Deathwatch: It's not Game over yet, but they're running out of lives

10 January 2012

retail deathwatch Game are the latest company to come out and admit that they’re in a spot of bother, announcing a drop in sales, admitting that they’re heading towards posting a loss and confessing that they’re in danger of breaching their borrowing covenants. All sounds a bit HMV if you ask us.

Sales at Game Group stores open for a year or more fell by 12.9% in the eight weeks to 7th January, with a 15.2% drop in Britain and Ireland. Even though some huge-selling titles have been released in recent months, Game are blaming a cyclical fall in the video games market, and the lack of major new consoles can’t be helping matters.

Game say that they’re in regular and constructive dialogue with lenders, who remain supportive, but shares in the company have falled by 90% over the past year. Will they be able to turn it around, or stay afloat in time for the next generation of consoles from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, or will the game be up before then?

TOPICS:   Games   Economy


  • Dave M.
    Glad I cashed in the reward points that I'd been building up for a few years recently
  • Zleet
    Their problem is that most people who enjoy video games know that you can get the games far cheaper elsewhere, not even only on the internet but round the corner at a different game shop or in a supermarket. The only people you ever see in Game are middle age women asking if this is the game her son would want for his 'eggbox'.
  • Bobinogs
    12 year old son wins £5 Game gift card from school. Son sees game he fancies on Game website for £11.75. Son goes to Game shop in town. Game shop has game in stock priced at £20, or two for £30. Asks if store will match website price. Store says no. Asks if gift card can be used on website. Store says no. Son buys something else in order to offload card before the store dies. Is it any wonder these companies are in trouble?
  • Mike H.
    EGGSBOX games, free, torrents.
  • Phil
    I remember the days I used to spend £30 a month in game. Now its all online. Why would I spend £30 on a PC game in store when I can get it from play/amazon for a £10! Its not quite so bad with console games but its still usually in the region of £10 difference. I'm just not that desperate to get a game that day. If i'm in a rush I can use someone like shopto anyway...
  • klingelton
    We were in Gamestation - Game's twin at lunch today. BF3 = £40 new, £30 used. in morrisons £25 new. When i was in game last, the prices were the same as gamestation. The prices in these stores are not even competitive with the high street! When game took over Gamestation, they said they wouldn't make it into another game. They've ruined their own brand as well as another. I feel sorry for the people working there. I would like to add one more class of shopper - the bloke who's wife is in Next next door and hates clothes shopping (me)
  • Boris
    They're crap but not as bad as Gamestop.
  • Skillednutter
    They deserve to burn, they take advantage of those mothers.
  • Bruce
    In Games defence, 1. those Mothers do need help on the game their sons will enjoy, and is not going to give it. 2. Also, i quite like browsing in the shop while the missus is shopping :). 3. The supermarkets don't do trade ins On the down side, 1. their business sense is not great - they've twice rejected to price match HMV literally next door which was 2-5 pounds cheaper (when I've offered to pay cash for a game) 2. They need to get more creative and branch into some new ideas - maybe more merchandising, selling DLC instore (with agreements with Sony/MS), maybe even a lovefilm like subscription service etc. 3. Their website needs to be price matching -with their buying power they should be able to be the cheapest on the web. ...among many other things! I hope they turn it around personally. I don't want the only game shop in my area to be Morrisons once HMV/Game go under!
  • bob
    The price rift between store/online annoys me, PCWorld and others do it too and it is genuinely annoying when you need to pick something up, its one price on the site and then when you go to pick it up its another £10+. They arent staying competitive enough theyre being quite stingy on pricing, when i used to order from them its because their price was decent and they'd generally get games to me in time for release if not before. But now i'm lucky if i get them on the day because of the endless CoD kiddies who should DIAF saying HURR GAME SENT MY GAME EARLY causing publishers to close down on them. I bought a bit of everything from them and PC games which use steam are locked out until release in your area so it doesn't matter when they post it. Given you can usually preload pc games and have them ready to go on midnight whats the issue? Speaking of PC games they've managed to isolate an entire customer base and turned GAME - a store that is meant to be for everything gaming related to just a console fest, if they stayed competitive on pricing, especially on PC titles they could make a killing. Mentioning steam i dont think the rampant rumour that went around about them fixing availability of certain steam games did them any good. If they where behind it they had it coming, personally i suspected the supermarkets of it, but if it was you'd have to question what sane person thought it'd be a good idea. They used to sell the latest PC games for £25-30 which used to undercut steam by at least £5-15, now they pretty much price match steam and if you are going to sell me something in a box which i have to wait longer for in comparison to something i can have the second the clock hits midnight guaranteed then theres only one winner. At least theyre trying to recover some of the PC market theyve lost though by selling virtual currency for various popular free to play games, apparently theyre going to be selling steam vouchers or something (similar to the way PSN prepaid cards are done).
  • oliverreed
    A lot of valid points here, online and instore parity would be good and I'd never thought about their buying power commanding better prices than they do. The Game deal from HUKD with the Kinnect + Adventures and another two reasonable games was a killer deal, more like that would be great. The comment about they aren't as bad as Gamestop -aren't they in the same group?
  • bob
    No, GAME, gamestation and gameplay (online), are all part of the same group. Gamestop is owned by a US company and are much much worse in comparison to GAME in every aspect if what a ton of americans are anything to go by. Theyve started trying to push into the UK though.
  • A. S.
    I used to be on the game.
  • Sadsak
    With the exception of the very occasional deal, Game have always been way to expensive in my opinion. Agree with the comment about mothers buying for sons, also grandmothers buying games for grandsons and not knowing the differences in pricing to other stores or online. I remember a few years ago a friend of mine taking a COD game to trade in and being offered £15 for it. They had the same game on the shelf for £44.99 new or £42.99 pre-owned. He laughed and walked out of the shop. They are a greedy company (just like the DSG group) who at one time made massive profits from unsuspecting and sometimes ignorant people that did not know any better. Good riddance to them I say.
  • Dave
    I used to work there in the good old days when it was Electronics Boutique. The days when we used to be able to play around with the prices so customers got a good deal (Buying console and games, trading games straight back in at a price WE decided, not the computer, or allowing customers to create their own bundles).

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