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HundredProofSam

No more discounts on new games. Well, almost.

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No more discounts on new games. Well, almost.

 

Online game retailers have been informed by Milestone Interactive, one of India’s largest game distributors, that they are no longer allowed to offer discounts on preorders or games that are less than 60 days old. Further, retailers have been told not to bundle any additional bonus content along with Milestone’s games. Milestone is one of India’s oldest game distributors and releases games from Sony, EA (on Playstation, Nintendo and PC formats), Capcom, and others in India. In theory, this new rule should put an end to the recent trend of online retailers tripping over each other to offer the best discounts and freebies, and it would seem the days of getting sweet discounts from our favourite IVG Vendors are behind us. Well, not quite.

 

First off, this only applies to Milestone games, so there’s no rule preventing discounts on games from Activision, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Rockstar, 2K, Microsoft, THQ, etc, which are released here via other distributors. But even for Milestone games, online retailers still have a loophole that they can exploit. While stores have been told not to list games at lower than MRP, there’s nothing stopping them from giving out promotional coupons that let customers avail of discounts on a wide variety of products, games included. Websites like LetsBuy.com are already using this tactic effectively.

 

Discounts are surely unhealthy for those on the retail side of the business, especially since margins aren’t that big. So you would expect those in retail to take a stand against discounting rather than the distributor, who makes the same margins regardless. It’s also bizarre that retailers aren’t being allowed to bundle bonus content along with games, which only gives the customer more value. It’ll be interesting to see how this works out, and if growing online portals like LetsBuy and Flipkart choose to abide by these new directives. It’ll be even more interesting to see if other distributors follow suit and attempt to curb discounting of games.

 

We contacted Milestone to try and get behind the reason for such a move. “Organized gaming retail is at a nascent stage of growth in India and we would like to follow the best practices for it to grow at a much faster pace. Our aim with the new policy on containing the uncontrolled discounts on games by the retailers, especially online retailers, is to maintain the long-term health of the industry. Considering the size of Indian gaming market compared to established markets like the US and the UK, it would be inappropriate for us to encourage product discounting at this stage. Indian products are priced very competitively vis-a-is their respective international prices. Thus, from a consumer perspective, the need to discount should not arise," said Jayont R Sharma, Chairman & CEO, Milestone Interactive Group.

 

He further added, "While online retailers are offering rampant discounts for games and especially for new releases, they are not the ones contributing to market development activities. This is eventually affecting the whole Indian gaming industry and leading to huge erosion in operating margins of the brick and mortar retailers, who have made huge investments in creating a conducive and engaging environment for potential gamers. If such a practice is not contained sooner, retailers will desist from making further investments in the category, and hence will affect growth. However, we are aware that the Indian consumer is also eager for and seeking attractive deals, and we too wish to support both online and brick and mortar retailers with new and innovative offers with back-catalogue titles as and when possible.”

 

The first new game to be affected by this new policy will be Infamous 2, so if you plan on preordering it online, make sure you confirm whether or not the retailer will be able to follow through on their promised discounts.

 

Update from Milestone:

We have set a dead line of 31st May 2011 for retailers to pull off the discounts.

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Well, they'll give the same old bullshit, the smaller vendors were getting squashed and got some complaints from them, blah blah blah.

 

Meh, this is insane, neither does it happen in US nor the UK, can we somehow veto this? or contact other authorities?

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This is quite confusing to me as well, which is why I've asked Milestone for a clarification on this.

 

Maybe there are some complications on the discount side, where publishers are complaining that despite subsidising prices for India, the games are being sold for less (honestly, I wouldn't buy that explanation). What I don't understand is the issue with giving out freebies? Everyone makes their margins and the customer gets more value. I don't see the problem with that other than the fact that some retailers have been creating merchandise by using copyrighted material without getting clearances for the publisher. In that case, the rule should be against using licensed content, not disallowing freebies entirely. I mean, if Game4U wants to give away a t-shirt with the store's logo on it for free with every game sold, why should that concern Milestone?

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They give discount cutting their profit.. what has milestone to loose?

 

Nothing. But the retailers cannot compete with such aggressive tactics. In a way its fair but most of the retailers have an online presence nowadays, so they should just adapt and stop whining.

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This is quite confusing to me as well, which is why I've asked Milestone for a clarification on this.

 

Maybe there are some complications on the discount side, where publishers are complaining that despite subsidising prices for India, the games are being sold for less (honestly, I wouldn't buy that explanation). What I don't understand is the issue with giving out freebies? Everyone makes their margins and the customer gets more value. I don't see the problem with that other than the fact that some retailers have been creating merchandise by using copyrighted material without getting clearances for the publisher. In that case, the rule should be against using licensed content, not disallowing freebies entirely. I mean, if Game4U wants to give away a t-shirt with the store's logo on it for free with every game sold, why should that concern Milestone?

the same reason they wussed out and stopped the awesomest IVG preorders?

 

other dumbf**ks complaning about it >_>

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this is insane, whats their problem,they are getting their profit its the vendors who are suffering and having a healthy competition...

 

now the question is what will happen to the pre-orders of infamous 2 that have already been placed with the vendors here on IVG, even game4u is offering a 15% discount on infamous 2 and they are a part of milestone

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Actually G4U was forced to give discounts on games because everyone was giving it. Maybe it has something to do with it.

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the same reason they wussed out and stopped the awesomest IVG preorders?

They didn't pull out of IVG preorders; we did. And tbh, one of the reasons was that I didn't like this whole discount business. Everyone was buying from whoever gave the most discount; things like quality of service and loyalty didn't matter anymore. It's the same now. Everyone rushed to Letsbuy looking at their discounts.

 

So I've never liked this whole game discounting thing. But that said, it's the retailer's decision and its strange to see a distributor enforcing such a rule.

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Meh, this is insane, neither does it happen in US nor the UK, can we somehow veto this? or contact other authorities?

 

 

It does happen. In UK, Tesco can give huge discounts on new hardware and games because they can afford to and the smaller fish cannot compete with these giant supermarkets.

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It does happen. In UK, Tesco can give huge discounts on new hardware and games because they can afford to and the smaller fish cannot compete with these giant supermarkets.

but have the distris there stopped them from doing so, the next we see, no discount on consoles and all >_>

Edited by abhinit90

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/looks at the thread

 

/Shakes head

 

/confirms that IVG trading post section has a separate bookmark

 

/walks away

Edited by AtheK

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