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Game no more?
by Jamie Mann on 03/12/12 02:09:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Something which has been headline news in several British publications is the fact that the Game Group is on the verge of bankruptcy.    And while there's nothing new in game retailers going under, this one is worthy of note as Game is the only national UK retailer dedicated to video games - they own both the Game and Gamestation brands.

As such, if they did vanish tomorrow, the short-term impact on the UK games industry could be massive.   For instance, the non-specialist national retailers (e.g. supermarkets, HMV) carry a relatively limited range and quantity of games and may well reduce or abandon the policy of using steep game discounting to attract gamers.   The impact on first-week sales could therefore be significant.

Also, gamers will have fewer options when it comes to trading in their used games (which, if nothing else, may help to answer the question as to whether used games are the bane of the industry or a golden egg).

Admittedly, if Game does go bankrupt, the most likely scenario is that someone will buy their assets and reopen the stores.  And however things play out, this could benefit the few remaining independent stores, as well as the regional chains (e.g. Graingers).

Still, what do other people think?  Is this an early portent of the inevitable collapse of physical game retailing, or just a company which has failed to move with the times?


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Comments


Alan Youngblood
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My guess is that Gamestop is going to move in for the kill. The dev side of the industry may still be hurting in the UK, but I don't see the demand for games waning necessarily. The trend of media companies is always to merge, buyout and conglomerate until they are at monopoly or oligopoly functioning as a monopoly status. Legal structures in my home country of the USA is such that encourages such action, discourages innovation and competition. I'd wager it's very similar across the pond in the UK. I was honestly shocked to hear about Game having trouble too, but it's highly unlikely that much will change. As your fellow countryman, Roger Daltrey, has often said: Meet the new boss, just as same as the old boss. And for dramatic affect: /puts on sunglasses and cue: "YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!"

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