UK retailer GAME is facing serious problems, more recently with the news that GAME will not be stocking ANY of EA’s March releases after SSX (that includes Mass Effect 3), and possibly no Vita games at all. The rumor mill has it that this is due to credit issues the store is having major problems with, whilst others may argue it’s down to the way the retailer revels in Pre-Owned games at enticing prices.
Of the handful of people I spoke to about this, a number of them all came out with the same thing; “So? I shop at GameStation.” This is a familiar response as many people don’t actually realise that GAME own GameStation. Where I live, they are the two main game retailers, a smaller chain store recently closed down, and the other, Chips, is horrendously overpriced.
I know a lot of people are against Pre-Owned games, especially the industry, but many people can’t afford to spend £40-50 on a new game. When I was younger, I only got a new game for my birthday or Christmas, and if the buyer in question happened to see it pre-owned for a much cheaper price, that was the copy I got.
I still remember when I’d get my pocket money and head to town, armed with a crisp £20 note, I’d head to GameStation and come out with two or three games. For £20. Bargain.
Now, I’m in a much better position and can afford to get brand new games, but with a mortgage and family to look after, I still grab a bargain now and again. Games I may have missed out on I’ll pick up together, just recently I got Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Enslaved for £20. Children of today aren’t made of money. heck, adults of today aren’t, so if the likes of GAME/GameStation offer low prices on games, why would we object? Throw in the fact if you still haven’t enough cash, you can trade in some titles, it’s a win-win. For you and GAME at least. It’s often stated that pre-owned and trade-in sales are killing the industry, but with harsh financial times, sometimes it’s the only way we, the consumer, are able to get the latest titles. I’m not proposing that publishers start selling us two titles for the price of one, but if the likes of GAME go under, that leaves us with ugly feat of buying from supermarkets and online.
If it falls to the supermarkets, there will be no hidden gems, that game you forgot about but wanted will be nowhere to be found. All you’ll have is the Top 10/20, which by that time will be split between FIFA and Call of Duty. Shopping online will usually get you the game at a slightly lower price, but they’ll be no rushing home to play it, or reading the back of the box and manual whilst you wait for your other half to finish shopping. Nope, you’ll have to wait for the thing to be delivered. And where’s the fun in that?
I guess it’s more the inner-kid in me that’s nostalgic about GAME/GameStation, taking my money and getting three to four games for half the price of one full game, but I guess we’ll see what happens. Either way, it’ll be a sad time if we’re forced to take our chances on TESCO to get GTA V.