Although well aware of the need to diversify, UK games retail remains highly reliant upon the success of just a handful of the biggest franchises. And while last year’s big releases let down retailers, things are looking a bit rosier in 2017. We asked GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs whether the publisher’s have got it right this Christmas?
"In terms of Call of Duty, absolutely, the game has been well received, we’re delighted with the market performance of the title, we think Activision has done a really good job," he replied, supporting retail sales across the UK that more than doubled this year.
However, some other big franchises haven’t been quite as impactful, so we wanted to know whether the pack was trailing behind a little more this year.
"I think that’s fair, he replied, adding: "It’s nothing different from what we forecast, though. I think in terms of our forecast accuracy in terms of every title that has come out has been very good. There’s been a couple that have pleasantly surprised but we’ve forecast exceptionally accurately for what’s launched up to today.
Moving forward we tried to gauge the impact of next year’s Red Dead Redemption 2, asking whether it was the biggest title for early next year? "Undoubtedly, and we’d love a date for Red Dead, the anticipation for the title is significant."
But is it on a Call of Duty scale in terms of pre-orders? "I’d be leading the market if I answered that, but we expect it to be the most material title of next year." Which means that its success will be most significant to GAME’s results. Which just goes to show how much its delay has impacted on revenue for the back-end of 2017.
You can read more from our interview with Gibbs commenting on Switch stock for Christmas.