HMV plans to launch over 30 new Gamerbase areas in its stores this year – starting with the opening of this week’s Glasgow branch.
The Gamerbase ‘games experience zones’ offer multiplayer and online gaming in-store, and the initiative was voted the winner in the Retail Innovation category of this year’s MCV Awards.
And after launching in Glasgow this week – the fourth major instalment in the project’s history, with others in London, Manchester and Edinburgh – founder Dominic Mulroy told MCV that he had big plans for Gamerbase’s growth.
“We will be rolling out five of the larger Gamerbase centres this year, to join London, Manchester and Edinburgh,” he said. “We also plan to build smaller, scaleable Gamerbase experiences in around 30 stores nationwide. So by Christmas, HMV will have almost 40 Gamerbase experiences.”
He added: “When we opened the first Gamerbase, we did not integrate retail at all. So when HMV acquired us, the challenge was to convert what we were doing into a retail experience.
“Since then, Gamerbase has proven to be a success in terms of the like-for-like sales of games across all platforms. Gamerbase also creates a gaming community for HMV, and we have found those gamers to be very loyal.
“Gamerbase is a sign of HMV’s priority on providing a Live Experience for the consumer, akin to the MAMA live venues for music.”
HMV plans to network all of the Gamerbase stores together this year, allowing gamers in one city to play against counterparts in another.
“Our biggest plan is to form and launch nationwide gaming leagues of city versus city in a variety of games. HMV will be the place for gamers to represent their towns in a Premiership-style league,” added Mulroy.