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The Market For Computer & Video Games


EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY WEEK Issue 674 Friday February 10th 2012 £3.25


The fight to save fragile GAME “


Suppliers unite: ‘Specialists are vital to us’ Lenders offer new terms But international sell-off and head office cutbacks are on the cards


by Christopher Dring


It is like EUK all over again – and we’ve all dodged a bullet this week.


UK FIRMS worked miracles last week to help prevent GAME’s collapse. The troubled High Street chain is in the process of selling off its international business and cutting 46 jobs from its head office as it comes to terms with a disastrous festive sales period. Last week the firm could hardly fill its shelves, having lost credit insurance with its suppliers. One senior industry source told MCV


the situation ‘was like EUK all over again.’


But the publishers answered GAME’s call for help, working round the clock to get stock into shops. New trading terms mean power may be shifting away from the market-leading retail specialist, but publishers say the UK sector must pull together to ensure GAME – as well as fellow struggler HMV – survive. “GAME would be a massive loss for the industry. Reduced visibility of hardware, games


and peripherals would drive the industry underground again,” warns Mastertronic chief Andy Payne. Konami UK GM Pete


Stone added: “The games industry is stronger if we have one or more specialist retailers. The survival of GAME and HMV is important. We have worked hard with both in the past few weeks to ensure they are able to stock our titles.” Turn over for more industry insight into GAME’s difficult week


IN THIS ISSUE


04 METABOLI FOR SALE? Reports suggest distributors are planning to swoop for the digital download firm


14 DO VIDEO GAMES HAVE A FUTURE AT HMV? MCVtalks to the entertainment retailer’s CEO Simon Fox


18 PRICE CRASH


In-depth analysis into how quickly video games prices are eroding at UK retail


20 TRUMP CARDS


A look at how retail is tapping into digital revenues with prepaid content cards


23 RECOMMENDED We preview Uncharted: Golden Abyssand other highlights from Vita’s launch


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