Posts Tagged ‘game’
GAME have been fighting back from the brink rather well after knocking on heaven’s door for a while. Of course, it still has an almighty scrap with Amazon to contend with, but with that, they’ve taken a leaf from their rival’s book.
The video game vendor has just announced ‘Marketplace’ for third-party sellers, which will allow people to sell games, gaming memorabilia, clothes, smartphones and classic old gaming titles through their new online store.
Naturally, GAME will be taking a cut – this is business after all.
For the time being, GAME will be limiting sales to around 30 or 40 merchants, so they can police the whole thing properly. Then, when consumers trust the service and the reputation has built-up, they’ll throw the doors open to everyone who wants to sell stuff.
Can GAME compete with Amazon though? Maybe they’re not thinking that big just yet and are just offering an alternative for anyone who has Amazon fatigue.
More relevant is that this could be bad news for CeX, who have been routinely hammered by disgruntled customers on these pages.
The retailer is suffering after heavy discounting after the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas period. Basically, the group got more bodies through the door, but sales actually fell.
Of course, GAME went bankrupt two years ago, but last November, profits were up and they looked like they were going to get things rolling again.
Chief executive of GAME, Martyn Gibbs said: “Our strategy is to grow customer lifetime value and over the Christmas trading period, starting with Black Friday, we invested margin in offering gamers competitive product propositions through the bundling of games with hardware and reduced pricing, to recruit as many new generation customers as quickly as possible.”
“We now have a huge customer base within the new formats, to sell both mint and pre-owned physical and digital content and accessories to over the long term.”
“We have a solid line up of new physical and digital games being launched in our second half and have already secured a number of key exclusives. Our teams remain focused on delivering our unique specialist gaming experience for our customers.”
Trying to woo people back through the door is one thing, but shooting yourself in the foot while you do it, is quite another.
Now called GAME Digital PLC, it hopes to raise £12 million in an initial public offering, comprising of new shares issued by the company and the sale of existing ones by its main shareholder Elliott Advisors.
Since its administration and subsequent rescue, the company has completed a significant management restructuring and closed several branches to achieve a sustainable growth. It now operates 560 stores across the U.K. and Spain, down from 874 stores in 2012.
It’s the latest in the line of shops that seem to be coming back from the dead in what seems like an economic recovery. Hurrah!
The IPO is expected to achieve a free float of at least 35%. Whatever that means.
So it’s all good news for the high street then isn’t it? Nice to have an anti-deathwatch for a change.
Game have had a bumper Christmas thanks to the long-awaited launch of the new next-gen consoles – the Xbox One and PS4 – from Microsoft and Sony. Game’s sales doubled over the festive period, which is good news after the company bounces back from administration.
Such is the transformation, the new owners are reportedly considering plans for a £300 million stock market flotation. Like-for-like sales went up 90%, online trading rose by 213%, which is more positive than the last headlines they made, when they had to make 2,100 people redundant and close almost half of their stores.
Game chief executive Martyn Gibbs thinks that improvements in training and service are responsible and that the stores are now a “hub for the gaming community”, thanks to an overhaul of the Game website and initiatives like the reward scheme and trade-in offers.
However, this all feels a little premature.
2013 was a good year for everyone in gaming. The release of FIFA14, GTA5 and the aforementioned new consoles meant that there was a lot of excitement around the industry. While there’ll still be people who want a new PlayStation or next-gen Xbox after the early-adopters spiked sales, that will soon die down.
And with Sony and Microsoft making a move to push their own networks and selling channels, with games that comes as discs in boxes rapidly becoming a thing of the past, Game will soon end up resembling a Cex shop. While there’ll always be money in second-hand games, for Game to stay vibrant, they’re going to have to think of something big or else rely on new console releases and marquee games like GTA not taking quite so long between releases.
If you wanted to work for GAME in 1996, selling Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Super Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot to spotty youths who smelled like Lynx Africa, you may have been lured in with the promise of being able to sniff women’s necks… who may or may not have been asleep.
This ’96 recruitment advert for Game was found and shared on on Twitter by Michael Gapper [twitter.com/michaelgapper] and feel free to make tasteless jokes about getting saucy with cadavers or debate about the sexism in gaming.
Have you heard of the iPhone game, Send Me To Heaven? If not, it’s an app that, under the pretense of being a ‘sports game’, encourages users to lob their phones as high as they can and, the phone’s sensors record the height of the throw and so you can challenge your mates and all that.
Of course, if you chuck your phone really high and don’t catch it, your handset could invariably end up smashed to pieces.
As such, Apple’s App Store have banned the game for “encouraging behaviour that could result in damage to the user’s device”, although, it is still available on the Google Play store. Seems Apple don’t trust their users to be able to catch, eh?
Users who download the app, obviously, have to agree to a disclaimer confirming that they are playing the game at ‘entirely their own risk’, so if you did end up breaking your phone, it’s your own stupid fault.
Amusingly, on the app itself, suggested tactics include a drunken indifference to your phone’s wellbeing.
GAME, video games vendor, went under, then rose again which was good news for people’s jobs. However, it looks like the company hasn’t at all learned any lessons from the previous business model that failed it so badly.
That’s because GAME have announced plans to open a dedicated Xbox Store later this week.
That’ll be the same Xbox that is restricting the sale of pre-owned titles for its new One console which in turn, has made the new Microsoft machine a less-than-appealing prospect for potential buyers.
As such, GAME is focusing on a console that, currently, is very, very unpopular. The only thing GAME could’ve done worse is to focus entirely on the dreadful, useless Wii U.
For the three interested people out there, this GAME Xbox Store will open this Thursday, on June 20th, at Shoreditch’s Boxpark shopping centre.
They describe it as a “one-of-a-kind concept store” that features “playable gaming pods, head-to-head challenge areas, a Microsoft Surface display and the latest and greatest in Xbox hardware and software”.
We’ll ready GAME’s obituary page again.
HMV have around 50 ‘expressions of interest’ in buying the chain, including (surprisingly) Game. Martyn Gibbs, the chief executive of Game, said that an approach had been made to the HMV administrators, but wouldn’t say how many stores they wanted to buy.
Gibbs said: “We will constantly review our property portfolio based on what is available. I would not rule out any stores becoming available, be that through an administration or normal property deals.”
Of course, Game went into administration themselves in 2012, but 300 of their stores were bought by OpCapita. However, this could ring alarm bells for some, as OpCapita previously acquired Comet, and look where they are now.
Elsewhere, restructure specialist Hilco, are showing an interest in HMV and it has been reported that private equity firms Endless and Better Capital and investment firm Oakley Capital are also sniffing around the chain.
Trevor Moore, the chief executive of HMV, has said that he is “confident” that HMV will survive in some form, which is good for those looking down the unemployment barrel, but we’ll have to see how it looks should it survive.
There’s a new game in town called King of Booze. The game, which encourages you to get absolutely shitfaced, is for up to 12 players, who can choose from a number of avatars before getting stuck into an in-game alcotest and numerous challenges and dares.
“Want to make a certain someone drink more? Do you want to get on someone’s ‘bad side’? Will you get naked or wasted? Should you show off your singing, dancing, parkour powers or just keep to yourself and drink?” says the game.
Players either accept more booze or take a challenge.
“These are only some of the many options we came up with,” explain Daygames. “Since we know we will never be as creative as the people of internet we created an option for you to edit and add your own random fields and we are letting YOU decide the ‘price’ in drinks for choosing not to do the challenge.”
It’s the biggest mobile game series of all time (well, we’re guessing it is anyway), and Angry Birds is about to get a hell of a lot bigger as it teams up with notorious cash-generating sci-fi franchise Star Wars. Oh yes.
Coming on November 8th on iOS and Android, and accompanied by a vast range of cash-in crap, erm, merchandising, Angry Birds Star Wars will see the cast of the movies played by various birds (Luke Skywalker will be the red one). As you’d expect, the evil pigs will be Darth Vader and his mates.
Less impressively, the game will be a rehash of the oddly unsatisfying Angry Birds: Space game, which might be why the Birds people have teamed up with the Wars people.
Whatever happens, it’ll probably not as good as Malcolm Tucker’s attempt at a description of Star Wars…
Video games retailer, Game, has been in a place trickier than an underwater level on Sonic lately. So, in a bid to lure us back into their stores, they are offering free WiFi access which you can probably use by standing at their door while buying absolutely nothing.
This free wireless connection will be delivered via a new partnership with BT and will appear in stores by Christmas. Meanwhile, you’ll get on with your life with your 3G connection no doubt.
Game are also looking at a new, free smartphone app which will allow customers to read product reviews and news, watch videos and get special offers, which is more like it.
This is an attempt to drag the company out of the doldrums after it briefly went into administration, before being bought by OpCapita who owns Comet.
It would seem the fortunes of the store rest on a big gaming release, and thankfully for Game, FIFA13 is due out, so keep an eye out for good package deals on that.
If you’re a typical parent, you’re probably keen for your kids to have as many hobbies as possible that don’t involve them pestering the living daylights out of you, the stressed, beleaguered idiot that spawned them.
Having said that… DO NOT LET THEM GO ON THE HABBO HOTEL WEBSITE. For the uninitiated, Habbo Hotel is supposedly a heavily-moderated, kiddie-friendly virtual world where younglings can virtually hang out with each other, dressing themselves up and decorating their hotel room, spending credits that are bought within the game.
But a Channel 4 News investigation has revealed that it’s more like the kind of hotel that you would pay for by the hour. Yes, one of THOSE ones. A Channel 4 producer found that within minutes of logging on in the guise of a young girl, she was being asked about her body and being urged to log on to Skype or MSN for more intimate chats.
You can read more about their horrendous findings over at the Channel 4 News site – meanwhile Tesco, WHSmith and GAME have stopped selling Habbo Hotel gift cards and the Habbo bigwigs have muted all conversations on the site, pending some kind of investigation.
What now paedos? EH??
EA may be saving the world from homophobes, but they’ve been less considerate of the welfare of Game lately. When they pulled Mass Effect 3 and FIFA Street from the chain, it looked like it was doomed to a quick and gigantically painful death.
However, things seem to be turning around for the video game retailer.
Game looks like it’ll be dodging death like Jesus for a very modern Easter miracle, with EA stocking with the company again. 600-or-so stores missed out on a load of sales when EA decided to stop doing business, but now, they’re trading again and everyone is happy.
Well, anyone who remotely cares.
Game, of course, is now slimmed down and under new ownership which seems to have gone some way with patching things up with EA. The good news is, if you want Mass Effect 3, FIFA 12, SSX and Battlefield 3, they’re now all going cheap in Game shops.
It looks as though there’ll be a fairly happy ending in the Game administration saga, with a buy-out by investment capital firm OpCapita due to be announced today. The 333 stores that remained open after the company fell into administration will be saved, along with 3,100 jobs – for now anyway. OpCapita recently bought Comet, and there have been store closures and cost-cutting since. It’s realistic to assume that strategy will be repeated within Game.
As one of the major creditors, it was rumoured that RBS were in pole position to snap up Game but in the end they’ve agreed to the OpCapita deal, saving us from the mind-boggling scenario of Game being the nation’s first part-owned gaming retail chain.
Richard Wilson, chief executive of games industry trade association Tiga, told the BBC: “It’s important for the company to change to consumer spending habits, and it’s really vital that Game also appeals to video game developers. Many video game developers in the UK are of course selling online as well.
“Game is going to have to change its strategy but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and the fact that Game has got this new backing behind it, this new management, I think that’s all for the good.”
It’s been the cause of some consternation over the past few days, ever since GAME went into administration, but the company’s Reward Cards have been reinstated and reactivated by administrator PriceWaterhouseCooper.
They have just said: “Your Reward Cards have now been reactivated by the Administrators for redemption against pre-owned stock. This means that points can be earned on all products AND redeemed against pre-owned items as of now.”
Although many GAME customers had cashed in their points when it looked as though the chain might go under, many more had been left with points that they were unable to do anything with. Not any more! A buy-out by RBS is still on the cards, as we reported here earlier.