Interview With a Former Video Games Seller
A friend of mine, Jack, previously dabble in selling original video game titles but have since left the business. He shared his insight on the industry in Malaysia and agreed to have them published on Nine Over Ten. This is part 2 of the interview (click here for Part 1).
While talking about the business of selling original video game titles, Jack touched on the subject of video game communities in Malaysia, which basically make up the bulk of customers for anyone selling original titles in Malaysia. The communities are basically capable of organizing themselves and some have organized events like last year’s Consoul and Halo 3 cinema experience.
When asked what he thought about them, Jack mentioned that these communities appeal more to the gamer mindset rather than the casual crowd, with the most active community being the Xbox 360 gamers.
On the role of retailers and distributors in building these communities, there’s still more to be done. Local distributors for the Sony and Nintendo consoles have done little more than their respective launch events and Microsoft is still no where to be seen. There are no launch events held for triple-A titles, for example Killzone 2, which is one of the highly anticipated titles of 2009.
This, stressed Jack, doesn’t indicate that there is no consumer interest in these events in Malaysia. On the contrary, evidence points at a mature market demanding the same kind of events and promotions that take place overseas.
About the Scene
One question that I had to ask Jack was what he thought about video game sellers in Malaysia. He replied that the Chinaman mentality is prevalent here. Undercutting is pretty much the way to gain customers but at the same time spoils the market price of games.
While Gamers Hideout is a standout among the many video game sellers in Malaysia, particularly the Klang Valley, it takes an elitist approach, charging premium pricing and appealing mainly to a hardcore set of gamers adamant on supporting original games. On the other hand, Gamers Hideout is also the only shop to actually participate in community building.
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