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Are MAG’s sales suffering due to retailers’ low expectations?

Submitted by on Wednesday, 10 February 20107 Comments

I’m normally not a big fan of online multiplayer, but after reading our awesome MAG Monday feature, I was encouraged to give MAG a shot. However, just getting hold of a copy proved to be a bit of a mission in itself, as it seems a lot of stores are currently out of stock.

First off, I went to my local GAME, and was surprised to find that although there were lots of copies on the shelf, they all had ‘Coming Soon!’ stickers on – a bit weird considering the game came out nearly two weeks ago. It turns out this was GAME’s way of saying that they were out of stock, so I don’t know why they didn’t just say that in the first place.

Undeterred, I went to the nearest HMV (which handily was about fifty yards away), but they didn’t even have any cases out. In fact there was nothing in there whatsoever to suggest that a game called MAG had even been released. I asked one of the staff about its conspicuous absence, and he said that they only ordered in ten copies because they didn’t realise how much demand it would have.

I finally managed to get hold of a copy at the other GAME in town (yes, there are two – and two HMVs). As I handed the game to the merchant, he made a comment (not necessarily in a detrimental way) about it having quite disappointing reviews. This is certainly true, but I think most gamers will tell you that it’s impossible to write an effective review for an online-only game after just a few short hours of playing time. Games like this take months to truly master and appreciate, hence our aforementioned MAG Monday feature. But that’s a different issue.

My point is that I only managed to get a copy of the game in the third store I went to, which I’ve never had to do before. Of course, this could be an isolated incident, but GAME and HMV are both major chains, so it’s possible that this is the case across the whole of the UK, with retailers simply not ordering enough copies to meet demand. Could this have a negative effect on MAG’s sales?

Early reports show that MAG is selling well, but could it be doing better if retailers had higher expectations for the game before it was released? Obviously this is all just conjecture, but it’s certainly something to think about.

Of course, you could just order it on-line instead and save all the heartache I experienced!

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