Categories: Gaming News   Tags: , , , , ,

As you may or may not be aware, high street retailer GAME is facing its untimely demise. The company’s shares are in free-fall after a rocky year and the recent blow of being unable to stock key titles Mass Effect 3 and Mario Party 9. GAME Group is facing administration, but the ramifications of that could seriously impact every game you buy from now on.

The times they are a changin’. Just a week after word broke that the Xbox 720 won’t even have a disc drive and that Valve is planning a download-only Steam console, GAME Group looks set to collapse.

Well, you may well be thinking, fair enough: the high street is no place to find cheap games these days. Adapt to survive, and all that. But hang on a minute: the end of GAME will affect the price of games across the board in the UK, and here’s why:

Remember when Modern Warfare 3 came out? UK supermarkets were tripping over themselves to offer it at the absolute cheapest price possible, with some really amazing savings coming out as a result.

What games retailers can learn from Steam

Now compare that with Mass Effect 3. GAME’s inability to stock it has resulted in a distinctly average set of prices across the board. Asda was the only one to really bother advertising a deal, and even then it was nearly £38. All because there’s no competition.

GAME going under will mean that, for the most part, this trend will continue and it’ll be the end of the mega supermarket savings we’ve come to expect. Games are one of the few products that seem to be completely inflation proof; today’s console titles sell for the same or less than they did ten years ago, despite production costs now topping the hundreds of millions.

Microsoft wants to kill high street games stores

In that sort of situation something’s eventually gotta give; this time it seems it’s GAME who’s taking the hit. Want to save the high street staple? Go and buy something. Glad it’s going? Let us know below.

  • Anonymous

    Tricky one, isn’t it? GAME Is useful because it sells titles at a higher price to the unwashed masses, while creating bargains for savvy shoppers elsewhere. But I will be sad to see it go: the more competition, the merrier.

  • Anonymous

    Tricky one, isn’t it? GAME Is useful because it sells titles at a higher price to the unwashed masses, while creating bargains for savvy shoppers elsewhere. But I will be sad to see it go: the more competition, the merrier.

  • Mr Blue

    I thought Valve have confirmed that a Steam console is not going to happen?

    There own doing to be honest! Saying that picked up Gears of War 3 for £12 and Star Wars The Old Republic CE for £35.

  • Mr Blue

    I thought Valve have confirmed that a Steam console is not going to happen?

    There own doing to be honest! Saying that picked up Gears of War 3 for £12 and Star Wars The Old Republic CE for £35.

    • Anonymous

      Valve has said it isn’t happening in the immediate future – emphasis on immediate.

  • Craig Poole

    It’s a real shame but the industry is being held back by the dead limb that is bricks and mortar shops.

    It really doesn’t make sense today to have discs to carry games on. They’re expensive to make, ship, and store.

    Alternatives could be:

    * Sell prepaid cards to allow people to download their games (retailer bonuses would have to be used to maintain interest).

    * Sell digital copies on branded USB sticks with the game pre-installed. That way the new gen of consoles only need a USB 3.0 port. This way Game could store tons of their own USB sticks and just digitally transfer the game + licence file to the stick at the point of purchase. You could even offer discounts to customers who brought back their keys for their next purchase.

    Either way, In the short-term, if they’re to remain open for business; the stores will have to find a new business model based around pre-paid cards, peripherals and hardware.

    • http://rigu.co.uk/ Andrew Bowness

      I like the idea of the branded USB sticks (as I live in a rural area and have 1mb internet the thought of having to download every game I play is not a prospect I relish), and that you could go and ‘charge’ them with a few games in a physical shop. You could pay about the same amount as a digital download (cutting overloads of stock storage and purchasing), and having that service in a shop would probably help with customer loyalty. You just saved Game! Or doomed it, I’m not sure…

  • Craig Poole

    It’s a real shame but the industry is being held back by the dead limb that is bricks and mortar shops.

    It really doesn’t make sense today to have discs to carry games on. They’re expensive to make, ship, and store.

    Alternatives could be:

    * Sell prepaid cards to allow people to download their games (retailer bonuses would have to be used to maintain interest).

    * Sell digital copies on branded USB sticks with the game pre-installed. That way the new gen of consoles only need a USB 3.0 port. This way Game could store tons of their own USB sticks and just digitally transfer the game + licence file to the stick at the point of purchase. You could even offer discounts to customers who brought back their keys for their next purchase.

    Either way, In the short-term, if they’re to remain open for business; the stores will have to find a new business model based around pre-paid cards, peripherals and hardware.

  • Anonymous

    Supermarkets mostly compete with each other so I doubt this will make a huge difference. If anything it will drive further games traffic to supermarkets and create even more competition between them, and supermarkets are able to offer better deals because of their greater cash flow and diverse nature. This could even potentially result in a long-term benefit to the consumer.

Hot chat, right here!


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