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  #1  
Old 2007-05-02, 12:50
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***ALL UK GAMERS LOOK HERE*** very important

Sorry, but this is absolutely important and quite shocking.

Please dont dismiss this, as this WILL effect almost every gamer in the UK.

http://www.gamegroup.plc.uk/gg/inves.../acqofgame.pdf

Cut a long story short;

GAME have just bought out Gamestation.

This means;

*Less choice in the High Street
*Higher prices in the High Street
*No-one to price check against
*Lower trade-in amounts
*Less support for older products

While other stores (HMV/Virgin) do sale some game products, their
selections are infinitesimally smaller. Many things Gamestation
sale's even Game did not. (specifically retro/older stuff, as well as
more 3rd party hardware rather then 1st party ones made abroad).

Effectively , there is no competition for Game now on the vaste
majority of products.

Which is a very bad thing!

I am absolutely shocked this has been allowed too happen.
It would be like Tesco's buying out Sainburys.

====

While I dont hold up much hope, I really urge you all too spread the word, and sent polite notes to the competition/Office of Fair Trading;

[email address]
http://www.competition-commission.or...r/contacts.htm


Please, I know this may seem boring, but its very important.
Even if you prefer your local GAME to your local Gamestation, it still will be terrible thing if Game are the only dedicated retailer.

Id advise just a short polite note to the email above (or the address)
State the objection in logical terms.
Specifically that this will reduce competition &or give them a monopoly.
GAMES excuse is likely to be that you can still buy games elsewhere, so perhapes also pointing out that other retailers have only a tiny sub-set of gaming products.
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  #2  
Old 2007-05-02, 12:55
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If this does present a monopoly (and I'm not sure what your trade laws are across the pond), isn't there some kind of government organization or watchdog group that would cry foul on this deal right away?

I know the two big game companies in the US were merged (Gamestop bought out Electronics Boutique a few years ago), but the problem for them is that too many of the big chain stores (Wal-Mart, Circuit City, and Best Buy, etc.) now have big enough selections and fairly competant employees so that the Gamestop/EB's with their small stores and oftentimes arrogant employees are in complete competition with the big name stores. They still hold a pretty good lead I'd bet, but I know I never go to a Gamestop for a brand new game because their prices are always street, so you never get a deal. Also, the big chain stores get more quantities of stuff, which is why I didn't wait for a Wii at my local gamestop - they got 10. My local Toys 'R Us, where I waited, got 49 Wii's.
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  #3  
Old 2007-05-02, 12:57
johnnybrubacker johnnybrubacker is offline
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thats fucked up!! I love gamestation, GAME are fucking ripoff merchants, hell yes this is going to affect UK gamers
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  #4  
Old 2007-05-02, 13:09
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GAME don't even do student discount. They're a bunch of rip-off cunts....


....oh, people still buy games in high street stores? Surely use Play.com or Amazon? Surely?
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  #5  
Old 2007-05-02, 13:10
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hmm... we don't even have video game store chains...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandy View Post
GAME don't even do student discount. They're a bunch of rip-off cunts....
student discount!? lucky bastards.

Last edited by elmuerte; 2007-05-02 at 13:16.
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  #6  
Old 2007-05-02, 13:22
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No game chain is better then 1.
With 1, it muscles out indepedants.

Quote:
isn't there some kind of government organization or watchdog group that would cry foul on this deal right away?
Yes, i liked to their email.
they arnt even aware of it at the mo it seems
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  #7  
Old 2007-05-02, 18:40
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its bad enough that there's 3 GAMEs in my nearest city :s
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  #8  
Old 2007-05-02, 18:54
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3 for me too. (Portsmouth)
Soon to be four now.
~sigh~

Please email these folks;
[email address]


To give an example of how "wonderfull" game is at the moment;
http://www.game.co.uk/lowdown.aspx?l...k11_newbundles

Yes, thats right, to buy a Wii now you need to take their fantastic offer of buying a £300 bundle.
Save £3!!!
whoa...!!!
How generous!!!!

UK Gamers = Screwed.
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  #9  
Old 2007-05-02, 18:58
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This is pretty dissapointing, although I would usually order online from play.com or amazon like Pandy says, GameStation is always my first choice for game purchases when I'm out.

Even though I don't like this, I don't see what you can do about it. I'm sure I can remember a time when there was only Game and EB, and eventually EB was bought up by Game. I would always use EB at that time as well... But what's the legal policy on only one game store? They can't force GameStation to keep their company running just so there is highstreet competition. Maybe I'm missing something though?
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  #10  
Old 2007-05-02, 20:09
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Its not about stopping Gamestation being sold, its about stoping GAME buying them out.
Its illegal for a company too have a monopoly.

Tesco's has been forced too stop expanding for this reason, they couldnt legaly buy out other major supermarkets.

Game should have been prevented from buying Gamestation.

There is now NO other game retail outlets, which means no competition, which means game can charge what they like for the majority of the products they sale.
Worse, they can charge what they like for shelfspace, making their controll over the uk video game industary very powerfull.

The situation is, in fact, far worse then Tesco's stranglehold, as there is still at least 3 other major supermarkets, but there is no other gamestores.

This *should* be illegal, and if it was any other industary it wouldnt have got this far.

But because its games, the media ignores it, and the competition commision isnt even aware of it.
The email I linked too is precisely the agency that deals with this sort of thing.
While I dont hold up much hope, they are indeed the way "something can be done".
~sigh~
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  #11  
Old 2007-05-02, 21:08
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Hmmm - That is bad news indeed - however I'm not sure you could argue GAME have a monopoly cos supermarkets and other major retailers all sell games too. It will have a drastic impact on games choice and support but generally speaking I use an excellent independent retailer anyway - they knock spots of Gamestation even if their trade ins are more in line with GAME.

I am still shocked tho - I thought Gamestation were proud of being independent - it was started by two York uni people you know! This just marks another point in decline for games retail everywhere. We used to have Pink Planet shops in Somerset - til they went shit and just stocked DVDs and junk!
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  #12  
Old 2007-05-02, 21:51
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There's a law against monopoly??

That's totally new to me.
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  #13  
Old 2007-05-02, 23:03
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In theory, yes.
In theory.

Quote:
Hmmm - That is bad news indeed - however I'm not sure you could argue GAME have a monopoly cos supermarkets and other major retailers all sell games too.
A garage sales food.
Would that stop Tesco's being a monopoly if it was the only supermarket?

Its to do with percentages, imo.
While a shop may sale some of the same products of another shop that dosnt make it competition unless *most* of its products are the same type.

I mean, Tesco's and such only sale the top 30 or so games.

The other 95% of what GAME sales it will have no highstreet competition for.

So dont expect to be screwed over on FIFA and GTA.
DO expect to be screwed over on adventure games, second hand sales, accessories and most PC titles.

I'm also amazed you know an indepedant, most of those are being muscled out too.
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  #14  
Old 2007-05-03, 00:16
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yeah, gamestation is good for 2nd hand games, i remember eb aswell
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  #15  
Old 2007-05-03, 01:34
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Actualy, EB bought out Game, but they kept the game brand as it was stronger over here. (rather in the US, where the EB brand is stronger).

Basicaly, its just one giant retailer now.
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  #16  
Old 2007-05-03, 05:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pandy View Post
GAME don't even do student discount. They're a bunch of rip-off cunts....
Errr, yes they do.

Monopolies aren't illegal in the UK, but whether a monoply is deemed 'ethical' or not depends upon the nature of the industry the comapny operates on. The Competition Commission and OFT can step in, and prevent a take-over if it will give one company too much of the market share, and wouldn't be in the best interests of the consumer. An example of this can be seen from last year, when Safeway was bought out by Morrisons. The competition commission refused to give it to Tesco or Sainsbury as it would give them too much of the market share.

On one hand, you can argue that by removing Gamestation, GAME will be the only major High-Street specialist video game retailer in the UK, and the takeover should be blocked. But you can also argue that there are still an abundance of places that stock video games, such as HMV, Virgin, supermarkets, online retailers etc.
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  #17  
Old 2007-05-03, 14:59
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But, as I said, there is also plenty of other places that stock food.
WHSmith, Esso Garages,Woolworths ect.

So I dont see that argument holds much weight.
HMV, Virgin ect stock games in the same way that WHSmith stocks food. Its only a minor small bit for impulse purchase's.

What percentage overlap of products does Game/HMV have? Cant be more then 10% at best.

===
Also, I dont think online retailers should count, imo. (as only a fraction of the population buy products online).
Personaly, Im also scared of online retailers vanishing anyway, given Sony successfully shutting down Lik-Sang without it even going to court
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  #18  
Old 2007-05-03, 15:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
But, as I said, there is also plenty of other places that stock food.
WHSmith, Esso Garages,Woolworths ect.

So I dont see that argument holds much weight.
HMV, Virgin ect stock games in the same way that WHSmith stocks food. Its only a minor small bit for impulse purchase's.
Poor analogy there, tbh. In a decent-sized HMV or Virgin you get a significant amount of space given over to games, and they usually have a not too bad selection. While in a WHSmiths you can get a sandwich or some sweets, in a HMV/Virgin you can get games and consoles (i.e. everything you need, and the range isn't that bad, or at least the range in most GAME stores these days isn't that good, so there's not much difference nowadays). In stores like these the game sections aren't just for "impulse buys", they're important parts of the overall business, and given the rising public use of music downloads and on demand services for TV and films, I wouldn't be surprised if these kind of stores focus even more on games in the future.

This is still annoying news though, hopefully Gamestation will continue to stock all their retro and collectable stuff (the only reason I pop into my local one whenever I'm in the high street).
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  #19  
Old 2007-05-03, 16:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushmeister View Post
Poor analogy there, tbh. In a decent-sized HMV or Virgin you get a significant amount of space given over to games, and they usually have a not too bad selection. While in a WHSmiths you can get a sandwich or some sweets, in a HMV/Virgin you can get games and consoles (i.e. everything you need, and the range isn't that bad, or at least the range in most GAME stores these days isn't that good, so there's not much difference nowadays).
That's correct, and especially in more central London stores, you will find whole floors of the shop dedicated to selling games, consoles, etc. But my nearest HMV also sells consoles and the rest, and has a fair selection of games to offer as well, probably just as much as the small Game store closest to me, although I wouldn't usually buy from there, not for any real reason though.
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  #20  
Old 2007-05-03, 17:17
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I find that very hard too believe, and if true its exceptions rather then the rule.
Look at the PC section, look at accesorys, look at second hand.
They just wont have the same selection by a big margin.
In a month or two, I bet you wont even find last gen console stuff. (aside from ps2, as ps3 has yet to get a foothold).
Heck, Do Virgin or HMV trade in second hand games? Dont think I have ever seen them.
Put simply, in no way are they are replacement or competition for a decicated store like GAME.

It most certainly isnt an important part of their buisness, not relative too anything else they sale.
You can tell this because if you ask them anything game related its pretty clear they know jack-shit. They are music stores which have moved to primarly saleing DVD's. Impulse may have been an exaduration, but Games are still very much a sideline.

It will be a good decade before ondemand systems replace dvds and music, and by that time games will be ondemand too.

Both the Virgin and HMV in portsmouth have about 1/10th the game related stock the Gamestation and Game in portsmouth does. Its not that they dont sale a reasonably amount, its that Gamestation and Game sale a matrix fuckload more

It most certainly isnt "everything you need".
Not if your a non-mainstream gamer.

Also, as HMV and Virgin deal with lower stock levels its very unlikely they can offer cheaper prices even in theory, so theres a monopoly right there.

Expect lots of forced bundels like this wonderfull one from game;
http://www.game.co.uk/lowdown.aspx?l...k11_newbundles
Want a Wii!? Spend £300 and Save £3!!!!!
Seriously, expect this shit too be the norm now Gamestation is gone.

Pretend its ok if you like, but this is extremely bad news for UK gamers and publishers.
Just like Tesco's can bully suppliers, so can GAME.
And Virgin and HMV just arnt going to stop that.

==
Even GAME on their own isnt a good supplier of some stuff.
eg, at the moment GAME is refusing to stock copies of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the PlayStation 3.

This game has been released, but for no given reason they have refused too stock it. GAME have also been known in the past to do deals with first party manufactor's too heavily premote one game or brand over another. They have a heck of a lot of power.

I suspect at the moment they are refusing to stock it too boast sales elsewhere.
This is one random example, but Game just cant be trusted with such power they now wield

===
Also, I might point out WHSmith and Garages dont just serve sandwhichs, but also drinks, often milk, choclate, occasionaly bread ect.
Garages normaly have fruit and other basic supplys too.
The analogy still holds.
HMV saleing games dosnt make it a game shop.
A Garage saleing food dosnt make it a supermarket.
Waterstones saleing a few graphics novals dosnt make it a comic book shop.
ect.

Also dont forget their is still Tescos, Sainburys, Waitross, Asda ect.
Tesco's in many ways has far less power over their industary then GAME does over theirs.
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  #21  
Old 2007-05-03, 17:46
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Errr, yes they do.
The ones in Reading don't.
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Old 2007-05-03, 17:48
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It's quite interesting that you have something like special video game stores over in the UK.
When I want to buy a game in Germany, I can check the electronic stores in the nearby city (who sell everything about Hardware, DVDs, movies, etc.) or at the game shop (which sells all kinds of games, trading cards, board games etc. and also second hand video games). If you want to get a last-gen console game or anything older, most of the time the only option is the internet (mostly eBay, cheaper than Amazon).

What you will lose if Gamestation is taken over is the special type of a video game store, and come to the level how it is here. Or do I understand that wrong?
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  #23  
Old 2007-05-03, 18:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
But, as I said, there is also plenty of other places that stock food.
WHSmith, Esso Garages,Woolworths ect.

So I dont see that argument holds much weight.
HMV, Virgin ect stock games in the same way that WHSmith stocks food. Its only a minor small bit for impulse purchase's.

What percentage overlap of products does Game/HMV have? Cant be more then 10% at best.

===
Also, I dont think online retailers should count, imo. (as only a fraction of the population buy products online).
Personaly, Im also scared of online retailers vanishing anyway, given Sony successfully shutting down Lik-Sang without it even going to court

Garages, Smiths etc do not sell a full Supermarket range. The real competition would be Netto, Spar etc but these only account for a small percentage of gross sales. On the other hand lots of places sell games so that Game's share of the market is thoretically not enormous. Eg. Dixons, Currys, Comet, PC World, Virgin, HMV, MVC etc etc. All of these have a large amount of retail muscle and therefore counteract the monopoly decision
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Old 2007-05-03, 20:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobold View Post
It's quite interesting that you have something like special video game stores over in the UK.
When I want to buy a game in Germany, I can check the electronic stores in the nearby city (who sell everything about Hardware, DVDs, movies, etc.) or at the game shop (which sells all kinds of games, trading cards, board games etc. and also second hand video games). If you want to get a last-gen console game or anything older, most of the time the only option is the internet (mostly eBay, cheaper than Amazon)
Im in Italy and its almost the same, except that last-gen consoles are in these kind of stocks, but new games are never them, so you gotta order them from the internet. Spoiler:
(except most of the stocks sell illegal ripped games, but only for ps2 and gamecube. I guess its gonna be different with the newest consoles. Price goes from 2EUR to 6EUR AFAIK)
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Old 2007-05-03, 20:25
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Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
Even GAME on their own isnt a good supplier of some stuff.
eg, at the moment GAME is refusing to stock copies of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the PlayStation 3.

This game has been released, but for no given reason they have refused too stock it. GAME have also been known in the past to do deals with first party manufactor's too heavily premote one game or brand over another. They have a heck of a lot of power.

I suspect at the moment they are refusing to stock it too boast sales elsewhere.
This is one random example, but Game just cant be trusted with such power they now wield
They won't be stocking it due to disputes with the publsher over advertising space or something along those lines.

The supermarket analogy does not work. When comparing HMV to GAME, you've probably got anywhere from a 30% - 70% overlap in stock, depending upon the size of the store. Compare, Tescos to say, WHSmiths, and the stock overlap is about 1%. Garages, 1-5%. Analogy does not hold.
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