The Black Friday sales event has had a deeply negative effect on games retail.
That's according to sources speaking to MCV, who say that the period is ‘the worst thing' to happen to shops.
Retailers say that Black Friday is a major factor in the UK software market being down, with the sales event being detrimental to sales of new releases. This is due to consumers holding off spending until Black Friday. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Watch Dogs 2 and Titanfall 2 have been among the games that have underperformed in their first weeks on shelves.
One source goes as far as to say that publishers may think again about launching new games during this period. But apparently even the massive discounts at retail seen during Black Friday won't help the market.
The market cannot turn around now. Pre-orders and the first couple of weeks sales are enormously important to both publishers and retailers but there has been some appalling results this year due to Black Friday, and customers waiting to see if the games are broken or if the scores are decent,” said one retail source.
It's hard to see why publishers would release games in November going forward. Black Friday is the worst thing to happen to UK retail.”
Another retail source added: Judging by the drop off we have seen in trade in the run up to Black Friday, I suspect customers have held off on key purchases. This should make the event itself larger than 2015, but I'm not convinced that the month as a whole will benefit. The following weeks were slightly subdued as consumers had no doubt spent much of their disposable income.
Though they admit a lot depends on the sales event, one retail source says that the market needs strong releases at the start of 2017.
There is a lot riding on Black Friday – we are about to see how much pent up console demand there is,” they told MCV.
More fundamentally we need some exciting games early in 2017 for Xbox One and PS4. Especially something new and fresh. There is a bit of franchise fatigue at the moment outside of FIFA.”