We want to see the UK-wide standard recommended retail
price (RRP) of videogames software reduced to a fair and reasonable
level, specifically to the region of £10-£20, in line
with other forms of media like music CDs and DVD movies. The main
obstacle to this is the flat-rate licence fee charged by hardware
manufacturers (Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft) to software publishers
who wish to release games for their consoles. Therefore, our primary
objective is to see that flat-rate charge replaced by a fee representing
a percentage of the retail price.
asking the hardware manufacturers to lower the fee as such,
just to make it proportionate, so that software companies
can choose to sell games at lower prices. They do not currently
have this choice. Currently, a game sold at £40 requires a flat-rate
licence fee of around £8-£9*. Clearly, this would make selling the
game at £10 or £20 economically impossible for the publisher - they're
being unfairly forced to set high prices. With a percentage-of-RRP
fee, the publisher could set any price they chose and let the market
decide. We believe that given this choice, freed from the financial
blackmail of the hardware manufacturers, it would make economic
sense for publishers to choose much lower prices. Persuading them
to make that choice, of course, is our secondary aim.
*Some manufacturers do offer variable flat-rate fees for lower-priced
games, but the fees are disproportionately high for cheaper games,
making them very unattractive for publishers.
it is. Consumers control the price of everything - if we stop buying
stuff until it's cheaper, the price WILL come down, that's
a cast-iron guarantee. It's simply a question of whether we want
boycotts, whereby we all refuse to buy new games during specific
periods. This way, we can demonstrate our consumer power, but no-one
has to actually give up buying the games they want, or disappoint
their kids on Christmas Day.
games firms ignore the boycotts, we'll organise longer and more
frequent ones. The thing is, new videogames aren't a necessity.
We can all live without buying new ones for a while - we can rent
them instead, or buy second-hand ones (they don't show
up in sales figures), or swap with our friends, or whatever.
We can support the boycotts and still have plenty to play.
The industry, on the other hand, is a business. A boycott
lasting just one month would be disastrous for the industry's
cash flow. Crucially, we can keep this up much longer than they
can, and without having to make any real sacrifice at all. If we
have the willpower to just buy our games a little earlier or later,
they simply won't be able to ignore us, because they'll go
out of business.
don't have to do anything. All that's required is to avoid buying
new games on boycott weeks. But if you want to help more than that,
there are plenty of things you can do.
We've made poster and leaflet version of the campaign's main page
- you can print the leaflet out and distribute it near game shops
on boycott weekends, for example, or stick the poster in your window
at home or at work. You can write to games companies and politely
and reasonably explain why you're supporting the Fair Play campaign,
or you can simply sign our online
petition. You can alert your local and national media.
If you have a website, you can include one of our link
banners. If there's something you think we should know, you
can tell us about