More good news coming out of Australia...GameTrader, a competitor of GME, shows great sales and growth, including the used game business, as I expected (see bottom of article)
Video game sales hit new record in Christmas rush Friday, 19 December 2008 Patrick Stafford
Australian retailers have recorded their best week on record for sales of video games and video game hardware, according to new research from GfK.
The figures show last week’s sales for video game consoles and software totalled $100 million, up from last year’s $84 million.
Mark Langford, chief executive of video games chain GameTraders, says the recent spike in sales is due to the growing acceptance of video games as mainstream entertainment.
“We’re definitely up on last year; some stores are significantly up on last year. It’s the result of the Government’s stimulus package, and secondly because gaming is just everyday because it’s more mainstream,” he says.
“Every year we expect Christmas to be really good for us. Gaming has been going mainstream now for quite a few years and with the downturn and the worries about next year, people are spending less and deciding not to take holidays. If they’re going to be staying home they need entertainment.”
Langford says this has led to the rise of family-friendly entertainment. “You’ve got parents playing with the Nintendo Wii, the so-called party starters and everyone getting into gaming now. Both of those things. It’s the reason we’re doing so well.”
Jason Williams, head of Harvey Norman’s games and entertainment division, told The Australian Financial Review that a typical week outside Christmas and Easter records between $20 million and $25 million in video game sales. Currently, that number has jumped to between $40 million and $50 million.
But Langford says the downturn has provided stores like GameTraders with another form of income.
“We also do a lot of second hand and trading, and we’ve seen an increase in that from people who want to save money. All of those things are a real benefit to us.”