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Paradox: GAME Woes Are "Karma" For "Bullying"

Matt Gardner
Fredrick Wester, GAME, Paradox Interactive, UK retail

Paradox: GAME Woes Are "Karma" For "Bullying"

With the UK's biggest, specialist high-street games retailer not enjoying the best of starts to the year, plenty have been casting their own opinions on the matter. The latest appraisal of the situation comes from Paradox Interactive's outspoken CEO, Fredrick Wester, who says that GAME's hierarchy only have themselves to blame, and that the recent troubles are "karma" for the company's previous "bullying" practices.

"GAME has basically been bullying people around and now it comes back to bite them on the ass," Wester said to GamesIndustry International at this year's GDC.

"It's been abusing their situation in the UK for a long time but it always come back to you. Look at EA and Nintendo, they're not even willing to help. They will take the hit just to get rid of GAME and start over.

"One of the biggest problems is they haven't behaved nicely to other people, so it's karma."

Harsh words, perhaps, but perhaps with more than a ring of truth to them. Monopolising the high street, ruthlessly buying out the competition, and ending up with multiple stores within a small area, all of these have cost the company. Not that GAME were alone in coming under fire from Wester for not making the most of modern retail opportunities and embracing change.

"The problem is with the technology shift in this industry they're so quick," he said.

"Why didn't XBLA and PSN become like the App Store when they came out four year's before? It's because they don't have the same openness to new content, they have multiple filters before you're in."

The huge expense that comes with releasing a game on XBLA, not to mention patching it, is something that Wester criticises, saying that although the level of quality on the App Store is fairly inconsistent, the likes of Angry Birds and Minecraft would never have even seen the light of day on XBLA.

"No truly independent developers can make it through to XBLA. You can call yourself indie but you need funding, you need technology support. At Paradox we have problems getting onto XBLA with the money we have."

"On the App Store you end up with a lot of crap, but you're not forced to buy it. The customer decides. Angry Birds would never have made it to XBLA, Minecraft would never have made it to XBLA. There are so many games that are million sellers that would never have made it to XBLA."

Add a comment2 comments
RiKx  Mar. 7, 2012 at 12:29

Something XBLA/SEN does have over app store is trail versions. Other than that i think they are both poor and ****-poor in that order.

BloodR0se  Mar. 7, 2012 at 13:24

They looked to the practices of GameStop in the US and Canada and tried to emulate them in the UK but have now failed. As someone who has spent a lot of time on the western side of the pond I would say that this is probably a good thing and will work out a lot better for the industry and the consumer in the long run.


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