Paradox CEO Blasts GAME

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Paradox CEO Blasts GAME

image

The UK retailer's woes are a combination of a changing market, poor financial planning, and bad karma, says a Paradox Interactive executive.

It's been a rough few weeks for GAME, the premier brick-and-mortar videogame retailer in the UK. As if failing to stock The Last Story, Mass Effect 3, and Street Fighter X Tekken weren't bad enough, it now has the supernatural influence of karma to deal with. The ancient Hindu concept can best be boiled down to "what goes around, comes around," and Magicka publisher Paradox Interactive executive Fredrick Wester believes that GAME has an awful lot of bad mojo coming its way. According to Wester, GAME has a history of shady business practices, and its demise - while hurtful to many consumers - will ultimately pave the way for a freer, more creative games trade in Great Britain.

In terms of dedicated physical game stores, GAME does not have much competition in the UK. Wester accuses the store of taking advantage of that fact. "GAME has basically been bullying people around and now it comes back to bite them on the ass," he says. The Paradox CEO cites the fact that EA and Nintendo have been unwilling to offer any assistance to GAME, despite the fact that the retail chain provides a good chunk of their sales in the region. "One of the biggest problems is they haven't behaved nicely to other people, so it's karma," explains Wester. He thinks that GAME could still save itself - but only if it closes up underperforming shops, liquidates most of its assets, and sells itself to U.S. analogue GameStop.

In addition to bad karma, Wester discusses the rapidly changing landscape of game distribution as a culprit behind GAME's troubles. Digital distribution, he argues, will make short work of most physical retailers, but closed systems like XBLA and PSN may not be far behind. "Why didn't XBLA and PSN become like the App Store when they came out four year's (sic) before?" he asks. "It's because they don't have the same openness to new content, they have multiple filters before you're in." The chaff-to-wheat ratio in open digital markets is dauntingly high, but Wester thinks that the potential for creative titles outweighs the monotony of hunting for them. "Angry Birds would never have made it to XBLA, Minecraft would never have made it to XBLA."

While the future of GAME, restrictive marketplaces, and physical games are all difficult to predict with certainty, Wester is a successful industry vet, and likely has some insights that the average gamer does not. If GAME did indeed bring about its own predicament through bad behavior, it serves as a harsh reminder for retailers in other parts of the world: Respect your customers and suppliers, because there are other avenues for acquiring games.

Source: GamesIndustry

Permalink

"and bad karma"?

~_~ It's game retail, all retailers are as bad as each other. Only one of them is in this much trouble.

Silly Paradox. Now release a game that doesn't require 7 patches in 7 days.

Marshall Honorof:
Respect your customers and suppliers, because there are other avenues for acquiring games.

Yes, Supermarkets, Amazon and Steam.

I actually had to think what was the last game I bought from Game. I mean I go into game every... 2 weeks... I don't buy anything though :P I just window shop >.>

Ah! Medieval Total War 2 and its Expansion pack Kingdoms... then Assassins Creed 1, then Assassins Creed 2 then... then... that was it actually...

Why? Everything is cheaper everywhere else. Only stupid people buy from game unless its an old PS2 or Xbox game your after.

GameStop apparently shut down all of its chains in the UK this year and I thought... we have GameStop in the UK? News to me, no wonder they closed.

Game sadly is a relic in a more digitally downloading age. I mean sure disks are great... but Rome Total War's disk broke twice >.> I'm on my third and when that breaks... hello Steam :)

I think the last game I bought at a brick-and-mortar was Jade Empire, so that was seven years ago. At the time I mistakenly thought limited editions were limited to brick and mortar stores.

I still buy 90% physical copies but from online retailers. I just go where the particular game is cheapest (even importing from the UK). Store loyalty isn't worth anything to me and I've only come close to being duped one time (indirect sale through a store that sold through Amazon.co.uk), but thanks to an excelent complaint system it was all sorted out.

It's difficult to judge service of online retailers because you really only need the service the moment something goes wrong.

People who WANT digital only games are morons of the highest caliber.

Enjoy paying 60USD for a game, for no other reason than stupid people will do so.

If I'm going to pay THAT MUCH MONEY, I want something I can hold.
Something that I can dust off in a few years and not worry about it working or not due to some server going offline.

Tanis:
People who WANT digital only games are morons of the highest caliber.

Enjoy paying 60USD for a game, for no other reason than stupid people will do so.

If I'm going to pay THAT MUCH MONEY, I want something I can hold.
Something that I can dust off in a few years and not worry about it working or not due to some server going offline.

Except that... with things like Steamworks, even if you have the disc you still have to worry about it not working because the server is offline.

I mean yeah, I want my games to work even without a network connection. I won't be buying D3 for that reason. My ISP is unreliable and games are one of my primary sources of entertainment when it's down, so a game that doesn't work under those conditions is not worth much to me. >.>

They're gunna have to patch this GAME.

Might as well rename this article "Paradox CEO Blasts Dead Horse".

DVS BSTrD:
They're gunna have to patch this GAME.

I hear the market is cutting support for this GAME, in favour of newer, less stupid, delivery vehicles.

Marshall Honorof:
Magicka developer Paradox Interactive

Publisher. The developer is Arrowhead Game Studios.

HobbesMkii:
Publisher. The developer is Arrowhead Game Studios.

Right. That should be fixed now.

Comando96:
I actually had to think what was the last game I bought from Game. I mean I go into game every... 2 weeks... I don't buy anything though :P I just window shop >.>

This. This every week. It's nice to look at what's around physically, but their prices are absurd and the staff are trained to be unhelpful. I go to CEX if I want to buy a game to take home - I swear you can get games for a third of the cost in there, if not better.

TheBobmus:
This. This every week. It's nice to look at what's around physically, but their prices are absurd and the staff are trained to be unhelpful. I go to CEX if I want to buy a game to take home - I swear you can get games for a third of the cost in there, if not better.

The two shops in my local city (in the countryside) are almost opposite eachother xD
I think staff in Game vary though. In my game they are quite helpful... but likely due to the "city" being small and people knowing each other. I used to live in London... and nobody gave a shit anywhere unless they owned the shop :P

Then again I was amoung the scum in Woolwich so the rest of London may have been more helpful. Scum... thats not completely fair. There were tones of Indian Hindu's and Sikh's in Woolwich and they were awesome :)

Comando96:

Game sadly is a relic in a more digitally downloading age. I mean sure disks are great... but Rome Total War's disk broke twice >.> I'm on my third and when that breaks... hello Steam :)

Really? I've had the same disk since I bought it, waay back in...2008 I believe it was.

Although, the bastards never gave me a CD key, so I cant play online :(

evilneko:

Tanis:
People who WANT digital only games are morons of the highest caliber.

Enjoy paying 60USD for a game, for no other reason than stupid people will do so.

If I'm going to pay THAT MUCH MONEY, I want something I can hold.
Something that I can dust off in a few years and not worry about it working or not due to some server going offline.

Except that... with things like Steamworks, even if you have the disc you still have to worry about it not working because the server is offline.

I mean yeah, I want my games to work even without a network connection. I won't be buying D3 for that reason. My ISP is unreliable and games are one of my primary sources of entertainment when it's down, so a game that doesn't work under those conditions is not worth much to me. >.>

His point was that, if they were to keep the cost of games the same even after removing the costs of manufacturing and distributing the disks by going digital distribution only, it would be because of stupid people who are willing to pay that much. If he has to pay 60USD, he better be able to get a physical copy.

wintercoat:

His point was that, if they were to keep the cost of games the same even after removing the costs of manufacturing and distributing the disks by going digital distribution only, it would be because of stupid people who are willing to pay that much. If he has to pay 60USD, he better be able to get a physical copy.

Except what good's a physical copy if it won't still work 15-20 years from now? (For reference, Wolfenstein 3D is 20 years old on May 5 this year, as are Super Mario Kart, Ultima 7 and Ultima Underworld. DOOM and Warcraft are only a year younger, imagine if those classics had been released tied to a Steam-like service that no longer existed!)

In all seriousness, even with boxed copies it's not like you get much (or the company spends much) "extra" for your money. 20 years ago yes, I would've agreed. Back then you got big, thick manuals that were actually interesting to read (wanna know all the shit I learned about trains from the Railroad Tycoon manual?), posters, maps, lots of other goodies. Heck, even the box itself was often cool. Nowadays? Nada. None of that shit's still there unless you buy the even more expensive "Collector's Edition" and even then it often still sucks.

And the boxes suck too. D:<

In Sweden GAME is like an inferior GameStop. They're just as hideously expensive, still buy new games for 170 SEK(that retailed at 699 SEK) then resell it for 599 SEK, but they don't carry as many games.

($1 = 7 SEK; 1 = 9 SEK; €1 = 9 SEK, basically)

So, what I do these days is that I window shop in GameStop (GAME isn't worth my time), then if I see something I like, I go to Webhallen where all games are around 100 kr cheaper.

(That's my brotip for fellow gamers in Stockholm)
So, no wonder they're not doing that well. They're not really offering me, the customer, any benefits of using them.
Silly GAME.

Marshall Honorof:
According to Wester, GAME has a history of shady business practices...

Well now, you can't talk Wesker, I mean shady is your... oh, wait.

Comando96:
GameStop apparently shut down all of its chains in the UK this year and I thought... we have GameStop in the UK? News to me, no wonder they closed.

Woah, wait... what? Gamestop was in the UK? Definately news to me too.

I very rarely buy games from GAME or Gamestation, although I prefer Gamestation when I have the choice. I will always pop in and browse the used games but I'll always get my pre-orders and new purchases from Amazon because they're cheaper and frankly I can have them in my hands quicker.

As much as I don't want to see dedicated gaming stores go under, it's not really going to affect me one way or the other. However Gamestation have always been good to me for trade ins... off to CEX again then!

evilneko:

wintercoat:

His point was that, if they were to keep the cost of games the same even after removing the costs of manufacturing and distributing the disks by going digital distribution only, it would be because of stupid people who are willing to pay that much. If he has to pay 60USD, he better be able to get a physical copy.

Except what good's a physical copy if it won't still work 15-20 years from now? (For reference, Wolfenstein 3D is 20 years old on May 5 this year, as are Super Mario Kart, Ultima 7 and Ultima Underworld. DOOM and Warcraft are only a year younger, imagine if those classics had been released tied to a Steam-like service that no longer existed!)

In all seriousness, even with boxed copies it's not like you get much (or the company spends much) "extra" for your money. 20 years ago yes, I would've agreed. Back then you got big, thick manuals that were actually interesting to read (wanna know all the shit I learned about trains from the Railroad Tycoon manual?), posters, maps, lots of other goodies. Heck, even the box itself was often cool. Nowadays? Nada. None of that shit's still there unless you buy the even more expensive "Collector's Edition" and even then it often still sucks.

And the boxes suck too. D:<

I'm not sure what you're saying here...his argument that it's absurd to still be paying the old-school "full" price for digital copies makes all kinds of sense. It's one of those facts that everyone knows is true, but the market can ignore because of some kind of silent agreement. "No one says a word, but we're gonna cut our costs by a truckload and instead of lowering the price, we just boost our profit margins! Yaaay, we're so smart!". It's very clever really, any idiot would do it I suppose...but it's not fair.

Spy_Guy:
In Sweden GAME is like an inferior GameStop. They're just as hideously expensive, still buy new games for 170 SEK(that retailed at 699 SEK) then resell it for 599 SEK, but they don't carry as many games.

($1 = 7 SEK; 1 = 9 SEK; €1 = 9 SEK, basically)

So, what I do these days is that I window shop in GameStop (GAME isn't worth my time), then if I see something I like, I go to Webhallen where all games are around 100 kr cheaper.

(That's my brotip for fellow gamers in Stockholm)
So, no wonder they're not doing that well. They're not really offering me, the customer, any benefits of using them.
Silly GAME.

Tru dat bro. Webhallen rocks, but I also check Spelbutiken . se. They have free shipping and price matching there, and I don't live near Stockholm anymore so I can't just march into Webhallen's physical store.

However, I basically never buy console games anymore, I do all my gaming on PC, so I go to an even cheaper place. G2play . net. They sell Steam and/or Origin keys, or sometimes just CDkeys (in which case you'll have to get a hold of an installer yourself, but these days most games are on Steam anyway...). The wonderful thing with G2play is that their prices fluctuate with supply and demand (ie, a game is cheap long before it is released, at which point you can pre-order, then rises in price closer to release, and then goes down again) and they often have sales and discounts, etc. Their prices are almost always the cheapest.

Good ol' Paradox.

I went into Game inquiring about PI's new game, Crusader Kings 2, and they had never even heard of it, and laughed when I even mentioned the company name...

Who's laughing now, douchebag who wouldn't give me an interview! (Seriously, I went in there asking for a job, he started quizzing me right there on the shop floor, asked what I was playing, I said "Alan Wake" then he called me a "retro gamer" in a spiteful way and ended the conversation and walked away. What the fuck?!)

Tanis:
People who WANT digital only games are morons of the highest caliber.

Enjoy paying 60USD for a game, for no other reason than stupid people will do so.

If I'm going to pay THAT MUCH MONEY, I want something I can hold.
Something that I can dust off in a few years and not worry about it working or not due to some server going offline.

I never paid more than 25€ for my digital copies (those include titles like Serious Sam 3, Saints Row 3 [2 days after release], Bioshock, Warhammer 40k - Retribution, Batman Arkham City / Arkham Asylum and many more AAA games).

And you know what? If it weren't for retailers like GAME you would not see the 60$ on DD but a better deal all the time. Because those bastards refuse to stock games if you can get a better deal on DD platforms.

Marshall Honorof:
The Paradox CEO cites the fact that EA and Nintendo have been unwilling to offer any assistance to GAME, despite the fact that the retail chain provides a good chunk of their sales in the region.

I wouldn't be surprised if EA are hoping their customers will all jump to Origin instead. Game may currently provide a big chunk of their income, but that chunk will only get bigger if they can get to their customers directly without needing a middleman.

TheKasp:
I never paid more than 25€ for my digital copies (those include titles like Serious Sam 3, Saints Row 3 [2 days after release], Bioshock, Warhammer 40k - Retribution and many more AAA games).

And you know what? If it weren't for retailers like GAME you would not see the 60$ on DD but a better deal all the time. Because those bastards refuse to stock games if you can get a better deal on DD platforms.

Indeed. It's the physical retailers that keep prices high. You have to be pretty much insane to buy even a brand new game for more than about 25 on Steam or from Amazon. It's exactly the same deal that happened with music - being able to walk into a shop and immediately pick up something physical is nice, but the ridiculous prices they insist on keeping mean it's just not worth it over waiting a bit for mail order or just downloading it.

It really does serve them right... GAME had a clearance sale yesterday and didn't bother reducing any prices... That's not a sale.

And nobody is going to buy games like Farm Simulator or Truck Driver Simulator for 15... Stop stocking those or at least reduce prices.

I like GAME. I don't know, maybe it was the fact that there was only one in my area, but I would always go there for console games. That or HMV. However, they've been in the shitter for a while now, and I was beyond disappointed that they didn't stock ME3. I wanted to pay for most of it on gift cards, because of money issues. Now I can't, so I'm going to go to HMV and trade in a few games to make up the difference.

I used to love Game. Their customer support was top notch, I could talk to the staff about games for ages, and they genuinely loved games. However, not stocking Mass Effect 3 is going to kill them. Pre-ordered it in HMV earlier, the staff there were saying about how it's going to be the biggest game of the year, and I'm inclined to agree. Game are going to lose so much money just from this one release, and it'll be sad to see them go.

RIP Game. You will never be forgotten, but you will never be relied on for AAA titles again.

Kahani:

Indeed. It's the physical retailers that keep prices high. You have to be pretty much insane to buy even a brand new game for more than about 25 on Steam or from Amazon. It's exactly the same deal that happened with music - being able to walk into a shop and immediately pick up something physical is nice, but the ridiculous prices they insist on keeping mean it's just not worth it over waiting a bit for mail order or just downloading it.

Not only that but people are literally forgetting simple online distribution.

Amazon does not face the same problems and limitations as brick & mortar stores (location, shelf space limitations and such). About every physical copy I got in the last year came from amazon.de or amazon.co.uk. The latter got my Skyrim preorder for 35€ and all I had to do is wait one day longer because they had to ship it to another country.

Then there is Steam and their sales. Batman Arkham City one month after release for 50% off. And people should not understimate how those sales increase the number of sold units. I like to point out to the first sale Valve did with their own prudcuts (75% off) which increased their revenue by a factor of 40. More and more publisher realise that (added to the overall increasing acceptance to buy games on DD platforms).

What do I get in brick & mortar stores? Here in my city I get unfriendly bastards, next to no support and overpriced games. But hey, at least I can hold my physical copy which I'll never touch again after installing it... yay.

For all the bad things people say about GameStop this end of the pond, GAME seems like so much worse. From what I've read, it's like they're charging $90 for a game when everyone else charges $60. That's insane.

If they're gonna be shady bout stuff like that, good riddance. I like my local GameStop. They've never been a problem.

PC Gamers have a right to be pissed though.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
For all the bad things people say about GameStop this end of the pond, GAME seems like so much worse. From what I've read, it's like they're charging $90 for a game when everyone else charges $60. That's insane.

If they're gonna be shady bout stuff like that, good riddance. I like my local GameStop. They've never been a problem.

PC Gamers have a right to be pissed though.

Not really. They charge 40 for new games over here, that's how much everyone else charges. I don't even know what's so shady about them. They charge next to nothing for most used games too. The only rip off is that if people trade in games for next to nothing, but that's their own fault really.

Tanis:
People who WANT digital only games are morons of the highest caliber.

Enjoy paying 60USD for a game, for no other reason than stupid people will do so.

If I'm going to pay THAT MUCH MONEY, I want something I can hold.
Something that I can dust off in a few years and not worry about it working or not due to some server going offline.

so we are morons for not having a plastic fetish?
well have fun continuing to clog up your living space with boxes, il be happy here with my own consolidated machine with everything on ^^

OT i don't think the filters need to be removed just streamlined, on the one hand you have little on the psn and xbla in comparison to the app store but on the other hand the app store is SO FULL OF CR4P that finding good stuff becomes a chore. Good search functions are required.

Comando96:

Game sadly is a relic in a more digitally downloading age. I mean sure disks are great... but Rome Total War's disk broke twice >.> I'm on my third and when that breaks... hello Steam :)

You know I really have to question what you are doing to these disks to break so many of them.

Frederick Wester better watch his own bad karma. Paradox Interblahblah are rersponsible for plenty of BAD games.

I always preferred Gamestation. I appreciate they're owned by the same company, but Gamestation always felt like it was for Gamers where as GAME felt like it was for parent's buying for their kids.

I have not bought anything from GAME in years because everything is cheaper online and the servise while not bad in my local GAME was nowhere near good. I will however remember it fondly through as I met my first girlfriend there :)

dogstile:

NameIsRobertPaulson:
For all the bad things people say about GameStop this end of the pond, GAME seems like so much worse. From what I've read, it's like they're charging $90 for a game when everyone else charges $60. That's insane.

If they're gonna be shady bout stuff like that, good riddance. I like my local GameStop. They've never been a problem.

PC Gamers have a right to be pissed though.

Not really. They charge 40 for new games over here, that's how much everyone else charges. I don't even know what's so shady about them. They charge next to nothing for most used games too. The only rip off is that if people trade in games for next to nothing, but that's their own fault really.

Some gamers can be very precious over little things, ie; a GAME employee not knowing what some obscure jRPG title is so vow to never shop there again in a hissyfit then subsequently bitch about it on forums with much pomp and hyperbole.

Their prices for brand new games on day one are pretty much identical or cheaper than the likes of Amazon and ShopTo (it's disappointing people shop with the latter after all the fraud), plus they usually have much better pre-order exclusives.

Gamestation will be an even bigger loss as they are pretty much the only company to stock retro gaming systems, people will eventually realise that despite some of their ills, the GAME group folding will only have negative impacts on gaming in general. Supermarkets leading the charge is folly, and the general public need to have a brick and mortar gaming presence on the high-street.

In the GAME close to where I live, their PC section is tiny, it is literally 1 stack of shelves, and that's mostly World of Warcraft or BF3, and some stupid games like farm simulator, and console games have free reign of the rest of the store.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here