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adippm82
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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by adippm82 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:43 pm

On the online side, I have always been happy with Game's very fast service, and the frequent sale items have been good value, I think if Gamestop took them over we would be even worse off, some of their prices online are crazy £42,99 for Uncharted Golden Abyss for instance.

My problem is the pre-owned side of things, I got fed up to the back teeth of staff trying to push them on me, when I last bought a game from them instore, it was already reduced to £24.99, I was happy enough with that, but of course when I got to the till, the lad tried to sell me a pre-owned copy for £22.99, I told him that I was not going to pay only two pounds less for a grubby copy that somebody has had their hands all over, he then went on to tell me that they are as good as new, thoroughly checked, blah blah, again I refused, so he wanted to show me a pre-owned one, I had to refuse a third time, now I perfectly understand why the staff press pre-owned stuff, it has a far greater margin than the new games, but it does not grate any less I'm afraid, because the pre-owned prices are absurdly high.

Add to this I got asked at least 4 times what I was looking for when I was browsing, did I know such and such was coming out soon, are there any pre-orders I want to place, I actually prefer walking round HMV these days, as I am left alone.

It just has not been a pleasant experience to walk round Game the last couple of years.
Seriously some of the things I have heard come out of Game Staff's mouths is unbelievable, the latest one being a young lad wanted to buy a PSP E1000, which as you probably know has zero online capabilities, he asked about online play, to be told that you all you had to do was plug the machine into a PC, then you can play against your friends online, I just had to intervene on that one.

However, the publishers must share some of the blame for the pre-owned market, practically nothing gets released except at Easter and the run up to Christmas, so instead of spreading out their releases, they all come out in big clumps, and choices have to be made, my mate bought Battlefield 3, and then traded it in a couple of weeks later so he could afford Modern Warfare 3, and so on, and of course some great games get lost in the vast sea of new releases at these times, so have to be discounted heavily just weeks after launch, I bought Batman Arkham City just a few weeks after launch for £17.99, that is just one example.

Also when I walk around the supermarkets the prices are hardly much better, Tesco's prices can be shocking, they may very well sell the latest blockbusters cheaply for the first week, but after that they can be priced up ridiculously, I saw Resident Evil the Mercenaries in a local one to me for £44.99 just the other day, and the pre-owned stock can always be found cheaper elsewhere, how about Epic Mickey on Wii for £29.99, no thanks.

Morrisons can be very good though, especially when having a clear out.

What could Game do to save themselves, well for a start try and at least get close to matching prices in shops close by, for instance last week HMV were selling the Vita for £229.99 with Uncharted, the same package in Game, literally across the street £259.99, and no I don't care if I get a few points on a reward card.

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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by JennyTablina » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:04 pm

adippm82 wrote: Also when I walk around the supermarkets the prices are hardly much better, Tesco's prices can be shocking, they may very well sell the latest blockbusters cheaply for the first week, but after that they can be priced up ridiculously, I saw Resident Evil the Mercenaries in a local one to me for £44.99 just the other day, and the pre-owned stock can always be found cheaper elsewhere, how about Epic Mickey on Wii for £29.99, no thanks.
I work at a supermarket in that general area, and while I don't know the complete in's and outs. I know MANY retailers were burned by the loss of Woolies, because they were using their distributor arm - that included the likes of Tesco too. So many stores were left without a middleman to supply the DVD's and Games. Supermarket's had to change their entertainment distribution to stores and online pretty rapidly, which might be why the price hikes happened, I know Tesco now have their own Media distribution arm to rely on. They negotiate the deals and stick on offer whatever is planned to sell well that week (or things that the distributor can cut a deal on). But it's usually on a week by week basis bar certain titles, where they may stick at a low price (SEGA for example - once a Sonic title has dropped price, it seems to stick) or the title is only negotiated to be cheaper for a while.

IMO Resident Evil may of costed more, because I haven't seen an awful lot of retailers carrying any copies of it. So kinda hard to cut a deal on such limited stock. Though Epic Mickey has been pretty cheap for a while (in the £18 bracket) - dunno if the price simply went up because but I was sure it was still cheap last week...

Also forgive me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Woolworths actually really healthy as a company? Just they got brought by some American corp who then unloaded a ton of debt on to them and set them loose with that debt? I heard they were starting to tackle it, but then the recession took place and the mass of debt coupled with issues paying off is what did them in? In a way there was nothing Woolies could do about their fate other than try their hardest to fight it off, and they did valiantly - just sadly the timing was terrible for them

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Nautical Rudie
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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by Nautical Rudie » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:16 am

killbot wrote: Because I do believe that most gamers still enjoy shopping in bricks-and-mortar shops, they just aren't prepared to pay double the price they could get it for online. Oh, and GAME also need to beef up their online presence because their current website looks like it was put together by a Barbary Ape.

Ultimately physical shops are all doomed and in the next 10-20 years I think they will all but die out. But for as long as the bricks-and-mortar model is feasible I think that companies have a moral duty to protect as many employees jobs as possible for as long as they're remotely viable.
I think that people do enjoy shopping in bricks and mortar shops and that with a bit of imagination high street shops can survive longer than you expect.

I think it comes down to first identifying your customers: Gamers and parents of gamers. So point number 1 would be 'what would make gamers come in?". So you focus on pre-owned alongside the AAA new titles and trade in deals, and attempt to keep your prices as competitive as possible by cutting down on the profit you take off the top. For parents and people who need to browse or look for something specific, you provide an in-store ordering service for more niche games that financially its not worth stocking, but you can literally buy off amazon and sell on to customers in order to keep them coming back.

Next you redesign your image and make the shops a bit 'trendy' and more of a community base. Keep bringing gamers in with in-store gaming competitions to win shop vouchers, stock retro stuff and have screens set up so people can actually play and hire some people with knowledge about games. It CAN be done, just look at Rough Trade. Vinyl and CD, like cart and disc games, isn't exactly a standard format these days and is rapidly being replaced with downloads and internet shops, as games are starting to. But people go there for the 'experience' of being there - it has a community feel and people can sit and have a tea and a chat and leaf through records, and its meant that RT have been able to open more shops. I think if you apply that model to game shops then you might have something, and RT has been successful enough that they can charge premium prices on some of those records, despite being undercut by ebay and 2nd hand shops.

And dont say its cos vinyls 'in vogue', people wear NES controller belt buckles and buy space invader shirts from Primark! Theres always a market, the problem for GAME is its run a more corporate rather than personal model, and whilst you make more money from treating customers as faceless wallets, you dont keep their trade when the market shifts.

Thats my idea anyway! Still, the biggest threat to shops like GAME may well simply be the money men thinking "I dont care too much about games themselves and if selling them has stopped making me large profits then what the point?" and they wouldn't bother with streamlining at all.
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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by DPrinny » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:24 am

-^ Competitions at games with prizes.
If they had them more people would come in to at least watch and maybe buy something. Ok its not that possible in some stores as they are small.

I like going into a proper store as buying online seems to have no soul to it. Its just click buy pay wait.
Plus no other stores hold my interest. It gives blokes somewhere to go while there other half is busy buying unneeded clothes

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adippm82
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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by adippm82 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:52 am

JennyTablina wrote:Also forgive me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Woolworths actually really healthy as a company? Just they got brought by some American corp who then unloaded a ton of debt on to them and set them loose with that debt? I heard they were starting to tackle it, but then the recession took place and the mass of debt coupled with issues paying off is what did them in? In a way there was nothing Woolies could do about their fate other than try their hardest to fight it off, and they did valiantly - just sadly the timing was terrible for them
Interesting to read your comments on the supermarket practices, I mainly mentioned them to counter the myth I have heard a few times now, that they are pounds cheaper than the Game stores, which personally I have rarely witnessed.

The sorry tale of Woolworths demise is told here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworths ... nt_history

The most relevant part is this: On 19 November 2008, The Times reported that the Woolworths' retail business was a target for restructuring specialist Hilco, who would buy the retail arm for a nominal £1; this was confirmed the same day. This deal would have left Woolworths Group with its profitable distribution and publishing businesses and a reduced debt load.
The group's banks, GMAC and Burdale, rejected the deal, and recalled their loans, forcing the group to place the retail business and Entertainment UK into administration.

This is what I heard from some staff at my local woollies and I stress it was only a rumour doing the rounds at the time, that the deal the banks rejected would have clawed back £300, out of the £385 million debt, but they apparently wanted pretty much all or nothing, chucking £300 million and 27,000 jobs away.

Iceland already had a deal rejected for much the same reason, and even Lord Sugar buying a stake in the group could not save it, and of course there was nothing the government could do either.

Apparently the major burden on the group were the major city stores, they were losing money hand over fist, the ones in towns were doing pretty well, although Wilkinsons had eaten into their market where they were present, but no, Woolworths as a group were far from healthy.

And Nautical Rudie, I could not agree with you more, you are describing what Future Zone were like before EB got hold of them, they had booths all over the place, with people playing the games, they had the moody futuristic feel that made them stand out, there was the din of videogames playing, not loud music, or some bint going on about insuring your console, it had the feel of going into an arcade, only with the added bonus of being able to walk out with a game or two.

They also did not ram pre-owned down your throat, or talk absolute dross either, always a bonus!

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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by simes » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:08 am

From a publishers perspective, I wonder how many of them would have been willing to offer Game and Gamestation greater margins had they not have given such a large emphasis on pre-owned in their stores? If they had more of a reassurance that the group would sell more new copies of their games as opposed to pre-owned, maybe they (and the distributors) would be more willing to offer greater discounts on stock?

Just a thought to ponder on...
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Lord Innit
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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by Lord Innit » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:09 am

adippm82 wrote: And Nautical Rudie, I could not agree with you more, you are describing what Future Zone were like before EB got hold of them, they had booths all over the place, with people playing the games, they had the moody futuristic feel that made them stand out, there was the din of videogames playing, not loud music, or some bint going on about insuring your console, it had the feel of going into an arcade, only with the added bonus of being able to walk out with a game or two.
Totally agree.
The Game in Eastbourne moved premises recently. The old place was a bit rubbish, but the new one feels lacking in atmosphere.
It feels no different to stepping into Specsavers. Every time I walk past there is hardly anyone in there.
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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by Mootown » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:22 am

Lord Innit wrote:
adippm82 wrote: And Nautical Rudie, I could not agree with you more, you are describing what Future Zone were like before EB got hold of them, they had booths all over the place, with people playing the games, they had the moody futuristic feel that made them stand out, there was the din of videogames playing, not loud music, or some bint going on about insuring your console, it had the feel of going into an arcade, only with the added bonus of being able to walk out with a game or two.
Totally agree.
The Game in Eastbourne moved premises recently. The old place was a bit rubbish, but the new one feels lacking in atmosphere.
It feels no different to stepping into Specsavers. Every time I walk past there is hardly anyone in there.
If you're ever in the Westfield centre at Stratford GAME have a concept store with pretty much all the above - in store competitions and loads of pods including an enclosed one to demo 18 rated games

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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by DPrinny » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:37 am

They have two in Manc CC. Onw has games, the other seems more like one of those posh fashion places, with less games but fancier.

And a copy of Angry birds on the shelf for what seems like months

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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by Tellah » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:47 am

I've always found the staff in Game / Gamestation to be good, friendly guys.

The stores themselves and the marketing campaigns have always bewildered me though... One campaign I specifically recall... they were advertising that you could buy the latest Zelda now, then trade it in after a week and only loose a tenner... something like that.. I remember thinking that 99% of people aren't going to complete the game in 1 week, and if it's the kind of game you'd trade in a week then they're essentially telling the public it's got no longevity. Bizzare.

The stores have always been poor. The 2nd hand games making the place feel grubby. The used games should have always been kept out back, with customers browsing/buying the stock via a handful of Argos-esque terminals. Also being able to reserve / browse the stock from home.
I'd have loved the store space to act as a showcase for new/future games, with the sounds and atmosphere of an arcade... Lots of promo material and piles of sealed games locked in glass presentation cabinets.

Whether it would make any money that way... i've no idea... but i would have liked it.

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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by Lord Innit » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:49 am

Mootown wrote:If you're ever in the Westfield centre at Stratford GAME have a concept store with pretty much all the above - in store competitions and loads of pods including an enclosed one to demo 18 rated games
I'm up that way in 2 weeks. It sounds good, I'll certainly check it out. Thanks.
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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by DPrinny » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:56 am

Tellah wrote: The stores have always been poor. The 2nd hand games making the place feel grubby. The used games should have always been kept out back, with customers browsing/buying the stock via a handful of Argos-esque terminals. Also being able to reserve / browse the stock from home.
I'd have loved the store space to act as a showcase for new/future games, with the sounds and atmosphere of an arcade... Lots of promo material and piles of sealed games locked in glass presentation cabinets.

Whether it would make any money that way... i've no idea... but i would have liked it.
A line of screens showing footage from all the recent games.
games to play that arent in the top ten, but are fun
A few retro consoles in pods for people to play on
Arcade machine (pay to play)


Crap, I just wrote down what I would of done if I could of gotten my hands on Game City in Stockport all those years ago

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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by theantmeister » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:05 am

Lord Innit wrote:
Mootown wrote:If you're ever in the Westfield centre at Stratford GAME have a concept store with pretty much all the above - in store competitions and loads of pods including an enclosed one to demo 18 rated games
I'm up that way in 2 weeks. It sounds good, I'll certainly check it out. Thanks.
I've been in that one and it is horrid. The staff are far too keen - I was only in there for 5 minutes and no less than three asked me if I was "ok". The store was kinda interesting, although I do think it was a little too sterile. They only seemed to stock the latest AAA games. No surprises, really.


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Re: GAME "has two weeks to turn its fortunes around"

Post by Lord Innit » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:59 am

theantmeister wrote:
Lord Innit wrote:
Mootown wrote:If you're ever in the Westfield centre at Stratford GAME have a concept store with pretty much all the above - in store competitions and loads of pods including an enclosed one to demo 18 rated games
I'm up that way in 2 weeks. It sounds good, I'll certainly check it out. Thanks.
I've been in that one and it is horrid. The staff are far too keen - I was only in there for 5 minutes and no less than three asked me if I was "ok". The store was kinda interesting, although I do think it was a little too sterile. They only seemed to stock the latest AAA games. No surprises, really.
On second thoughts.........pushy staff are always a put off for me.
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