GAME Over?

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maf-me-quick
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GAME Over?

Post by maf-me-quick » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:24 am

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012- ... -new-games
UK shop GAME appears to be in trouble after doubt was cast on its ability to buy new games.
Eurogamer has heard from multiple UK industry sources that the specialist video game retailer has lost credit insurance with a number of agencies.
This means that publishers are now forced to take the risk on games that do not sell - something they do not wish to do.
GAME is now being asked to pay for new stock with cash. If GAME doesn't have the cash, it could result in the shop being unable to stock new games.
On the loss of credit insurance with agencies, GAME said: "You work with each supplier to come up with an answer and that's what we're doing."
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012- ... il-partner
EA boss John Riccitiello has voiced concerns about the financial health of a "major European retail partner".
Speaking during an investor call earlier today, Riccitiello didn't name the company in question, but explained that the situation could affect the publisher's next set of financials.
"We are concerned with the financial condition of one of our major European retail partners, which could lead to both increased bad debt and lost sales," he said.
so what's up? i always pictured GAME to be just like gamestop in USA; the dominant specialist video game retailer. with that in mind i did not expect this.

what do you think happened? is amazon killing them? is the economy killing them? why aren't they making big sales? it's weird, right? i can't figure out why this is happening.

not to jump the gun too much but what do you think the repercussions would be if GAME disappeared? i mean i don't think we'd lose sleep over it but it'd be very noticeable. and i wonder who would step up to the plate after. who would get all them exclusive CE's?

personally i don't use GAME when i don't have to because i think the way they handle transactions is awful, but still; shit's crazy.
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Rotek
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Re: GAME Over?

Post by Rotek » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:07 am

It's happening because they're too expensive for the consumer. They don't seem to be competing any more. Hell, they're even being priced out of the market by their own website! A friend of mine told me a while back (I'm willing to believe him, but might be wrong, just bear that in mind!) that Game and its online store are practically separate companies that are just part of the same group. Kind of like the stores of Game and Gamestation - owned by the same people, but allowed to compete.

For instance, a couple of weeks back I saw Game's website offering the new Assassin's Creed game for £25 and RAGE for a tenner. I had a little cash that I got for my birthday, so really wanted to buy them in store...except that they were both over £3 more expensive. Now, it's only £6, I know, but that's not really the point! There's loads of other examples as well - do you want to buy Super Mario 3D Land in store for £38 or online for £32? Or, let's be honest, from Play.com or Amazon for £23 at the moment? Yeah, exactly.

It doesn't help that their trade-in prices aren't that attractive any more. I bet I could get more on eBay for anything than Game would offer me in-store.

The thing that would worry me is if it was the Game Group that's in trouble. Because that could spell the end of Game, Gamestation, their online stores and Gameplay.co.uk. And possibly others that I don't know about as well. Which would obviously be insane.

As it stands, I don't tend to buy much in-store at Game any more, unless it's something old and pre-owned or new and I buy on impulse, but it's always nice to have a look round. I'd definitely be sad to see them go.
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Re: GAME Over?

Post by djsmiley2k » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:47 am

The website thing is true, or at least I was told that as an Employee.

I think it may of started as a form of legal protection - if the site were to be hacked, the stores wouldn't have any repercussions due to them being seperate enities. Eitherway they run seperately except you can do soem strange things like have the website items delivered to a store to be picked up ;)

Well now I've got £60 worth of giftcards and I'm getting a little nervous. I'll be visiting tomorrow to pickup a HDMI cable (As they always seemed reasonably priced in the past) and FFXIII-2 as I didn't realise that was out so soon. wooo :)

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Re: GAME Over?

Post by maf-me-quick » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:37 am

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012- ... s-sell-off
Embattled retailer GAME has confirmed it is in talks with its lenders over its current credit troubles.
Its lending syndicate is reviewing the company. In a statement GAME hinted it may sell its overseas operation.

GAME has a strong presence in Europe and Australia. It has 94 shops in Australia, 197 in France, 288 in Spain and Portugal and 67 in Scandinavia.
It claims to be fourth in France and Australia, and the market leader in Spain, Scandinavia and the Czech Republic.
Today's statement in full:
"In response to press speculation the GAME Group plc confirms that it is in on-going dialogue with its lending syndicate to reach agreement on revised terms for its facilities. As part of these discussions, the lending syndicate is reviewing a strategic plan of the company which includes a review of its overseas operations.

"A further announcement will be provided once discussions with its lending syndicate have concluded."
i think by selling off big parts of their company they'll be able to stabilize for a bit, but, man. talk about a quick turn around. wonder how long they've been in trouble.
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Re: GAME Over?

Post by shinymcshine » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:01 pm

Some of their problem could be perhaps linked to the whole trade in element; i.e. businesses survive on cash flow / turnover.

e.g. If you trade in games against a new game, the customer gets a 'discount' off the RRP hence the cash in the till is lower. GAME then takes on a stock of 2nd hand games, and only gets the cash if it can sell those, noting that the value of the 2nd hand game depricates over time, and takes up shelf space, so whilst overall they could make a higher 'profit' based on selling the 2nd hand games for more than the trade in value, it doesn't immediately translate into cash. Hence, perhaps, their push to try to sell you a 2nd hand title over a new one (even if you as a customer only get a couple of quid off, and perhaps lose out on the DLC/online access codes) as raised in the GamesTM letters pages over the last few months.

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Re: GAME Over?

Post by djsmiley2k » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:04 pm

TBH when I worked there (~2 years ago) they were getting more and more cocky with publishers, such as EA. EA wouldn't supply them with cheaper stock, so they ended up refusing to stock aload of non-AAA games published by EA and also pushed down the EA titles at the time (Mass effect iirc) in the "GAME Chart". The whole thing was a very strange (And stupid) argument but this is only what I got to hear at a store level.

The fact the game chart is configured deliberately to generate sales, and afaik has nothing to do with actual sold games shows how large an effect this "could" have by games not being listed in the chart...

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Re: GAME Over?

Post by RocApocalyptic » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:39 pm

Far bigger names have gone down in British retail over the past few years, wouldn't surprise me if it goes the same way.

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Re: GAME Over?

Post by grizzly » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:34 pm

djsmiley2k wrote:TBH when I worked there (~2 years ago) they were getting more and more cocky with publishers, such as EA. EA wouldn't supply them with cheaper stock, so they ended up refusing to stock aload of non-AAA games published by EA and also pushed down the EA titles at the time (Mass effect iirc) in the "GAME Chart". The whole thing was a very strange (And stupid) argument but this is only what I got to hear at a store level.

The fact the game chart is configured deliberately to generate sales, and afaik has nothing to do with actual sold games shows how large an effect this "could" have by games not being listed in the chart...
i remember that argument before, when i worked there, we refused to have fifa street 3 in the game chart due to EA's pricing.
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Re: GAME Over?

Post by djsmiley2k » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:13 am

grizzly wrote:
djsmiley2k wrote:TBH when I worked there (~2 years ago) they were getting more and more cocky with publishers, such as EA. EA wouldn't supply them with cheaper stock, so they ended up refusing to stock aload of non-AAA games published by EA and also pushed down the EA titles at the time (Mass effect iirc) in the "GAME Chart". The whole thing was a very strange (And stupid) argument but this is only what I got to hear at a store level.

The fact the game chart is configured deliberately to generate sales, and afaik has nothing to do with actual sold games shows how large an effect this "could" have by games not being listed in the chart...
i remember that argument before, when i worked there, we refused to have fifa street 3 in the game chart due to EA's pricing.
Wasn't just EA tho - did you ever get the feeling that the "Up highs" just had NO idea what actually happened on a store level? I mean even our AM was an utter dick and couldn't sell anything but then he'd be all "you should sell this with this" putting two totally in appropriate products together. I just got the feeling that every single level of the management not only didn't trust / agree with their aboves, but would just lie to them to get them off their backs which ended up with no one actually knowing what on earth was going on!?

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Re: GAME Over?

Post by djsmiley2k » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:17 pm

Just got back from my old store, my god it looks bad.

Part of the problem seems to be the staff, the charts wern't updated, FF13-2 not even in the chart yet (? another falling out?). All the prices of gameware accessories have gone through the roof to the point at which I'll never buy them - a 2m HDMI cable for £17.99? Wtf it used to be £12. The bays for PS3 games was almost empty too, they simply appear to have no stock.

I didn't ask why this was, but it looks "desperate" for want of a better word. If I didn't know exactly what i'd gone in for, i'd of thought they were going out of business simply by the lack of things to buy.

Also they are doing some "Guanteed trade in price" giving you £38 trade in on FF13-2 if you trade it in before the 16th. I can't see myself trading it in before then but again it makes me think that they are getting less and less trade ins and are becoming desperate for people to trade in stock.

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Re: GAME Over?

Post by Wheeker Pig » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:30 pm

Looks like they've been given a life-line in the form of loans :

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f4273904-4dd0 ... z1lLPAW5IB

But that still doesn't excuse the poor trading model that they seem to have developed / fallen into.

The amount of second hand stock they have on display isn't screaming 'quality shopping experience' to me if I venture into one of their stores. Too many copies of the same second hand game on display can give the shopper (especially impulse shoppers) the impression that if they had so many copies then the game must be pretty poor for people to want to get rid of it. Wouldn't it make you suspicious if you went to buy a particular car and the dealer had 10 or so of exactly the same second hand model? Alarm bells would be ringing.

Also, with so many second hand copies of the same game (and so many second hand games), it becomes hard to see the wood for the trees.

I went into a local Game store recently to buy Demon Souls, Dark Souls and Alice: Madness.... and apart from finding it hard to decipher which shelf was for new games, the way the games were displayed (alphabetically anyone?), I could only find a manky 'new' copy of Alice..(not hard when searching through a selection of 23 'new' games)

Needless to say, I left and bought on line. Shame on me!
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Re: GAME Over?

Post by djsmiley2k » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:47 pm

Wheeker Pig wrote: Also, with so many second hand copies of the same game (and so many second hand games), it becomes hard to see the wood for the trees.
Once again "upon high management" strikes

Rule 1. You must allow trade in of any games on the system, no matter how many you have in stock
2. You must fill all preowned shelfs with stock, if you don't have different stock, make a "Feature display" (i.e lots of teh same stock with maybe a cuddly toy or game guide in there somewhere).

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Re: GAME Over?

Post by OnThinIce » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:29 am

video game retail needs a kick up the arse to be honest, GAME and Gamestation are so far detachted from the actual customer base they serve it's hilarious. GAME is set up with middle class parents in mind and Gamestation is aimed at teenagers from 2003.

I get most of my games from either Tesco or Amazon now. Tesco is open 24 hours so I can go buy a game and a microwave burger at 3am on a thursday, the prices are normally cheaper, I don't get somebody trying to sell me a reward card or anything and they do midnight launches on everything. Amazon will normally have the game to you a day or two earlier, at a cheaper price and they will normally have every game including he more obscure titles.

Its no suprise at all that retail stores like GAME are failing, there is simply no reason to go to them anymore. I admit it will be a sad day when it shuts but we as gamers simply don't need them anymore
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Re: GAME Over?

Post by spardin » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:07 pm

would it be bad if they went bust would make room for the indie retailers to come back to our highstreets.
Shame gamestation is owned by them as it was a realy good set of stores now its just a darker store then GAME same tools same games it used to be a realy good place to buy retro stuff and unknow games.
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Re: GAME Over?

Post by OnThinIce » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:50 pm

spardin wrote:would it be bad if they went bust would make room for the indie retailers to come back to our highstreets.
Shame gamestation is owned by them as it was a realy good set of stores now its just a darker store then GAME same tools same games it used to be a realy good place to buy retro stuff and unknow games.
If anything Indie stores are going to be less able to compete than GAME and Gamestation.
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