The truth is out: Supermarkets lose money on the triple-A titles on which they choose to slash prices.
That's according to Asda games category manager Duncan Cross, who this week lifted the lid on the supermarket's Q4 price cuts – and tackled the concerns of the indies that have crammed MCVUK.com's messageboard in recent weeks.
Alongside fellow supermarkets Tesco and Morrisons, Asda has already cut the likes of FIFA 10 and Operation Flashpoint to sub-30 price tags this quarter – with all eyes on the release of Modern Warfare 2 next month.
But despite accusations from specialist retailers that the UK's grocers ‘fix' product in collusion with publishers, Cross claims that Asda sets its own prices.
He said: There have been many comments regarding the pricing of FIFA, particularly on MCVUK.com… It might surprise [other retailers], but we aren't making any money on FIFA because the price we pay the supplier is more than what we charge our customers. I am sure other supermarkets are in a similar boat, so to criticise them as ‘bully boys' doesn't make sense – how can you be a bully if you are selling something for less than you buy it at?”
Writing on his official Asda blog, Cross also met the accusation that price slashing hurts suppliers head on.
He said: Regarding the comment on ‘reducing choice and screwing suppliers', again this is simply not the case at Asda. We've been growing our games range consistently for the past five years and now stock more titles from more suppliers than ever – over 350 lines.”
Cross's comments come after Konami boss Pete Stone told MCV: It is our understanding that retail sets these prices, and they are unnecessary and worrying.”