UK Chain GAME Is Reportedly Stopping Selling Video Games In-Store

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Update 14:54, Jun 24th, 2024: – GAME has come out to say that this rumour is untrue, so it looks like physical media is here to stay for now!

“This reporting is categorically not true,” a GAME spokesperson told Eurogamer today. “GAME continues to support the physical gaming market, offering a wide-range of physical games, hardware, software, accessories, and digital gift cards, in stores and online.”

We’re all pretty relieved, to be honest; if you’ve read this article, you can tell by my tone how frustrated this notion made me. GAME has been a UK institution for most of my life, and I’m glad that we get to keep it for a little longer.

Still, I hope that this isn’t something that the company was thinking about doing further down the line. Despite this rumour being quashed, I do worry about GAME’s future and hope this isn’t a shadow of things to come. I’m keeping everything crossed that GAME stays around for many years.

Original Article – 12:25. Jun 24th: It’s been a turbulent time for the gaming industry of late, and it seems that for dedicated UK video game store GAME, things have gone from bad to worse. At the start of the year, the high-street chain decided to put a stop to trade-ins and the sale of second-hand games, deciding to solely focus on selling new titles to customers. Now, however, it looks as though they’re calling time on physical media in-store entirely, all but putting the nail in the coffin of one of Britain’s gaming institutions.

I can understand putting an end to second-hand games and consoles with CEX stores being so successful, but GAME was the go-to place to go and pick up new games. It’s where I picked up Hogwarts Legacy and many of my other new games. Heck, it’s where I picked up all of my favorite games as a kid, trading in my GBA SP and buying new GameCube and N64 titles with my pocket money. Game stopping selling video games in-store is like a newsagent not selling newspapers… it makes no sense!

According to Gfinity eSports, you’ll be able to pick up video game hardware and software in-store only if you pre-order it, basically making it a glorified parcel pick-up spot and not somewhere you can go to browse the latest media. You can still get titles shipped to your home too, but we could already do that with the likes of Amazon. GAME was the one place we could go to physically pick up boxes and look through them, like vinyl record shopping in HMV.

Can you tell I’m angry and disappointed about this news?

As I mentioned above, GAME hasn’t had it easy of late. After being taken on by Frasers Group and, in many cases, stuffed into the back of lots of Sport’s Direct stores, the shop has had to branch out into other forms of gaming media and collectibles to stay alive. They’re slowly going the same way as Woolworths, and because CEX has cornered the trade-in market and GAME is now offering ‘random stuff’ you could get from any other shop, I don’t think it’s going to be long before one of our favorite stores fades into obscurity.

Once a video game store stops selling video games, how long will people enjoy shopping there? I know that sounds kind of like, ‘if a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound’, but I’ll certainly be making a lot of angry sounds if GAME goes through with this. Come on, GAME, don’t stop selling games in your shops, that’s the ONE THING your brand name is based on!

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