It’s strange, isn’t it? With Sony announcing (opens in new tab) that it’s sold some 3.9 million PlayStation 3s over Christmas, you’d think it would be a great time right now to be a videogame retailer. But that’s not the case for historic UK retailer HMV. The company as a whole has been struggling for a while, but this Christmas has hit it particularly hard, with videogame market share down some 16% from last year. And now it’s gone on record to say it’s looking into cutting back its games catalogue. Ouch.
Despite getting in on the pre-owned games trade (and offering to beat any local trade-in price by £1 in our local store), its still seeing its market share eaten away by supermarkets and online retailers. HMV’s chief executive, Simon Fox, told The Telegraph (opens in new tab): “I think one of the things we will do is look at what percent of games should make up as part of the mix”.
According to The Telegraph, Mr Fox said it might be the company’s policy to only sell a selection of best-selling new games and not “the long tail of older software.”
Above: HMV’s Oxford Street store – presumably full of old games depreciating in value
What do we think? We might venture that the problem is simply that the prices of games in HMV are too high – almost always at RRP value and almost always a few pounds more expensive than in other stores in town. Having back catalogues there to browse is actually very welcome – but it’s disappointing when you find the game you want and it’s still £39.99. Just sayin’.
Which begs the question – where do you buy your games? Do you pay full-whack at HMV, or do you go to Amazon or Play.com? Perhaps you wait for sales in GAME or GameStation? Let us know in the comments.