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The future of games retailing?

By on June 23, 2010

It’s not exactly news that WHSmith is no longer going to support games. It’s been pulling out since early 2009 and completed its retreat earlier this year.

But I was in a branch of WHSmith recently and I saw that not only was this not true, but Smiths may be at the forefront of the future of games retailing.

This stand offers a huge amount for the retailer and the consumer: It takes little floor space, can be squeezed into the smallest shops, offers high margins and allows users who can’t access credit cards to get money into the online ecosystem.

It’s when you look more closely you realise how important games and virtual goods are to this model. There are vouchers for High Street stores and restaurants like Pizza Express, butroughly 1/3 of the prepaid cards on this rack are for online games like Moshi Monsters and Aeria, for online stores like XBLA and PSN and for virtual worlds like Stardoll.

Is this future of games retail?

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: