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I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for positive change, I just don’t think that you need to put a date on when those changes should take place. If you’re really serious about something just, y’know, do it.

But this year I find myself feeling the need to declare a resolution, or make a last stand, whichever way you want to interpret it.

Over the last few years we’ve seen the steady decline of physical sales alongside the steady rise of digital ones. Which is fine, change happens, but the sad fact is that our high-streets, which are already struggling, are becoming quite sorry places indeed.

This last year has seen the GAME group narrowly avert disaster and it’s clear that HMV’s foundations are far from sound. Couple that with the already small market of independent traders dwindling further still and pretty soon we’ll be facing an online-only method of distribution, even for our physical copies. That is, of course, unless you’re happy with the paltry selection that the local supermarket has to offer?

So here’s the deal: my New Year’s resolution is to buy as many games from bricks-and-mortar stores as I can.

There, I said it. Yes, I know, I might not get the absolute best deal out there (although GAME appears to be more competitive of late and I certainly like their new smartphone-based reward card) but as I see it that little bit extra is an investment in the future.

Used Games

You see, I don’t want to live in a world where the only way to buy games is online. I’d miss getting out of the house, getting some fresh air and flicking through the selection in a local store, even if it is a relatively limited one. I’d miss having a chat with people about games, listening to others enthuse about them, seeing kids gleefully dragging their parents around, having somewhere to quickly offload my old games and I’d miss being able to have a go on new machines just to see if I like the look and feel of them.

And I don’t want to see any more shops in my local town boarded-up either, or any more young people at the back of the dole queue. So if I can do a little bit for them by shopping more on my local high street, then that’s what I’ll do.

And besides: looking at the £59.99 price-tag of some games on PSN, I sense that dashing online to look for the cheapest deal on every single purchase might well prove to be a false economy in years to come.

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Husband. Parent. Gamer. Go figure.

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  1. I much prefer buying physical but always end up downloading everything. Just laziness I guess

  2. I’ll download the odd leftfield PSN or XBL title but draw the line at about £15 – anything more feels wrong for something I’m not getting a physical copy of – but I am old-skool… It beggars belief the price they want for some games that you can buy a physical copy of for a good 20% less. I know there’s vaguely logical arguments as to why they cost so much but it’s still a nonsense to me, the consumer. I fear the day when the hardware manufacturers have complete control over the market via their online stores – it’s up to us to keep some life on the high street to prevent it happening! That is, of course, unless someone brings out a console without an optical drive…but that’s a bold move and could well spell death for said machine

    • @Luke Martin VA I think that, for brand new full releases, a £25 download price is quite fair, and would reflect the shop not getting its cut. But the way they are charging £50+ is just silly

  3. As someone who used to work on Game/Gamestation I’ve seen a lot of this at relatively close quarters.
    Most gaming retailers survive on pre-owned, but publishers want to kill pre-owned. New games don’t provide enough income because people won’t pay more than they do now, and no one wants to take the cut.
    We are being pushed by publishers and (sadly) manufacturers towards an online only system. They are happy to see Game and HMV die, because that means less competition for their over-priced online stores.
    I’ve always said to people, don’t buy launch deal games (or albums) from your supermarket. What you save in money now will come back to haunt you when they no longer have to compete on price.
    Game have done many things wrong (including obliterating Gamestation) but they do not deserve to be wiped out by publisher and manufacturer greed.

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