Today’s success of Mass Effect 3 in the UK charts may be great news for the industry, but it’s a bad sign for troubled retailer GAME.
Had the game failed to hit expectations, perhaps missed No.1 or fallen below the week one sales number of its predecessor, EA would this morning be questioning its ongoing standoff with GAME.
But that hasn’t happened. Not only did the RPG debut at No.1, but it smashed the week ones sales of both of its predecessors combined.
And of course, it did all this despite its omission from the shelves of both GAME and Gamestation.
"I'm really confident that the consumer that wants to buy Mass Effect or Madden or FIFA or whatever, if a particular retailer is gone, other retailers will absorb the business," EA boss Riccitiello told a US audience last week.
"But I think in the fullness of time, I am extremely confident that, whether it's UK or France, or United States, et cetera, the retail marketplace will absorb that business.
"I don't think we're going to – we might lose 20,000 copies of Mass Effect 3 in the UK for the consumer that can't figure out another store to go to, but that would even surprise me. I mean I think we'll sell every unit.
“So, we love great retailer partners, and we, like I mentioned GameStop earlier and Best Buy and Amazon and others. They're great for us. If one goes away, the other guys pick up the slack. I really don't see it as anything other than a very temporary dislocation."
Time will now tell whether the news will further dent GAME’s tumbling share price.