Britain’s biggest high-street games retailer, GAME, is to close 35 more stores than had previously been announced, as part of a major restructuring. The company will reduce its current GAME and GameStation shops from 610 down to 550 by Christmas of next year. They’re also shutting down forgotten website gameplay.co.uk, redirecting customers there to GameStation’s website.
A GAME spokesperson had this to say about Gameplay’s closure.
So that all of our customers can enjoy the benefits of the new online platform that we launched last year, Gameplay customers will be served through Gamestation.co.uk from March 1st 2012, including customer support for their purchases
All new orders will be directed through gamestation.co.uk from that date. We’re talking to our customers who access our online community through Gameplay about this today, and look forward to welcoming them to the growing community at gamestation.co.uk.
The noises that have been coming from GAME since the beginning of the year haven’t been healthy: the retailer lost credit insurance from its bank and it has been alleged that this has created an inability to stock significant new titles, although GAME have denied that this is the reason for their absence on shelves. Over the past year, the company’s share price has dropped precipitously.
Reorganisation is needed to prevent the UK games industry suffering a major blow: it wouldn’t just be a chain of high-street shops that goes under, it would be the face of gaming on the high street: thousands of people’s jobs are at risk, revenue across all publishers would be affected. There’s a potential terrifying domino effect if GAME dies.