While Tesco and Woolworths may have been the first big name retailers to announce a range of own-brand software (in both cases courtesy of white-label operation FormJet) DSGi has gone one step further by announcing its intention to break into casual PC games publishing.

DSGi’s game plan

Apart from being a somewhat unusual move for a retail chain, it is also a particularly bolshy move for a firm which has been dogged recently by profit warnings, reported potential store closures and even faced FTSE delisting. However, DSGi has clearly come out of this period swinging, and is adamant of success in what has up until now been an entirely alien playing field.

"We’re going to go out there to the development community and say DSGi is publishing casual games," said David Johnson, DSGi’s head of international buying for PC software and consoles, to PC Retail’s sister magazine MCV. "The content will be PC and casual game based, although we’d also love to develop into the mobile space. We’re working on a publishing model that will have a retail product and a download product, which is PC-based. I’d love to get a successful product, like the next Bejewelled."

As part of its drive DSGi is calling out to the games development community to create alliances that would enable it to find the next big thing in casual PC gaming. With such a vast retail network (comprising 1,400 stores worldwide) and a strong online operation, such games would certainly have no trouble getting the support they needed to attract consumers – a situation many small games publishers would be enviable of.

"We’re looking for developers, large and small, maybe even the two and three people groups, or the one guy/girl who just have great games concept ideas. I remember meeting the creator of Worms at an Ocean product launch in Manchester around 1996. He was a really creative original thinker. With a combination of DSGi at retail internationally and the medium of the internet, we could uncover the next Worms creator.

"Casual gaming is exploding, it’s an ideal medium for mobile, and plays to our strengths in European PC retailing. Eventually we could look to partner with companies that have worked in publishing as well as retail and distribution. I’ve got a vision of a business model including global publishing deals. If the IP we discover is strong enough, why not?"

DSGi will take the wraps off its gaming brand soon, and certainly seems intent to making it a success.

Stay tuned to PC Retail for updates.

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