Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, has warned that retailers who choose to parallel import stock may harm the local games industry and that such actions could impact negatively on the retailers themselves.
This week, JB HiFi began selling and promoting imported games in its stores. The move follows growing anger among local gamers over the seemingly inflated price of games sourced through sanctioned channels.
“In some cases consumers could purchase titles cheaper from overseas than we could locally via the licensed distributor,” JB’s Marketing Director, Scott Browning then told Kotaku. “We have decided to act in accordance with our cheapest prices promise and source selected popular titles directly from overseas wholesalers in order to provide these prices to our customers.”
Today, Ron Curry expressed his concern over the growing practice of parallel importing.
“Europe's continuing struggle with its worsening economic position has seen a flood of excess stock hit the open market,” Curry told GameSpot. “Coupled with a very strong dollar, this makes it very appealing for local retailers to purchase this product directly from offshore wholesalers.
“Wholesale parallel importing does have a direct impact on local publishers, distributors, and the companies who support them. The revenues generated locally support not only local employment, but fund marketing, in-store displays, advertising, classification obligations, etc.”
“Without this local level of support, retailers in Australia will see a direct impact on their businesses, as will consumers and other local businesses who survive by supporting the Australian video game industry.”
This news follows a parliamentary inquiry into the pricing of digitally distributed content in Australia, and is set against retailer GAME Australia going into voluntary administration.