bit-gamer.net

GAME Group struggles under financial pressure

GAME Group struggles under financial pressure

The future of the GAME Group - which owns GAME and Gamestation - looks uncertain as its creditors discuss plans for its rescue.

The GAME Group - which runs high-street stores GAME and Gamestation, as well as their online equivalents - is facing an uncertain future as a sales slump leads to a financial crisis.

In its post-Christmas financial report, the company had to confess that a 17.6 per cent drop in sales for the period would mean the potential to miss its financial targets due at the end of this month. Should the targets be missed, lenders would likely review the company's credit situation in a way that would put its very future in jeopardy.

When industry publication MCV reviewed the situation at the start of the year, things looked bleak: the 17.6 per cent slump for the eight-week Christmas period - traditionally one of the busiest for high-street retailers - is at the head of an overall 11.9 per cent drop in sales for the year so far.

Although the company's online offerings grew 3.9 per cent over the Christmas period, it wasn't enough to make up the shortfall. Blaming an overall decline in the UK games market, which has dropped 13 per cent so far this year, chief executive Ian Shepherd admitted at the time 'our industry has had an incredibly tough 2011, and so did we.'

Things look significantly more bleak than Shepherd has been willing to admit, however. In a post to gaming forum RLLMUK, a Gamestation store manager claims that the entire infrastructure is crumbling as the company's credit lines run dry.

'Our wages didn't go through first thing on the 31st - we get paid on the last day of each month,' the sensibly anonymous manager claims. 'I was rather irate to say the least, and we received a store email to say there had been issues with the banks, and that all managers and assistant managers would get their money at some point during the day.'

The manager goes on to claim: 'What we get instead is [being told] to stop taking pre-orders for all SKUs of Mass Effect, and, wait for it, Neverdead, as that game has reached the company's allocation. Now I'm not berating the quality of said game, but I very much doubt the pre-orders were in full flow for that title. Which would imply that the company is getting next to none of that SKU. And that would appear to be the case for MGS [Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection], which we were told it had just fullfilled its allocation too.'

GAME has provided the following statement regarding its current situation, along with the rumour that it is planning to close its overseas divisions: 'In response to press speculation the GAME Group plc confirms that it is in ongoing dialogue with its lending syndicate to reach agreement on revised terms for its facilities. As part of these discussions, the lending syndicate is reviewing a strategic plan of the company which includes a review of its overseas operations. A further announcement will be provided once discussions with its lending syndicate have concluded.'

Additionally, MCV reports that claims of stock shortages and staff wage delays are untrue, although the company has yet to make an official statement to this end.

The unrest surrounding the company has its customers antsy, however. Many are considering cancelling pre-orders for Sony's upcoming PlayStation Vita hand-held - thanks in part to a cheaper deal from online retailer Amazon - while those with gift vouchers or store credit are wondering if waiting is worth the risk.

Do you think the GAME Group can survive the coming months, or are its days numbered? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

73 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
K404 2nd February 2012, 11:17 Quote
I don't buy from Game because the PC section is now a single 4ft wide racking section, but I do like seeing it in the high street.
XXAOSICXX 2nd February 2012, 11:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by K404
I don't buy from Game because the PC section is now a single 4ft wide racking section.

Ditto.

Lets just wait for them to blame piracy for their demise - I'm sure it won't be their failure to get in on digital distribution early enough.
damien c 2nd February 2012, 11:32 Quote
Oh what a shame this now mean's I will continue having to buy my games from a cd key site I use and then download the disc for it.

While it is sad to see and hear about this and potentially that, could mean people may loose there job's I have to say I am sorry about that I honestly cannot see it getting any better.

Thing for me quite simply is the cost and the lack of choice of games for pc gamers, which is why I use a key site because the games are cheaper than Steam and Origin but if the stores had a wider selection and were cheaper than, Steam and Origin then I would buy from them.

The problem is there prices and the situation in the country at the moment, is causing people to not buy the games as often and the lack of good games cause people not to buy them as well.

I hope they turn it around because for some people simply buying a key and downloading the game is not possible due to there broadband connection being to slow, so they need to go and buy the games from a store so they have the disc's to avoid the day long wait to download the game from Steam or Xbox Live or PSN.

I bought a extra copy of MW3 from Game because I needed the disc's because it was taking 12 hours to download it from Steam, so I bought the game again so I had the disc's and it took around 20 minutes to install it, I bought some games from the Xbox Live market place and it took nearly 6 hours for each game to download, but when I download a game from Origin it's done in 10 minutes and I am on 100Mb down and 10Mb up so it's not my connection, it's the servers that are used to store the content on and those services connection out to people.

Let's just hope Game etc get some sales to turn this around.
GaryP 2nd February 2012, 11:32 Quote
I like hard copies of my games etc and GAME doesn't haver ba dprices, but as mentioned earlier. the 4ft of pc titles is a bit crap. Piracy will get the blame when realistically ever spirilling rents/ rates etc and allowing places like Tesco / Morrisons and Asdas to sell all the same stuff will see another name disappear off the high street.
damien c 2nd February 2012, 11:36 Quote
Oh and not to mention you cannot buy pre-owned pc games anymore because they are all linked to Steam and Origin account's making them useless if you don't play the game, after buying it because it turns out you don't like the game because there was no demo/beta or the game wasn't the same as the demo/beta.

Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3 for me was a waste of money because they are unplayable because of issues I have with the game, and while they run perfectly fine it's the gameplay and a few other thing's I don't like about it, so I cannot go and sell the games making them available for others to buy cheaper.

Piracy will get mentioned at some point and will be blamed for it, but that will only prove what people have been saying but not many believe in that console games are pirated as well as Game mainly only sell console games.
r3loaded 2nd February 2012, 11:39 Quote
Hey game, here's a tip - try stacking your tiny PC section with something other than endless Sims expansion packs and <insert humdrum activity> Simulator 2012. You might gain a few more sales from PC gamers especially if you undercut Steam when they're not running seasonal sales.

Did I also mention we have more disposable income than console gamers? We certainly spend a lot on our hardware - try tapping our market!

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk
goldstar0011 2nd February 2012, 11:56 Quote
GAME is a colsole dominated store and peolpe are always shopping around and buying 2nd hand, I remember the days when it had a massive PC section, those days are long gone, maybe they should expand to hardware and periphials

Personally I just don't like the caliber of staff and feel in the shop, my local GAME is in the middle of a new shopping centre dominated with clothes shops, go further into town and I find CEX, Gamestation and a few other stores manned by staff who sem to know what a gamer wants and will happily sell me a £10 game if it makes me happy rather than push a £40 game I don't want
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2012, 11:58 Quote
The biggest shock to me came a few years back, when GAME Group bought Gamestation and decided not to sell retro gear any more: all the classic hardware (Game Boys, NESes, Mega Drives, Saturns, Game Gears, and even the occasional microcomputer or Vectrex-era system) and games were destroyed as stock write-off. As in: crushed and thrown into a skip.

Makes you weep.
suenstar 2nd February 2012, 12:03 Quote
Our local GAME isn't that bad for the PC section, about 1/6 of the store is dedicated to PC games with an okay selection along with a thin wall section for accessories.
Most of the store (about 3/6) is swamped by the pre-owned section though and I've never seen anyone buying anything but the really cheap pre-owned stuff.

Prices aren't the worst out there, but they can't really compete with most online retailers being so easy to access... then there's the constant sales with services like Steam, GMG, GOG and Direct2Drive driving prices lower than they can afford to offer on physical copies.
NuTech 2nd February 2012, 12:06 Quote
I have nothing but contempt for GAME as they're yet another UK entertainment cornerstone that failed miserably to innovate and move with the times, instead trying to take back market share by colluding/blackmailing publishers into giving them an unfair advantage (Space Marine being just one example that comes to mind).

That being said, this is horrible news as GAME is a large source of youth employment that will most likely end up sharing the same fate as Blockbuster.

It's a damn shame - gaming is such a fast growing and amazing form of entertainment but all the way from the developers to publishers, and now retailers (Steam/Amazon, I'm looking at you), it's now almost exclusively money that's leaving the country. And that's nobody's fault but our own.
Cerberus90 2nd February 2012, 12:16 Quote
Pretty much every game I've bought from game I purchased because it was cheaper than anywhere else. Granted it may not be many games I've bought from them, but I did get Forza 4 and BF3 from them.

I would much rather have a hard copy of my games, even it its just so I don't have to download them, my internet isn't the fastest, so its much easier to be able to install from disc.

I don't go into the shops, not just Game, I don't go to any shops, :D
LJF 2nd February 2012, 12:35 Quote
I'm wondering if I should spend the £25 of Game gift vouchers I got for Christmas sooner rather than later. I was going to hold out and spend them on Mass Effect 3 but at this rate it might have gone under by then!!
DK63 2nd February 2012, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJF
I'm wondering if I should spend the £25 of Game gift vouchers I got for Christmas sooner rather than later. I was going to hold out and spend them on Mass Effect 3 but at this rate it might have gone under by then!!

Was thinking pretty much the same thing!
GeorgeK 2nd February 2012, 12:43 Quote
I'm surprised that this hasn't happened sooner - I regularly pop into game to (quickly) browse the (4ft wide) PC section and am always amazed by how high the prices are even for games that are months old. It also doesn't help them that the vast majority of their customers have access to a smartphone in their pockets where they can quickly compare prices online and see that even their sale prices are more expensive than regular online prices... I'm always doing that and the staff must be sick of seeing people pick up a game, get out their phone and then within a minute put the game back down and walk out again!
K404 2nd February 2012, 12:48 Quote
So... a 4-ft PC section isn't just a problem in Glasgow? :p

It's almost reassuring.




Almost.
Fizzban 2nd February 2012, 12:50 Quote
I always get my preorders from Game's website, and I enjoy a quick wander around their shops when I've got time to kill while I'm out. It would be a real shame if this company were to close up.
GeorgeStorm 2nd February 2012, 12:52 Quote
I like seeing it since I sometimes pop in if I'm walking past.
But I haven't bought anything from one for a looooooong time.
Even for console games they aren't great, since most are cheaper on amazon etc

I'll be sad to see it go, but I'm not overly surprised
Jim 2nd February 2012, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJF
I'm wondering if I should spend the £25 of Game gift vouchers I got for Christmas sooner rather than later. I was going to hold out and spend them on Mass Effect 3 but at this rate it might have gone under by then!!

I wouldn't hang about. Even if they don't go under, if they're struggling for finance they might end up in administration and your vouchers would become worthless.
r3loaded 2nd February 2012, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerberus90
I don't go into the shops, not just Game, I don't go to any shops, :D
I do go into shops a lot - I just don't buy anything :D
loftie 2nd February 2012, 13:26 Quote
If they go under, where am I going to buy my collectors edition ME3?
Fizzban 2nd February 2012, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
If they go under, where am I going to buy my collectors edition ME3?

Oh sh*t! They better not die before then, I've got my ME3 CE preordered with them..if I don't get that I will have a fit.
Landy_Ed 2nd February 2012, 13:38 Quote
One of the big mistakes they are continuing to make is the dual price structure. Too often it's cheaper online from Game than from in-store, yet they are not that competitive online compared to the likes of Amazon in many cases. Even taking into account the loyalty programme, it's still more often than not cheaper elsewhere. Either they need to negotiate better prices from the distributors or they are not thinking things through properly.

Yes, it would be a shame to see Game go, as that would imply gamestation also going. HMV are unlikely to be able to fill that gap, & if you think the PC game choice is bad in Game, try comparing it to the breadth of choice in supermarkets in comparison. More & more, looks like digital distribution is what the market is demanding.
RedFlames 2nd February 2012, 13:48 Quote
Locally i have 4 places for games...

Grainger Games - no PC section
HMV - Little to no PC section... plus what little there is they keep moving and hiding in corners so you can't find it.
GameStation - Pee... See..? What's one of those?
Game - PC Section is small, and doesn't go much further then the top 10 in most of them but it is still there.

But GAME has been losing money by the bucket load for ages now, it'll be a shame if they go under but i wouldn't be surprised if they did...

... as long as they do so *after* the ME3 release...
Lance 2nd February 2012, 13:52 Quote
I've pretty much always found that game have

a) bad customer service - there is always a queue and no-one to offer help
b) bad stock levels - the reason you need help is to ask if they have something - which they don't.
c) bad prices - not aweful but compared to online not great and you get punished with high prices for shopping instore.
d) bad online service - I never got my copy of BF:BC2 or my money back and had to buy another copy.

I'm not surprised they're going downhill. I also don't understand why they have so many stores in the same town. You don't need a game and a gamestation on the same highstreet (as there is in Bromley). Just have one with decent stock levels and staff.

The whole place could do with an overhaul in their operations which could streamline their system to make a more user friendly atmosphere and service. As Landy said above they don't use their web vs instore presence to their advantage. Why not do a buy online and collect service? Because they want to take as much money as possible whenever you walk into the store, which is unfortunate.
Kovoet 2nd February 2012, 13:55 Quote
We all knew it was going to happen some time.
cubixxx 2nd February 2012, 14:21 Quote
Game group run Gamestation too so thats 2 chains closiung, when it finally happens. (used to be funny working at Gamestation and pissed off customer saying "fine then ill go to Game")

Is this a crazy idea...selling USB memory pens with digital copies of games on? no download times for those with bad internet like myself and all you need is a USB port. Would it be cheaper than creating the disk and box? maybe there could be a 'GAME' pen drive you could keep taking back to get your digital copy shoved on, you buy the USB drive 1 time them get discounted digital copies.

I dont go to stores anymore other than if I'm in the area and fancy a look around but I spent many hours and all my money in these places in my teens, good times.
XXAOSICXX 2nd February 2012, 14:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kovoet
We all knew it was going to happen some time.

Yup. Methinks the GAME bosses have been sitting on their laurels for a little too long enjoying the good times, only to wake up and realise that they've slept through the digital distribution age and are now defunct.

You snooze, you lose.

GAME's staff are kids with very little knowledge - personal service died there years ago.

GAME's stock (for PC games) is a joke - as someone rightly pointed out, it's all Farm Simulator and Sims.

GAME's prices are a joke - and now it seems they're flogging everything dirt cheap to try and get rid.

http://www.game.co.uk/en/brink-special-edition-122150?pageSize=20&searchTerm=brink

Can't believe I actually paid £35 retail for Stink when it came out, couldn't even play it because it was a completely broken game, took it back, got told "no refunds" and NOW they're selling it for...£1.99 with free delivery.

I hope they do go under. As a loyal customer many years ago when they took PC gaming seriously I was in there all the time. They lost my business (and by the sounds of it, plenty of other peoples business too) a long time ago.

Maybe then one of the smaller independent chains will get a shot at the market....
SexyHyde 2nd February 2012, 14:33 Quote
Game stores are mainly located in town centres, where the rates for having shops there are incredibly high and now come with no benefit as most people use the internet and stores at retail parks which can offer cheaper prices. They had a good run while it lasted but they are yesterdays memory in my eyes.
It's about time councils dropped their rates for town centre premises as this might change the fate of some of these chains by enabling them to become competitive. Although I still preorder all my games online get them for roughly half price and before release.
Niftyrat 2nd February 2012, 14:35 Quote
Purely down to poor choice and price i am afraid. I go in regularly and apart from the odd thing on sale they are just too pricey. Heck even some games that are years old still cost >£20 and that is a crime! As for the PC section just not enough variety at a reasonable price.

I remember going in years ago and trying to find a ps3 game like baldurs gate dark alliance, and the person "advising" me tried to sell me single player games even after I pointed out that I wanted to play it with the other half, eventually I gave up and now I always reply no just looking whenever one of the staff approach me.
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2012, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubixxx
Is this a crazy idea...selling USB memory pens with digital copies of games on? no download times for those with bad internet like myself and all you need is a USB port. Would it be cheaper than creating the disk and box? maybe there could be a 'GAME' pen drive you could keep taking back to get your digital copy shoved on, you buy the USB drive 1 time them get discounted digital copies.

Ah, the more things change. Back in the mists of time, when computer games - and music, for that matter - came on cassette tapes, there was a thing called EDOS: Electronic Distribution/Duplication Of Software. Basically, the retailer - usually John Menzies, for some reason - had a PC with a whackin' gert hard disk of 20MB, which was filled with the latest software. You picked up an empty box, took it to the counter and through the miracle of high-speed dubbing had your chosen title within minutes. All the retailer need do was keep a supply of blank tapes with cases and easy-to-store inlay cards.

Replace 20MB with 20TB and 'cassette tape' with 'USB stick' and that's basically what you're suggesting.
xaser04 2nd February 2012, 14:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landy_Ed
One of the big mistakes they are continuing to make is the dual price structure. Too often it's cheaper online from Game than from in-store, yet they are not that competitive online compared to the likes of Amazon in many cases. Even taking into account the loyalty programme, it's still more often than not cheaper elsewhere. Either they need to negotiate better prices from the distributors or they are not thinking things through properly.

.

From a pure business point of view the dual price structure makes sense as the retail (B&M) stores have overheads that simply don't exist online. These costs have to be made up somehow and that is where seperate pricing structures come into play.

The business is probably set up in a way that the retail and online arms are seperate "entities" each with their own budgets and planning. The retail arm wouldn't survive if they charged online prices for games and vice versa.

What doesn't make sense is why Game and Gamestation were not merged into one store type when the take over happened. Having seperate stores directly competing with eachother within a short distance is not a good idea. You end up with 1 sale buy twice the overheads....

EDIT:

At a high level I can think of a few things Game could try to turn the business around (assuming they can agree new credit terms / lending requirements with their banks).

1) Consolidate Game Station and Game into one High Street Entity with an overarching brand that is easily recognisable to all. Jobs will unfortunately be lost but this would be more preferably to ALL jobs being lost when they otherwise go under.

2) Create a new store design/ethos/atmosphere* which provides more emphasis towards Gamers selling games to Gamers. More effort needs to be made at the retail level to attract people to spend more on the game retail than online. They need to realise they can't compete with online pricing so they need to offer a MUCH better service. Hopefully this idea would also create new positions that could be filled by people who lost their jobs in point 1 above.

3) Introduce a new pricing structure that is much more competetive both at Retail and online levels. Whether this achieved through sticker prices or more regular sales would need to be ironed out.

Overall the transition would be painful but neccessary to ensure their survival on the high street. As I say in my first point; some job loses are much better than everyone losing their jobs if Game doesn't adapt.

Alas it will literally come down to three simple words: Adapt or die. I just hope Game chooses the former.
Votick 2nd February 2012, 15:06 Quote
Game = For Console-fags, Staffed by Console-fags.

I won't miss it at all.
VikArmo 2nd February 2012, 15:57 Quote
As a specialist gaming store you'd expect a good selection of games and cheap prices.

Unfortunately what you get is extortionate prices and a poor selection of pc titles.

Top it off by staff who are not interested in what they sell and you arrive at this juncture.

I'm surprised this hasn't happened sooner.

Sent from my SGS II using Tapatalk
Centy-face 2nd February 2012, 16:07 Quote
Whilst it's bad news indeed for the people who work there I can't say I am sorry to see it go. Game have always been a joke as far as PC centric gamers are concerned, they are a dinosaur, stuck in the past and this has been a long time coming.
BlackRaven 2nd February 2012, 16:10 Quote
The problem with Game as people have said is that they do not stock PC games. Also they have "preorder" when the games have already come out. r3loaded you hit the mark with the never ending Sims expansions...
Bloodburgers 2nd February 2012, 16:45 Quote
Game offer nothing more than a convenience when i cannot be bothered to wait for downloads or for titles to be released on steam. There is nothing that makes me want to shop there other than their proximity @ 300m
Fizzban 2nd February 2012, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance
I also don't understand why they have so many stores in the same town. You don't need a game and a gamestation on the same highstreet (as there is in Bromley).

Bromley used to have 2 Games and a Gamestation. And the 2 Game shops were a 2 min walk apart lol.

And hello local person!!!

---

The reason Game has a small section for PC games (or any shop for that matter) is that there is more demand for console games in general. From their perspective having a big PC section would be wasted space. Especially when you can buy PC games from them online and often at a cheaper price. And a PC gamer would know that.
mighty_pirate 2nd February 2012, 17:04 Quote
I agree with the consensus here; it's a shame that people are facing late or missing salaries & even more so that jobs will be lost.
But GAME are a terrible company who I've refused to support for years now. They ruined Gamestation, destroyed what I would consider to be collectors items, they (under Gamestop) put unethical pressure on publishers to limit digital sales & product promotion &, as the primary face of gaming on the high street, have been instrumental in reducing the public face of PC gaming in the UK for the last handful of years. Combined with rip-off pricing & frequently unhelpful/misleading sales staff they've become somewhat of a travesty. Unless they suddenly take a radical new direction then I'd be glad to see them gone entirely.
Lance 2nd February 2012, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizzban
Bromley used to have 2 Games and a Gamestation. And the 2 Game shops were a 2 min walk apart lol.

And hello local person!!!


Yeah I remember I used to go from one to the next to get the best price when I was selling my second hand games.

So there are other people from bromley on here. Good times.
Fizzban 2nd February 2012, 17:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance
So there are other people from bromley on here. Good times.

I'm a mile from Orpington town centre. Bromley only 20mins away on the bus. Have some rep for living nearby.


Ooo it gave you another green dot. Shiny!
longweight 2nd February 2012, 17:53 Quote
This really isn't suprising and I really don't care. Game have failed to change with the times just like HMV etc.
SMIFFYDUDE 2nd February 2012, 18:58 Quote
I went into a Game store last week and couldn't even see the PC section, the time before that is was just a rotating rack. Gamestation is just Sims3, MW 3 and Watching Paint Dry Simulator, with the odd game from 4 or 5 years ago hidden away at the bottom.

The gamestation near me has way too many staff, 1 pestering customers, 1 on the till, 1 stacking shelves and 2 doing nothing but chatting with each other next to the counter. Its the same scene everytime I enter the shop.
Almightyrastus 2nd February 2012, 19:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by K404
I don't buy from Game because the PC section is now a single 4ft wide racking section, but I do like seeing it in the high street.

Wow, you get that much? If only.
whisperwolf 2nd February 2012, 19:26 Quote
The last time I was in a Game shop it wasn't just the PC section that was vanishing, the new PS3 and Xbox games had reduced in shelf space too. There's one rack for each console, one rack that just has boxes of whatever game is currently on pre release, the PC sections located somewhere you need a map and compass to find, and the rest of the shop is second hand games. Oh and the occasional cuddly toy. Even worse the prices of the used games are normally more than you can buy them new online. Every once in a while I'll find they have a decent price online, but the shops been dead for me since they took over and ruined Gamestation.
Omnituens 2nd February 2012, 19:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Votick
Game = For Console-fags, Staffed by Console-fags.

I won't miss it at all.

I have worked at game for over 4 years in total. If you go in there LOOKING for console-playing staff, you are going to find them. If you actually ASK if any of the staff have any PC gaming experience, they will fetch that person. I have worked at many stores, and each one had at least 1 or 2 people who would say PC games are their primary or secondary format.

The staff are told what to push. PC is not a priority. They are given figures to hit and the only way staff can hit those targets is by pushing consoles or preowned - neither are related to PC games.

Blame the higher up for poor management, NOT the staff. It is people like you who make PC gamers appear elitist.
Fizzban 2nd February 2012, 19:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
I have worked at game for over 4 years in total. If you go in there LOOKING for console-playing staff, you are going to find them. If you actually ASK if any of the staff have any PC gaming experience, they will fetch that person. I have worked at many stores, and each one had at least 1 or 2 people who would say PC games are their primary or secondary format.

The staff are told what to push. PC is not a priority. They are given figures to hit and the only way staff can hit those targets is by pushing consoles or preowned - neither are related to PC games.

Blame the higher up for poor management, NOT the staff. It is people like you who make PC gamers appear elitist.

You still work there? Can I be pest and ask if you know of the likelihood that Game will be honouring their pre-orders over the next few months? News like this will have people dropping their pre-orders and rushing to another source. And that in turn will do much damage to Game. It could be worth mentioning to the higher up's that we (consumers) need some reassurance.

I will be keeping my pre-order as Game has never let me down yet, which is probably amazing to some of you as it seems to regularly get slagged off.
woods 2nd February 2012, 20:14 Quote
My local Game ain't so bad it's got 4 sections of 3 for £10 and 2 for £15 older games 4 sections fon new games I get most of my games from there cos the prices are usually the same or bit less then from steam and I only have a 3GB download limit a month so I wouldn't be able to download a full game anyway
3lusive 2nd February 2012, 20:24 Quote
Haven't bought from Game since Gamestation hit Britian, and hardly use Gamestation as I buy from amazon and play.com much more frequently.
FIBRE+ 2nd February 2012, 20:33 Quote
Bit of a shame people might loose jobs and another UK company going under, but I won't miss it.

I think the last game I bought from there was in the 90s. It's too expensive, too console orientated and other than getting a new release on the day it has no real appeal for me. I would imagine profits peak around every COD release, maybe the sales last time weren't good enough.

Big chains like should be asking what customers and staff want rather than a bunch of non gamers sitting in an office looking at facts and figures.
Splooshiba 2nd February 2012, 20:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by K404
I don't buy from Game because the PC section is now a single 4ft wide racking section, but I do like seeing it in the high street.

4ft wide racking section is more than we have here.
LordPyrinc 2nd February 2012, 20:50 Quote
We have a similar problem with PC selection in the states. A store chain named GameStop has also relegated their PC selection to either a small wall section or stand-alone shelf on the floor. Even larger store chains such as Walmart and BestBuy have seriously scaled back their PC game selections. The only reason I went to GameStop lately was looking for Skyrim on the release day since BestBuy had already sold out. Apparently, I managed to grab GameStop's last unreserved copy. Otherwise, I just don't go there anymore since I don't currently own any modern console or handheld.
Kovoet 2nd February 2012, 20:54 Quote
I remember a year ago when I said PC gaming is getting less and less. Now Apple is also bringing a console out so lets see what they do and how it affects PC gaming. I'd be lost without PC gaming
Omnituens 2nd February 2012, 21:05 Quote
No, I no longer work for the company Fizzban. Left due to the hoops upper management (ie above store level) made everyone jump through. Also, my current job is much better.

I don't see why they will not honour any order currently placed. Go into your store and ask to speak to the manager or deputy manager saying you are concerned. They will give you all the information they can. I cannot say with absolute certainty it will be truthful as all managers are different - if they are told they cannot tell you something because they will face discplinary then you cannot hold it against them. However, if you are friendly with the staff the chances are they are going to be truthful. Being a **** will get you NOWHERE in retail - most of the time the staff are only following protocols that higher ups up in place, who are only too happy to reverse the action lower managers make to make themselves the hero.
Fizzban 2nd February 2012, 21:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
No, I no longer work for the company Fizzban. Left due to the hoops upper management (ie above store level) made everyone jump through. Also, my current job is much better.

I don't see why they will not honour any order currently placed. Go into your store and ask to speak to the manager or deputy manager saying you are concerned. They will give you all the information they can. I cannot say with absolute certainty it will be truthful as all managers are different - if they are told they cannot tell you something because they will face discplinary then you cannot hold it against them. However, if you are friendly with the staff the chances are they are going to be truthful. Being a **** will get you NOWHERE in retail - most of the time the staff are only following protocols that higher ups up in place, who are only too happy to reverse the action lower managers make to make themselves the hero.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm not ever a **** for no reason, so no worries there. I may pop in my local next time I'm around and see what they have to say.

A bit OT but I could never work in retail. There is only so many arseholes a person can take in one day, and retail offers you a lot of them.
TraumaticHug 2nd February 2012, 21:43 Quote
In Glasgow there are 3 Game stores in the city centre (one of which is in Hamleys) and 2 Gamestations..

I always got the impression that most Game staff were all about sales while Gamestation were gamers.. which means that even though I know they're the same company I always go into Gamestation instead.

Whenever I went into Game they were always "Buy ALL the things and warranties!", while Gamestation were very much into talking about what they were playing at the time and being pretty honest if they thought it sucked or having real enthusiasm if they really enjoyed it.


Then again, maybe it was all a ploy to corner both the Why-Would-Video-Games-Have-Age-Ratings-I-Bought-GTA4-For-My-8yr-Old* and Hey-You're-A-Gamer-Too-Here-Take-All-My-Money(and-love?) markets.





*True story.. ..granted from the same woman I had to advise to stop telling people her kids could get them any music for free, just ask. "My kids would never do anything illegal!"
sp4nky 2nd February 2012, 21:53 Quote
Game's pricing structure is interesting to say the least. I just looked at the prices online for Skyrim and found you can buy the boxed version for £29.99 or download for £39.99. I thought downloads were supposed to be cheaper?

No wonder they're going out of business.
TraumaticHug 2nd February 2012, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp4nky
Game's pricing structure is interesting to say the least. I just looked at the prices online for Skyrim and found you can buy the boxed version for £29.99 or download for £39.99. I thought downloads were supposed to be cheaper?

No wonder they're going out of business.


I think this is similar to do with the pricing for books though. I read an article (found it through twitter so can't locate it right now) about this.

EDIT:
Here's a better explanation than below:
Why Some E-Books Cost More Than the Hardcover


The example they used was Amazon.
Amazon sold physical copies of books at much less than they themselves were paying for them, so were making a loss on books. The profit from the rest of their business meant that this wasn't an issue and allowed them to be far cheaper than everyone else.

When they started selling the Kindle, they continued this with ebooks. However, the publishers started getting worried that they were helping devalue books (much, I suppose, like the used game market making people reluctant to pay £45/$60 for a game) and changed their terms of conditions, meaning that instead of Amazon being a retailer and setting the price Amazon wanted for ebooks, the publishers set the price and Amazon was just the middle-man.

Something about the difference between digital distribution and physical stock as to why it only affect ebooks and not physical copies.



Granted, how this works with Steam sales I don't know :|
javaman 2nd February 2012, 22:25 Quote
Die game die and im not speaking german. It ceased to be relevant when they hired monkeys and failed to acknowledge that you could anything they had for cheaper from everywhere else. The fact that rage on release was £32 yet they had second hand copies for £35. Ive no sympathy for this dinosaur of last gen console age. They could of embraced the future of downloads yet instead insulted everyone. Its the story of the high street really, if they actually offered a service such as trying things instore, decent staff that knew things even gaming events where you could feel part of a community, id be more willing to pay their prices. They offered nothing now I cant wait to piss on their corpse.
XXAOSICXX 2nd February 2012, 22:28 Quote
The last time I went into a Gamestation (Manchester Arndale) the few PC games they had were on a shelf *behind* the sales counter. i.e. you couldn't even touch them....

....which is why it was the last time I went into Gamestation.
TraumaticHug 2nd February 2012, 22:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
Die game die and im not speaking german. It ceased to be relevant when they hired monkeys and failed to acknowledge that you could anything they had for cheaper from everywhere else. The fact that rage on release was £32 yet they had second hand copies for £35. Ive no sympathy for this dinosaur of last gen console age. They could of embraced the future of downloads yet instead insulted everyone. Its the story of the high street really, if they actually offered a service such as trying things instore, decent staff that knew things even gaming events where you could feel part of a community, id be more willing to pay their prices. They offered nothing now I cant wait to piss on their corpse.



Not to interrupt your corpse-pissing, but for some reason all I could visualise was *emo hair flick*


:)




...which kinda goes against your actually quite sweet avatar.
Omnituens 2nd February 2012, 23:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TraumaticHug
Whenever I went into Game they were always "Buy ALL the things and warranties!", while Gamestation were very much into talking about what they were playing at the time and being pretty honest if they thought it sucked or having real enthusiasm if they really enjoyed it.

Again, this is due to the fact that until recently, Gamestation were still run buy their own staff inc regonials so they didn't have all the targets and crap to meet.

The reason Game staff push hard on attachments and warrenties is because if they dont hit their targets, its on their head and goes on record that they are failing targets. It's not they are not into gaming or don't like talking about games, they just get punished for doing so; if you get into a convo with a member of staff at game, give it 5 minutes and either a manager or someone sent by the manager will come over and say something like "<X person> needs you to do <Y task> in the back" or some other excuse.

My guess is they will close stores that have multiple of the same brand near each other starting with the smallest of the stores, or if there is just 1 of each brand, the Gamestation will go. Gamestation stores are now being brought into line in terms of training and targets. It will take a while, but you will see a decline in "friendlyness" as you guys like to call it in the gamestation staff as they are forced to just make money and hit targets. It lowers staff moral and it shows.
DbD 3rd February 2012, 11:46 Quote
It's always cheaper to buy stuff off steam, amazon, play or ebay so why go into game? When I walk in there I always feel like it's a shop for mugs, who don't realise pretty well everything is available for less elsewhere.
javaman 3rd February 2012, 13:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TraumaticHug
Not to interrupt your corpse-pissing, but for some reason all I could visualise was *emo hair flick*


:)




...which kinda goes against your actually quite sweet avatar.

Haha made me smile! In a previous rebellious stage. Not quite "emo" as such but i could do one hell of a hair flick that would put herbal essence models to shame.

That admission has probably helped me become the community hermit now who smells of wee and is to be shunned and looked upon with scorn. I assure you, i dont smell of wee.....
GravitySmacked 3rd February 2012, 14:35 Quote
I hope it doesn't go belly up.

It the only shop worth visiting in the local shopping outlet (it's one of those VAT free outlets full of clothes shops) and I've never had any issues ordering online via their website.
Paulg1971 3rd February 2012, 18:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance


I'm not surprised they're going downhill. I also don't understand why they have so many stores in the same town. You don't need a game and a gamestation on the same highstreet (as there is in Bromley). Just have one with decent stock levels and staff.

In stockport,game and gamestation are next to each other.
Omnituens 3rd February 2012, 18:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulg1971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance


I'm not surprised they're going downhill. I also don't understand why they have so many stores in the same town. You don't need a game and a gamestation on the same highstreet (as there is in Bromley). Just have one with decent stock levels and staff.

In stockport,game and gamestation are next to each other.
Yup, Stockport store is one of the ones I have worked at. Very nice store, my favourite one I've worked in by far.
fluxtatic 4th February 2012, 08:39 Quote
Having worked a lot of retail, I know how this goes - business slides, idiot managers say "ZOMG SERVICE IS KING!" and so you service the hell out of customers (heh-heh) Then they realize good service is expensive and start cutting the labor budget, and you have to jump through hoops pushing this thing or that thing, no matter if you're just pissing customers off, you gotta hit those numbers to keep your job (that's what got me canned from the last retail job I held with a corp chain retailer - I hate that myself, so I wouldn't do it to customers.)

They aren't raping you and swimming in cash - prices are high because (I'm guessing, I've never been to the UK) High Street rents are high. Prices are high because overhead is high (even though employees are treated and paid like crap, leading to disinterested employees.) Then you check your smartphone, see their own site is selling it cheaper and they won't match the price in store (employees generally have zero discretion on pricing and are likely explicitly forbidden from price-matching online retailers.) Naturally, you think they must be morons and buy it from Amazon (but remember, it's not the clerk's fault - he'd knock a couple bucks off if it meant saving his job, rather than losing it.) You don't even need to match it, just do something so I don't think you're an asshole - having it in my hands, knowing I'm half an hour away from playing it (rather than a day and a half from Steam [slow internet] or 2-3 days from Amazon) is very powerful. Until you can't do a damn thing for me whatsoever on the price and I get pissed and leave. Now you'll likely never see another dime from ever...good job, corporate middle-managers!

What's telling to me is that every big-corp retail job I held, every single one of the companies went bankrupt and out of business. If only I could take credit, I could blackmail my way to easy street - "pay me now or I'll get a job at one of your stores. Next thing you know, the whole chain will be out of business! BWA HAAHAHA")

Anyway, that sound anything close to right, Omnituens?

Oh, and 'lending syndicate'? I guess that's what you get when you get financed by the Mafia :P
Xunsu 4th February 2012, 21:25 Quote
Well the one local to me has a decent sized PC section, and I live in a town.

If you look at thier online store its full of PC games and decent prices on them too. but PC games isnt the reason why they are struggling

games in general are expesnive ( looks at 360/ps3) so its partly greedy devs also becasue most people in the uk are only getting £80 per week benafits Ie out of a job. most people torrent games mostly for that reason that does include consles
anmadrarua 5th February 2012, 00:39 Quote
i dont see why everyone is blaming the staff and referring 2 them as monkeys. at the end of the day its a job, it pays the bills...
Plus dont go tarring all game stores with the same brush. they not all rubbish with staff that dont give a f***. some of us actually care about the customers and want them to go away happy with their purchases no matter how much they spent. i no in my store we have staff that actually are gamers and theres always someone there to speak to that knows their stuff about each platform.
if u want 2 blame anyone blame the ones that come up with our KPI's.
plus we did get paid on the day we were supposed to it just went in late. and it did happen a few years ago also so that doesnt mean anything.
game used to buy in far 2 many new releases and ended up losing money on them. now they have started covering preorders and a few 4 general sale (and rightly so i think). if u dont preorder it then tough s***.
the range and volume of pc games a store receives is based on previous sales. if they werent selling much of it then they stopped sending as much. simples!
to be honest, we know as much as u guys... they will close the stores that make the least money..which makes sense!
javaman 5th February 2012, 03:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluxtatic
Having worked a lot of retail, I know how this goes - business slides, idiot managers say "ZOMG SERVICE IS KING!" and so you service the hell out of customers (heh-heh) Then they realize good service is expensive and start cutting the labor budget, and you have to jump through hoops pushing this thing or that thing, no matter if you're just pissing customers off, you gotta hit those numbers to keep your job (that's what got me canned from the last retail job I held with a corp chain retailer - I hate that myself, so I wouldn't do it to customers.)

They aren't raping you and swimming in cash - prices are high because (I'm guessing, I've never been to the UK) High Street rents are high. Prices are high because overhead is high (even though employees are treated and paid like crap, leading to disinterested employees.) Then you check your smartphone, see their own site is selling it cheaper and they won't match the price in store (employees generally have zero discretion on pricing and are likely explicitly forbidden from price-matching online retailers.) Naturally, you think they must be morons and buy it from Amazon (but remember, it's not the clerk's fault - he'd knock a couple bucks off if it meant saving his job, rather than losing it.) You don't even need to match it, just do something so I don't think you're an asshole - having it in my hands, knowing I'm half an hour away from playing it (rather than a day and a half from Steam [slow internet] or 2-3 days from Amazon) is very powerful. Until you can't do a damn thing for me whatsoever on the price and I get pissed and leave. Now you'll likely never see another dime from ever...good job, corporate middle-managers!

What's telling to me is that every big-corp retail job I held, every single one of the companies went bankrupt and out of business. If only I could take credit, I could blackmail my way to easy street - "pay me now or I'll get a job at one of your stores. Next thing you know, the whole chain will be out of business! BWA HAAHAHA")

Anyway, that sound anything close to right, Omnituens?

Oh, and 'lending syndicate'? I guess that's what you get when you get financed by the Mafia :P

Mobile phones are often cheaper in store. Certainly with orange theyre very quick to try and cut a deal if you threaten to move. Heck i got 25% discount going in store with my civil service friend in tow which i couldnt get online or over the phone. Yea the occasional online deal crops up and when pointed out the do seem to try and match it. Least in phone shops they let you play with devices too. The only time ive seen them stick on price is with p&g offers. Nothing will get them to move.
xxxsonic1971 8th February 2012, 12:39 Quote
my local game store in workington cumbria always seems to have more staff than customers, and the pc games they sell now is pish.
srivastava 8th February 2012, 12:56 Quote
Lets just wait for them to blame piracy for their demise.I am sure it won't be their failure to get in on digital distribution early enough.
Splooshiba 8th February 2012, 21:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
I do go into shops a lot - I just don't buy anything :D

Just to browse that 1 shelf of old PC games they never sold.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums