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is our official representative.
Authorized Re-Seller of Digital Games and Software.
All of our digital product is 100% authentic. All over this site we will bang on about being “Authorized” or “Authentic”. This is for many reasons, most notably:
- We buy from the publishers that we represent. Simple. You wont have account lock outs, DLC problems, region problems. Simple.
- We find the idea of code stripping (the new grey market) a big black mark against the industry. Socially, environmentally and morally – its not what we stand for.
- The publishers have scrutinized us so that we can become Authorized. So why not tell the world.
- Trust in the digital world is the #1 commodity.
Here are some Publishers sites that specifically mention approved re-sellers:
(Note: we are in no way affiliated with Save Michigan group, nor savemi.mobi website)
So enough of our nonsense – here is the history – and where we look at going.
The Start of Savemi
I was sitting in a boardroom for the umpteenth time.
I was working for the now defunct THQ in LA, driving the marketing of the WWE video game brand. We had had a great run with the product and a great time in doing so.
The meeting was neither a good nor bad one. Just another meeting. Then a bolt of sunshine from the top windows literally hit me between the eyes. I was done. Time to do my own thing.
As we made the plans to return our lives back to Australia, I asked my self the question – what am I going to do now?
Coming from the US, watching every new release launch at a $59.95 price point, it was a bit of a shock to come back to Aus to see new releases still coming out at just under $100. In the context of our dollar approaching parity with the US, it seemed a bit wrong.
The initial idea was to start our own retail portal – importing physical copies of games and retailing them well under market price whilst still making a good dollar.
We spent a lot of time researching every retailer and site delivering to Australia. Pages and pages of pricing data over different genres and formats of games.
At the time, what we found was that retailers like “Ozgameshop”, “Ausgamez”, “Play Asia” and “Zavvi” were already doing a pretty good job of this. So there wasn’t really anything we could add here – and our margins would have been super tight whilst having to handle physical stock.
We took a step back and had a look at all of the data that we had captured and thought “This is actually more valuable than setting up our own retail store.”
Savemi Price Comparisons
Our initial idea was to call the site “Savegame.” We went down the path of designing the site, securing the URL, registering the business and getting all of the bits and pieces in check. Up until this point, nobody had registered anything under the name of Savegame – so we were good to go.
We were just about to push the button to make the site go live and discovered that literally days before we launched, somebody had registered a logo “Savegame” by coincidence. We couldn’t register our logo or the name. And we couldn’t launch without the potential of legal action somewhere down the line.
We were deflated. Already our first major hurdle and we hadn’t even launched yet.
I was driving around with this all going through my head – what are we going to call the site now? How much is it going to cost to change? How quickly can we get it done?
Names were being discarded as quickly as they were being generated: “Savepoint”, “Save……..”
My infant daughter was in the back seat experimenting with language: “mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi”.
A quick call into our lawyer and “Savemi” (pronounced Save Me) was born.
Why did we not call it Save Me? Because we could not have registered it. It was two common words in a common phrase. But a minute spelling change? No problem.
And the name Savemi then could lend itself to any product or service category, where as Save Game was limited.
The only real competition at the time was Gamecafe – who did a good job collating prices from around the world, but neglected key Aus retailers like Kmart, Big W and Target. Along with showing ebay prices, that was our competitive advantage.
Our key source of revenue came from affiliate marketing links and pay-per-click advertising.
After about 6-8 months, our traffic started to improve as our Google rankings improved along with word of mouth. However we were finding 2 key problems with the Australian market.
- Affiliate marketing was really in its infancy here and very few key retailers use it. It was and still is far more advanced in the UK and US.
- Click through rates here are exceedingly low. The market is suspicious of advertising and will actively avoid affiliate links.
So we decided to launch into the UK – as we were capturing a lot of that data anyway to use of the Aus site.
Again it took about 6-8 months and by the end of May 2013, Savemi was number 1 on Google in the UK when you searched for “FIFA 14 prices”.
Savemi and Google
Panda. The deadly update from Google. We went from being front page for most products to being wiped off the face of Google Earth. Why? Because we were re-purposing information from other sites. Well at the end – that was our best guess. We tried a multitude of different approaches and fixes. But we never recovered. We weren’t alone either – many price comparison site across a range of industries suffered the same fate.
Compounding this immediate loss of traffic were other external factors that made video games price comparison less relevant:
- Exchange rate. As the major world economies began to claw their way back (coupled with the decline of Australia’s resource boom) the AUD rapidly began to fall. In a short pace of time, we have gone from above parity with the USD to now almost 80 cents in the dollar. This means that it is now far less attractive to buy boxed product from overseas – a key driver of our traffic.
- The death of PC boxed product. With the tremendous rise of Steam and digital download came the inevitable demise of PC boxed product. We previously has got a lot of traffic from PC boxed product. That audience disappeared. In the UK, digital download of console games has also risen with the new generation of consoles
- Casual gaming and portable devices. The Wii casual gaming audience dissipated as quickly as it emerged. Casual gaming switched to mobile devices – and who wants to price compare a free-to-play game?
- Reduction of pricing of new releases. In Australia the launch price of console games dropped dramatically at major retailers like Big W, Target and Kmart. So customers were savvy enough to just buy in the first week of launch when the products were in catalogue.
We were faced with decision of:
- Continue swimming upstream and trudging on with our price comparison site – which was not making money but involved an amazing amount of work.
- Close the site down and go try something else
- Re-invent ourselves.
It was about that time that we got talking to some old contacts in the industry and an opportunity came up to digitally distribute PC product. We had nothing to lose, so we jumped at it.
We still do the odd bit of price comparison – especially for the bigger titles – mainly in the lead up to and including launch.
With the pricing knowledge that we have, we can offer to you prices that are fair, that wont send us bankrupt. And if we cant give you a fair price, we will endeavour to point out where to shop.
The Future of Savemi
As we are independent retailers, our aim is to start to showcase independent games more.
To do this, we first need to source all of the big boy products like the Call of Duty’s of the world to help drive traffic through the site. So that is our current focus, doing deals with the major publishers to be able to sell the top PC product.
Our focus will then partly shift toward sourcing more targeted indie games and showcase them to the world. Increasing our product range along the way.
We are also determined to increase our product range in other areas across a broad spectrum. But more on that later….
Adding to that we are looking at the rights to a tournament engine and an e-sports product.
We thank you all for your support and if you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me at anytime.