GAME has been a high street institution for gamers with a large wad of cash burring a hole in their pocket for what feels like a couple of decades, so news that GAME group is going into administration saddens me a little.
When I was younger, when the economy was stronger and blissfully naive of its impending doom and when I had nothing better to do than find new ways of distracting myself from reality - news like this would have saddened me somewhat. GAME used to be the place to go, videogame players no longer had to settle for the small and overpriced sections of music shops, shelf space was limited so not only were games bought is places like HMV expensive but also very limited in selection. GAME gave us more games, staff who knew the difference between Nintendo and Sega and who could read a review, I gave a lot of my pocket money and early wages to GAME...
But that was then, Now I am older, wiser, and ironically with less expendable income. GAME however, is living in a dream bubble where the economy didn't die, where my expendable income and thousands like me can still afford to spend £100 a month in GAME without blinking.
This is why GAME like so many other retail dinosaurs has become stuck in nostalgic pre-economic tar and is sinking. The world has changed and so has the way gamers buy. But GAME refused to play along, refused to charge anything less than the recommended retail price of a brand new game which is usually around the £44.99 mark. GAME was good for children with too much pocket money and baffled parents, a strategy that worked 15 years ago. But now those children are parents themselves, parents who are not baffled by a videogame console, who understand that just because The Metro gives it five stars, does not mean it is any good.
We changed, but GAME didn't and this is where the problem lies. Sure, the staff still know the difference between an Xbox and a PS3, sure they read the reviews but their opinions are never their own. Trade-in is the bread and water of the modern gamer, it allows us to maintain a videogame turnover like we had in the late 90s without the trade-off of not being able to afford to eat that month. But in GAME, trade-in is a dirty word,
So if we loose GAME, what options does the high street shopper have in their videogame purchasing mission? Gamestation is by far the best option - their prices are usually that little bit cheaper and the staff are just that little bit geekier but Gamestation shops are few and far between.
Please, shed a tear for the loss of yet another high street retailer but quite frankly, they had it coming.