The PCR Retail Advisory Board looks at the state of the gaming sector

Can indies and resellers make a bigger splash in gaming?

This month the PCR Retail Advisory Board reveals their thoughts on whether consumers are still looking towards independent retailers for their gaming fix and if the High Street is able to make money out of the gaming sector.

Director, Utopia Computers

”With the PC gaming market worth more than $21.5 billion globally and expected to rise to $23 billion by 2017, it’s not a question of if retailers can make money, but how are they going to capitalise on this massive opportunity? Utopia has built its brand on targeting gamers and we are now reaping the rewards of having a branding built on catering to the needs of gamers.

Like any market you are trying to break into, if you don’t take it seriously, do your research and stay current; then the consumer will see right through you and spend their money elsewhere.”

UK Channel Manager, Synaxon

”Many of our dealers do very well out of the PC gaming market supported by distribution partners like Entatech. It’s a market that has seen a lot of investment over the last 12 months with events like EntaLive Play. It’s a market that is constantly changing with new games pushing the boundaries and users demanding higher specification kits and more innovative products.”

Managing Director, YoYoTech

”100 per cent there is still money to be made from gaming. The rumours about an early console hardware change tell you everything you need to know. While console gaming has stalled, there is renewed interest in the very high end of PC gaming – specifically with 4K.

Customers want to buy from an intelligent, knowledgeable retailer who can give them sensible advice.

Buy a rig that’s too slow, and your 4K experience won’t be good. On the other hand, some upgrades might be surplus to requirement.

While gamers buy a new rig every one to three years, we’re constantly sourcing new components, trying new overclocks and stockpiling the ‘magic’ needed to create a truly great system. Once a customer trusts you for their main PC, they will then ask for advice on peripherals.

We carry everything they need – and that ‘one stop shop’ capability is important.”

Managing Director, Network Group

”Gaming is enjoying massive growth in the UK at the moment and is proving to be a very lucrative vertical for the retail members of Network Group that have chosen to be involved in our Exist2Game initiative, which will shortly be celebrating its first birthday.

Whilst there is minimal profit in selling the games, margins are improved dramatically by selling the devices, accessories and attachments that gamers desire in order to get the best gaming experience. The greatest success has been achieved by those resellers that have engaged the local gaming community and worked with them in-store to tailor the event around their needs. Additionally, the support from Entatech with their Ministry of Gaming initiative has complemented what we do as a business in a great way as they clearly know what works in the gaming sector.”

Managing Director, PC PAL

”We see many customers of all age groups playing games on their PCs and laptops, rather than on specific consoles. The appeal of a more powerful, dedicated computer and multiple screens is a combination that’s hard to beat.

Whilst many customers have their favourites, such as flight simulator type games, we are noticing more people playing online games. They seem to enjoy the competitive element, as well as some human interaction.

I believe retailers who can show wary customers the benefits of online gaming will do well. However, games are a commodity and as with all things electrical, it becomes easier to shop around online for the best price. A way of counteracting this is to employ gaming enthusiasts who are also socially adept at communicating their passion well with customers – thereby building rapport, even providing specific hints and tips on how to become more proficient at certain games.

This is currently something that’s best done face-to-face and is a distinct advantage over online stores.”

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