PC games rental specialist Gamester has been forced to amend its contracts after complaints from outraged retailers.
Following a hard-hitting list of demands from trade body ESRA (Entertainment Software Retailers Association), which insisted: "no further statements should be made by Gamester that cannot be justified," renters of the service are now being given a get-out clause.
According to ESRA director general Derek Mann, Gamester had claimed it had the guaranteed support of three games publishers which it was later unable to substantiate.
But the new contract allows Gamester to keep its software suppliers up its sleeve. "Gamester are legally bound not to release the names of the publishers or the titles before the documentation is fully complete," states the opening paragraph of the contract.
Retailers remain sceptical in spite of the amended contracts. "Anyone who signs up with them has probably got three sets of double glazing," said Will Copeland, owner of One Step Beyond.
According to NASCR chairman Richard Loose the association is recommending its members do not sign up with Gamester until participating games publishers are announced. "We tackled Gamester at ECTS and told them to stop their heavy pressure sales tactics on our members," said Loose.
The only Gamester face known to the trade is Giles Hunter, owner of Guildhall Leisure and The Computer Store. Hunter described his role as "advisory" and "provider of retail contacts". Hunter assisted in presentations to top games publishers including Ocean, Microprose and Psygnosis.
Gamester MD Melih Abdulhayoglu claimed the scheme had been a tremendous success with more than 130 retailers on board. He said he was looking for a further 60 sales staff.
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