Industry rallies around troubled GAME

The UK games trade has backed GAME to overcome its ‘nightmare’ start to the year.

Publishing execs have lined-up to offer vocal support to the retailer, after working around the clock to get stock into stores. GAME lost credit insurance, which meant the firm had to do deals with suppliers just to fill the shelves. One industry veteran said the period was ‘like EUK all over again.’

Mastertronic’s Andy Payne, Codemasters’ Rod Cousens, Rising Star’s Martin Defries, Xbox’ Jonathan Grimes, Square Enix’ Doug Bone and Konami’s Peter Stone have all told MCV that if GAME collapses it "would be a massive loss to this industry."

The retailer says it has been left ‘humbled’ by the support shown from its suppliers.

The troubled High Street chain is in the process of selling off its international business and cutting 46 jobs from its head office as it comes to terms with a disastrous festive sales period.

New trading terms mean power may be shifting away from the market-leading retail specialist, but publishers say the UK sector must pull together to ensure GAME – as well as fellow struggler HMV – survive.

GAME hopes it has wethered the worst of the storm, now it has secured a new agreement with its lenders and announced it will meet its banking covenant tests. Its share price has risen on the news.

What the industry says:

Rod Cousens,

"GAME is an integral part of the gaming industry in the UK and Europe. It’s a case of ‘GAME – your industry needs you right now.’ This is a situation where all parties can work together to come up with a sustainable business model, which everyone can live with and which is progressive to target digital opportunities. A streamlined network of ‘destination centres’ for packaged goods and digital delivery which took its lead from Apple stores is just a thought. The industry needs to evolve and move on and GAME could be in its midst."

Doug Bone,
UK General Manager
Square Enix Europe
"It’s no secret that the market is enduring a challenging transition at the moment, so it’s important that we listen to our customers and work with them to ensure that trading doesn’t suffer. GAME is a key partner for us and we will continue to work with it and have stayed in close contact in the build-up to the launch of Final Fantasy XIII-2."

Jonathan Grimes,
Director of retail sales and marketing
"We remain fully committed to our retail partners and recognise the huge importance that specialist retailers have to our industry."

Peter Stone,
UK General Manager,
"It’s our opinion that the video games industry is stronger if we have one or more specialist retailers. Therefore we see the survival of GAME and HMV to be important to us. We have worked hard with both retailers in the past few weeks to ensure they are able to stock our new titles."

Martin Defries,
Managing Director
Rising Star Games
"Although Rising Star Games is a undoubtedly a small supplier to GAME, I believe it is critical that our support joins that of its more significant ones.
"GAME is key to this business across the UK and Europe in driving sales to consumers both new and old, in putting our work in front of others via its retail mechanism; without it, it’s an even tougher landscape within which to operate. Where we can, where it might help, where it might make a difference, I’m happy to step up and assist."

About MCV Staff

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