We're currently attending the first Game-Tech conference, a conference geared toward discussing the issues that affect the Australian Games Industry specifically. In a cross discussion, Sony's Michael Ephraim and Managing Director of Ubisoft Ed Fong were both asked about the challenges facing the Australian Games Industry today. The answer? Retail and the price of games specifically.
"I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that I think retail is a challenge," began Ed Fong. "There’s an opportunity for us to work better with them. We’ve seen the opportunity that this market represents and I think we need to stand side by side instead of going head to head.
"I’m not saying we have to hold hands and sing by the campfire, but there are instances where we can work well togetherand I know for a fact that there are retailers out there that want to embrace co-operation in the marketplace and I’d like to see that continue."
Following on from that point, Michael Ephraim, Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, discussed the issue of local pricing.
"The exchange rate is a real issue as well," he said. "Most people are talking about pricing which is a very contentious issue, but it’s not something we can control locally because we live in a country at least three quarters the size of America with a tenth of the population - so the cost of the business is high. There are challenges with digital and how we work with retail."
It's an interesting issue - we've just finished an extensive interview with Ubisoft's Ed Fong regarding the issue, which we'll post tomorrow. As Michael Ephraim stated, game pricing is a contentious issue, but with more and more gamers increasingly sending their dollars overseas, it's an issue that will ultimately have to be addressed.
Look for more discussion on this issue over the coming days.