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View Full Version : LOL @ Game stores in the UK



vandinz
04-06-2011, 12:49 PM
Just been to my local game to see what was on offer. As usual the PC is stuffed in a corner with the Super Nintendo games (not really). Just a quick scan over the prices and I turned on my heels and walked straight out. 90% of thier games were 35! These are the same games you can get from gameplay.co.uk or Amazon for example at about 20 (even less for some).

And they wonder why their profits are down? These are specialists, they should be the ones providing the deals, not Asda and Morrisions. I've decided to not ever bother looking in store anymore, waste of time and petrol.

So anyway, I came home and ordered Brink and Shogun 2 for 27. That would've cost me 70 in the shop! Guess where I bought it from ... www.game.co.uk. Idiots.

Komodo
04-06-2011, 12:56 PM
I was riding along with your post thinking "yeah Game sucks!", then you end up buying from them anyway. Leaving me confused and used :(

slick_101
04-06-2011, 12:57 PM
Yeah its kinda funny really. How we were the ones to really start off the companies in the first place. I remember when you walked into game and it was the same size as the console sections. Its just really embarrassing...

Thank god for internetz shopping.

lostrootpass
04-06-2011, 01:05 PM
It's really disheartening, especially to someone like me who treasures physical copies of games. I enjoy the convenience of a service like Steam as much as the next person, but there is not a single damn thing better than a game box. Especially a good one that comes with maps, thick manuals, and whatever else.

Pricewise I still find retail to be fairly competitive. For example, Crysis 2 has been 19.99 in my local Game since a week after launch, but it's 30 on Steam. The problem is that if you go in to any other Game, it'll probably be 30 or 35. There's no consistency. Having spent a good few years working in retail, I can sympathise entirely with the price discrepancies between stores, but from a consumer perspective it's kind of annoying.

Across the road from my local Game is an independent place that has an entire wall of PC games old and new. Admittedly it's a small shop so it's a small wall, but they've given much of their valuable shop space to PC gaming. If they can stay in business like that, it should be clear to the larger chains that there's still money to be made with shiny frisbees.

It's a vicious cycle: nobody buys PC games from Game because Game doesn't stock PC games, and Game doesn't stock PC games because nobody buys PC games from Game. I, for one, am willing to take the occasional few-quid hit to continue to show Game that box fetishists are people too.

P7uen
04-06-2011, 01:58 PM
PC game shops here in HK consist of 2 square metres filled with precisely 1 unit of every game made since 1994 that has ever got a metacritic rating of less than 50%, plus everything Blizzard.

They are arranged on the shelves, from your toes to the ceiling, not alphabetically or by age but apparently by the number of testers who had a cup of tea in the 3rd week of beta. Or perhaps the % of the box that is yellow. I still haven't worked it out yet.

And it all costs the same price as in UK apparently, I'm amazed they exist as well... rent is not cheap here.

Yodith
04-06-2011, 02:50 PM
I rarely buy games from offline retail these days but when I do it tends to be in HMV. There's something tawdry and cheap about GAME and I find their pushing of secondhand merchandise quite distasteful, especially if I'm in there to buy a new game. I also have a personal rule of not so much as browsing in a GAME store if there is nobody else in there because the level of harassment from shop staff really seems to have gone up in the last year and a half. Within 30 seconds of entering the store I'll inevitably be set upon by a salesperson, which I find terribly off-putting.

duff
04-06-2011, 02:57 PM
GAME stung me for 30 for the Witcher 2 and 40 for Starcraft 2 recently. The prices in there are definitely too high, but I guess they are used to charging 30+ for console games.

My local HMV doesn't even sell PC games anymore, neither does Tesco or Asda. They are certainly missing out though, surely the likes of Football Manager sell way more than Nintendo DS games?

SabreLime
04-06-2011, 03:02 PM
35 is about $55 AUD. In-store games bought within Australia cost around $90-110 AUD.

Chin up, it could be worse.

Sweedums
04-06-2011, 03:08 PM
The thing that bugs me about GAME shops is that the PC section usually consists of those boring ass looking simulator games. Gardening simulator, fork-lift truck simulator, bus simulator.... tea making simulator... breathing simulator...

Maybe if they stacked good games, they would get more sales.

Mistabashi
04-06-2011, 03:53 PM
Do you honestly expect a specialist highstreet store to compete on price with an internet giant like Amazon? That isn't how things work unfortunately, it's basic economics and applies to pretty much any type of product. The internet has made it very hard for brick & mortar retaillers to survive at all, hence the piles of pre-owned games you see in most high-street game shops; trade-ins are one of the few services they can offer without being undercut on the web.

Alex Bakke
04-06-2011, 03:58 PM
So anyway, I came home and ordered Brink and Shogun 2 for 27. That would've cost me 70 in the shop! Guess where I bought it from ... www.game.co.uk. Idiots.

GAME and Game.co.uk are actually different companies under the same control; owned by the same guy but still compete against each other.

JohnnyMaverik
04-06-2011, 04:05 PM
I walked into my local Blockbuster the other day to find the two shelf PC section had been shifted to the one shelf PS2 section and the two shelves had been completely replaced by Bluerays... which already take up about 10 shelves in the store (it's medium sized).

Had a browse through, World of Goo 20 quid... lol, Black Ops 41 quid... really? Crysis 2 not in stock... :(, wouldn't have bought it for more than 15 anyway but still, Starcraft II 35 quid... gah, why still so expensive? :'(, Kayne & Lynch II 25 quid... I walked out, got it for a fiver on Steam at Christmas.

Duno why I bothered seeing as they were selling APB for a good 2 months after the game was completely shut down for 20 quid a pop.

It also annoys me that most UK stores that have a big used games stock usually sell a few used pc games, that's fine, great in fact, but for gods sakes stop putting up used steamworks games... I know some poor sod will have picked up that copy of L4D by now, got it home a found out he'd spent a tenner on a useless piece of plastic.

Almost makes me want to go and trade in my orange box and l4d 2 cases seeing as I don't need the discs now they're registered on Steam to profit from their wanton stupidity, but I'm just not that big of a dick.

mehall
04-06-2011, 04:11 PM
Most stores don't really get a choice. My local GAME (Glasgow St Enoch, if you're interested) actually has a ton of stuff, but even when they get new titles in, it's only at launch. Not many of the games are stocked after launch unless they're things like the Orange Box or Mass Effect 2, big, always popular things.

That store has more PC area than new 360 + PS3 combined, and is almost the same size as the preowned 360 section. (They have 3 wall bays for 360 P/o, one for mine 360, and one for chart that ends up being half and half when they have the P/O in stock.)

mehall
04-06-2011, 04:17 PM
It also annoys me that most UK stores that have a big used games stock usually sell a few used pc games, that's fine, great in fact, but for gods sakes stop putting up used steamworks games... I know some poor sod will have picked up that copy of L4D by now, got it home a found out he'd spent a tenner on a useless piece of plastic.

Almost makes me want to go and trade in my orange box and l4d 2 cases seeing as I don't need the discs now they're registered on Steam to profit from their wanton stupidity, but I'm just not that big of a dick.

Sorry if this is a double post...

Most stores don't do used PC games for exactly the point of online registrations of license keys. (e.g. someone still keeping the game they're trading in.)

And if you see a steamworks title in an indie games store, say to the guy in charge, I always do. Sometimes they don't realise, even if they're looking out for it.

If it's a small to medium chain, contact their customer service and complain. They rarely mean to, but it's a bloody annoyance to check EVERYTHING. It's like asking stores to check if the FIFA game or whatever is getting traded in has had it's online pass used or not. Just not feasible without the co-operation of the publishers, and that'd mean publishers assisting in used sales.

Simon
04-06-2011, 04:19 PM
i remember walking in to electronics boutique and seeing whole sides of the shop dedicated to pc gaming. what the hell happenend!

JohnnyMaverik
04-06-2011, 04:20 PM
Yea they're not all bad, there a GAME up in the Angel Islington that has about 6 shelves for pc, two where everything is on the 2 for 20 deal (stuff like Mass Effect, Dead Space, Venetica, Dragon Age etc...) two for the 3 for 15 and 2 smaller wall mounted for new releases. Same for 360, PS3, Wii and DS mind you but hey, at least it's fair.

Ravenger
04-06-2011, 09:33 PM
A major reason for the decline of PC games at retail is because you can't sell them second hand due to DRM and CD keys.

Retail video game stores make a lot of money out of the second hand market, and it's simply not as profitable to sell PC games they can only sell once, whilst a single console copy can be resold many times, making a large profit for the retailer each time.

Publishers are increasingly coming to the view that the retail led second hand market is as big a threat to console games as they believe (rightly or wrongly) piracy is to the PC.

They don't have a problem with individuals selling their games on, but when retailers start ordering less new copies of games simply so they can sell more second hand copies, and promote second hand games over new, then you've got a problem.

sabrage
04-06-2011, 09:38 PM
You guys still have Super Nintendo games at your stores? So. Jealous.

Drake Sigar
04-06-2011, 09:52 PM
My local store is a Gamestation, and they charge outrageous prices for all their merchandise. Usually you can go to the local Asda or use an online service such as Amazon and get the same game you wanted 10-15 cheaper. In fact my Asda has a bigger PC selection than Gamestation. Now that’s just wrong.

Remember back when there weren’t any game shops except for that one independent store in town? Warhammer 40k paintings adorning the walls, an eight foot tall Darth Vader statue greeting guests, a Predetor statue stashed in the corner with M&M’s scattered around the base (he was our equivalent of a wishing well), the grey haired employee who may or may not have been a kung fu master? There was something magical about those shops.

Lambchops
04-06-2011, 10:22 PM
Indie game stores have it even worse than indie music stores, I think only sheer bloody mindedness on behalf of the owners keeps them open.

There was one in Glasgow's west end during my early years of uni called C A games, they were a really nice bunch but it unfortunately closed during my time there. Bizarrely there was one in Loughborough (small and poorly stocked yet somehow surviving). None that I know of in Oxford, but then Oxford doesn't even have an independent record store. Or a Greggs in the city centre, which surely means it should waive its right to be called a city.

Dackten
04-06-2011, 10:40 PM
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style> <![endif]--> Is it terrible that I don't feel bad about this at all? That I view it all as progress? That the last game I bought in a store was COD4 MW1. That ignoring the cynical and idealist, the realist would begin to think this is inevitable, Mr Anderson. So, lets not drag our heals, lets close em down and let the dealers really start providing spectacular online service instead of inconsistent pricing and goodies. (Now I do feel bad because that means jobs. However, I don't see a customer/industry downside, sorry!)

Yeah, I know you like to chok-a-da-chicky over the Morrowind map and sniff deeply that new manual smell (perv), but do you come back to that as you do DLC? Does your box blurb help you find like minded communities of fellow gamers? Does the hum of a Blu/DVD/CD drive really give you something you're not getting from buying the ever more ridiculous online pre-load offers?

Most importantly, when you're done loving that box and you've put in on your shelf, does it do anything but take up space? I get that its nice, but only for so long. I have pictures of happy times and art and all kinds of stuff that'd look much better on your shelf then "Far Cry", the "Sold Out" release. 10 or 2 for 15 stickers everywhere. I'd rather store it on some random server then in my home. Why not, I live in the future BABY!

On the other hand. My go to guys, Valve, want to charge me 3.00 to make a robot fist pump, and not even both robots. So, you can argue the online services give developers an excuse to exclude standard, if not priority content, so they can pump me dry long after I've paid the first instalment.

On the other other hand there was a very pretty girl working in Game, Chester and I heard somewhere they don't let girls on the internet.

Drake Sigar
04-06-2011, 11:37 PM
You're a funny guy, Dackten. I like you. That's why I'm going to kill you last.

westyfield
05-06-2011, 12:12 AM
The last game I bought in a shop was Starcraft 2. I've bought boxed copies of games online since then (Game, Play and Amazon are the main three sites I buy from), but wherever possible I buy on Steam. Call me Valve's bitch if you like, but the convenience and speed are massive bonuses for me.

EBass
05-06-2011, 12:44 AM
What I don't understand is how in my experience its cheaper to aquire boxed copies from online ordering than it is to acquire a digital version of something? Most digital sites seem to offer things pretty much at RRP on release. L4D was 35 on Steam at release, so no costs for the physical box/CD, no delivery cost and and no middleman between myself and Valve taking a cut, but I found a boxed copy for 21 or something for preorder.

How does that make sense?

Mistabashi
05-06-2011, 01:21 AM
It's because of the inherant difference between digital distribution and retail. Steam prices are set by the publisher (or in the case of many indie games the developer themselves), whereas a boxed copy is sold at at a specific cost price and the retailler is free to add whatever markup they want - publishers have little say in the matter. Online retaillers selling physical copies know they can't compete with the digital distributors on service / convenience so they buy in bulk and price aggressively. Pretty much everything Amazon sells has a relatively small profit margin, but they can sell so much of it that it doesn't matter. It's only out of necessity that boxed copies tend to be cheaper.

Digital Distribution is much more profitable for the developers and publishers than conventional retail, where much of the sale price gets swallowed up in manufacturing, distribution and publishing costs even before the retailler takes their cut.

Lewie Procter
05-06-2011, 01:42 AM
Spotted at my local HMV a couple of years ago:
http://i.imgur.com/Ihiqb.jpg

Stardog
05-06-2011, 01:52 AM
I haven't bought a game from a retail store in the last 5 years.


Spotted at my local HMV a couple of years ago:
http://i.imgur.com/Ihiqb.jpg
Haha. Is it anything like Uplink?

SirOddingtonBlightySmythe
05-06-2011, 02:23 AM
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On the other other hand there was a very pretty girl working in Game, Chester and I heard somewhere they don't let girls on the internet.

I know of whom you speak and I share your sentiments about her level of prettyness-ness. The men are also passable. Chester's layout of entertainment stores is handy, HMV, Gamestation and Game all within a hop, skip and jump of one another.

On topic, I still buy boxed copies every now and again, recently Crysis 2 and The Witcher 2, because I like clutter. Occasionally I find things that I havent seen for a while or happen to walk in when something is on sale for two minutes, so Game occasionally gets my custom.