Christmas Chart Market Economy 24th December 2008
I’m sure you’ve all been there one way or another. Be it the night of christmas, boxing day, new years day.. in hospital having your stomach pumped. Obviously. Ste’s evil victorian mill owner sweatshop director mentality driving a poor sickly man to desperate measures to hold onto the tiny bit of fame that he’s built up over the last few years. How many is it now? Three? April 2005 was when I first received the call to arms with the brief of ‘talk about selling games over some noodling electronic music’. Thus was created the first Free Market Economy in a couple of hours in a morning following a very sleepless night of fevered ideas and panic over creating something terrible. It was a bit like the anticipation we’re all feeling now waiting for Santa to come down the chimney (if you catch my drift) (or something). So it’s with one eye open and eye shut, peeking over the bed covers that I bring you the final Chart of the year.
10. Loco Roco 2 – PSP £19.99
Golly gosh, I know it’s the season of goodwill and all that but when you’re faced with utter cretins like this customer it’s hard to keep it up. Firstly they weren’t entirely sure of the difference between a game and a console and certainly not much clue as to which they already owned. So I had some form an identity parade to see if they could spot the likely suspects. Seemingly they had a few ds machines and a wii. They decided they quite fancied a PSP though. Clearly they were not just cretins but the typical overindulgent ones who would rather spend money on frivolities than well anything else really. But I digress. Frequently. Not only did they want a PSP but they wanted a game for it appropriate for their daughter of age eleven. A quick rummage through the waste bin in the stall later I found Loco Roco 2 among the miriad football and driving simulators. “Looks a bit too kiddy-like.” Good grief. It’s bloody marvelous game and what’s more it’s going to appeal to an eleven year old girl especially! It’s cute! It’s got platforms! It’s got singing things! It’s looks lovely and it plays great. Buy it you cretins! So I beat them over the head with it so they took it to make me stop. Thankfully though they won’t regret it. What the hell would be more appropriate for their daughter? Oh sorry I forgot, this is Doncaster so obvious GTA is more the sort of thing. Sigh..
9. Far Cry 2 – Xbox 360 £25
I’ve got plenty of these in on the PS3. But like most PS3 games they serve more as decoration than actually saleable items. However I can’t seem to keep it in stock on the 360. There’s clearly problems for the PS3 market if I can’t even shift the games at christmas. It’s funny though they do seem to come in a lot. I’m often buying PS3 games in. I just don’t sell them. Sure I have a fairly low selection but I’ve plenty of ‘top’ titles. Quantum of Solace, Far Cry 2, GTA IV. They just won’t move. Sorry that’s not true. I’m running out of space a bit so I tend to overlap them on the shelf then when I happen to knock the shelf they all come tumbling down like things which come tumbling down because they’ve been unsteadily overlapped on a shelf.
8. DS Lite Consoles £80
Yes they are selling but not for so much money as was expected. Those who invested heavily in them at the start of the year will undoubtedly be a bit sad they don’t have the fortune they anticipated. I’ve still got a few in stock but they seem pretty plentiful everywhere. Same with the Wii. Maybe it’s the ‘credit crunch christmas’ that means people haven’t got much money to spend. Maybe it’s just greater availablility and greater market saturation now. I don’t know. But what I do know is I’m fully in control, on a roll, fat as rolypoly and on the whole you think that I’m a threat cause I never make a teacher’s pet.. sorry came over all Betty Boo for a moment there. Must be all that rapping I’ve done lately.
7. Need for Speed Underground 2 – PS2 £4.99
One of the most successful of the NFS series. Most wanted would probably take that crown though. This one has sat at around £5-8 for a long long time. I’ve had lots of them in stock but I’m down to my last one. I quite liked the first of the series in a way but this sequel never attracted my attention. I think it’s something to do with the combination of colours on the cover being less pretty. I think there was some more free roaming elements to this one which is what customers say they like about it. I think Midnight Club got there first but the first couple of installments of that game seem particularly shocking. That is to say they’re rubbish. They improved it a bit with the third one apart from the whole setting it at night so you can’t actually see where you’re driving and can never tell where the corners are. Which is never a good thing. In real life too.
6. Call of Duty 3 – Xbox 360 £12.99
These days if your game says Call of Duty anywhere on the box, it’s going to sell lots. It’s COD4 which did it. They were always consistent sellers on the PS2 though. But now they seem to have become the ‘industry standard’ even more than Medal of Honour. Speaking of which, MOH has been absent for quite a while now. COD is managing yearly updates but MOH seems to have vanished since Airborne. Airborne never saw the success of the earlier games. I’ve sold countless copies of Frontline and Rising Sun. Mainly to old men who were either in the war or like to pretend they were. I can just imagine them playing them with their grandchildren “Ahh it’s just like I remember it. We were dug in just outside Lyon fighting off those Nazi scum. Hard times..” “But Grandad weren’t you just 8 years old at the time?”
5. Fifa 08 – PS2 £7.99
Still selling. Just. Actually it’s selling better than I thought it was. I’m down to my last copy in stock. And turned one away the other day thinking I’d got loads of them in stock. Silly. One great thing about the old product is that you can get it in really cheap so your profit margin can be even more obscene than a Jonathan Ross phone call! Ah Ah ah! Satire! (Well it might have been a couple of months ago – Everyone)
4. Fifa 02 – PS2 £2.99
It’s funny in a way but when they start to get really old they suddenly become collector’s items. At this point they were little more than glorified PS1 games and hadn’t started to utilise more PS2 specific er things. Whatever they might be. People do like to collect the older versions though. It’s amazing how dated the cover looks now. It’s 7 years since release and it looks positively ancient. But then as I recall things changed for 2003 which was widely reported as one of the first good FIFAs. For the first time it gave the player a bit of a challenge. But then 04 returned to bog standard FIFA. The cover style remained pretty much the same from 03 to 05 but 06 looked quite different so that’s probably going to look dated in time. 07 probably has some of the ugliest cover art a FIFA has ever seen. I hate that one.
3. Battle of Europe Add-On for IL2 Sturmovik – PC CD £29.99
I sold a PC game! Even better I sold a PC Game Expansion Pack! FOR MORE THAN THE FULL GAME! Incredible. On Amazon of course. But who would have thought a PC expansion pack could achieve so much money. I’ve always heard good reports about IL2. Isn’t it coming to 360 soon or something? The last combat flight game I played at length was the spiffy Secret Weapons Over Normandy on the Xbox. Sure it wasn’t realistic but it was a heck of a lot of fun. Neeeeroooowwnnng dakka dakkka dakka boom! Shame the lead character was called Jack Chase. Might as well call him Brett Hero or something.
2. Need for Speed Undercover – Xbox 360 £27.50
Despite being available for £20 online it sells well from the stall. I’ve actually sold two and averaged the price there. First one I sold for £25. But it went too fast so I put the price up for the next one I got in. Though the customer did actually ask me for Los Angeles Undercover. Managing to cunningly combine the suffixes of both major street racing game franchise releases into one delightfully incorrect whole. There’s going to be tears this christmas when these games are played. By all accounts Undercover is a horrible horrible mess of a game. The TV advert shows graphics that are ‘representative of game footage’. Well yes. Of the cut scenes maybe. There’s no way you can possibly control your car appropriately from the angles displayed. Nor will the action ever be that exciting. Nor will it move so smoothly. It’ll serve them right of course for wanting something so terrible in the first place. Just because it’s christmas doesn’t mean it’s not a time to learn harsh lessons.
1. Dynasty Band (Preview release)
In which you take down the evil yellow turban rebellion then restore the Han Dynasty by forming a ancient Chinese band. Features Flute, zither and shamisen controllers. Also features Xbox Vision/Playstation Eye functionality to rate your dancing to Diao Chan’s instructions.
So there we have it. That’s it for this year. And what a year it has been. It’s been er.. well. Pretty much like every other year actually. Nothing particularly remarkable. It’s been all right. Most of my gaming fun was on the DS personally. Though Rock Band was particularly good. GTAIV failed to really ignite things though it’s been hard to get this christmas and shot up from £15 second hand to £25. The biggest seller of the year has still been COD4. That game has legs. As they say. So the saying goes. But I’ve seen more broken hearts Than you can count the bullets in gears of war, o h what do I know,
there’s gotta be so much I don’t know. I wanna do great things, I don’t wanna compromise…
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!