There is a sad truth to the seemingly inevitable demise of GAME Group – it’s potentially good news for other video game retailers, in the short term at least.
But more than simply picking up GAME’s lost sales on key titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken, a new report says that publishers are ploughing extra resources into other retailers.
Retail Week reports that publisher EA offered HMV “extra support” for the launch of Mass Effect 3 which, of course, was not stocked by GAME or Gamestation. The game shot straight to the top of the UK Charts, shattering the series’ previous sales records.
The claims certainly re-assert John Riccitiello's claims that the High Street has the capacity to absorb the potential loss of GAME.
HMV, however, has told MCV in no uncertain terms that there is no truth in these reports and that it would never actively seek to profit from the misfortunes of another retailer.
"We've not sought to draw attention to GAME's current situation, partly because we feel for their employees and respect what they're going through but mainly because we just want to focus on our own positive message about key stock availabilty and strong offers we may have," an HMV spokesperson told MCV.
"Gamers know enough about what's going on anyway, and if there have been any press reports, then that's the usual speculation that we have no control over and have done or said absolutely nothing to encourage. If the odd store has been a little exhuberant on a local level then we have acted quickly to address this and it certainly isn't typical of the approach adopted by HMV.
"Any media comment or headline suggesting otherwise is in our view unfair and misleading, particularly when you think there is a lot more we could be saying or doing but are purposefully holding back."
Both GAME and potential suitor GameStop remain diligently silent on the progression of talks, although GAME Group boss Ian Shepherd took to Twitter earlier this week to say: “Very tough time for all our teams around the world. We fight on, though. Plenty still to do, customer support humbling as always.”