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GAME's Retail Future

GAME's Retail Future

GAME's Retail Future

The first time I heard about GAME's struggling ways I instantly took it as a shock. In Milton Keynes (where I'm from) there are two GAME shops in the central shopping center and both are always without fail packed to the brim full of customers, waiting to buy the latest releases to grace the world of gaming. Bearing in mind, that was one example, I had to question myself as to why they could be going under.

They have a strong online business, they have packed stores in busy shopping centers and they are still struggling. Understandably, many would consider buying online a more suitable means of obtaining such luxuries, especially now that the game's retail industry is drifting more and more towards digital downloads and sales; but the fact that GAME were still going strong (in my eyes) in the retail sector gave me the impression that they would be one of the last companies to go under, especially considering the huge, loyal fan-base they had built up since the days of them being Electronics Boutique.

But then it occurred to me, GAME, for all their success, were still just selling games and that was it. They were doing what everyone else was doing already online but continuing to pay out to the members of in-store staff, the transportation for each game and the rental costs for each and every individual store. And for why?; to do the same thing that they could be doing for a fraction of the price on the internet.

GAME have gone under in the same way Zavvi did - they didn't offer anything new in an ever expanding market. And what happened to Zavvi? Now they are trading solely online - purchased by an umbrella company that seems to sell the exact same stuff over several other websites like 'The Hut'. I would hate to see GAME go down the same root of being branded the same, selling the same items and not having any personality. Baker and OpCapita (the GAME takeover companies) need to do something else other than just selling games if they want to continue running on the high-street.

Social gaming is becoming more and more popular at the moment and maybe GAME need to go down that route if they plan to keep as many stores open as they have already. I'm not talking Farmville and Mafia Wars social, I mean real-life social. Why not host gaming tournaments that 10s/100s of gamers can pay to attend with the opportunity of winning prizes. Transform the shops into 'LAN style' hot spots for gamers to meet, hang out and play some games. Isn't that what it's all about, playing games? I'm not saying stop selling games all-together, but maybe only hold a limited stock of the newest games. As for pre-owned, why not implement a scan and send service much like Music Magpie. Gamers scan the barcodes of each game they intend to trade-in from their smartphones, get a quoted price (as long as they are in good nick) to send them off to get cash or credit.

I'm no expert on business but these won't be hard to put into practice as most of the technology and substance is already available. One thing's for certain, GAME and Backer and OpCapita, need to level up in the industry if they want to continue being the 'go-to-place' for gaming in the flesh.

When I was a teenager, my naive dream was to work for GAME, not HMV, not Blockbusters, GAME. They presented themselves in such a unique and pleasant way that was so appealing to me, but if GAME crumble and become part of the factory-line mould of tech companies then the GAME name would be dead to me and there will be nothing left but a shattered, empty carcass of what once was a great company.

GAME Store

James Bralant

James Bralant

Staff Writer

James spends his time playing almost anything. Talents include: having a socially-awkward hair colour and getting far too angry after losing

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ItsWhatWeDo-1428101011 - 03:13pm, 18th July 2016

I imagine we are a similar age based on the EB remark and growing up aspiring to work for GAME unaware of what it actually entailed. It's assuring to read that others were as naive as me ;) After wanting to work for GAME I wanted to be a footballer, an architect and then a graphic designer. Most of the people I speak to, talk about GAME as if they are a scourge on the industry, but I only think of them with fond memories and agree; it would be a real shame if they follow the route as Zavvi and so many other high street names. Nice blog!