The tide of publishers cutting their supplies to GAME pre-administration has now fully turned. Yesterday Electronic Arts stock returned to GAME’s website and the high street stores should be following suit with stock of the boxed games from tomorrow. Other returning fair weather friends include Nintendo, Activision, Microsoft, Take-Two and Namco. There’s currently no indication of re-supply from Capcom and Tecmo but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t follow suit. Headline games coming to the shelves from EA tomorrow include Mass Effect 3, FIFA Street, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 and The Sims 3 Showtime.
GAME (UK) is now a completely different company to the one that went into admin, share value was wiped out as the company owed so much to banks and landlords, and foreign GAME stores are still looking for buyers. The administrators sold the best 300 or so UK stores to OpCapita, who also owns Comet. In the UK people now spend more money on games than DVDs and music so with these optimally chosen stores the OpCapita managers must think they can get a good slice of that big tasty pie.
Now that the big name game publishers all have confidence in the resurrected GAME (UK) we shall have to see what difference OpCapita makes to how the stores are run. Will they follow HMV’s strategy of stocking a wider range of electronic gadgets and entertainment devices? We have one very recent report of electronic and technology sales from John Lewis department stores. At John Lewis, during Easter week, electronics and home tech sales were up an incredible 59 per cent, a large part of that due to the iPad 3. People still like going into shops, trying tech stuff out and then buying it. As a high street store it might be easier to make money with a wider range of game and entertainment hardware than in the fight against online boxed game and download game merchants.