We've recently entered the summer drought; the barren, hot part of the year where we have to rely on sporadic releases and Indie games to pick up the slack. However, even considering the natural decrease in games sales during this horrible period, the UK boxed games retail market has suffered an enormous slump over the last month - causing many to wonder whether the decline has more to do with aggressive online price wars and the continuing upswing of digital distribution platforms. That, and the fact that no-one has any money yet. Details below.
According to GFK Chart-Track (via MCV), UK traditional retail has suffered a huge sales slump compared to this time last year. Last month only managed to spin up £44.76 million in boxed game sales, which is 26.4% lower compared to last July. 2,327,966 games were sold at retail - a noticable decrease of 20% year-on-year. These figures are expected to be lower than usual due to the lack of new games releasing in the summer months, but it's bizarre to see sales drop so low in comparison to a year that was more keenly affected by the credit crunch.
With publishers doing their best to squeeze out pre-owned sales and digital distribution platforms on an inexorable march to glory, UK retail could be in for a seriously rough few years. With any luck, the holiday rush will boost things somewhat - or force retailers to evolve with the times. At least Zumba Fitness has been making them enough money to stay afloat... [MCV]