Playing Nice: EB vs. Aussie game publishers

We look at reports of a growing rift between Australian game publishers and the country's largest specialist game retailer EB Games.

by

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Video game retail in Australia is under threat. The gradual shift away from established business models toward alternative platforms and delivery channels has changed the way that video games are sold, paving the way for a new generation of consumers fighting for a faster, cheaper, and more efficient way of doing things.

As the local market struggles to adapt to a global decline in physical game sales, the rise of digital distribution, increased online and mobile revenue, and more independent, confident consumers, reports of a growing rift between Australian game publishers and the country's largest specialist game retailer, EB Games, threatens to impact the long-term viability of video game retail in Australia, and with it the future of the local gaming industry.

In this feature, GameSpot will investigate the reasons behind the reported breakdown in communication between some local game publishers and EB, and how this asserted schism is affecting retailers, publishers, and consumers in Australia.

***

EB Games is Australia's largest specialist video game retailer, a position that has given the company the power to affect the way that Australian game publishers price, distribute, and market video games in the local market.

From an economic point of view, EB's business is stable. The retailer is currently operating just over 400 stores in Australia and New Zealand, and continues to grow its store presence across the two regions.

According to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) annual report, lodged by EB Games' parent company GameStop in March this year, EB achieved total sales of US$604.7 million in Australia and New Zealand in the fiscal year ending January 28, 2012, an increase of 7 percent year on year from 2011. The business also experienced a sales increase in the preceding 2010-11 period, with a revenue increase of 6.6 percent.

Several sources in the Australian video game industry who wish to remain anonymous have said that EB's position in the local market reflects this outlook. According to these sources, the retailer reportedly controls roughly 35-40 percent market share.

However, EB's dominance in the Australian retail market comes at a time of industry-wide uncertainty regarding the future of physical games. Figures showing a 19.5 percent year-on-year decline of physical game sales in the Australian market mirror similar reports from the US, European, and Japanese markets, which collectively show that the global video game retail market has suffered three consecutive years of software sale declines, a trend that many market analysts blame on an uncommonly long console cycle that has produced far too few new intellectual properties to bolster consumer interest.

The effect on the Australian game retail market--small by comparison to that of the US, Europe, or Japan--has been disastrous. In March this year, UK video game retailer Game Group--which runs both GAME and Gamestation stores in the UK and mainland Europe--went into administration. The Australian branch of the business quickly followed, shutting down all of its Australian stores and letting go more than 280 employees.

GAME's fate in Australia secured EB Games as the largest specialist video game retailer in the country, a position that has landed the retailer in trouble with Australian video game publishers, who claim that EB has taken unfair advantage of its position, particularly in regards to grey importing.

Speaking under the condition of anonymity, several sources working for different game publishers in Australia accused EB of "bully tactics". One source close to a local publisher claimed that the publisher was forced to downsize its Australian business due to reduced local sales as a direct result of EB and other game retailers grey importing in the Australian market. In another instance, several sources currently working for different Australian-based publishers described different exchanges in which EB allegedly told some publishers to lower the selling price of their games or risk EB walking away from the deal, or instances in which EB allegedly demanded an exclusive offer under the threat that if publishers did not comply, EB would grey import the games in question.

As a business measure, grey importing involves the acquisition and sale of goods through unofficial--although not illegal--channels. In the game retail market, this means the sale of game stock obtained from other countries instead of local video game publishers and distributors, often at a cheaper price. Money saved through grey importing certain stock also allows some game retailers to attract more customers through lower prices, a measure that has become particularly widespread in Australia, where consumer business is dominated by one or two specialist game retailers, and not all international publishers are represented (so while publishers like Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA, and Activision have a local Australian presence, other publishers like Capcom and Valve do not.)

Grey importing has reportedly been a point of dispute between Australian game publishers and EB Games since the retailer confirmed earlier this year that it is importing overseas video game stock to sell in its Australian stores.

"There are rare times when stocking product from a local vendor is not a feasible option, and stock needs to be obtained elsewhere," EB Games told GameSpot in May. "This is something that our vendor partners are aware of."

While grey importing has advantages like lower prices and earlier release dates, the practice of importing video game stock from overseas can have a severely negative impact on video game publishers and distributors operating in Australia. For example, if a publisher cannot sell a game to a local retailer, it can mean that the game will receive no international support from the publisher; no localised special editions, no visiting developers, no local community events or support.

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA), which represents Australia's video game publishers and distributors, looks upon grey importing with a sceptical eye, saying that the practice takes away from locally generated revenue.

"Wholesale parallel importing does have a direct impact on local publishers, distributors, and the companies who support them," iGEA CEO Ron Curry told GameSpot in May.

"The revenues generated locally support not only local employment, but fund marketing, in-store displays, advertising, classification obligations, etc. Without this local level of support, retailers in Australia will see a direct impact on their business, as will consumers and other local businesses who survive by supporting the Australian video game industry."

A source who works for an international game publisher in Australia refuted EB's earlier claims that the retailer told publishers about its grey-importing measures. According to the source's own experience with EB, the retailer does not inform publishers about its intentions to grey import video game stock from other territories. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, the source said that grey-importing measures employed by EB and other game retailers in Australia leave publishers with an increasing amount of unsold stock and less profit to operate on.

Australian retailer JB Hi-Fi also confirmed its grey-importing measures in May, telling GameSpot that it orders some of its popular video game stock from overseas in order to provide consumers with a more competitive price on games. However, the retailer did not provide a comment when asked by GameSpot about whether its grey-importing measures are communicated to video game publishers and distribution partners in Australia.

While JB Hi-Fi declined to comment further on its relationship with game publishers and distributors in Australia--telling GameSpot that the information is regarded as "commercially sensitive"--the majority of sources who spoke to GameSpot for this story claimed that JB Hi-Fi maintains a good working relationship with game publishers in Australia. The same sources also reported that JB's grey-importing practices have less of an economic impact on game publishers than those of EB.

***

Grey importing is not the only sore point for the Australian game publishers that GameSpot spoke to where EB is concerned.

The same sources also described numerous instances in which EB allegedly demanded exclusive content from publishers when ordering a particular game, a demand that, according to the sources, must be financed out of the publisher's own pocket, which can often prove to be expensive.

The practice of demanding or requesting exclusive content from game publishers is one that, according to US industry-specific market research firm Electronic Entertainment Design and Research's (EEDAR) Jesse Divnich, is an industry standard.

"I wouldn't say EB Games or GameStop are threatening anyone," Divnich told GameSpot. "It is definitely in the best interest of both the developer and publisher to create awareness and buzz via exclusive in-game content. When a retailer controls more than 30 percent of the physical distribution market, it should be expected that they request certain advantages, especially for GameStop, who has the most hardcore and loyal consumers."

Speaking to GameSpot for this article, EB merchandising director Shane Stockwell said the retailer's current relationship with video game publishers in Australia is "excellent".

"We pride ourselves on working hard to find win-win outcomes for EB Games and the local publishers," Stockwell told GameSpot."We work with very long lead times with publishers on almost every product. It helps being a specialist, as we love what we do and we understand what is important in regards to content and packaging."

Referring to its current position in the market (but refusing to disclose the exact market share percentage that EB currently holds), Stockwell said that EB's pre-orders for the upcoming period are at record levels. According to Stockwell, this is a result of the retailer's focus on growing its digital channels and continued focus on its pre-owned business, which he said is important to the overall health of the video game industry.

While a lot of sources that GameSpot spoke to for this article wished to remain anonymous, Mike Westrup, the managing director of New Zealand-based consumer electronics distributor Monaco, agreed to speak on the record about his company's relationship with EB Games. Monaco was once one of the largest video game distributors in New Zealand, looking after publishers like Sega, Nintendo, THQ, Ubisoft, and Disney.

In March 2011, Monaco made the sudden announcement that it would be exiting the video game distribution market altogether. While the company did not provide a reason for its sudden departure at the time, Westrup now says that the company's relationship with EB Games was one of the reasons why Monaco exited the gaming market.

"We never had a favourable working relationship with EB," Westrup told GameSpot. "They are difficult to work with. They use their position in the gaming market to get their own way. They're successful, too, because they employ bully tactics."

According to Westrup, EB refused to pay Monaco for gaming products that the retailer had already received and sold, until Monaco could provide EB with a further discount.

"We had already given them [EB] help in clearing slow-selling product," Westrup said. "So we demanded payment, which we eventually received. We had great relationships with major retailers in both New Zealand and Australia, so why give a bully like EB such a huge advantage over their competitors?"

Westrup said EB approached Monaco's gaming suppliers, who then withdrew their support from Westrup's company. With Monaco's distribution margins unable to support further discounts, the distributor decided to bow out of the gaming market.

"The gaming division was a low return on investment division within the group," Westrup said. "EB simply brought forward the decision to exit."

GameSpot approached EB for comment following Monaco's claims about EB's conduct. The retailer had this to say:

"Monaco is a distributor for many products and companies, most of which are not video game-related, and many of whom have changed over the years," EB regional director for Australia and New Zealand Michael Stocker told GameSpot.

"Monaco blaming their failure to make a successful business of distributing one product type on a single customer--as you have claimed--is disingenuous in the extreme. I think Monaco's failures in this area of business have more to do with them than their customers. For the record, EB Games denies any wrongdoing in their relationship with Monaco."

The accusations levelled at EB Games lead to questions surrounding the nature of relationships between game retailers and game publishers. Why are they so important? Does a game retailer like EB have a responsibility to look out for and protect the interests of local game publishers and distributors as well as its own? Or is it within every business' right to safeguard its own interests above all else?

iGEA's Ron Curry said the whole industry model disintegrates when publishers and retailers stop working together.

"Though not without its tensions, which is expected in a competitive environment, the whole distribution chain exists for a common goal: to get games into the hands of consumers as efficiently and effectively as possible," Curry told GameSpot. "This is only possible with a shared respect for each other's part in the chain."

***

It's not just EB that's being blamed for contributing to this growing rift between Australian game retailers and publishers.

A former EB Games member of staff who wished to remain anonymous observed the breakdown in relationships between EB and local game publishers and distributors while still working for the retailer. However, the source said it was game publishers, not EB, that first put strains on the partnership.

"As EB's position in the market grew (both in revenue and in the number of stores it opened across Australia), so too did their business with local game publishers," the source told GameSpot. "But the publishers soon became uncomfortable with EB handling such a large percentage of their stock."

The source said that game publishers in Australia began to offer other Australian retailers special deals without telling EB, gradually trying to increase their profits by pushing up the cost price of games to a recommended retail price (RRP) of A$109 or greater, a move that had the potential to cut into EB's own profit margins at a time when the acceptable street price for games was below A$99.95. (The source said EB was used to paying publishers A$68 to A$78 for games with an RRP of around A$99.)

"This wasn't very fair to EB. In all the time I was there, EB didn't demand anything outside of what anyone else was getting due to their size, and suddenly, they were being blindsided. It created a real feeling of frustration between EB and the publishers."

The source also said that EB had strict policies regarding grey importing, considering it as an option only when a particular game was unavailable in Australia. The source said that this policy was driven by EB's desire to protect its relationship with local publishers, something that may have disintegrated.

But while the source defended EB's core values as a company, they believe that the retailer could be doing more to patch up this relationship.

"There's still a chance to mend this relationship. Publishers should communicate equally and fairly to each retailer, and EB should be open to working with them."

The former EB employee said that the future of game publishers in the Australian market is "entirely dependent" on their ability to maintain a healthy and amicable working relationship with a specialist retailer like EB, whose position in the market is strengthening. For its part, EB must recognise that it has a key role to play if any reconciliation is to be attempted.

"Publishers have to stop acting like they're dealing with the devil, and recognise that what is happening is in fact a commercial reality: EB will survive in the market no matter what happens. It has a business model that can adapt to anything. Whether they'll be selling games, or whether games will only make up 30 percent of EB's business in 10 years' time depends on the market.

"Both parties have to sit down, shake hands, and work out a solution. It can be done."

Most of the industry sources who spoke to GameSpot for this story agreed on the fact that EB Games needs to work alongside--not against--video game publishers to find a viable solution for moving forward: things like sharing marketing costs, finding a way to reach out to consumers together, and helping each other overcome the falling video game retail market.

The future of the Australian gaming industry depends on it.

'

Discussion

0 comments
phatbass82
phatbass82

Great article.

 

It still amazes me that people haven't woken up to the fact that EB Games are ripping off the consumer like there's no tomorrow. I believe the only reason to pay full retail at EB Games is for the major titles for midnight launches. They definitely have the monopoly on the midnight launches of major titles/consoles.

 

95% of the time for me it is either Big W or JB Hifi where I get my games from.

 

Honestly, I hope in the future, even 10 years down the track, I still can buy my games from a bricks and mortar shop - paying full price for digital content without media is just wrong. Here I thought if I went media-less I would save money - that's not the case from what i've seen (outside of the PC gaming market).

Plataea
Plataea

Games tend to be much more expensive in Australia than overseas.  Why should we in Australia pay much more for the same games that cost much less overseas?  If prices remain artificially high here, Australians can buy their games overseas using the internet.  If grey importing is the only way to get those prices down at local retailers, then it is probably necessary.  If Australian game publishers are charging excessively high prices, then they're not acting honestly.  Still, it's odd that EB Game's prices remain so high on many games if they're using grey importing.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

To be quite frank, and I really hate saying this, I'm with EB Games on this one (And I haven't bought anything at EB Games for 2 years now).

 

If they can grey-import stock at a cheaper price than the local distributors/publishers, it means that the local distributors/publishers are over-charging for their stock and artificially inflating the prices. Hell, if the publishers are charging $70 to $80 for a game, as stated in the article, how can EB Games sell it for less? Since so many gamers are turning to Amazon/EBay/other online stores to get games at $60 and lower, they'd have to grey-import to compete.

 

We should all be screaming at the publishers to stop charging so much for their stock, and start charging the normal price, to allow local retailers to compete and drop their prices to match international ones.

 

Strange to read the comments and realise how many people just don't get what's happening, and who they should be raging at.

andytisnt
andytisnt

ive wrote a few comments below, on other peoples comments, but i wish we could purchase games directly from the publisher, cut out the middle man and give the publisher a bit of extra $$$$$$$$, although it may not help casual gamers who dont really know whats coming out and by who.

xGarrettThiefX
xGarrettThiefX

EB games has been raping us for years now. Enough is enough I say.

xDeadMarchx
xDeadMarchx

I consider $40 to be too much for a game, yet that's how much profit EB makes off of retail price alone o_0

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

so EB games is an unstoppable beast in australia destroying anyone in it's path?

oh well..tough luck for anyone else.

Cobretti1818
Cobretti1818

Local games in Australia are too expensive.

EB Games are the worst game retailer in Australia.

 

That is all.

macca366
macca366

I haven't bought any from EB Games in years, they're always so expensive, even compared to JB-HIFI. I just go to independent games stores, one in the city here in Melbourne literally has Halo 4 going for $54 new. EB overprices their games, but maybe local publishers do need to lower their prices to compete with cheaper overseas imports. Or maybe australian publishers should band together and open their own chain of software stores

shashankkaul
shashankkaul

This is the same with every other imported item. The wholesaler/distributor charge a massive markup. The store adds their own markup to that.

 

Personally i don't care if its a grey, blue or red import, as long as its the same game, it works locally and its legal. Its the final price that is the deciding factor in where i buy from.

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

I don't know a thing about the Australian retail game market.  Oh wait, I mean I didn't know a thing about it until I read this article.  Thanks for the interesting read.  I'd say we're spoiled here in the US but I suppose we have our own issues to contend with.  At least AU finally overcame that whole censorship hurdle, right?

brucies_bubbles
brucies_bubbles

I'd rather buy games from JB Hifi. Games are generally cheaper by $20-30 for new releases. Example, Teken Tag 2 EB $99 - JB Hifi $77. Skylanders 2 EB $130 - JB Hifi $100. Prices are in NZ $

timoe14
timoe14

worst article ever. i love to hate EB as much as anyone else but certainly not for the reasons given. every big company in the world puts pressure on their suppliers to deliver cheaper. that's normal. if local publishers refuse to offer prices that are competitive with those overseas than they should fail. that's business. why all this backwards protectionism? why do companies have to tell their suppliers where they are buying from? "The future of the Australian gaming industry depends on it." give me a break!

Aragorn823
Aragorn823

Sounds like a lot of controversy.. I recently bought from EB and some research also found some games cheaper but mostly more expensive than JB Hifi.. thanks for talking about OzGameShop guys.. now I can have a look and see what it's all about.. although EB does have exclusive stuff for new games that would tempt you.. even though expensive yes.. though if ordering online.. one thing I hate is waiting in line outside the post office for who knows how long to collect my items..

tgwolf
tgwolf

I imagine they are well aware of how the store makes smoothies out of their customers when it comes to trade-in policies, as if publishers these days have any regard for their fans beyond the depth of their wallets...

Falzonn
Falzonn

Good article.  Even though I do not live in Australia or NZ, we have EB Games here in Canada.  EB prices (at least in Ontario), although a few bucks higher, are -relatively- in line with that of American ones.  Non-collectors edition games nowadays usually vary from $59.99 to $69.99. 

 

In the past couple years, you can often get a new boxed pc game for $49.99-$59.99.  Now, I figure it's just  retailers and publishers trying to milk the larger console fanbase, but I do wonder if this is a worldwide trend.  Does such happen in Au/NZ?

The only major issue I've ever really had with EB games is their infamous used game business which (like that of GameStop), offers the 'low low' discount of $5 off a new title.  Pfft, I'd rather buy it new & support the publisher & dev.. 

 

Aussie gamers seem to be getting the shaft.  I do not know the business practices of places such as OzGameShop I've seen people mention, but if their prices are so low, how do more people not shop there?

jerrysnook
jerrysnook

Ugh! This article really shows the hassles and difficulties Australian gamers face. The whole "grey import" thing seems to be a reflection of a business that isn't matching reality: If it's cheaper to import and sell through a grey market, then the traditional market needs to change to be more in-line with reality.

King9999
King9999

This is why more publishers need to offer their games digitally.  Those shelves give EB Games a lot of power.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

So it console makers enforce region locking games in the future we can blame Australia...

NeoGhostz
NeoGhostz

Laura,

This is a disgusting article that highlights the sheer tenacity of publishers, distributors and retail alike in that the consumer comes last. Im sorry but to prop either publishers or retail as saviours and an industry worth keeping is terrible.

 

If you'd look at other traditional industries that are struggling to understand that giving your consumers freedom in delivery and consumption at an appropriate price then you'll survive, otherwise they'll end up like the various media companies that are dying a slow death like Fairfax and News Limited Media. The likes of Steam, Desudra, iTunes and other online distribution systems represent greater consumer support, flexibility and ease of use. 

 

The retail industry is a traditional middleman that merely takes its cut for very little benefit to end consumers. I can only see this article represented a vested interest in maintaining your own job and CBS's attempts to hold a greater reach for its advertising space. To be honest the local employment that any of you add is of little value to the great economy nor the end consumer against the advantages of Steam and co.

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

Why resort to guerilla tactics when it is the people choice on how they want their product delivered. EB like so many other businesses should have seen the writing on the wall as soon as the internet evovled from low-band to high-band enabling products that are capable of being delivered digitally not just in physical form. EB is fighting a losing battle and should figure out a way to work with what is happening today and not try to bully.

CraigNinten
CraigNinten

Hi EB and other game publishers, f**** you and your cheap tactics. I haven't physically visit any game store for years, and I still able to keep my library fresh. They can only rip us off for so long, soon in the age of globalisation, their tactics will no longer work and they will be forced to treat us with respect.

joju_australia
joju_australia

simple: they wont make money going into game selling!..it will become a normal business plan

HSV002
HSV002

Paying $108 is absolute garbage for any game, what gets me is they try to gouge the unsuspecting customer for it as well. Always check Harvey Norman or JB's website before going there so as to not get yourself bent over unsuspectedly, or if you can handle the wait ozgameshop.com is about the best for online purchasing.

 

Anyone else use other websites for online purchasing?

leeroy62
leeroy62

What really gets me, is the sales EB have commonly, the buy one get one free offers. The game prices happen to be full price, and the previous week those games were half that price. I have seen it many times, and even proved it with specific games, and of course get the standard response, its another sale we are having. I understand I dont have to buy there, no one does, but they have such deceptive tactics quite often. I really liked GAME, they commonly had genuine sales, top line titles reduced, and better specials. I, like many of you guys shop commonly at ozgameshop.com or zavvi.com, both are brilliant price wise and charge nothing or 99p for postage, which is a steal!

davedrastic
davedrastic

"the retailer confirmed earlier this year that it is importing overseas video game stock to sell in its Australian stores."

 

I confirmed that on Gamespot about 2 years ago.

 

Grey importing is utterly and entirely legal. If the publishers don't like it, that's their problem. Perhaps they need to come up with a solution themselves. I can't imagine that a solution isn't  perfectly viable. If they can make / print games in the UK then add on delivery costs to Australia and still be significantly cheaper than Australian publisher prices then something is clearly wrong. Even if the argument is that printing games is more expensive in Australia because of higher wages, then get them printed in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam. We have lots of low cost labour neighbours.

 

What isn't perfectly fine, is advertising a game as an Australian classified game, and then selling / supplying a non Region 4 game with a sticker slapped on it. THAT IS WRONG AND SHOULD BE STOPPE.D. 

 

It's disgusting that so many major retailers have been getting away with that for years - very much including EB Games - it's certainly no revelation to hear that they've recently confirmed this practice. It's a shame that JB seem to be doing this too. Selling grey import games cheaper is great, but they have to be honest and clear about it - they cannot continue to portray the items as genuine Australian products when they are not.

 

EB Games will soon be a dead duck. It's just a matter of time. I find it difficult to believe that EB is supported by hardcore gamers. I'd be thinking that hardcore gamers are more inclinced to use Steam. or one of the multiple online retailers that will sell the item for far less than EB will.Or JB.

 

On top of that, EB games offers a dreadful customer service experience. The culture of EB Games is warped and seems to be aggressive towards customers - hardcore gamer customers.And trying to find items is a waste of time. What's the point of seeing a great price for a pre-owned item on their website for it never to be in stock. It just becomes a frustration and I personally can't be bothered anymore.

 

EB still has the occassional good sale item but this is becoming increasingly rare, and as someone that loves looking in game stores I find it hard to make myself entire an EB store anymore.

franzito
franzito

The consequences of the Captalism are here. You ready?

bahamut_au
bahamut_au

I read several mentions of "win-win" goals for publishers and retailers with NO benefits for the consumers. Publishers AND retailers are extremely anti-consumer right now, between invasive DRM, disc-locked DLC, grossly-inflated prices of digitally-distributed titles and DLC (e.g. $15 for BF3 expansions in the US, $24 for Australians), and "exclusive content" that EB holds ransom through retailer AND pre-order exclusive content. The publishers are getting screwed by EB, and in turn they pass it onto us the consumers. A plague on both their houses.

kordy6
kordy6

EB are the biggest rip offs ever, they price ALL there games high as to rip off unsuspecting or unaware customers.

the only time i buy something off them is when i want to return it within 7 days and even then i will make sure its price matched. i was there yesterday when a friend of mine was in line to pay for assassins creed 3 for $99 and he was very happy when i told him to walk 2 minutes up the road and pay $69 and thats what he did!!  so SUCK MY BALLS EB, everything goes in a cycle and while your number 1 now it does not take long for a disrespectful company like yours to be in liquidation and i believe this is what will eventually happen. HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME YOU BULLY BOY RIP OFF MERCHANTS!!!!!!

AceBalls
AceBalls

Excellent article. EB can eat my ass.

andytisnt
andytisnt

 @xGarrettThiefX yeh man everyone has been using jbhifi locally or buying from the UK or Ebay, time for them to lower prices, they make a killing anyway expecially with game australia closed

natalieyan
natalieyan

 @xDeadMarchx no, the mark-up that EB sets is 200%, which is why many games from EB are sold at $89 or $108, but in JB only sold at $69 or $79

bahamut_au
bahamut_au

 @jimrhurst The same thing happens in the US as well. This is why you guys have to pay $60 for games on Steam when the costs of distribution aren't anywhere NEAR the same as the costs of selling the boxed product. You also have to contend with all the retailer-exclusive BS as well. It's a battle we're all in the crosshairs of. :(

andytisnt
andytisnt

 @Falzonn  sorry man its not the case here games roughly sell at 99-108 on reliease, and its not that australias living standards are that high, its inline with the US and canada with a slightly greater dollar than the US At the moment, rediculous prices , second hand games / used games are being sold with a 250% mark up .....

jmic75
jmic75

 @Falzonn The extra, usually 10 bucks, on console games is to offset the price that console makers (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) charge publishes in order to license the game to be on their console. Now if the PC game is the same price as it's console counterpart, thats where publishers are just gouging(usually EA, Bethesda and Activision go for 59.99; while Ubisoft, 2K, Square-Enix/Eidos hit the 49.99 price point)  

 

It's very nice for our dollar to be on par with the USD, having to pay 10 extra bucks was a real drag.

 

Yeah I refuse to buy used at EB Games, 5 bucks off a new game isn't enough for me to justify the developers getting nothing. 

CraigNinten
CraigNinten

 @davedrastic well said, I only occasionally visit EB for used hardware, and that was long ago. Never brought any software from them, too expensive.

timoe14
timoe14

 @AceBalls u r missing the other point of the article. EB = bad & publishers = good. everyone knows EB is not good, but u cant assume the publishers are good just because they are having a problem with EB

xGarrettThiefX
xGarrettThiefX

 @andytisnt I used to go to this little games store that stocked everything from game cubes,n64s , sony playstations, dreamcasts, x360, ps3's and all of the respective games that went with these newer and older consoles. It was a reasonably priced and fantastic shop...until i turned up one day and he had a going out of business sign tacked onto his front window which read "Going out of business sale due to EB Games having opened up around the corner" and sure enough when i walked around the corner there it was. Fuck EB games.

andytisnt
andytisnt

 @natalieyan  @xDeadMarchx  exactly bro, i think we need to spread the word and stop buying from EB or even forcing them to pricematch competitors such as JBHIFI in order to make them restructure their business model.

macca366
macca366

 @10knuckles01  @macca366 Its along Elizabeth street, called 'Dungeon Crawl'. Just google the name to get their website, you can order online if you want too

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@adam1808@timoe14

I'm more shocked at the amount of readers who just jump on the "HATE EB GAMES" train and apparently don't comprehend what the article was about.

 

Simple fact - if a retailer (Or you) can grey-import (Red/Pink/Blue/whichever) for cheaper than the local distributor sells the exact same stock, it means that the local distributor is overcharging. If the local distributor charged competitive prices for their stock, importing it yourself would be more expensive than buying locally, and there wouldn't be a problem.

 

Hell, if the amounts quoted in the article are true, our local distributors are charging $70 for a game that retails overseas for $50, and that's at the distributor level, the retailer still adds their markup to that as well.

 

The distributors would rather whine about the "death of an industry" than to start competing.

 

PS - To the other readers saying to go to JB, if you're buying at JB HiFi, you're also buying grey-imports, read the article...

 

phatbass82
phatbass82

 @macca366  @10knuckles01 Dungeon Crawl is the very definition of "Grey Importing". None of their stock comes from Australia. I still love that store!