Q4 focus could kill off specialist retail

Where are OUR summer blockbusters? That’s the question being asked by games retail bosses this week as the UK games market slumped to a new low.

Retailers are begging games publishers for ‘summer blockbusters’ to rival major movies such as The Avengers – otherwise, the increased focus on Q4 will kill off specialist retail.

The UK games software retail market slumped to just 8.5m in sales last week.It’s the lowest weekly figure in well over a decade.In contrast, latest movie blockbuster Avengers Assemble broke UK records with an opening Box Office of 15.8m in just three days.

Consumers are ready to spend on big-ticket entertainment – but there are no games to buy. New releases Max Payne 3, Diablo III and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will give specialists some relief. But after that the summer schedule is sparse.

We would love to see some blockbusters earlier in the year, there is no question about that whatsoever,” HMV CEO Simon Fox told MCV. It would be fantastic to have some summer releases when there is a real appetite from the customer to buy games.”

The summer time games drought comes ahead of the most potentially lucrative Q4 in games history. Even at this pre-E3 stage, seven major titles are set to arrive over seven weeks in October and November: Halo 4, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Hitman Absolution, Call of Duty:?Black Ops II,?Dishonored, Resident Evil 6 and Assassin’s Creed III.

Huge blockbuster games so close together becomes unaffordable,” said Fox.

Blockbuster commercial director Gerry Butler added: The movie industry would never bring the Top 20 franchises together in Q4 and have nothing else for the entire year. There’s not a lot of triple-A games coming out in June. The movie industry just doesn’t do that.

I’d like to see the publishers spread the titles out more evenly. That is better for them. And I do think Over the next two to three years that will actually happen.”

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