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back to article Troubled Game wins reprieve on debt, mulls axing more stores

Game Group has been given a reprieve by its lenders, but the retailer may have to sell its overseas stores to secure it. After a dismal Christmas, Europe's biggest video game retailer admitted that it was going to have issues meeting its debt commitments and paying the £80m rent on its 1,274 shops worldwide, and immediately went …

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Anonymous Coward

I used to shop at Game

Now I shop at Steam.

Anyone else?

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It always seems so expensive.... but whenever I have been tempted to get something (its Christmas, I've a new system/money and am too impatient to wait for delivery) the slow moving queue gets in the way of browsing!

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Meh

In the city I live in, they have 2 or 3 small stores quite close to each other in the city centre. I never understood why they didn't close them and just open a big one with a wider range, and possibly spending less on rent, admin, etc. (They may have a good reason that I haven't thought of though, but not many shops take the same approach, that I can think of).

I generally avoid Game anyway, and go there as a last resort, as they always seem to be expensive compared to Game Station and Grainger Games, and of course Tesco, Asda, Play and Amazon all tend to have the same or better choice, and better prices.

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Gamestation

is part of the GAME group now if I remember correctly.

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Pint

Richard Wharram

You're not wrong. I'm still less likely to feel ripped off walking out of Gamestation than I am game though. Maybe that's irrational, maybe they really are cheaper, or maybe I formed my opinions of the two before the buy out.

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/game-acquires-gamestation-in-74-million-deal

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Thumb Up

The Grainger Games reference indictaes that anyway, that and the 2-3 little stores in close proximity. Never understood that logic.

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Steam? Not for new games no.

It costs more than the boxed product and you can't return it. Steam sale items are fine though.

Not that I give much business to GAME any more. Online price-searches save you a fortune compared to high street retailers.

And they are not going to lead the way on PS Vita and Wii U. Look at the differences in price between GAME stores and online retailers for the 3DS. It makes even less sense to purchase hardware on the high street than it does for games.

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In other news...

Seller in outdated consumer market is failing.

I doubt anyone's that shocked. Even with their sales, it's cheaper to shop online. Only truly impatient people and those that will be sad to see such shops disappear still visit Game.

I pop in to them whenever the other half has convinced me to visit a centre of shops, but I haven't bought anything from them in years.

Farewell Game, we knew thee.

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Not been in a Game store for ages.

Game really did this to themselves when they stopped stocking PC Games to anything but a token "top 5" shelf in the corner.

I used to buy a lot from them years back but not for a long time since they never have what I was looking for. So in the end I was driven to Steam and Amazon.

My guess is even their console games must be suffering that good ole curse of being cheaper online than in a store.

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FAIL

Game Over!

Game stores are a last resort for me too. They are expensive, everything is top price, massive fail if you expect to stay in this market sector, you need to be able to compete against online retailers and supermarkets.

Another big fail is their property management, it's all too familiar to see 2 or 3 game stores within close proximity to each other in the same mall, town or city. They do indeed own GameStation, therefore, in my local mall there are 4 game group stores within two minutes walk of each other. I wonder why their rent bill is so high?, doesn't take a genius does it?

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Silver badge

"Another big fail is their property management, it's all too familiar to see 2 or 3 game stores within close proximity to each other in the same mall, town or city."

This is too obvious to be a mistake, there must be a good reason for it, but what?

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Bronze badge

Maybe they think "If it works for Starbuck's . . ."

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I would agree on the stores. We have six Game stores within 2 miles of my home, and ten stores within 12 miles. Too many pointless stores creating too many extra costs.

They should investing more in their own online downloads service.

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Happy

I still use mine :-)

Well it's right next to Sainsbury's so when I go shopping for food, it's not difficult to persuade myself to pop in and see what I can find. Admittedly I only ever buy their second-hand stuff as new games are stupidly expensive and I've got a big pile of games to work my way through anyway. But at least my g/f likes (nay encourages) me to play them and sits there and watches and makes (helpful(?)) comments so I stand a chance of getting through them.

Maybe I should start shopping at Tesco's, but then if Game do go bust, there will be some reall bargains to be had, and I'll have to go back to e-bay. lol.

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Silver badge

Game need to do more than selling games. They can't compete online with the likes of valve. I think it's a losing move for them to try and rival steam.

What they need to do imo is use their uniqueness to their advantage, which is their stores. They could try rebranding as a internet cafe/gaming/lan venue and turn stores into community points for gamers. If costa and starbucks can stay in business just selling "coffee" surely Game could make a buck by selling coffee AND bandwidth? Hybridize.

All their stores are too small for this kind of thing, but as people have pointed out they seem to have lots of little stores near each other so they could sell all those for one medium sized store. Rebrand. Consoles and PCs hooked up to the internet which people can come in and (pay) to use.

The question is what incentives would you need to make people come. Regular, weekly or daily Lan events would work. A lot of gamers in a town would descend. But during the day they'd need to offer things like every game on sale loaded onto the computers and consoles lying about. People would pay to play.

Of course it could all go tits up, it's a gamble. Either this powers them through the roof or it fails and they go bust. If they don't try something like this I think odds are they will continue to slide into decline.

At least they do have this option, unlike HMV who are well and truly screwed.

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Is your PC fast enough?

Would you like it to be Mr Customer?

I think the games companies have shafted the high street box shifters part thanks to DRM and their attempts to prevent us trading naff titles. So the publishers lose a shop window and will have to make do with digital downloads. Which according to rumor, the PS4 and XBox720 will be based on anyway. Might be good news for Akami, not so good news for ISP's or anyone streaming or playing twitch games.

But no matter, ISP's will happily pay to upgrade capacity to support 20GB downloads, patches, Netflix, iPlayer and won't attempt to pass those costs on to consumers. SWTOR's release kind of demonstrates what happens when you locate a game based on tax breaks rather than networks.

Not sure LAN or cybercafes would work for GAME given a lot of the shops are small, plus the game's licences probably wouldn't allow pay-to-play. Flogging accessories or upgrades might just work, but not sure the console market or PC market would support it.

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h3
Bronze badge

Cannot see how Gamestation could be doing anything other than making a killing.

(Same as Gamestop in the US).

So this is Game Group or just Game (as in the expensive retail part that doesn't sell anything you want.)

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Silver badge

I can

Lower than normal retail spend + limited new hardware + improved competition from online stores and hypermarkets

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FAIL

Not surprised

Game's entire business model went up the spout as soon as they bought Gamestation. They thought they would own the market by removing their biggest rival, but once the Competition Commission took an interest and published the actual profit margin on a pre-owned game it was only a matter of hours before the big retailers wanted a piece of the action. Luckily for Game, they anticipated this and didn't make all the experts from Gamestation redundant at this point and-

Oh. This has been coming a while, hasn't it?

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Thumb Down

They write on game boxes with marker pens, ruin manuals and throw away inserts.

For this they must die.

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