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Retail

Microsoft and Activision latest to withdraw GAME support

Microsoft and Activision latest to withdraw GAME support

Thu 15 Mar 2012 9:49am GMT / 5:49am EDT / 2:49am PDT
Retail

UPDATE: GAME confirms games and Star Wars bundle pulled

Activision Blizzard

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide pure-play online...

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Activision Publishing

Activision, Inc. is a leading international publisher of interactive entertainment software products....

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Update

GAME has confirmed the contents of the memo to VG247.

Its stores will not not stock the games, or the Kinect Star Wars Xbox 360 bundle.

Original story

It seems that two more publishers, Microsoft and Activision, will not be supplying high street retailer GAME with their latest releases.

A report from MCV, based on a leaked GAME memo, suggests that Activision's Cabela Big Game Hunter 2012 and Zhu Zhu Babies, along with Microsoft's Kinect Rush: A Disney/Pixar Adventure won't be stocked.

The games join a long list of releases that consumers will be unable to find in the stores, including Mass Effect 3, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and Ninja Gaiden 3.

This morning Sony confirmed to GamesIndustry International that it would continue to support the retailer, and that latesr release Twisted Metal would still be available on its shelves.

Last night GAME confirmed third party financing talks, while rumours of Walmart interest also grew.

Unsurprisingly the company's share price has continued to fluctuate, but has risen considerably from earlier in the week, standing at 3.14p at the time of writing.

12 Comments

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
I think the end is inevitable, although I hope the head is chopped off the company and its operations remain largely intact, as the blame for this farce cannot be laid anywhere except at the feet of the top management. Maybe if they hadn't been so willing to screw publishers over for the sake of a few extra pounds via pre-owned sales they'd have a bit more industry support in their hour of need.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve

342 293 0.9
I'm just counting down the days, something's gonna give by the end of the month. They can't survive with little to no support from big names like EA, Activision, Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft etc.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
The shelves are starting to look very bare in the local stores to me.
They are using dummy sleaves to fill out the shelves and are out of pre-owned copies of most recent releases but still have new stock of some titles.

I picked up a few things I was debating about today just to have some I complete ME3

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments

309 398 1.3
With the various rumours flying around, it seems some sort of buyout is pretty much inevitable at this point - what's harder to guess is what form game will take afterwards, since it staying as it is now seems pretty unrealistic.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College

294 27 0.1
Any potential buyer will hold off until they go into administration, which at this point is right around the corner.

Sadly I don’t see any way back for them at this point as they are fast running out of pre-owned stock and aren’t stocking anything new by all accounts. The sales they are making are not pure cash either as the majority of 'smart' buyers are using their Reward card before they fold.

Sad times indeed but as above, if they weren’t so focused on the pre-owned market and their own air of arrogance then in their time of need they might, just might have had a little more support than what they are getting right now...

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
I just hope that whoever buys them doesn't stick to the same preowned strategy - and that if they do the industry simply refuses to sell them new stock.

Posted:2 years ago

#6
@Fran

do your comments re pre owned apply to HMV also then ?
they have a 10.00 deal on Fifa Street today.

games are expensive and many ( nit not all) new releases have become currency for the next new release.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

James Ingrams Writer

215 85 0.4
The fact is, this is what publisher's want. They want all games sold on-line at the same retail price. No DVD duplication costs, printed manual production costs, DVD case and inlay sheet needed, so another 2 a copy profit for the publisher there, plus not having to give 50% discount to a retailer is another 15-20, then you have no second hand game sales and finally you have the control side of it, with on-line DRM easier than in-game DRM, all leading to a fiat-accompli!

But as I have said before, no retail, and we'll have an unsustainable 70% smaller market for AAA and only an indie market.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Ingrams on 15th March 2012 5:46pm

Posted:2 years ago

#8

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
Rodger, only because Game drove that policy of the Trade the following 3 new releases get X for Y.
Games business model was to sell 1 copy, get it back in less than a week, re-sell it, get it back and so on.
If they can do that 4 times in a month they make a huge profit of a single disk.

It was how agressive Game had become on pre-owned that has annoyed alot of people.
Even today I walked up to the counter without a box in hand and asked for a title, this in the past indicated I wanted a sealed copy.
I got a 'I only have mint left' response.. The chain is going down the tubes and still the staff are pushing pre-owned over brand new.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Antony Carter Senior Programmer, Epic Games

85 47 0.6
No Nintendo, EA, Activision, MS and Capcom, they should just rebrand them Sony Stores. :)

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Brian Smith Artist

197 89 0.5
If Game were being so cut-throat with pre-owned then why aren't they rolling in cash, laughing at the plights of other retail sectors. Surely, if they had been industry lapdogs that bowed to the pressure of publishers that disliked their pre-owned strategy they'd have just went down the toilet all the quicker.

Personally, I do have issue with their pre-owned strategy as a customer, but that is specific to them charging higher and higher for pre-owned titles. I don't have an issue with the idea of re-selling games though. I personally think it's folks right to sell on what they have bought themselves. (Irrespective of the small print licensing we've always had)

I can't say I've ever had a soft spot for Game or disliked them in any real way. I'll be sad to see them disappear from the high street. I can't help but wonder whether there is something darker going on under the headlines. Has Game put itself in this position or have other industry figures colluded in it's downfall. It'd be interesting to know the unwritten details.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

482 293 0.6
@Brian

I've yet to understand anyone defending someone like EA or Activision wanting to stop us selling the games we bought to get new ones. I constantly argue that any other industry trying this would be laughed out of the room.

EA seem to have a stupid online policy and if you look at what Sony have had to sell the online version of Mass Effect 3 for you quickly start to understand that perhaps Game is not the villain here.

Posted:2 years ago

#12

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