Cutting prices ‘won’t provide sales boost

Sony, HMV and THQ have hit back at the retailers calling for lower-priced video games.

Key execs claim publishers risk devaluing their products if they were to give in to demands from companies such as Sainsbury’s. The supermarket chain told suppliers to slash the price of video games at its annual entertainment conference earlier this month.

Everybody who works for HMV loves music, video and games,” said HMV CEO Simon Fox at the retailer’s
own conference.

We hate to see products getting devalued in the market. In fact, the bigger the product becomes the more it gets discounted and devalued. We are committed to doing things differently to others.”

SCE’s UK sales director Mark Howsen feels the industry needs to work on creating compelling products – not cheap ones.

I don’t think SRP reductions are the answer,” he told MCV. This would perhaps provide a short-term blip but we would be back in the same position a few weeks from now.

Ultimately consumers still want to experience the new innovation and excitement our industry’s products can deliver. The main difference now is they’re having a tougher time economically and have become more discerning in their purchases. They need to be captivated and be sure that the product they are buying will deliver.”

THQ’s UK marketing director Jon Rooke says that while consumers demand triple-A epics, prices of video games have to remain high.

If price becomes a bigger factor, then maybe the industry will look at different ways of bringing games to market with different business models.

But whilst we’re all being tasked by the industry to make 95 per cent Metacritic games, theatrical experiences costing $50 million with at least 40 hours of gameplay in there, there’s going to be a cost to both the consumer and the retailer.”

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