First of all, I really like GAME. In my opinion they are the best specialist store out there. Worked for them too. However seeing such a situation unfold and reading the comments from CEOs and whoever else is very disappointing. I would just like to say that so far I’ve seen people defending GAME or people that weren’t concerned about them but they were simply upset about the situation with Mass Effect 3. However, no one seems to be defending EA.
Just one thing I think needs to be said here (of course I don’t know what the exact details are): GAME constantly undermined publishers with its pre-owned sales for years. Publishers were more than disappointed by this and had no other choice but to accept this fact or develop some kind of expensive system over the years that would put an end to this unfair system. At the end they managed to create a half-acceptable system: the Online Pass.
I say half-acceptable because even though I agree with it, a lot of gamers got really upset when they thought that by buying a pre-owned game at GAME, they just saved a lot of money and then they have to find out that some part of the game (multiplayer in most cases) doesn’t work.
Of course, this is a very competitive industry and these two major players at the two ends of it are in turmoil over a deal that should look like an annoyance rather than a huge conflict for companies of such size.
The problem and potentially the downfall of GAME Group Ltd came out of an argument concerning the highly acclaimed Mass Effect 3 which is already in first place in the first week and apparently surpassed the week one sales of both of its two predecessors.
So how to deal with this situation? Now, it might be too late. I had two ideas to fix this.
- Agree to the terms that EA was asking for as according to a number of sources, GAME still could’ve earned £2,5 million in profits alone from Mass Effect 3.
- No real advancement for the business. The publisher is pleased and GAME still cashes in £2,5 million within a couple of months.
- GAME loses out a small amount of its profits but there’s no real advancement for the business.
- Ask EA to back out from the special request that they proposed regarding mint copy sales.
- In return, offer a small percentage of pre-owned sales to maintain and improve the business relationship between the two companies.
- EA is very pleased and happy to withdraw its demands regarding mint copy sales.
- GAME loses out a small percentage of its pre-owned sales which would affect its profits greatly as GAME’s main profit source is pre-owned sales.
- EA is more flexible in terms of time of payments or is willing to help out in other ways.
Counter arguments will ovbiously arise.
Arguments like “But retailers don’t give any percentage of pre-owned sales to the licence holder in any of the other industries!” Sure. But in the other industries are all ver different. The video games industry is a unique one. For example, if you want to compare a video game to a car. I mean obviously things will be different. The price difference between the two products are massive. In a normal situation, people buy way more games or music CDs or film BluRays than cars. It’s totally different. Now that I brought this up, just think about it. The music industry eliminated pre-owned sales almost in 100% by going digital. Of course, the industry was far from prepared for pirates and the digital age but the video games industry is different. More advanced, more capable and more creative. If that’s what it takes, it will be ready to switch over to 100% digital.
Of course, without actually having a full insight into any of the businesses, I can’t say that these options are feasible at all as there are some major factors that can have a huge impact on any of the businesses but maybe giving a try to any of these would’ve been a better otpion than firing about 10,000 people…
As for the staff, I can’t feel sorry enough. It’s very sad news even if GAME won’t go into administration. To live with the constant uncertainty can be very trying, I know from personal experience…
Hopefully this whole situation can be sorted out as I have a few friends working at GAME or Gamestation (even though the working conditions are quite poor).
The question is whether you can reload you last saved GAME or there will be a new title coming out soon at every major video games publication’s headlines: “Administration: The GAME” ?