FairPlay Say Goodbye!
|"We've achieved pretty much all we can for now. The FairPlay Campaign did more to bring the issue of rip-off videogame pricing into the public eye than has ever been done before."
We've achieved pretty much all we can for now. The FairPlay Campaign did more
to bring the issue of rip-off videogame pricing into the public eye than has
ever been done before. Attracting coverage in scores of publications (close to
100, in fact), from the smallest website to the largest of national newspapers,
games magazines and television and radio broadcasting institutions, over 500,000
people heard our message on the campaign website alone, and millions more
through other media, and a massive 85% of poll respondents agreed with us that
the current price of games is far too high.
The industry's paralysing
fear of debating the issue with us (the link above was the only time they dared
go head-to-head with the campaign) says more than we ever could about the truth
of our claims, but the campaign, despite its thorough vilification by the games
industry, was comprehensively vindicated in many other ways too.
- Nintendo's conviction by the European Court during the campaign, and huge
£100m fine, for illegally fixing prices at an artificially high level.
- The massive waves of price-cutting in the UK during the Christmas season -
normally the most lucrative time for videogame sales - which meant practically
every game in the release schedules could be bought on the High Street for
£10-£15 below the RRP.
- The big sales blip during the campaign week which saw Game, Europe's
biggest videogame retailer, lose a massive 80% of its share value overnight in
response to disappointing sales. When the campaign was over, sales shot up
again, just as we said they would.
- A long line of disastrous financial results, redundancies and studio
closures among publishers and developers continued to demonstrate the economic
unsoundness of the industry's current business model.
- Huge reductions in the pricing of, particularly, the Xbox and Gamecube,
leading to massive sales increases of up to a staggering 5000%.
- Dixons Group and Game, two of Europe's biggest game retailers, slashing
the price of all Gamecube software to between £15 and £25, resulting in yet
more enormous sales boosts.
- And most rewarding of all, the story, reported by IGN, that Nintendo have
quietly restructured their licensing fee from a fixed rate to a sliding scale
exactly in accordance with the primary demand of the FairPlay Campaign, so
that publishers can now sell games at a variety of prices without being
penalised for setting lower prices by having to pay the same fixed licencing
fee to Nintendo. We look forward to the other hardware companies following
We're very proud that the tiny handful of unresourced activists at the
FairPlay Campaign have achieved so much so soon against a multi-billion dollar
international industry, but there's little else we can do. It's up to you, the
videogame consumers, now. Keep refusing to buy games at the rip-off standard
prices. Most new titles appear in second-hand sections within a couple of weeks
of release - buy them there and save money, instead of boosting sales figures
and reinforcing high prices by getting them on release day. Get together with
friends and swap games, instead of pointlessly all buying copies of the same big
This one tiny application of consumer power has already had
dramatically impressive results. Buying a Gamecube, memory card and five top
games of your own choice to play on it before Christmas in the UK could have
cost you over £350. Just three months later, that same purchase in the same High
Street store would cost you just £140. That's the power of consumer action. Keep
believing in it. Thanks for your support.