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Walmart controls gaming


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Do you buy your electronic games at Wal-Mart? Never mind, doesn't matter. The retail games you buy at GameStop or Best Buy or online are the games Wal-Mart has decided you can buy.

Publisher sales reps inform Wal-Mart buyers of games in development; the games' subjects, titles, artwork and packaging are vetted and sometimes vetoed by Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart tells a top-end publisher it won't carry a certain game, the publisher kills that game. In short, every triple-A game sold at retail in North America is managed start to finish, top to bottom, with the publisher's gaze fixed squarely on Wal-Mart, and no other.

But how long will that last?

The Power

By consolidating many manufacturing sources and optimizing its supply chain, Wal-Mart has shifted the center

of business power from manufacturing to retail. This has forced most American industries to move offshore, but the software business, and electronic games in particular, have been less affected this way. Though selected art resources are increasingly outsourced to India and Southeast Asia, games are largely still produced in relatively small, integral domestic groups. Is this because North American creators understand their audience better than overseas coders? Because the creators here are better skilled? Or is it simply that Wal-Mart customers, who unfailingly seek the lowest prices for food and appliances and shampoo and garden hoses, will still pay high prices for top-line computer games?

For whatever reason, the game business has so far resisted most competition from lower-wage workers overseas. Compared to physical manufacturing, software profit margins remain comfortable and can support

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/40/11

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Strictly bullshit.

If Walmart says that they are actually controlling the development of games, it is obviously some exaggerated powertrip.

I don't think they're claiming it. But it they definately do have a big influence on the gaming industry. Many companies will completely can a game if Wal-mart will not sell it.

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Completely bullshit is an accurate response. I can personally tell you the Wal Mart here did not want the GameStop to come in. It has cut into their profit considerably, Gamestop has a much better variety of games and alot of games Wal Mart wont carry, and its usually cheaper. While GameStop isnt exactly the personification of perfection, they certaintly do not let Wal Mart run their business decisions.

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I don't think they're claiming it. But it they definately do have a big influence on the gaming industry. Many companies will completely can a game if Wal-mart will not sell it.

See, the thing is, I refuse to believe that a company will can a "Triple A" game because Wal-Mart won't sell it. Sure, they have alot of money, but I doubt any self-respecting developer would can a massive game because Wal-Mart says so.

I personally have never bought a game from Wal-Mart, let alone anything else, mainly because Wal-Mart's selection is horrible and they stock games geared at kids to boot. I don't really understand the whole situation speaking from my latter point, since blockbuster games are rated T and M in most cases, which, correct me if I'm wrong, Wal-Mart has some sort of policy against selling borderline "hyper-violent" games, in turn sending publishers to seek other distributers.

I would love to see what big games have been canned because of this, and I'm sure that the Japanese will be laughing at us after that article is translated over there.

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Strictly bullshit.

If Walmart says that they are actually controlling the development of games, it is obviously some exaggerated powertrip.

Thirded.

If you believe any of this you should slap a "Gullible" sticker on your forhead.

"People will still pay top dollar" is bullshit if you're talking about Wal-Mart. Most of their games go down to $15 within a couple weeks of release.

Yeah, I was probably over-exaggerating. But you can't doubt Wal-marts ability to influence game content. Just look at BMX XXX.

Targert, K-Mart, and many other stores banned the game from being sold in their stores, it wasn't only Wal-Mart. :mellow:

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Targert, K-Mart, and many other stores banned the game from being sold in their stores, it wasn't only Wal-Mart. :mellow:

Yes, but Wal-mart has a much larger market share than any other retailer, thus they have much more influence. Wal-mart is the largest distributor of videogames in the United States. If Wal-mart says they won't carry a game, then it is likely that sales for that game will be hurt.

It was Wal-mart's idea to reduce the size of PC game boxes. Granted, that was a good change because less paper is consumed, but it's a good example of what Wal-mart can do.

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See, the thing is, I refuse to believe that a company will can a "Triple A" game because Wal-Mart won't sell it. Sure, they have alot of money, but I doubt any self-respecting developer would can a massive game because Wal-Mart says so.

Well, no. Not triple A games. People will go out of their way to buy a Halo 3 or a Twilight Princess. However, less hyped titles could definetly get canned from the threat of no Walmart support.

Wal-Mart has some sort of policy against selling borderline "hyper-violent" games, in turn sending publishers to seek other distributers.

I heard about that ages ago, but they were very clearly selling Manhunt and Condemned when I was in there last week.

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Walmart doesnt stock Resident Evil 4, yet it is still being sold , and it wasnt canned. That is example enough to call that article the biggest load of bullshit on this side of the Rockies.

Your ignoring the fact that people will go out of their way for something like RE4. Try it with the next generic platformer and see what happens.

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Your ignoring the fact that people will go out of their way for something like RE4. Try it with the next generic platformer and see what happens.

Well, then you have to ask yourself if we really need another generic platformer.

Whatever. Corporate games are so much bullshit anyway. Opensource hippies forever.

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