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Pachter Says “The UK Games Market Is A Joke”


Famed Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has told Digital Spy that he believes that the UK games market is a joke. The UK games market has suffered enormously over the past few years with a number of leading retailers claiming bankruptcy including GAME, HMV and Blockbuster, and the refusal of GameStop to expand into the market. Here’s what Pachter had to say about the volatile market.

“The UK games retail market is a joke, with retailers pricing below cost to drive traffic.”.

“That’s great for consumers, but retailers can’t make any money on games, hence the bankruptcies of GAME, HMV and Blockbuster, and the refusal of GameStop to expand into the market.”

65 thoughts on “Pachter Says “The UK Games Market Is A Joke””

    1. lol @ “Famed Wedbush Morgan” XDDDD I love that on every single article this site post about this guy XDDD its the only good part.

        1. Just don’t buy them at that price. I don’t. Voting with your wallet is the best way to give them the finger and tell them to fuck off.

    1. Can’t always blame prices. I mean we pay like $5 a gallon for gas over here in the U.S, but in Qatar they pay like $.5… Yet people still buy gas in America.

      1. Wait… You’re complaining about paying $5. for approximately 4 litres of fuel ? Unleaded (e10) fuel sits around the $1.30 – $1.40 per litre here in NSW Australia (in capital cities). Quit complaining !

  1. for once he’s right, there aren’t enough proper gamers here, if its not fifa, COD its gonna struggle, unless its sold to a core, as in mario etc.

      1. shows its the truth! i almost don’t see these a true games, in that, they are just war/footy sims. but a game is a game! i just think, these people probably wouldn’t have a clue how to play any other genre. if you took out all those who just use ps360 for either fifa or COD, there would be a huge difference in the success of the ps360 consoles, especially in the uk. and, before i get complaints, i KNOW there are real games who play these games too. so chilllax. :)

        1. I just started working in Maplins and I thought it would be a given that every person in there played computer games but what shocked me is that they only seem to either play COD or Fifa. I agree with you COD and Fifa aren’t in my opinion real games, at least not any more! We must be the only people in the UK that like playing other games

    1. Yeah but the funny part is he didn’t even mention what you said. He blamed it on not allowing Gamestop into the market… it is SOOOO much more than that!

  2. For once I agree. I don’t know about prices but all of my friends literally only buy the new FIFA and the new call of duty regardless of which system they own and that is it. Seems like that is all the majority of people here care about

    1. I completely agree. I used to live there and it was FIFA, COD, FIFA, COD with the occasional other things. When I lived there, I’d buy a Pro Evolution Soccer every few years, like I had 05, 08 and just got 13. But buying it every year means there’s very little difference each time other than graphics.

  3. Dear Kettle,
    You’re black.

    Seriously though…the reason HMV took a dive for a while was because of the rise of the digital music industry, like iTunes and Amazon music, which now accounts for a fifth of all music purchases in the UK. It was also their reluctance to adapt to a changing market – their online store used to compete with Amazon very well, but they introduced a “Buy online, collect in store” thing which resulted in them raising the online prices to match in-store. That didn’t do them any good either.

    Both GAME and HMV have been bought out since entering administration. However, their problem wasn’t selling so cheaply that they were running at a loss like Pachter claims – it was their unwillingness to adapt to the rivalling online market, thus they lost customers who could get the same game online for £10 less. Obviously they have more overheads than an online retailer does (like rent and wages) but they should have and still should try, to get more incentives to get people buyings. Things like in-store limited editions, bundles, steelbooks, pre-order bonuses etc.

  4. Makes me laugh, he has no idea and always talks crap.
    Maybe if Game didn’t buy Gamestation we would still have a good competitive market with well priced games. However Game and Blockbuster charge 1.5x the amount they should for a game that can be bought cheaper at stores like Asda (which is pathetic).

    Just look at how nicely CEX are operating and how much profit Gamestation could of pulled from the used game market. Greedy businesses like this need to go, i feel sorry for the employee’s that are affected but i know for a fact that they themselves see their business as a greedy overpriced logo.

    I also think games should not be priced at £40 to £50 brand new. Its a disc worth 10p, with about 20% locked content (technically illegal here in the UK as it is your property and yours unlock for free), and a box worth 15p. Printing, labels, security, delivery and data transfer including production should cost with everything else (development + marketing etc would total a min at £20,000).
    So if you do the math;- You’d only need to sell 500 to break even at £40 (that includes labour, development and the above listed etc). But companies like Game would need a cut so add 5% to 10% extra and thats where it would sound reasonable.

    However, realistically they sell about 5,000 copies at the least for a naff game which would be £4.00 per game. Where the hell the rest of the money goes i have no idea as expansion does not cost a bomb and if your game becomes a hit you’ll just earn more.

  5. I…… agree? o_O this may be an interesting day, or not, i guess is normal to be right now and then even for pachter (specialty when you point the obvious)

  6. How come one moment I hear that the store GAME is going strong, the next I hear it’s bankrupt, then I hear it’s still going, then I hear it’s bankrupt again? Which is it?

  7. Although I agree that the UK is a joke in every aspect of gaming besides brainless cod and soccer shit.
    I so do not agree that it’s cheap, EU has the most expensive prices in the world.
    When I pre-ordered NSMB Wii they charged me 16€ plus 55€ for the game itself like wtf?
    Fucking joke.
    Since then I never pre-order games at all.

    1. But he’s talking about the UK in particular not the whole EU. I get the impression that games in the EU priced in euros are more expensive than the games here priced in pounds. So I would say yes I think games may be relatively more affordable here in UK compared to US and maybe the rest of EU (not sure about JP really).

  8. Hmm, when this Mr Patcher tries to make a point, it kind of ends up coming out sounding annoyingly stuck-up. I really don’t take his “analysis” seriously these days.
    OK now my thoughts: traditional gaming may not be as much here in the UK as it is in Japan and US, but if you ask me, a main factor is a culture thing – maybe not as many people are so into gaming compared to the US which is many times more bigger than here and Japan where gaming and the current pop culture seem to go pretty much hand-in-hand. So the retail market may indeed be suffering.

  9. They like retro games in UK. I wonder how next Xbox will do with no backwards compatibility and no used games and always online moving to digital downloading. And Sony Playstation is going the same way.

  10. so I guess, with his comment plus the comment of acknowledgement of this site’s users.. Anything that does badly in the UK is because the market huh? I’ve been seeing a lots of “the wii u continues to struggle in the UK/EU” blah3, which is not relevant anymore since the market itself is bad.

    things are too expensive over there, ppl are not willing to spend anything new that has just launched. so i guess the next xbox or PS sales wont go off the roof over there during it’s first few years.. If the market is bad as pachter said..

  11. Most people I know only get cod and FIFA on release date, the rest they wait to go down in price a few moths later. Also most people get pre owned games now from the likes of cex. It’s also a hell of a lot cheaper to get games online these days. I got ps plus so I can play a shit load on my ps3 and vita and I download a lot of games on my consoles.

  12. Its more accurate to say Europes a joke. I mean their socialist government is collapsing on itself and people wonder why games are doing bad there? Common people. Aint nobody got time fo dat

    1. I’m not certain calling Europe a joke is appropriate. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s not.

      Also, not to play devil’s advocate, however it’s unfortunate for the gaming market that Europe / UK may not get into gaming ad heavily as other gaming countries, but I don’t think we can judge that “bad” or “good.”

      If tey (iPod’s version of “they” don’t have a strong video game culture, that’s just saying they have a different culture, and that’s just fine.

  13. It’s the conservatives that ruins everything, not socialists.
    Conservatives only wants to separate people like races, class and other primitive shit.
    Socialism isn’t perfect but it’s not the one not adapting to evolution whether it’s tech or something else.

    Plus conservatives don’t like games so much either because they are too busy with their racism, terrorists and other nonsense.

  14. I live in the UK and GAME, HMV and Blockbusters games are way overpriced. The other day I was in my local Blockbuster and they had ZombiU, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Assassin’s Creed III for Wii U all at £51.99 and New Super Mario Bros. U was £44.99, no wonder the games aren’t selling well over here.
    Plus over here all I hear people talk about is FIFA and Call of Duty with the occasional Grand Theft Auto when a new one is soon going to be released such as GTA V is going to soon.
    People do like games like Mario and Pokemon over here but that’s mostly just kids.

  15. He’s correct with the end result, but last time I checked, Wii U products at least are all marked up ridiculously high which would account for a lack of sales.


  17. Gotta agree with Pachter on this one. Not JUST because of what he said, but because of what the UK game market primarily thrives off of. FPS’ and Fifa. Literally the two lamest, overused franchises in gaming history.

  18. I live in the UK and I can 100% say Patcher is right. Stores like Game depend on Fifa and Cod fans rushing in to buy the games. Literally all I can see stacked on the shelves there are Fifa and Cod games.

    1. I know same here it makes the place look so dull that is why I like the area with all the Mario toys it’s much more colourful and better to look at.

      1. Also when I went to game one day, there was a REALLY big line full of people. And what did they all have in their hands ready to pay for? I will give you 3 guesses…

  19. I hate Pachter. Not because he slags off Nintendo every week, but because he uses the internet as a soapbox to promote himself by chatting shit he fundamentally doesn’t know anything about.

    I live in the UK. The games industry is huge over here. Gaming is a very big thing. HMV and GAME were staples of the high-street over here, they were the shops that were always there in town or at shopping centres or wherever – the same as GameStop or Walmart, or the equivalent big media buying places in the US. They weren’t however where most people shopped. One of the main reasons they both failed are well-documented and as clear as day: HMV prices were absolutely extortionate, GAME prices were absolutely extortionate. Even when the internet was in it’s early days and they had a chance to fix up and reform and change the way they worked; they didn’t. They sold literally as high as they could all the time, they sold used games higher than other places sold new games sometimes. So when supermarkets and other shops would play ball and operate as a proper shop trying to compete and do good deals; prices at HMV and GAME would always be multiple times what you would pay anywhere else. It was a sort of a long standing joke to anyone who ever stepped foot in HMV; nice to wander around, but you’d rarely buy much because they truly took the piss with costs. GAME was the exact same.

    GAME and HMV didn’t fail because they had to lower prices to the point where they couldn’t make money like Pachter is deluding himself with, they failed because the suits at the top were stupid and greedy. They kept prices way waaaaaay above everywhere else for years and years, and the culmination of that with them eventually bringing their closure on themselves was a running joke and something mentioned for years.

    Reporting on what Pachter says is pointless, because you can always guarantee that it will be nothing more than an over the top statement with little to no grounding in logic or truth, and, especially in this case, no real knowledge or insight into the subject.

  20. This is absolutely ridiculous …

    I live in the UK and I’m a dedicated gamer – and I’ve never played FIfa or cod, but to say we’re a joke is just stupid- coming from a guy who most probably has never been over here.

    The whole reason why HMV went down the pan is that they didn’t adapt .. Plus HMV and blockbuster are not 100% dedicated to the games industry – there’s music , video which is now all digital – so if you don’t adapt to that – then of course you will fail

    GAME – use to have 3-4 stores in each city centre which you could easily walk from
    One to another .. So numerous overheads , plus all games were usually £10 dearer than what supermarkets like ASDA and online stores. So why would anyone buy a product £10 dearer. At the minute the UK is in recession so people shop around . And if a company think its too high and mighty to compete , it will fail ..

    He always goes on about why Nintendo is failing over here in the UK – well the consumers what something to play on their systems that’s new – mario was the same old thing , and since release now 3 months ago there has only been ninja Gaiden 3 released but now we find out its not exclusive to wiiU. So people will but it now for Xbox / ps3 . We do not buy systems to use as ornaments. There’s always a very slow flow of games released here in the UK – and if companies like ea and others are ignoring the WiiU – then there is no drive for the consumer to get the system ..

    Times have changed – it’s a highly competitive market – online prices vs higher high street stores – Xbox games every week vs Nintendo once every full moon

  21. hmv went under due to over pricing goods, blockbuster was already on the decline due to not going into the live streaming market. also the majority of retailer sell games software at RRP even though it is illegal under EU legislation to have RRP as it is classed as price fixing.
    if you look at the price of consoles sold there the UK as a whole pays about 100% mark up on the hardware yet pays the same for the software, just do the money conversion. to me it is not the fault of the consumer here but a market place, they are shifting the blame away from their practices and lack sales. i think it is more they should look on how they sell things other than blaming the customer.

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