A Matter Of GAME Over

For a while now I have suggested that the only jobs for the future will be service based coders, telesales and van drivers. Everyone will become fat and lazy consumers reluctant to get out to the high street and buy physical items. When it comes to fresh produce I understand that most will still want to examine the quality of what they buy, many are already coming to rely on the home delivery services that supermarkets offer, but it’s digital media where this has a real effect.

We’ll ignore buying physical items all together and build a library of virtual goods to show off to our virtual friends.

How many of us already rely on Amazon, Zavvi or Play to deliver our goods? We all do it, so we should be equally ashamed at how we’re influencing our city and town centers. The problem most of us have boils down to the simple matter of cost.

HMV have announced job cuts and store closures in recent times and follows the disappearance of Virgin Megastores and Woolworths on the high-street. The latest in the continued demise of physical retail is the ongoing saga of GAME who are having a multitude of problems.

It comes as no surprise, but with a little sadness, that GAME have just announced that they are looking for a buyer.

I was surprised that Sony allowed GAME to get the exclusive rights to the launch of their new PS Vita platform and had expected HMV to step in and take over due to the problems. Very brave of Sony.

It doesn’t help that the insurance problems then led to major distributors pulling their titles from GAME’s shelves preventing them from being able to cash in on new releases. The biggest of those titles being Mass Effect 3 which GAME offered a refund to those on a pre-order along with a five pound in-store voucher. If you’ve got one of these spend it NOW!
Such an exercise has to hit the pocket hard and it certainly won’t have helped.

A few weeks ago I had said that I would be very surprised if they last ‘offline’ in the high-street until the summer and unless they find a buyer I might well be right.
I don’t want this to be the case as it will have a greater impact than you think when they disappear.
A lack of competition on the high-street will lead to remaining retailers to hike their prices because they’ll think they can get away with it but will ultimately suffocate themselves in to extinction.

I like being able to handle physical copies now and then. I also like being able to sift through titles I wouldn’t otherwise look at but I don’t suppose the specialists are needed anymore. Years ago we had to venture to specific games and computer shops to get hold of the latest titles but these days you can pick up the chart titles from your local supermarket. That’s if you haven’t downloaded it through an online client.
Problem here is that smaller titles are going to have less and less exposure away from the online community and may make it harder for them to succeed.

I don’t think the disappearance of high-street retailers will kill gaming but I do think distributors will need to explore how to market their titles more effectively to the general public given the changes.

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