With 2013 proving to be a big year for game releases and the Rand encountering exchange fluctuations, gamers are in a tough spot to choose which game to buy.
MyGaming caught up with local retailers to find out how the market is doing and how they are reacting to the exchange rate.
With regards to current sales performance, Kalahari’s Ramone Pickover said that recent games have helped the health of the market.
“There is a massive spike in new releases and pre-orders at the moment, with GTA V & FIFA 14 taking the lead,” said Pickover.
CNA echoed this sentiment, saying that the performance of sales has been strong.
“We are happy with the performance to date, understanding the issues within the market. The launch of GTA V and Fifa 14 has contributed positively,” said CNA’s Nerisha Lakha.
The retailers elaborated, saying that the sales throughout the year have been reliant on the games being launched. “Sales growth has been dependant on the release slate,” said Lakha.
Kalahari explained that since the mid-year point, sales have gained momentum. “The beginning of the year was very slow, but since ‘The Last Of Us’ released in May, it started to pick up at a steady pace towards festive,” said Pickover.
As for the Rand’s behaviour over the last few months, MyGaming asked how its fluctuation has influenced the pricing and sales of games.
Makro’s gaming buyer, Clyde Kurten said that the Rand’s behaviour is making it tough for gamers in SA.
“The gaming market is tough at the moment, the current rate of exchange is driving prices up, and consumers’ disposable income is becoming less as the cost of living keeps rising,” said Kurten.
“Having said that, the demand for gaming is still there and I think that people are just spending their money more carefully by waiting for that perfect console deal, or only picking up that one ‘must have’ new release every few months as opposed to buying every game on their wish list,” said Kurten.
“We are trying to maintain lowest possible pricing for as long as possible, but there is only so much retailers can do with the support of local suppliers, we all need the rand to start improving,” said Kurten.
“The price of games has taken a knock, due to the current devaluing of the Rand, but sales are actually better this year than last year,” said Kalahari’s Pickover..
“It shows that good content is key, and as long as the price is not unreasonable, gamers are happy to pay for quality product. That said, we will always ensure that we offer the best prices to our customers.”
The retailers also highlighted the goal of keeping prices as low as possible, as well as the options consumers have.
“The suppliers have approached all retailers with price increases due to the rate of exchange shifting the levels it has. We have held certain price points in order to continue to offer customers value and at the same time customers have responded very well to the credit available on the Edgars/JET and CNA store card,” said CNA’s Nerisha Lakha.
BT Games, Incredible Connection, and Takealot declined to comment.