Sunday, 11 March 2012

The situation at Game, pt 1

I've been planning to write about the situation occurring at Game for the past week odd but with the way things are going with the company I'd better write about it sooner rather than later.

I'm going to write about this over two posts due to two things. The first is the length of the post(s) and the second is that the first post will cover what is actually happening according to reports and the second post will be offering my opinion on the current situation.

So, where to start.

Well let's quickly go back to 2007 when Game bought Gamestation. The acquisition made Game the largest company selling video games, effectively meaning that they could price games at however much they wanted. This lead to 'gamers' using Gamestation and everyone else using Game for their gaming needs. Between 2007 and now on-line shopping really took off and Grainger Games moved from being a couple of shops up North to opening just under seventy stores. Add to this the economic crisis and Game not changing their pricing strategy things started to look bleak, which brings us to now.

At the beginning of February this year Game announced that they had hit financial difficulties and had lost their credit insurance and were being asked to pay for new stock with cash, something that may have not been possible due to poor Christmas sales. Shares immediately fell, which have never recovered.

Move to a few weeks later and the troubles really started with the news that Game would not be stocking Tekken 3DS and The Last Story. It was also announced on the plus side that Sony would heavily be promoting the upcoming PS Vita through Game, on the negative side, Game would not be stocking any Ubisoft games for the PS Vita. After this the announcements for what games would not be stocked in Game came thick and fast with no Mario Party 9 added to the Nintendo side and from EA, no Mass Effect 3. One of, if not the biggest release of the year would not be being sold at Game. On top of that EA also announced that no games after SSX would be stocked in Game. A massive blow to lose all games from a developer but to really kick them when they were down, Capcom came out and announced that Streetfighter vs Tekken and Asura's Wrath would also not be stocked, effectively putting the final nail in the coffin.

Come Wednesday March 7th and Game start the 'Spring clean' sale where pre-owned games are drastically reduced to as little as 48p in all Game and Gamestation stores resulting in massive volumes of stock being sold and stores being busier than ever. Could this be enough to save Game? Not if reports are to be believed. Just two days ago it was announced that Game had just two weeks to turn things around before entering administration, yet another huge blow to the company and another today when it was announced that the quarterly rent bill will be due in... two weeks.

With this news it's very unlikely that Game will survive and definitely not as the company that it is now. As of writing they have announced that they are looking for a buyer before the rent is due and with Gamestop allegedly sniffing around some stores may end up being sold but it's definitely not looking good for Game.


  1. Though I have sympathy for all the people who'll lose their jobs, I'd rather it be game than another video game retailer that goes under. Grainger games is a great store for preowned and new titles. There may be better deals on the net but not by much.

    And then there's also HMV. Sometimes I may not like their prices, but they certainly have a large range of titles & accessories. Its also nice the number of demo stations they have, with no annoying staff asking if you need help or want to purchase points/insurance.

    Bring on more 48p deals!

  2. I agree that the GAME group have made some costly marketing/pricing blunders to put themselves in this position yet I still wouldn't want them to disappear as GAME and Gamestation are the only two games places in my town centre. I've never even seen a CEX or Grainger games store for example so there'd be nowhere to go for me.

    Also, I saw SFxTekken display things in GAME advertising the LE...possibly something they forgot to take down?

  3. I'm afraid that I'm not going to say much in response I'm afraid as a lot of what I would say will be covered in part 2 of the post.

    Part 2, though started, has been delayed for the moment due to how quickly things are changing on a daily basis. I'm going to give it a few days to see what happens and write accordingly.

    Thanks for commenting though guys.