E3: Play N Trade's Perspective
As most gamers know, E3 has come and gone for another year. The technology continues to astound and impress and the innovation is off the charts. Many Play N Trade franchisees attended the event as did several members of the corporate team including CEO Larry Plotnick and VP of Product Alex Skelton.
In between previewing new video games such as Homefront, Assassin's Creed and Halo 3: ODST, Skelton was strengthening relationships with top video game publishers such as Activision, Namco, Capcom and Ubisoft to name a few. A main topic of discussion between Play N Trade and the publishers was the new unified buying system which will be beta tested starting this month.
"The overwhelming response to Play N Trade's new unified buying program was very positive," said Skelton. "Our publishers have been waiting for years for us to make this switch and we're ready to reap the benefits our competitors are receiving. Many of our publishers are excited about the Las Vegas conference and are eager to discuss things with our store owners."
While Skelton was touting Play N Trade's growth and building relationships with publishers, CEO Larry Plotnick was busy walking the showroom floor and ascertaining the future of the industry.
In terms of downloadable video games
"Although we believe digital distribution will absolutely play a changing and growing role in the future of gaming, the media hype around Microsoft's downloadable games for the Xbox 360 failed to address several key issues" said Plotnick. "The cost and complexity of downloading games, and the challenges associated with storage and bandwidth requirements have not been considered nor the consumer's interest in portability of their games and their option to trade in used games to help offset the costs of new game purchases. Also, it appears that due to piracy concerns they will only be providing access to older titles at the end of their lifecycle, while new games will continue to be released through normal retail channels." Plotnick also mentioned the ever increasing focus on game accessories like guitars and skateboards for the new Tony Hawk title that simply can't be managed through digital download."
On the video game industry for the rest of 2009
Plotnick believes the 2nd half of the year will show tremendous growth thanks to key titles such as Call of Duty 2, Modern Warfare, and an increase in titles for casual gamers, especially for the female demographic and women's higher adoption of exercise utilizing the Wii.
"The first half of 2009 was quiet with many publishers holding their key titles until the 2nd half of the year," Plotnick said. "I am encouraged by the amount of titles for both hardcore and casual gamers, which will lead to a very strong holiday season. With the increase in the install base for all current generation consoles and the titles releases in the second half of the year I expect to see a healthy 2nd half of 2009 for the video game industry."