Ten Fucking Whats?

You've all seen these:



The standard retail display for UK game sellers. There's a bunch of games, maybe organised alphabetically and then in pride of place a selection of 10 or 20 games next to some big numbers. This particular display was snapped at Currys/PC World/Tech Guys type store. You see them everywhere though, GAME, Gamestation, Toys'R'Us. This is the frontline of game retailing. The burning question is what the fuck is the reasoning behind the numbers? Is one better or worse than ten? Let's take a closer look at this particular display, snapped on the 13 December in detail.

At number 1 is Wii Party. Could it be top seller? Or maybe a new release?

At number 2 we have Just Dance and the Prince of Persia Wiimakes. Possibly top sellers still? Although I didn't think PoP did half as well as Just Dance. Nor was it half as fun.

In at number three we have the Force Unleashed 2?

Number 4 is both Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics and that classic game, Big Family Games.

Fortunately, number 5 doesn't exist. Or wasn't captured. So what is this a '4' of? We worked it out. It's the nearest four games to whoever occasionally stocks the shelves. There's no reason to this madness. All I know is that I'd be damn proud to be the person in charge of deciding which games PC World/Comet/Tom Nook's stocks. What's that 20 grand a year? Maybe more? What a piss easy job. Randomly select a bunch of games and just shove 'em out on shelves. "The customer will buy them anyway". Quality isn't a factor. Or sales. Or anything. Let's arrange our product as if we were some kind of ass-end of nowhere petrol station. How does this situation occur?

Here's a shout out to PC world. Fire whoever is in charge of purchasing for the whole fucking franchise and hire me for one day a week. I guarantee I'll have increased all of your sales for console games within the month. I'll even pop into the three stores on my walk home and at least arrange the games in some kind of sensible order. Or for example, make sure that there aren't two games next to one fucking number. On top of that I won't just buy loads of electronics with my staff discount and sell to my friends/people down a back alley. Have some fucking pride for god's sake. I've worked in retail before from pizza restaurants to bookshops and this kind of shit would not fly. A line of producers and publishers meet with product managers and secure deals that see stock take the best spot in terms of where customers will see them and all staff can at least talk about product X (be it a sauce or book or sale offer). Displays like these, typical of game shops across the UK, give the impression that the work experience girl was given 100 quid to go out and buy the stock for the next week. Oh and take lunch out of that as well.

This is why I don't shed a tear when yet another game studio closes down. Don't the studios or publishers have people whose job it is to go around stores and check that their product is being sold? Or maybe set up distribution deals? Ubisoft must be well happy that their 3 year old game is still getting some shelf space. Maybe they've sold out of CoD, Donkey Kong, Sonic Colours and Goldeneye? Or the reql classics like Super Mario Galaxy, Resident Evil 4 and Metroid Prime. Or maybe there's no point in stocking Wii Sports Resort or Super Smash Brothers Brawl because they were really good sellers. No point on backing a horse that already won. Let us hope so hey? Hey? Hey? Let's hope that the games industry fucks itself in the arse because it is full of creative types with no iota of business sense and we all end up playing dross iOS games because they cost 50p to make and customers randomly stumbling upon your game amongst the gazillion other shit copycat games and tower defense games still manages to give you better odds than if you tried to get your product in a cunting high street store like PC Cunts.

I also went to try out 3D tv/games. The display was not working properly. That's three for three now. Three times I've tried to try out 3D tech in a store. Once there weren't glasses, once there weren't TVs that were on and this time the thing was just broken. Sends out a really good message. Here, part with a couple of grand for some technology that, even on display in a store with the "techguys" on staff will break. Seriously, it is a good job I'm not the target audience for ridiculous new technology OH HANG ON WAIT A MINUTE.....

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