Following another tale of gloom at Game, you have to wonder how they managed to let the company get into such a state. Obviously the poor economic climate doesn’t help any business, but they always seem to be pinning their hopes on the next big console release, which seems a risky strategy, particularly with the increasing popularity of mobile gaming.
However, it’s no real surprise that they’d run into problems eventually – when Electronics Boutique took them over in 1999, you’d often find a Game and EB store a stone’s throw from each other. At least then though there was still a marked difference between the two shops and the games they stocked. When it was all re-branded to Game, they should have taken the opportunity to merge some of those branches and cut some costs. Even now in Hanley, there are two Game shops a mere escalator ride from each other, neither of which ever seem to be particularly busy. There’s little point in visiting both either as they stock virtually the same games at the same prices – the only variation being in their pre-owned stock and considering how many games get released for each console, you’d think that they could stock a wide variety of back catalogue games, but that’s rarely the case.
Things didn’t get better when they took over Gamestation in 2007 – they sucked any individuality from those shops too, so no more retro sections (admittedly, it might just be folk like me who appreciated those sections) and one shop being much like the next.
If Game and Gamestation were to go under, it’d be interesting to see what would appear in its place. It’d be nice to see more independent retailers popping up on the high street, but I guess they’d struggle against Supermarket prices. However, if they were to target back catalogue games and niche titles, then maybe they could find some success. Or maybe the more savvy games just buy everything online anyway and the casual gamers can just pick up their Fifa of Duty games with their weekly shop instead.