Eurogamer Expo was a fantastic opportunity for retailer HMV as their store was in a prime position in the hall at Earls Court. However, despite having a chill out area with bean bags and a vast array of games to purchase, the area was somewhat underwhelmed.
Upon closer inspection it was clear the reason why the thousands of gamers under one roof were not walking around with carrier bags full of the latest games they had just played and loved. The reason for this was because HMV were selling the games at full retail price.
For instance, one stand contained hundreds of copies of the game Fifa 11 on its release day next to the multiple Fifa booths where people were queuing to play and could be described as a stroke of marketing genius, but when people saw that they were charging a whopping £39.99 a hasty retreat ensued.
I heard several gamers walking past declaring the prices are a joke. On our Twitter feed @Ibu666 probably summed it up best by saying “They should have sold games for 29.99. Guaranteed sales. Maybe they hate money.”
As game prices rise and in the current economical climate, gamers are becoming increasingly thrifty and are starting to realise that paying £39.99 for a game, only to be offered a small trade in price a few weeks later against another £39.99 game is false economy. Especially when games such as Kane & Lynch 2, H.A.W.X. 2 and Mafia 2 have dropped to £17.95 within a few weeks of release when buying from one of the many reputable online stores.
Doubters only have to look at the High Street store GAME who recently announced that the Game Group made an £18.8 Million First Half Loss. The company currently runs 635 Game and Game station stores in the UK but has said that it plans to close 85 outlets by Christmas 2013. Only a few months ago we reported how tired people were growing on the constant upselling, high RRP prices and poor trade in values at GAME stores.
Recently my nine year old son said “can we go into GAME and see how long it is until they try and sell us something?” We lasted eight seconds before we were asked if we were interested in buying the Halo Edition of the new Xbox Slim for £250, we made our excuses and left. The game he wanted was £15 cheaper online too! If a nine year old can see this, why can’t the bosses of these stores? I fear if the high street stores do not change their thinking very quickly, gamers will not have the benefit of choice in the near future when shopping in their local towns.
There are many different view points on this subject but at the UK’s largest gaming show event at Earls Court, the majority of gamers thought the Eurogamer Expo was excellent but full priced games only from the HMV stand scored them an embarrassing own goal on the release day of the biggest selling football game. As one disgruntled gamer was heard saying as he walked away “HMV = Epic Fail”.