Crappy Retail Market Sends PC Publishers Digital
Focus Home Interactive, the France-based publisher responsible for Cities XL 2011, lamented the difficulties in publishing PC titles in traditional retail stores.
“It was impossible for us to secure a strong place at retail because of difficulties with distributors and the extremely unfavourable conditions of the PC market,” Focus Home CEO Cédric Lagarrigue said. “It has become very difficult to sell a good PC title there.”
Most retail PC games sections have been reduced to a lame wire rack or a sub-section of a shelf next to copies of Rosetta Stone, so it’s not entirely surprising that a publisher would be sore about the state of PC games at retail.
“If people can’t find a product they want in stores, they will buy online. It is the same in the US, where PC does not have the place at retail that it had before. It was no surprise when NPD announced in September digital sales had exceeded that of boxed product for the first time,” Lagarrigue said.
According to Lagarrigue, crappy retail sales are more or less correspondent to its retail presence.
“If the same study were undertaken in England, I’m sure you would arrive at the same conclusions,” Lagarrigue said. “In territories like France or Germany, where PC games have a better place in stores, digital accounts for only 15 per cent of the total sales.”
Hard to argue with that, since I recently went to Best Buy to get Fallout: New Vegas for PC – only to find it wasn’t even there.