On March 26, the news broke that mega UK retailer GAME is going into administration.
As sad as this news is for the 600 employees whose jobs are at risk, it raises the question: is this just a company failing to move with the times quick enough and falling victim to the credit crunch, or symptomatic of a changing world where most shoppers choose to make their purchases online?
First it was Woolworths, then Borders, then most recently La Senza – all long-established, well known businesses – but this is the first time a business that specialises in such ‘modern’ fare as computer games has been seen to be on the brink of shutting down.
But is it really such a loss? Most savvy gamers will admit to mainly using stores for trading in old games and picking up second hand purchases on the cheap, whilst doing all of their major purchases online where the cost is often significantly reduced.
Indeed, with videogames generally being so expensive, it’s almost unsurprising that in these austere times retailers are struggling to shift full price new releases.
Then again, as any confused mother who wanders in knowing her son wants for his birthday the game ‘with the cars’ but no more than that, shops such as GAME can offer a level of expertise and help in person that will be sadly missed if the highstreet video game retailer were to disappear completely. Even the most hardcore gamer can learn a thing or two from the employees, or at least have a good chat with someone about their favourite game.
At time of print GAME’s future remains uncertain, and only time will tell whether that personal touch will be enough to preserve it, at least for a little while longer.