HMV laments tough games market

HMV’s Xmas would have been a lot better had there been more video games to sell, says CEO Simon Fox.

His words came ahead of news that the firm has merged its games and technology teams, leading to the departure of popular games boss Tim Ellis. Ewan Pinder is now head of technology and games.

"Christmas is obviously a time when games typically make a strong contribution to customer spending on entertainment products, but, as MCV itself reported recently, the market has been markedly down over the past few weeks, which unfortunately had a knock-on effect on our own trading," Fox told MCV.

"It’s a pity, as I feel our like for likes would have been a lot more positive if we’d been in a position to perform more strongly on games and there’d been more titles and products to get behind. In the circumstances I think we did pretty well on the music and film side of our business, and, as we’ve been saying, personal technology really took off."

Fox told The Telegraph this week that HMV could scale back in-store space given to games in the face of price discounting from online rivals and grocers.

But the retail boss remains optimistic for 2012. He said: Looking forward, there are some potentially big launches to come this year, including PS Vita shortly, and titles we tend to do really well with such as Max Payne 3, while we’re also keenly awaiting more details on the plans for GTA V and Wii U."

HMV was pleased with its Christmas 2011 performance in music, video and technology. Sales were down 8.1 per cent over Xmas – an improvement over its December update.

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