss Peter Stone told MCV: It appears that FIFA has been used as a spearhead in a fresh market-share battle between the supermarkets, and this can only lead to similar retaliation with other key titles. It is our understanding that retail sets these prices, and they are unnecessary and worrying.”

Bethesda CEO  Sean Brennan added: Clearly no publisher likes its brand to be devalued like this. I suspect it only moves market share around rather than generates additional sales. The alternative is something like the French model where the state dictates minimum retail pricing in video games.”

A head buyer at a top UK national entertainment retail chain added: The relentless discounting policies of the supermarkets have done so much to devalue products that were once considered highly aspirational, including DVDs and CDs.

The industry has to guard against the same being done to games – once the public has an expectation of significantly lower prices, there won’t be any going back.”

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