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Published on March 12th, 2017 | by IceCube

Copies of NieR: Automata are drastically understocked

 

New action game NieR: Automata has been a raving success among the review scores, scoring an average of 90% across metacritic media reviews, and 9.0 among users.

Despite this incredibly positive response, retail copies of the game in Australia have been severely understocked to a point where you can’t actually buy it without being incredibly lucky.

Released less than a week ago, my weekend visit to three different JB Hi-Fi stores and four different EB Games stores revealed a total of two shelf copies of the game.

Two.

Let that sink in.

Two.

After asking each store clerk why they had no (or little) stock, the answer was the same each time: “We’ve sold out,” followed by: “We only ordered a few copies”.

Er, what?

000
NieR: Automata is a legit Game of the Year candidate. So… where is it?

Meanwhile, copies of the big-budget Horizon: Zero Dawn (which had a similar metacritic average of 89% amongst media reviews and 8.4 user average), had 36 shelf copies across these EB Games stores and a whopping 115 shelf copies across the JB Hi-Fi stores, including individual POS stands.

So, my first question is: Why did this happen?

There seems to be a major issues with Australian retail video game stock lately, with poor sales forecasting leading to horrible stock miscalculations.

Overstocking, in particular of late 2016’s “triple-A” titles, has caused significant, self-inflicted headaches for retailers.

Leftover oversized Collectors Edition boxes (generally sold out at pre-order stage) of: Watch Dogs 2, Dishonored 2, Battlefield 1, Uncharted 4, Gears of War 4 and Titanfall 2 are currently creating storage nightmares for EB Games. Meanwhile, JB Hi-Fi is still feeling the aftermath of overstocking excess quantities of slightly older games, like: Evolve, Doom, Fallout 4 and three rounds of Assassins Creed, among others.

Australian sales figures for NieR Automata are soon to be revealed, but wherever it lands on the charts (if at all!), it makes you wonder how many sales it could achieve had stock been available when the audience was ready to buy.

NieR-Black-Box-Ed-Ann-Init_09-16-16
The NieR: Automata Black Box edition never came to Australia. Right now, just a standard edition would be great.

My second question is: How did this happen?

The answer is a mixture of poor decisions by the publishers and uneducated stocktake by the retailers. Square Enix international tends to allocate only limited quantities of their games to Australia due to severe underordering from Australian retailers in the past.

As they predicted, retailers did under-order NieR: Automata, clearly without much thought or research (and a naive assumption that only generic FPS’s sell) and were left with nowhere near enough copies of the hit game.

If it sounds like you might have missed out, look on the bright side – you can probably use the same money you didn’t spend on NieR: Automata to buy nine leftover Watch Dogs 2 statues.

EBGAMES
How EB Games gets rid of overstocked triple A titles.

Sadly, the Japanese action game genre has been slowly disappearing – despite want and demand – swallowed under the weight of boring FPS shooters and their unwanted sequels. Luring this path to ruin was the promise to Publishers of: digital microtransactions, easy sales and comfort for their beloved investors.

The original game NieR on PS3 and Xbox 360 was another under-sold hit, with fans swearing by its originality, moving story and blissful soundtrack. Now that the world has seen the long-awaited sequel, gamers can finally take part in the Japanese action game series the industry very badly needed.

With the recent, virtual disappearance of big time Japanese publishers like: Konami, Sega and Capcom, among others, NieR: Automata deserves praise for being a flagship and saving grace for the times, let alone just a brilliant game with amazing concepts and characters.

If only we could, you know… buy it.

 

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