High Street chain HMV has acquired specialist multiplayer gaming outfit Gamerbase, with plans to expand its in-store gaming concept across the UK.
Gamerbase has been running as a concession in HMVs Trocadero store in London's Piccadilly Circus since late last year, and allows visitors to sample new and forthcoming games, take part in tournaments and buy titles directly from the retailer.
"Where we roll them out, we’ll be looking to locate the Gamerbase centres next to our games departments to bring the whole offer together for our customers - so if someone’s enjoyed playing a game online, they can pre-order or purchase it there and then," commented Tim Ellis, Head of Games at HMV.
"The Trocadero Gamerbase has gone down really well - even games publishers and technology partners have been using it for product promotion and launches, and quite a few companies have been hiring it for corporate hospitality and staff events," he added.
The first Gamerbase outside of London will be situated in Manchester, will feature 50 games pods over 2000 square foot, and is due to open before Christmas.
Gamerbase was established by Dominic Mulroy and Sujoy Roy, who will remain with HMV in a senior managerial capacity, as well as former ELSPA director general Roger Bennett, who acted as chairman.
"We're delighted and excited to bring Gamerbase into the HMV fold," said Mulroy. "Over the past year we've seen how it's helped to attract in new customers into the Trocadero store while also complementing its wider games offer."
"Gamerbase is passionate about enabling gaming enthusiasts to enjoy a premium-quality experience, while also offering customers the facility to purchase the very games they are playing directly from the store. We believe this development provides an excellent platform for HMV to connect with customers they may not always have reached in the past."