Now this is disturbing. A report from MCV states that some retailers in the United Kingdom are refusing to stock Muramasa: The Demon Blade based on its niche target audience.
The information actually comes from Martin Defries, managing director and COO of Rising Star. He writes in reply to a previous MCV article:
‘Muramasa’ sold almost 30K units week one in Japan (putting it in at number two, all-formats) and 52,000 week one US (beating Dead Space Extraction).
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 (as proven above), not because it is delayed or late and not because of absence of pre awareness public relations. It is because retail is becoming increasingly choosy and actively reducing the variety that is offered to consumers – if it is not first-party, a sequel or supported by a multi-million pound advertising spend, they are just not interested.
The irony is, of course, these stores will happily accept ‘Muramasa’ as part of a trade-in deal and the game will retail for half the price of its first launch with weeks.
This kind of news isn’t uncommon anymore, unfortunately. Retail stores in general seem to be resisting anything they feel won’t bring in the highest level of profits or affect their own sales positively in some way. There have already been several reports of retailers in both the US and in Europe refusing to stock the PSP Go, and there was a story a while back about GameStop resisting Steam installs as well.