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Is "Game" finished?

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The sales of ME3 will be fascinating. It's by far the biggest release of the first half of 2012 and if it sells less than ME2 did at retail then I can imagine a lot of panic amongst publishers. On the other hand, I wouldn't expect Mass Effect's fanbase to be the type to just casually wander into GAME and then give up when they find out it's not there. I would imagine that sales of Nintendo software might be more badly affected.

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Apparently preorders alone for ME3 are something like double those of ME2. Can't hurt being out on PS3 at the same time as Xbox I guess. By all accounts they're expecting it to do crazy numbers.

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The sales of ME3 will be fascinating. It's by far the biggest release of the first half of 2012 and if it sells less than ME2 did at retail then I can imagine a lot of panic amongst publishers. On the other hand, I wouldn't expect Mass Effect's fanbase to be the type to just casually wander into GAME and then give up when they find out it's not there. I would imagine that sales of Nintendo software might be more badly affected.

Mass Effect is internet people. Nintendo is supermarket people.

There aren't that many titles inbetween these days. Hardcore (eurgh) games targeted at u16s is basically it.

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It only occurred to me this morning that the reason the Game/EA relationship finishes tomorrow with SSX, rather than immediately yesterday with the announcement, will be that Game will already have taken receipt of SSX by Wednesday.

I just cannot see how they can trade/restructure their way out of this without EA and Nintendo products.

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I just cannot see how they can trade/restructure their way out of this without EA and Nintendo products.

Unless they want to force EA and Nintendo in changing their terms. It all depends on what customers will do. Will every single one of them flock to other (online) retailers? Or will the amount of copies sold go down drastically because the games are going to miss high street exposure? In other words, will EA's damage due to not being stocked in GAME be large enough for them to reconsider the way EA does business with GAME, or will the damage of customers buying their stuff elsewhere and ignoring GAME not affect EA at all and end up to be the final nail in GAME's coffin?

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The thing is, even if sales of ME3 are lower than expected, EA have minimised their potential bad debt risk from Game. It's all well and good having higher sales, but if EA never see the money or stock because Game go bust the sales figures would be cold comfort to them.

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Could GAME get by only selling preowned games? The profit margins are higher, and they've got a good year or so before the online pass totally robs them of that too.

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Could GAME get by only selling preowned games? The profit margins are higher, and they've got a good year or so before the online pass totally robs them of that too.

They'd have to compete with CEX, which means sorting out their shit excuse for a website and actually offering half-decent prices on pre-owned games... Which I don't ever see happening frankly because it would be too much of a massive ballache for the company to sort out across all their stores.

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Could GAME get by only selling preowned games? The profit margins are higher, and they've got a good year or so before the online pass totally robs them of that too.

Depends on what people generally trade in games against. If it's new products then unlikely. Especially as places like HMV and supermarkets are now offering the service and will have the new stock.

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Watching MCV visibly shitting themselves as they realise that they'll be gone about 10 minutes after Game crumbles is grimly amusing.

http://www.mcvuk.com/

Their top story today is:

Last week’s secret meeting between GAME and its suppliers was a ‘success’, MCV understands.

It is subject to a strict NDA but MCV understands CEO Ian Shepherd delivered a ‘brave and compelling’ speech, leaving 100 execs with a plan on how they can help the specialist.

The meeting even ended with a round of applause.

“It’s important that GAME survives and I’m positive we can move forward together and make money from each other,” says one publishing exec. “GAME is not dead and won’t be if we all muck in.”

However, there was caution from some quarters.

“We all want to support GAME,” said another firm. “But I’m not convinced the plan goes far enough. Some suppliers can’t be as flexible as GAME wants if they are governed by Japan or the US head offices.”

MCV also understands there were a few notable absentees from the summit. GAME?will no doubt want to win these firm back.

Yes, that meeting happened last week (and they reported on it at the time) BEFORE it was decided you would no longer be able to buy EA and Nintendo wares from Game. For some reason it's their top headline today.

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A lot of folk here seem to be buying point cards with their store credit, a currency which Game must be hoping people tend to forget about, or spend on items which allow them to claw some of that cash back. If we're representative of the general population of customers-with-credit, a sudden surge in point card sales would be a bit like a bank run.

On the contrary, GAME's Reward Card is one of its biggest assets. The fact that so many people have points to spend is indicative of just how much direct marketing value their loyalty scheme adds to the business. Any buyout would give the new owners an incredible amount of customer insight from the get-go. Gamestop especially could benefit hugely from it; my understanding is that their own loyalty programme is nowhere near as successful,

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Was just in GAME looking to get a copy of Dark Souls but they didn't have it. I did hear the assistant manager tell a woman that they only have pre-owned stock of the DSi as Nintendo don't make them any more. Is that true? I thought they'd keep that running alongside for a while, but I guess the 3DS does pretty much everything it does.

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Was just in GAME looking to get a copy of Dark Souls but they didn't have it. I did hear the assistant manager tell a woman that they only have pre-owned stock of the DSi as Nintendo don't make them any more. Is that true? I thought they'd keep that running alongside for a while, but I guess the 3DS does pretty much everything it does.

Amazon and HMV are still selling them from a quick look at their websites.

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The sales of ME3 will be fascinating. It's by far the biggest release of the first half of 2012 and if it sells less than ME2 did at retail then I can imagine a lot of panic amongst publishers. On the other hand, I wouldn't expect Mass Effect's fanbase to be the type to just casually wander into GAME and then give up when they find out it's not there. I would imagine that sales of Nintendo software might be more badly affected.

I guess some people might have already traded stuff in at Game to pay for Mass Effect or were planning to trade in order to get it (they could trade elsewhere of course),

It is bound to impact sales to some degree, but I would guess impossible to quantify,

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Watching MCV visibly shitting themselves as they realise that they'll be gone about 10 minutes after Game crumbles is grimly amusing.

http://www.mcvuk.com/

Their top story today is:

Yes, that meeting happened last week (and they reported on it at the time) BEFORE it was decided you would no longer be able to buy EA and Nintendo wares from Game. For some reason it's their top headline today.

MCV have some kind of agenda for their support of game. Maybe it's ad revenue, maybe it's MCV trying to make themselves look relevant to the industry to sell their 90 quid a year subscriptions. Game have been arrogant fucks to suppliers for years and the "poor us" display is quite disingenuous when anybody in the industry and those of us clued up can see how they have got themselves into this position.

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Another thing I was thinking of is that I bought my vita from HMV. Normally I buy all my consoles from Game/station. I did get my launch day 360 from zavvi (or was it Virgin back then?) but only because they had hardly any pre-orders and I left it very late. But my ds, dsi, 3ds, psp, ps3, xbox, 360 slim, dreamcast, ps1, ps2, gba all came from their stores.

But with the vita they had terrible bundles and terrible trade in prices. Why would anyone use them anymore? If they continue to offer customers poor value for both the games they are buying and trading in then why does anyone want them to survive?

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All the doom and gloom mongering in the gaming websites can't be helping either. 3 stories on EG.net this week, bit-tech.net (a PC modding site) did an article on them this morning...

Will all the panicky reporting make Game's demise a self fulfilling prophecy?

I would imagine a very small percentage of Game's customers would even know what EG.net was.

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They'd have to compete with CEX, which means sorting out their shit excuse for a website and actually offering half-decent prices on pre-owned games... Which I don't ever see happening frankly because it would be too much of a massive ballache for the company to sort out across all their stores.

How do CEX actually do, though? I have been in there and I hate it - music so loud that you can't hear yourself think, bare shelves, and really expensive and, often, tatty looking secondhand games.

Do they make their money on the mobile phones?

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Have they heard of the BBC?

I'm sure they have, Dudley.

It's a sad state of affairs, in my humble opinion. I feel for the employees of shops like Game and Peacocks. These are businesses that can still work in the current climate but, in Game's case, have been badly run.

Surely, the first thing they should be doing is closing some stores. It's bizarre that even in Exeter they have a GameStation and a Game two minutes apart. Are they not allowed to due to competition laws from when they took over Gamestation?

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Surely, the first thing they should be doing is closing some stores. It's bizarre that even in Exeter they have a GameStation and a Game two minutes apart. Are they not allowed to due to competition laws from when they took over Gamestation?

The main problem is contracts for renting the store space. They probably have long leases that'd mean paying for an empty store potentially.

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I'm sure they have, Dudley.

It's a sad state of affairs, in my humble opinion. I feel for the employees of shops like Game and Peacocks. These are businesses that can still work in the current climate but, in Game's case, have been badly run.

Surely, the first thing they should be doing is closing some stores. It's bizarre that even in Exeter they have a GameStation and a Game two minutes apart. Are they not allowed to due to competition laws from when they took over Gamestation?

No, as has been stated earlier in this thread, it is probably more due to rental contracts that have to let expire or pay get out fees which is money that they don't have.

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On the contrary, GAME's Reward Card is one of its biggest assets. The fact that so many people have points to spend is indicative of just how much direct marketing value their loyalty scheme adds to the business. Any buyout would give the new owners an incredible amount of customer insight from the get-go. Gamestop especially could benefit hugely from it; my understanding is that their own loyalty programme is nowhere near as successful,

Very true. When I worked at EB (years ago now) I was always surprised just how many people were loyal to EB because of the card and the points.

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Watching MCV visibly shitting themselves as they realise that they'll be gone about 10 minutes after Game crumbles is grimly amusing.

Yes, that meeting happened last week (and they reported on it at the time) BEFORE it was decided you would no longer be able to buy EA and Nintendo wares from Game. For some reason it's their top headline today.

Last week! Seriously? Wow, that totally passed me by! I guess I should read more carefully when I double checked it was right there in the article. This is a pretty blatant piece of misdirection by MCV, rather makes me doubt their usefulness as a source.

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*Zavvi were doing fine, I think, but when Woolworths' went bust they had no supplier and were owed a massive amount of money by Woolworths'. Game's situation seems to be a bit of both of these.

Specifically, Entertainment UK (wholly owned by Woolworths plc) were Zavvi's suppliers and when they fell into administration along with Woolworths plc, Zavvi lost their main supplier. This alone would have been fine, if it also wasn't for the fact that no other supplier could supply them under similar generous (to Zavvi) terms and seeing as Zavvi wasn't exactly flush with cash (I'm sure I read they owed Richard Branson's Virgin a huge amount of money for a loan), it all combined to take them down too.
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