UK retailer Game done in by digital distribution - Notch

Minecraft creator Markus Persson says United Kingdom specialty store's undoing an "unfortunate side effect" of digital distribution.

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Digital distribution led to the demise of United Kingdom specialty retailer Game, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson told GameSpot at a recent event.

Digital distribution brought down Game, according to Notch.

Responding to a question regarding Game, Persson explained that the proliferation of digital delivery services was a contributing factor to the company's current condition.

"I think [Game's closure] is an unfortunate side effect of digital distribution," he said. "And I think digital distribution is saving gaming. So I'm kind of torn. I think [Game's closure is] very sad, but I think it's also very fun. So it's hard to be happy or sad about it."

The digital market has been a boon for Persson and Mojang. Recent financial filings showed Mojang has hauled $80 million from Minecraft since October 2010.

The broadband gaming sector is also proving prosperous for established international brick-and-mortar retailer GameStop. Last week, the specialty retailer reported a 57 percent year-over-year surge in revenues from digital channels.

Discussion

103 comments
Carpe_Noctum
Carpe_Noctum

I highly doubt that Digital Distribution is what put an end to GAME. From what I have read that company had many issues. I don't really like Digital Distribution, except for small games I don't care much about, like Minecraft. I would much rather have a physical copy; hard drives crash, connections go out, can't lend or borrow gams, ect., not fun.

eelnarruc
eelnarruc

yes griffinballs,but there are an awful lot in the uk that do not have good connection speed and through no fault of their own. so digital distribution is not the saviour its made out to be. i would like to have a choice and not be forced into something that is all but unuseable for someone in my position. and if digital distribution throws up morons like this unpleasant 'notch' creature,id rather not be one of the faithful thanks.cheers

unreal_indy
unreal_indy

I'm so sick of these "says Notch" posts all over the net, like Notch is some sort of God. Whatever man >_>

unreal_indy
unreal_indy

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

GriffinBalls
GriffinBalls

@ratc1980 There are many around the UK with good internet connections. I can download a retail game in less than an hour if the speeds are maxed out, many can go even quicker. I would much rather download it than go to a shop. MGS4 may be 50gb, but most games fit on a standard dual layer dvd and so are under 8gb in size which really isn't that bad by todays standards.

ratc1980
ratc1980

Overrated game creator saying nonsense: since when are AAA hardcore games digitally popular? Only small, cheap games are being downloaded... because they aren't available in retail stores! Who on earth is willing to pay 60$ and wait days for downloading 50gb of MGS4?!!!

Taffelost
Taffelost

Journalists are crazy about this guy. They swarm after him because they know he will deliver another stupid quote if they have a 2 minute chat with him.

nyran125
nyran125

i dont give a sht, im not here to support the retailers.

Musicrab
Musicrab

Game done by digital distribution? No. Game were done by a combination of online competition and too many shops. The delivery partner change to Citipost and new website last summer killed whatever online sales profit they were making.

GriffinBalls
GriffinBalls

@naomha1 Whoa, I was only being facetious dude. I don't have any particular feelings toward Notch, don't like him, don't dislike him, definately don't like Minecraft though, but Notch may be a decent guy, I dunno. He got a lucky break with something people enjoy that he partially stole? Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerburg. Many people have stolen concepts and gotten rich, the 3 above aswell. They all got lucky breaks, and now look, 3 of the richest men to ever walk the planet.

xReikenx
xReikenx

Seems to me like this guy's clueless. Videogame Retailers are still doing fine and dandy in the states except maybe in the PC department because.. Well there's just so many more, convenient ways to get our games now that we'd only use them if they had some pre-order perk that caught our attention. What my EU friend told me is that GAME was essentially run by a bunch of scum that essentially told companies that they wouldn't sell their game if they didn't have exclusive rights to it with all the special pre-order dingies then essentially charged up to twice as much the actual cost to net themselves all sorts of extra profit, then EA and some other companies essentially took their bluff and they started dying real fast. In which case, they deserve to burn. It's nice to see corrupt businesses burn. It should happen more often.

payne6705
payne6705

I love Notch and minecraft, but he is just a indie dev who made a boatload of money from his hard work. That sadly doesn't mean he is a expert all of a sudden on the game's economy.

msilver67
msilver67

Seriously? Hi I'm Notch and not only am I a customer but the president..80 million and NO hair implants ( Quit Living In The 80's).

razgriz_101
razgriz_101

It wasnt DD that did them in, it was their uncompetative practices and high prices that killed them off. Notch should maybe do a tad more research into how and why they collapsed :P

daabulls23
daabulls23

I know Notch is very successful with Minecraft, but now he seems to be the go to guy for comments on any sort of gaming news. He thinks digital distribution is saving gaming? When was it going down in the first place?

naomha1
naomha1

@GriffinBalls I was talking about Notch actually breaking the hydrogen barrier, ie, converting water into energy, not running water into energy. The dude basically created virtual legos, yet a lot of people slather on his every dribbling of nonsense. He got a lucky break and helped create something a lot of people enjoy. However, that doesn't make him any kind of super sleuth into the inner workings of a mass media empire and its demise. It's sad, but it's fun. WTF? Dude, take 5k of that money you made, go fix your teeth, whiten them up a bit, go get a real hat (one that actually fits your super huge head and ego), go back to the drawing board and create something that you didn't partially steal. Minecraft, Scrolls. What's next for the man to take from someone else? Oh, wait, I know, how about a trading card game?

calvinsora
calvinsora

Man, I loved Game. Not that I live in the UK, but whenever I went there it was my number one destination. Great service, variety and overall accessibility. I think that physical distributors are crucial to the market rudiment, I won't be buying games much longer if it went completely digital.

ukogmickey
ukogmickey

I just liked going in the shops and having a poke around at the new stuff, and what I could get on the cheap, All the game shops are eventually going to go, and I think its shocking, Luckily I have a private one in my town who Im friends with, does good deals etc etc. I refuse to buy digital games and never will, But if the time comes where Im forced to do that then I wont bother anymore.

Chrispynutt
Chrispynutt

What rubbish. Game had a model that worked: Borrow money from banks to buy new release in mass. Get a bulk discount. Sell enough to pay back the bank plus interest. Then get the cream from used sales and the remaining stock. Then in September Game was no longer able to get that credit line that their business was built on. This meant they could no longer buy enough to get a good discount and also they needed to horde cash for releases. At the same time the Supermarkets smelt blood and either under value or in such bulk that weakened Game could not compete. And here is the result. If you want to see why the banks not lending at all is bad just look at game. Massive success to abject failure in 2 years.

eelnarruc
eelnarruc

what a nice man this 'notch' individual is.so he thinks its 'fun' that people are about to be slung out of their jobs? lovely man eh?

residude
residude

Really sad to see this, I always thought Game had fantastic customer service. One time that always stands out was when MW2 was set to launch. On that same week the UK postal service went on strike, however Game paid private couriers all over the country to get everyone's preorders to them the day before release. Top notch stuff, i shall certainly miss Game, looks like HMV is all we have left...

DitchyJ
DitchyJ

ahh game, back in the day i used to love going in and trading my games everytime I had a little bit of cash aswell. All the shelves stacked with loads of games that I just wanted to own...Adding points on to my card...and then over the years I jsut found myself going there less and less. Times are changing, and game just didnt keep with it.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Glad I'm not in the UK. looks like you got a raw deal over there.

nickyparmar92
nickyparmar92

GAME where too expensive, that's why they closed down.

Twilighten
Twilighten

Not just Digital Distribution, but online retailers as well. Retail store prices are too expensive in comparison!

GriffinBalls
GriffinBalls

@naomha1 Ummm, you're obviously not a fan of Hydro Electric Power then eh? Granted Notch aint necessarily done it, but its certainly been done for many years

GriffinBalls
GriffinBalls

DD is not big on consoles? Umm, can anybody say Xbox Live ARCADE?!?!?!?!!? Whilst that may not be your full priced games, that and the same on psn have taken money away from gamers who may have spent that money on retail games. Now you can just download a pretty good game for a cheap price and then getting a retail game goes on the back burner, you wait for the next AAA title whereas back in the day, who didn't have a few lemons in their collection? I personally cant stand Notch or Minecraft (played it once for about 20 mins then realise, I'm walking around, knocking blocks, screw this), but he's bang on the money. DD killed Game. CEX assisted, but to be fair, thats games fault, they could easily have undercut CEX. Game would only take trade ins, cex will give you cash, its a no brainer where you sell it, and then its down to store selection and since everyone is selling at CEX, they have to buy there too. And the reason large retailers no longer stock PC games is due to exactly that, digital distribution, no-one buys boxed games on pc, so why sell em? Which takes a chunk of game's profits out the picture in one foul swoop..

amar1234
amar1234

Game shutdown in uk cause theres a store called CEX in every high street. UK people will know what im talking about(its a trade store for games, they have huge ques every day, where as game is always quiet). Its nothing to do with DD. this guy is clueless about the UK market.

UndertheArchway
UndertheArchway

To be honest I think Notch is way off the point, digital distrubution has only been a major player in PC gaming, new console titles are very much still the property of brick and morter stores, the majority of large retailers these days don't even stock PC games anymore.

muzza93
muzza93

I love it when you buy a Pre-owned game and the previous owner never activated their online pass code :)

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@jamyskis Someone who isn't blinded by the hype!? HALLELUJAH! I thought I was the only person who realized that Steam only did so well because they had so many ridiculous, unsustainable sales.

Diamondsoulz
Diamondsoulz

I say do you play videogames for a fancy?

TJORLY
TJORLY

As many people said, DD is largely on the PC. Game sold mainly console games. Hell, I think the store near me doesn't even have a PC section anymore.

StarWatchers
StarWatchers

I don't dislike notch or anything but can you guys stop treating him like some game messiah. He made a game where you can build things with blocks and did pretty well for himself but you hang on his every word these days all I hear is Notch here, Notch said, Notch did.

Thigeic
Thigeic

DD is somewhat big on PC yes, consoles, not so much. Markus Persson once again comes with his great knowledge..

Tixylixx
Tixylixx

I never had a problem with Game's pricing and always ordered stuff from there because I knew it would be delivered fast. They also had the best pre order service where every time I ordered a game, it would come early, SWTOR came a few days early too! That said I buy all my PC games on Steam because it offers a better service than anything and I'd rather have all my games in one place.

jamyskis
jamyskis

@pelvist: It's not even that big on PC in Europe. A lot of the success has to do with Steam's prices. As soon as Steam stops these throwaway deals (an inevitable development in the long run as even if publishers don't get sick of games being devalued, competition authorities are bound to get involved), digital distribution will return to a niche market as it is on the consoles. Love your avatar by the way :-)

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Weren't they over-charging beyond the MSRP on their products? That's probably part of it...

paxis85
paxis85

what a load of whining lies. Digital distribution oh so DEFINITELY had nothing to do with it. In the EU territories digital distribution is a total joke. it's always at least 10 euro cheaper (think just over 15 dollars) to go buy it from the shop. The real reason Game shut down, from what I had seen had to do with their uncompetitive prices and bad marketing strategies. If you can't play the games by the same rules as everyone else just forfeit. I'm glad they did.

BZSIN
BZSIN

Their ridiculous prices and sheer number of stores had a lot more to do with it.

master_foam
master_foam

just putting this out there, I stopped going to game because they are overpriced.. I prefer to pick games up on the day at kmart for $75

pelvist
pelvist

Digital distribution is only really big on PC. Apart from small titles on XBL or PSN video Game stores are packed with mainly console games with a little shelf for a few PC games. IF Digital distribution is what killed GAME then that doesnt say much for console game sales and says a lot for PC software sales.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@Scarab83 Agreed. There's millions of people every day making patently ignorant statements, and I swear before it's all done, GameSpot will have written an article with a quote from all of them.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

@naomha1 AGREED. The guy got lucky off of repackaging Infiniminer, that is ALL. Minecraft is a great success story, but it doesn't grant Notch any real expertise.

Scarab83
Scarab83

Why are you blaming Notch for making an off-hand comment? How about blaming GameSpot for writing a whole article about it.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

Soooo, people don't want discs, eh? It's got nothing to do with the fact that GAME had so many stores you could throw rocks at one from another? Or the fact that they focused on the biggest names to the exclusion of all else, and so were reamed when supermarkets started selling games? And I imagine their crazy expansion into Portugal, Spain and Australia had nothing to do with it? Why are one-time-wonders like this given so much credence, especially when the UK runs 25th in terms of "broadband" connectivity in Europe, with only 30% of the "empire" with speeds faster than 5Mbps as of October 2011? http://www.itpro.co.uk/636979/uk-broadband-speeds-ranked-25th-in-europe How slow a news day does it have to be?

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

No, GAME just isn't a very good shop.

StrangeQuark42
StrangeQuark42

Why is there a whole story for one, less-than-exciting comment notch made? i like notch but, i feel like there are 3 postings for this one 3 minute interview. is gamespot having some communication issues?

dragondoom01
dragondoom01

Why is it that every time this guy speaks gamespot has to report it. Hes not a good developer, he just got lucky on one (stolen) idea. Stop reporting on opinions dangit!

nate1222
nate1222

@moonlightwolf01 Steam already has competition. Chiefly, it's GOG.com. GOG started out carrying older PC games, fully patched for the new OSes and everything. Now GOG is carrying newer games. Even Amazon is getting in on the action: http://www.amazon.com/Game-Downloads/b/ref=sa_menu_gdown8?ie=UTF8&node=979455011 I don't mind digital distribution. As a retro gamer, it's the only way of securing backward compatibility with my old favs. The reason I now own a PSP is because PSN allows you to deactivated your account on your old hardware and reactivate it on your new hardware in order to keep your digital games purchases. You can only have your PSN account active on 2 pieces of hardware at a time. But you can transfer your account between a dozens of pieces of hardware. I wish console makers would've started doing that sooner. It would've saved us (consumers) a whole lotta headache.