Big time IPs are clearing 10k to 48k copies in their first week at retail, compared to 35k and 80k in 2011. One publisher said they're "trying to understand it," and called it an "absolute nightmare."
The sales numbers in the UK high street for games isn't great. UFC Undisputed 3 was the most recent UK number one but it hasn't reached figures of its predecessors.
"We are trying to understand it, but everything is selling well below what it should. It is an absolute nightmare. I’m not making half the money back I’m spending on marketing," said one publisher.
“Nobody is looking at Chart-Track’s numbers so far this year and thinking ‘cool’," added another.
“There are some stock shortages at retail, but I don’t think that’s what’s causing these figures,” chipped in a UK boss of a Japanese publisher. “The big games of last year are available cheaply. But also consumers don’t want to spend money, and we as an industry are not giving them any reason to change their minds."
"I will be watching Mass Effect 3 and Syndicate very closely.” Now more than ever the digital distribution system is looking the hip place to be. It's no wonder EA are so focused on pushing Origin to compete with Steam.