It was a darling of the dotcom boom, bought Wireplay and was a direct rival to BW (and to GAME). At the time it was a massively ambitous company with a ludicrously over-inflated market cap. When it all went titsup, Wireplay (which had been originally bought from BT) was bought out (and is still limping away somewhere, in name anyway) and Gameplay concentrated on ecommerce, and GAME eventually bought it about the time I left (and there's a tale there that may get told one day) and GAME online has used Gameplay's massive tax losses to run itself tax-free for the last number of years. I assume the tax liability has all been used up now, so bye-bye Gameplay.You make it sound like gameplay somehow innovated and reforged online gaming. Did it?
Saw this yesterday. GAME are fucked imho. I don't see 35 store closures saving them, neither do I see "click and collect" doing them many favours. Without credit insurance they are roughly speaking where Woolworths was when it went down.
GAME are that expensive because that's the only way to make a profit if you support the costs of running a 600-store chain in the UK. Its as simple as that. Its also why strategically, GAME, like every other specialist retailer selling a commidity product, was always doomed to fail, the issue was simply when, and how much value could be extracted from the business over what time-frame.Their Marketing Director or whatever her title got interviewed by Eurogamer at the PS Vita Launch one of the questions asked was ''why are GAME so expensive compared to other retailers and why don't they match prices'' and she basically said that GAME have never and never will compete like that and will keep their loyal customers.
This. I remember the pain and heartache when the Senior Management at the time decided that there was no future in online and shutdown many aspects of GAME.net. Those people are mutil-millionaires now after selling off their stock and getting +1 million quid payoffs to leave. Makes me sick. Even when Senior Management get it completely wrong they are rewarded for their fuckups. The investment in online has only come in the last few years but even now it still leaves a lot to be desired. Won't say too much until I have received my money (obv not millions!)GAME are that expensive because that's the only way to make a profit if you support the costs of running a 600-store chain in the UK. Its as simple as that. Its also why strategically, GAME, like every other specialist retailer selling a commidity product, was always doomed to fail, the issue was simply when, and how much value could be extracted from the business over what time-frame.
Don't be fooled; senior managers at GAME have always known this; about the strategic weakness of specialist commodity retail, about the threat from general retailers (supermarkets) who can work at lower margins, about the threat from dot coms (Amazon, Play) who can work at even lower margins, about the threat from digital distribution, about the threat from disintermediation as the console players engage with customers directly. All of it. The bet that certain people made 8-9 years ago was that it would be easier to stoke the share price in the short term and eventually flog the whole business, than it would be to invest and engage in the transformation from a physical retailer to an online delivery provider. They got the "flog the business" bit wrong (although not for lack of trying) but in other respects, the people who made that decision back then were absolutely right because they made an awful lot of money and have all left laden down with pockets full of cash and no longer have to worry about it. Not such great news for the people still working there, but I'm afraid the writing was on the wall a long time ago for anyone who cared to look. One lesson I took from the experience; don't get more emotionally invested in the business than your boss, it will always end badly for you.
Even when Senior Management get it completely wrong they are rewarded for their fuckups.