The Entertainment Retailers Association have released a report claiming that over £1 billion was spent on digital media in the UK during 2012. More than half that total was a result of games, which took in around £552 million in digital sales through the year. That's a 7.7% increase in money spent on games delivered through your broadband tubes.
UK retailer GAME... you remember GAME right? You had to go there back when games came in boxes. You'd dig past the rows and rows of console releases, wade through stands full of pre-owned games, and there, in the back corner, was a dusty shelf full of expansion packs for The Sims and driving test quiz software. Sometimes there was also a rotating display where you could nab three truck simulator games for a tenner.
Anyway, they're taking a step towards our digital future by stocking Steam Wallet cards in stores, from today, that let you purchase one-use codes in denominations of £5, £10, £15 and £20. According to GAME's CEO Martyn Gibbs, "this is the latest initiative offering unrivalled value, range and ease of obtaining digital content for our UK gaming community."
It's been a turbulent early 2012 GAME with news that the Australian arm of the retailer has also called in the administrators.
The embattled retailer has confirmed that it is unable to fulfill its Diablo III pre-orders for Australian customers.
However, a white knight comes in the form of Blizzard which today revealed on its official Diablo III forum they will honour the pre-orders instead.
Following the announcement last week, GAME has entered administration. MCV report that 227 GAME and Gamestation stores have closed. 2104 employees have lost their jobs, 40% of the Game Group's UK workforce.
CEO ian Shepherd has announced his resignation, effective immediately. He's stepping down to allow administrators, PriceWaterhouseCooper, to take charge. Shepherd said that they'll "make big changes, both to the store estate and in the office, but will be doing so with a view to creating a trading business that he can attract a buyer for."
The mournful collapse of the UK's main UK gaming retailer, GAME, is almost complete. This morning GAME's board declared that there was "no equity value left in the Group," and removed the company from the stock exchange. Now MCV report that they've filed for administration.
The stores will keep selling games for now as Game's bosses decide what to do with the hundreds of stores they have across the UK and Europe. MCV claims that the group is planning to cut off a number of international stores, close down most of their Gamestation stores, and relaunch as a rebranded, streamlined operation.
UK retailer, GAME is in bad shape. MCV are reporting that shares in the troubled company dropped in value to just half a penny each earlier today. That's a 98.8% decrease in value from their value ten years ago. MCV also mention that senior executives are bracing themselves for the possibility of entering administration within the fortnight if they fail to find enough cash to keep the company afloat.
Here in the UK massive discounts have seen store shifting consoles for less than half their normal price as the company tries to inspire a revenue boost. The outlook seems bleak, however. It's though that US retailer, Gamestop could step in and buy up parts of GAME's international business, which could preserve jobs and keep the company going. GAME has 1300 stores worldwide.
It's troubling time for UK video game retailers, Game. They've recently announced that no EA titles will be stocked in their stores after console-only snowboarder, SSX. The sad news applies to Gamestation stores too.
It brings up the thorny issue of pre-orders. Both Game and Gamestation offered exclusive content in exchange for early customer enthusiasm. Now all those DLC codes are getting lost within the internet, like tears in the rain.
As promised last week, EA have made efforts to resolve the situation. Specific websites have been set up with advice on where you can still purchase EA games and bag yourself some exclusive content. Predictably, Origin pre-orders are not affected by the debacle.
Just click the game name to get some advice: Mass Effect 3, FIFA Street, The Sims 3 Showtime, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13. Good luck with it all!
Panic stations for people who've pre-ordered their copy of Mass Effect 3 from GAME or Gamestation: the UK-based retailer won't be stocking any EA games in the month of March after PS3 and Xbox 360-only title SSX. That includes Mass Effect 3.
Eurogamer spotted the news this morning, in a memo sent around GAME Group employees. For PC gamers, the news means we won't be seeing any new EA titles for release in both GAME and Gamestation this month. Keen speculators would assume that drought would continue beyond March.
The GAME retail chain has been having a serious wobble this week. Yesterday we mentioned concerns over their ability to stock future releases amid reports that the company had lost credit insurance with major publishers. Today, MCV reports that the chain has successfully struck a new deal with lenders that ensures they'll be able to keep trading.
There are grim noises coming from major European retailer, GAME, among growing concerns that they may be be unable to buy stocks of upcoming releases. A Now Gamer source said that Game has lost credit insurance with a number of major publishers after a big downturn in profits during the Christmas period.
A loss of credit insurance means that GAME would have to pay for batches of new stock up-front. If they don't have the cash reserves to buy up new releases directly, they could fail to stock them entirely.
UPDATE: The Game statement has now been released. "We have thoroughly investigated the hacking claims made today by the website Pastebin, and can confirm that they are entirely false. The published email addresses are not registered users of GAME.co.uk, and there has been no breach of our database security," says Game's Anna-Marie Mason on MCV. "We would like to assure all our customers that their details are well protected, and advise anyone who has any questions to contact our customer services team via the website, our Facebook page or Twitter account."
ORIGINAL STORY: British retailer, Game, has had its records hacked, according to a report on Softpedia spotted on MCV. The hackers have posted 200 email addresses and passwords online. It's not known whether they also got their hands on any payment information but Game are due to release a statement shortly. Tasmanian site, Catalyst-Gaming, was also hacked, with similar results. If you have a Game login, you might want to jump in and change your password.