"We are not ready for a digital-only future"

The loss of 277 GAME stores is not a reason to abandon the High Street.

Retailers admit they must accelerate plans for the social, download and mobile sectors.

But publishers should not use the collapse of GAME – this week saved by Comet-owner OpCapita – as a reason to leave behind physical and go ‘fully digital’.

[The GAME situation] sends a powerful signal to publishers that for the High Street to remain a major part of their distribution they have to back retail,” HMV’s head of games and technology Ewan Pinder told MCV.

It’s dangerous to think this could be some kind of ‘year zero’ moment. Clearly online and social games are growing, but I believe there can also be viable demand for physical product for some time – if it’s nurtured.”

ERA director general Kim Bayley added: What’s concerning has been the apparent indifference of suppliers to GAME’s plight.

When entertainment stores close around half of the sales evaporate. It’d be foolish to underestimate the importance of impulse and gift-buying – areas digital has failed to crack. Suppliers may yet rue their approach to GAME, and certainly it has not sent out a positive message to those retailers still operating in the market.”

UK trade leaders agree that retail must be cared for:?The specialist sector has always driven wider market interest,” said WBIE sales boss Spencer Crossley.

UKIE?CEO?Jo Twist added:?We believe there is still a role for retail in this fast-moving market.”

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