Publishers bemoan Black Friday bundle ‘lunacy’

Leading UK games publishers says the ‘obsession’ around PS4 and Xbox One bundles over Black Friday will harm game sales.

According to GfK Chart-Track, around 70 per cent of consoles sold during the Black Friday week were ‘hard bundles’ (official bundles that feature games in the pack), and that figure doesn’t include ‘soft bundles’ (unofficial ones which retailers created themselves).

It’s ten per cent higher than during the previous year. The Uncharted PS4 and FIFA 16 Xbox One were the most popular tie-ins.

Top games publishers told MCV this week says that these big bundles mean consumers do not have a reason to buy any further games.

All the discounts were on bundles,” the UK MD of one giant publisher told MCV. It was lunacy. There were two, three, even four releases given away with each machine for next to nothing. Gamers won’t need to buy anything else for months.”

A sales director at another global firm added that one of his games is struggling in the face of a bundled competitor. We feel we have the better game, but why buy it when they’ve already got a perfectly good alternative in the same genre? There’s an obsession with giving away content for cheap to sell hardware, when surely it should be the other way around.”

This isn’t the first time aggressive bundling has been called out by publishers. Back in February, games retailers said that an over-reliance on bundling during Q4 was harming further purchasing.

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