GAME, the gaming store have been bought out by Ocapita, stopping the store from closing after RBS pulled out of negotiations.
GAME have had it tough lately, it began when Electronic Arts pulled out on them, taking a lucrative money spinning Mass Effect 3 launch with them.
EA said they had little confidence in GAME, who seemed to be having a cash flow problem and a drop in share price (exasperated by the fact they couldn’t get their hands on ME 3).
Meanwhile, online purchasing continues to cut into GAME and HMV’s dwindling profits.
Steam has become popular if late, a kind of sharing platform for purchased online gaming. Also, XBox and PS3 online stores whilst themselves not the cheapest, offer an easy armchair equivilant purchase as does Amazon and Play.com, who have played some serious price hardball with their city centre equivilants.
GAME and Game Station have had it reasonable for years during the early console booms, always content with the burgeoning secondhand games market, which was their fallback.
Well the developers put paid to that aswell, by slapping an extra £10 online gaming fee on a traded secondhand game, to recoup some of the lost revenue from resales, 100% of which were going to GAME.
Between them, GAME and Game Station kept a kind of artificial price cartel running on games keeping prices high, even on their traded in seconds.
GAME’s buy out by Opcapita does secure their position for a while longer but one wonders what Opcapita’s long term aims are.
Merging GAME and Game Station into the same business seems likely but what can they do to stem the rot against their purely online competitors?
Longer term, is Ocapita eyeing GAME’s stock for a quick and dirty sell off?
HMV have had to close stores to stay viable.