People keep telling me the games market is in bad shape, yet we grew our UK business by 150 per cent this year. I don’t believe any other games company could do that. There is no doubt that times are tough, bad debts are up, and that cash and banking facilities are at a premium in times like this. However, we have continued to grow for a number of reasons.
The easy win is to drive quick sales via hot licences and TV-advertising, but the critical thing is getting people to play games. That is the only long-term strategy that makes sense for a games company. For the toy companies like Hasbro, Mattel, Character and so on, the toy model is the easy option – loads of TVRs, low focus on gameplay. We focus on gameplay and on getting people to play games. We only bring our games to retail once they are ready – both in terms of gameplay and consumer awareness. This reduces the risk to retailers of stocking new products. For example, we have two award-winning board games – Quelf and Flapdoodle – that we could launch in 2009 and shift tens of thousands of boxes, but that doesn’t create the next brand that retailers can rely on to deliver year after year.
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