I like videogames that come in boxes. I liked shopping for them, too, running to the nearest EB Games store and riffling through the preowned section (when it had a preowned section for PC) to see what bits of overlooked gaming goodness I could dig up. The thrill of the hunt more than made up for the relative lack of convenience, and that's a feeling the IndieBox team is hoping to take advantage of with its new and very unusual boxed-game subscription service.
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."
US games retailer GameStop has announced in a press release that the rumoured Steam Wallet cards are, in fact, real and in stores now. The cards are available in $20 and $50 denominations and those funds can be used for anything on Steam, from games to workshop items.
"Offering Steam Wallet codes at GamesStop extends more options and convenience to gamers around the world" said Valve's Director of Business Development Jason Holtman.
A "Gamestop source" has sent Kotaku this image of an in-store Steam voucher that will apparently hit shelves on May 15. This is supported by data mined from the latest Steam beta update, which hints at the addition of a "redeem Steam wallet voucher" link in future. That was picked out by users over on the Steam forums.
If legitimate, it's an interesting shift in the attitude of retailers towards the online market that's has been siphoning PC gamers away from stores for years. It's also an admission that their attempts to build a rival service in Impulse haven't gone well. From Valve's perspective, it's another way to push shop-browsers online and get people using the Steam wallet system. Would you use Steam vouchers?
UK high street retailer GAME has found a buyer, safeguarding more than 3000 jobs and keeping its 333 remaining stores open. The buyer, Baker Acquisitions Limited, have been advised by private investment firm OpCapita who also own Comet. In a press release, Administrator to the Game Group Mike Jervis described the sale of GAME as a positive sign in a troubled economy. "This means that the GAME brand will not be another one of the retail names disappearing from the high street in the current difficult climate" he said.
Ex-managing director of Gamestation Martyn Gibbs has been named as GAME's new CEO, despite having left the firm in July last year. "I am delighted to be leading GAME back to success," he said, as reported by MCV. "Our immediate priority is to help the GAME and Gamestation teams, so they can give our customers a great Easter in our stores and websites."
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.
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.