The UK games trade is concerned over the latest round of redundanciesat beleaguered retail giant HMV.
The firm has cut down the group of ten games buyers and merchandisers down to just two.
Amongst the redundancies were head of technology and games Ewan Pinder and games category manager Andy Pinder.
Mike Fethers, Nick Ashley, Will Cox and Ed Lee have also departed.
Meanwhile, three of the firm’s Gamerbase outlets – Edinburgh, Manchster and Trocadero – are being closed as part of the firm’s 66 store closures. And Gamerbase boss Dominic Mulroy has resigned from the company and joined GAME on Tuesday this week (see box, right).
One HMV exec told MCV this week that it “doesn’t look good for games at HMV. I’d have to speculate that the potential buyers don’t see it as a big player in the future of the company.”
GAME BOOSTED BY MULROY HIRE
HMV’s loss turns out to be Game Retail’s gain.
With the entertainment chain struggling, the games specialist has
hired Dominic Mulroy as senior business development manager.
Mulroy devised Gamerbase, the in-store retail concept for competitive gaming,
which was bought by HMV and rolled out across stores in London,
Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
A statement from GAME said: “We can confirm that Dominic has come
on board and his role will be focused on developing new areas of the
business where we can better deliver for the gaming community.”
Publishers are also concerned. One UK boss at a major global games publisher told MCV: “I am not sure how they can just credibly continue with just two people. How do you bounce back from this?
“Over the last year the games industry hasn’t quite given HMV the same level of support as the music and DVD guys. As a company looking to move forward and reshape its business, it is understandable that games might be the ones to suffer. But hopefully that will change when the new consoles come out. We’ll be sorry to see them go.”
The Euro boss at one of the biggest games industry corporations added: “It does look as if gaming is losing some focus within HMV. However, from my experience in situations like this the initial changes don’t always reflect the longer term focus.
“As an industry we need to ensure we keep connected to the key decision makers.”
At the time of going to press HMV was still in administration, with Hilco UK in prime position to acquire the company. The redundancies announced last week included CEO Trevor Moore and marketing director Mark Hodgkinson.