Yowzers. GAME will not be stocking Mass Effect 3 when it comes out. Scratch that. They’ll not be stocking EA games for the foreseeable future. Ouch. GAME has been in trouble for a little while now, click on to have this whole affair explained to you and why I think it’s bad news for gamers. Yes, BAD news. ‘I hate big corporations, I’m so cool, blah, blah, blah…’
Click on to read.
The news today is that EA aren’t sending stock to GAME, as GAME aren’t happy with the credit agreement offered by EA. This is where GAME say ‘We’re good for the money, just give us X days.’ normally, this is fine. It happens in nearly all retail industries no matter their size. This time though, with GAME’s recent monetary issues, EA must have offered a credit agreement that was pretty strict and stringent. They consider GAME a risk and as a result, GAME said no thanks and EA aren’t sending them anything. No Mass Effect 3. No nothing. Ouch.
This unacceptable credit offer is most likely as a result of GAME’s recent troubles. Poor sales have been making this an extremely difficult time for GAME. They’ve been struggling to make profit and have even come very close to failing their covenant test this January. It was only thanks to a bail out that they didn’t end up in deeper waters than they’re in now.
They’ve made some steps to cut fat, with closing Gameplay.com only recently, but this may still not be enough, with shop closures imminent. This decision not to accept EA’s tough credit offer may be a good financial decision, but with the talk of no games on shelves, websites dying and shops shutting, the shares aren’t likely to react too well. It could all be too little too late. They should have seen this coming, the transition away from physical, high street media, but didn’t (or couldn’t) do anything to stop it.
As a long time customer and former of employee, this makes me sad. As a gamer, this still makes me sad. Having a high street presence, midnight launches and promotions on TV gives games as a whole more legitimacy. It puts games in the public’s consciousness. People who don’t play games know where to get them thanks to GAME. People that don’t play games know about the latest releases and special offers thanks to GAME’s TV adverts. To have the only place to buy games be the internet, or worse, going to a supermarket where they only stock the latest Fifa, we’re going to reduce the public’s awareness of what games are. They won’t see them in the high street and all they’ll see in ASDA is ‘COD:12,000 – Kill A Russian’.
GAME need to change. Become more social areas, where people play, talk, compete and purchase all things games. They need to be more than a shop but an experience. Heck, why not serve coffees and have regular league tables? This cafe seems to be doing fine with that model.
Whatever they do, they need to do something. For their own good and for the good of games place in the public psyche as well.