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GAME-Death Of Specialist Game Shops?


Big in the gaming news of late from an industrial perspective is the significant trouble surrounding the GAME group. GAME are a chain of retail shops that also include Gamestation specialise in selling games on multiple consoles both new and used as well as the perks that come with the corresponding platforms. It is of significance that this reatil group at least in Europe anyway are a major retail and online group that cater for gamers only.

But GAME have flaws in their system which is ultimately leading to huge losses for the company and that is their pricing. A good example is a game like Call of Duty: Black Ops which for the best part of last year and even upto the point of the next iteration in the series remained at £40/£50. Obviously this is not the only title as their are many games that suffer from being overpriced however online shopping makes alternatives much easier and cheaper-bar waiting for orders.

Sites like Amazon and Play.com not only have a vast of new and old games in stock but their stock covers nearly everything else on offer. Add in the perk of free or cheap delivery and even in some cases the game+delivery can still be much less than what can be bought on the shelf in GAME. It is fair to say that this has been coming. Other specialist shops such as Chips 2 years ago went bust despite being a small retail group and Eclipse has shrunk significantly over the past 5 years. The question remains, is this the death of game specialist retail shops?

I personally hope not. In the vast majority of shops, the guys/girls in the shops know their stuff about the industry and take pride in serving the customers giving honest verdicts. I once wanted to purchase Alpha Protocol (its not all that bad) and when I took it to the til, the guy serving me strongly recommended that I bought something else for the same price (£15). He pointed out Heavy Rain and it ultimately became one of the best games I have played.

This is different for everyone though. There are some workers in those shops who are blinded by their arrogance and know extremely little about games which is irritating though they are in their minority. I like specialist game shops though. There is nothing like weighing up to buy a game then coming to an informed purchase, walking home pondering the thoughts of how your night will be spent.


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