News Article

UK Retailers Give Muramasa a Miss

Posted by James Newton

Some shops not interested in swords and beautiful animation

Although we love Muramasa: The Demon Blade around here, it seems UK retailers are less than optimistic about the game's success, with some stores refusing to stock it completely.

Martin Defries, managing director and general head honcho of the game's UK publisher Rising Star Games, wrote into UK trade mag MCV recently to highlight the game's limbo-like position. Citing sales figures from Japan and the US - where it outsold the superlative Dead Space: Extraction - Mr Defries says retailers simply aren't interested in games like Muramasa.

Here in the UK, the game will NOT be available to buy in the majority of video game retail outlets. Evidently this is not because of game quality... it is because retail is becoming increasingly choosy and actively reducing the variety that is offered to consumers.

Although Mr Defries doesn't name specific retailers, with only a handful of big-name games shops in the land it's not difficult to figure out who's refused to stock the title. If you want to get your hands on a slice of Oriental gaming goodness, you'd better get on the phone to your local games emporium and see if they're going to be stocking Rising Star's latest release. If they're not, vote with your feet, or risk losing titles like this altogether.


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User Comments (41)



Sneaker13 said:

Really want this game. Next month for Europe though. I hope I have money by then.



Chrono_Cross said:

I, too haven't got this game yet. Maybe I'll go to the UK and get myself a copy at the nearest retailer.



cheetahman91 said:

How stupid of the British. Some really wanted to try this game out. Looks like those people will have to search harder now.



Machu said:

"Evidently this is not because of game quality... it is because retail is becoming increasingly choosy"

Choosy? They weren't choosy whilst filling their shelves with 5h1te for the last 2 years, this is a joke. Any idea as yet, as to where we will be able to buy it? 0_o



Ristar42 said:

Argghh, why!? I knew this would happen, shelves heaving with cynically produced utter junk for the Wii and they wont stock a game which has evidently involved some artistry. Hope I can buy online at least and its not a total no-show like both SNK collections. Will we ever see Fragile...



Egg_miester said:

i also read this on gamespot fourms and i am still shocked you think that even if if they werenot sure how well the game would sell that companys would look at sites like vgcharts sure you can't trust vgcharts but i am sure they are close to the number of uints sold this game is a great game and as proof in japan they sold every copy that was made of the game



Stevie said:

I checked on last week and they had it available for Pre-order for £24.99. This is not really a big issue for me as I nearly always buy my games online now, you can usually find the game you want for cheaper, don't have to move from your house and quite often get games a day before the official release date if you Pre-order.

Another thing is if you see a game that looks interesting you can read reviews online straight away rather than having to wait till you get home or asking store staff for their opinion (never buy a game off the merit of store staff)



Stargazer said:

I will personally hack these retailers to death with a blunt sword.

That will teach them.

And give more positive press to violence and video games.



zemulii said:

That's pathetic. There are so many awful games on the shelves here... I'm sure the same is true in the UK. Everyone should go in and ask for the game at these stores (whether they actually need it or not ), so they can see their stupidity.



Mqblank said:

Well, that's made my mind up. I'm pre-ordering this game right now. The sad fact is that good games just don't sell on the Wii. Another unfortunate thing for the game is that it is being released at the same time as New Super Mario Wii for this platform and is up against the ungodly expensive Modern Warfare 2 on 360/ps3



taffy said:

I don't bother with high street retailer sites as their selection is usually sub-par. and are the best in my opinion and they both have the game for pre-order.



edhe said:

Then the blame lays squarely on Rising Star's advertising.

If they shelled out on a bit of advertising (God knows Xbox and PS3 games get plenty of UK TV airtime), maybe they'd sell a few more games.

Lest we forget Little King's Story and it's triumphant sales performance.



Ristar42 said:

I dunno, what also really annoys me is when you simply cant find a game because retailers assume that no one will buy it. How can it sell if its not there? I'd love to see sales figures for King of Fighters collection here as despite its 'release', it is not available online in the UK and I have never seen a copy.



astarisborn94 said:

It's sad when great titles like this game is neglected for more casual shovelwares. Rising Stars didn't do anything.

And what do you means by "Vote with your foot"? Do you mean "Vote with your wallet"?



Warioware said:

Well at least we can all still pick up our copies of Ninjabreadman, that's something at least. And always in stock.

Was Odin Sphere not successful then? And I thought that No More Heroes, published by Rising Star, was a commercial success in Europe.....?



blank_user_1 said:

Well, I'm not going to get it, but I know retail stocks plenty of games of lesser quality than Muramasa. Shame, especially when everyone else here seems to understand this is stupid.



Megumi said:

Every time I try to rent this or A Boy and His Blob to try them out they never have it, should I just flat out buy them?...Well, not next month since I'll be getting New Super Mario Bros. Wii, ugh, I really want to try these games. Waaaah!



Devil_Hunter_Dante said:

I have not played the game but its kind of retarded they are not going to stock this game as it might sell a lot better than they expect.



Zork2 said:

I'm still playing Muramasa all the time. It's awesome. Poo on those stupid retailers.



odd69 said:

Those retailers are the most dumbest people ever, do they not realize how good it would sale? If i were in the UK i would get a bunch of gamers together and demand the title like going to these places all together ,send emails write letter etc; people in numbers would change their minds.



Chunky_Droid said:

This is the stupidest thing since Nintendo of Australia only stocking Punch-Out!! Wii in only one retailer.




Sean_Aaron said:

Well, it's at the GAME online site, so they damn well better be carrying it in store because I was hoping to use my saved credit for this and a CC PRO next month!

I find it hard to believe Gamestation wouldn't sell it in store (though they're also owned by GAME), so who could it be? HMV?



Raylax said:

Another blow to a market doomed to fail again if retailers keep this up. The CEO's of these shops must be incredibly narrow-minded. I hope someone up there realises that if they just stock the crap games, sure, they'll make a lot of money quickly, but all it's doing is forcing their normal customers to shop elsewhere. And when the new party get bored of all the shovelware, think there's nothing better available, and go back to playing Sudoku in the local newspaper, the shops will get hit pretty badly, which in turn will impact on the industry as a whole. I'm not saying the casual crowd are going to lap up Muramasa, but the likelyhood that the casual gamers can spot the rare glimmer of a good casual game amongst the shelves packed with crap is unlikely to result in a long-term success. Popcorn Arcade and can pump out their foul produce in a matter of weeks; whereas something like Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games can take almost a year to produce.



JimLad said:

The sooner digital distribution becomes the norm, the better.

Retailers have held this industry back for long enough.



Bass_X0 said:

The CEO's of these shops must be incredibly narrow-minded.

Sadly, its not the CEO's that are incredibly narrow-minded but the majority of the gaming public. If a game doesn't have a well known character, license or franchise attached, isn't hyped up to insane levels or doesn't appeal to "casual" or young gamers then it doesn't sell.



TorisuRSG said:

Hi all, thanks very much for your interest in and support for Muramasa. As far as I know you will be able to buy it from most if not all online retailers - it's just some high street stores that won't stock it.



Sean_Aaron said:

I've put in a pre-order at the GAME on Sauchiehall street. So whomever this "big retailer" is, it clearly isn't THE big retailer for games -- either that or GAME is doing something different north of the Border.



Machu said:

@Bass & Stevie: I know I can buy I online (and may have to), but like others, I like to browse when I go game shopping. If everybody buys online game shops will soon disappear, which I don't want, so I like to buy in-store.

And a big hello to TorisuRSG! Just wanna thank you guys for making such awesome games available to us, despite the hurdles. With NMH and LKS, you gave me two of the best games I've ever played, and because of that, I will always be a fan. Keep up the good work.



FantasiaWHT said:

Once again - rent, don't buy. Fun for a short bit, but no staying power at all. The second character is a joke because you have the exact same move set and fight the exact same enemies (although new bosses). The sword tree is nowhere near as free as it looks. Most of the sword special skills are useless.



vherub said:

I really enjoyed the game, 20+ hours to get all the swords and 5 of the 6 endings.
I disagree with the special sword skills being useless, on the higher difficulty, the different sword skills (and powers) make a huge difference.
On the easy difficulty, I agree, there is no need to bother with what makes each character separate, but it becomes far more apparent when playing hard. The game might have benefited from a third, in-between difficulty setting.
It's a shame that quality wii titles don't seem to sell any better than garbage wii titles. Has to be frustrating for a developer, why bother polishing the game if there won't be a sales increase from the time and money spent.



James said:

Hey, TorisuRSG - thanks for clearing that up. Nice to know the true specialists Game (and presumably Gamestation) are stocking this title, and I hope it does well for you guys. Then let's sit down and talk about Little King's Story 2...



Starwolf_UK said:

@Warioware. Yep and they marketed that one on TV.

Still the best part of the quote was missed and that was the fact the retailers would be happy to accept copies of Muramasa as part of a trade-in deal (i.e. they'll accept copies from customers but not from the original publisher...mainly because they can piss on a customer and get a much higher margin of profit due to selling the used copy for a whole £2.02 cheaper than a new copy...don't stock any new copies and...)

As for stock. Call of Duty came out the Week before. New super Mario Bros Wii is out the same day. Which one do you stock a few copies of? Muramasa is murawhat now in the conversation. The solution is obvious. Delay to Q1 2010...which makes me say "Rising Star games, you had your chance, I'm getting an America copy" so probably isn't much better.

Seriously, places like GAME will stock a copy unless someone pre-orders it in which case they stock 4. And this is supposed to be a specialist retailer. It isn't just 3rd parties, happens to first party as well. See: Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon (which was 0 stock in GAME...except the 10 largest stores in the country in which case it was 1) which was basically the same retail climate.

This reminds me I should consider switching my pre-order from Amazon to GAME sometime (both are the same price, but GAME have the reward points so GAME works out ~£1.50 cheaper)



Sean_Aaron said:

Well, I'm not interested in Mario so this gets my money. It was originally reported as delayed until 2010 so having it come out now is supposed to be a happy surprise for us! BE HAPPY!

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