Where one falls another grows. Could GAME’s meltdown breathe new life into selling games?
It’s looking increasingly likely that GAME will soon cease to exist in its current state. Whilst that’s clearly sad for those of us that give a toss about games, do note that I said ‘in its current state’. You see, I was always told there’s a silver lining to every cloud. So I want to have a look at the possible positives that could come out of this nasty business.
To start with, GAME may not disappear. It’s a well-known brand that’s fallen on tough times and is the go to place for people looking to partake in the largest entertainment sector on the planet. Someone can surely breathe life into this rather poorly giant?
A number of rumours have been floating about. Comet could buy GAME. A rather unknown (to me anyway) equity firm could buy GAME. GameStop could buy GAME. The fact is, GAME’s up for sale and with the right buyer this could be a fantastic move for both parties. A ready made, well-known and mostly well-respected leader in the retail of the biggest entertainment industry today.
If the worst happens and GAME disappears, what then? Well, as John Riccitiello has quite rightly pointed out;
“…consumers are smart. They won’t stop buying games without stores such as GAME or Gamestation on High Streets…”
This means that already struggling retailers could be given the lifeline of GAME’s business. HMV are on equally rocky territory, though appear to have the backing of the game publishers. You’d have to imagine that as soon as these retailers see growth in this section of their business, they’re bound to cater to ‘core gamers’ more.
This idea’s a little out of left field, but how about independent retailers? With no major high street competition, the indie store could become a much more viable business. It’s clear that having the major competition out of the way would help, but being small and independent could allow the shopping experience to be more personal and social. I’m still of the belief that a store which offered a place to hang out, grab a drink, play some games AND buy some games would be a hit. As people who play games have shown in more recent times, we’re pretty social. No one has really taken this on board though.
So, that’s my positive spin on this whole nasty situation. As I type even more news and rumour is swirling around as to the outcome for GAME. It’s at this point that I’ll make promise to myself (and anyone reading this blog) to not comment on any further developments. Stick to MCV for that.