Media Pack
Contact Us
Leisure News
DVD News
PC & IT News
Retail News
Garbled? Click here
News Archive e-News Subscribe
By Ross Farmer
Posted: 3/10/2002 at 09:29:31 GMT

Storm in a teacup or retail threat?

A campaign has been initiated to try to get games publishers to lower the cost to the consumer of their products. Claiming videogames are a "rip off," the Fairplay Campaign, championed by industry veteran journo Stuart Campbell, is asking the games buying public to not buy any videogames during the first week of December.

Choosing a Christmas run-up week for the campaign probably won't help it's cause, and nor will spouting outrageous claims about games, (saying they only "cost 40p to manufacture," for one). This claim may well be true, but it doesn’t take a genius to notice the way the statement conveniently sidesteps the fact that a little more work goes into making a game than just the raw materials manufacture.

That said, the campaign's basic premise that games are overpriced is certainly an opinion held by many videogames consumers, and the claim that lower prices will mean higher sales is probably entirely justified.

Of course, the idea that during one of the biggest weeks of the years for games, sales could be affected by a buying boycott will have retailers panicking, and the claim that "there is NO REASON WHATSOEVER for games to cost more than £20" will have publishers fuming.

Whether anyone will actually bother taking part in the boycott is debatable, but we'll leave you with one of the campaign's more interesting slogans: "Look at Microsoft - earlier this year, they released the new Xbox console at £300, insisting that it was a fair price and couldn't be sold any cheaper. Consumers, though, refused to buy it, and Microsoft swiftly slashed the price, first to £200, and then to £160. In less than six months, the price of brand new game technology was halved, through consumer power alone. We aim to do the same to videogames."

Go to to learn more about it.