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Death watch: GAME unlikely to survive current problems

Thursday, 2 February 2012 13:36 GMT By Patrick Garratt

With GAME’s business looking increasingly unsustainable, is the writing finally on the wall for brick and mortar retail in video games? Maybe not entirely, but GAME’s time is up, says Patrick Garratt.

GAME is in serious trouble, and it’s likely it will cease to exist in the near future. It may have negotiated stock for releases this week, but what about next week? And the week after that? It will be difficult for GAME to be able to navigate these problems quickly enough to survive.

Don’t pretend you’re shocked. In the past two days, a report of GAME’s difficulty in maintaining credit insurance has been backed up by a statement confirming the UK retailer is in talks to secure lending. The well-known high street chain has also said it may sell off overseas concerns.

Questions are now being raised as to whether GAME has a future at all. If a retailer’s credit insurance fails, it will ultimately mean it’s unable to stock new products. This would have a serious affect on GAME being able to operate in any way.

Speaking to MCV yesterday, GAME moved to assure that it’s working with separate publishers to ensure flow of stock. But while Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Soul Calibur V will be sold in GAME stores tomorrow – the games vanished from the firm’s website yesterday – there can be no doubting the company is facing a serious test of its ability to remain viable.

To illustrate the seriousness of the matter, EA said in its Q3 earnings call last night that it was concerned about the situation, as it’ll lead to decreased sales and increased debt if GAME’s trouble becomes terminal.

The larger question is whether or not time is finally up for specialist high street games retail. GAME is not the only one under potentially fatal pressure. HMV admitted in six-monthly results at the end of 2011 that general economic malaise “may cast significant doubt on the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern in the future,” reporting both wider losses and a double-digit revenue drop.

While it may be comforting for stores like HMV and GAME to blame international depression on what’s happening to their businesses, anyone with even a passing professional interest in media retail knows it’s not the whole story. And in the games space specifically, it may very well be that time for the specialist brick and mortar boys has finally run out.

Those with loaded guns, and those who dig

The problem is hardly revelatory: people are shopping in increasing numbers on the internet. We are in a transition period between a man walking into a shop and buying a video game, and a man buying a video game from a website. This has nothing to do with whether or not discs have a future in games going forward; it’s about where people are buying discs right now. There’s no question: the internet is winning.

Total retail sales in the UK were up 3.65% last year, while online sales grew 14%. While the trend is general, the situation in the games trade has clearly become untenable for GAME.

GAME is now apparently unable to offer publishers credit insurance. By way of explanation: when a store like GAME stocks a product, the publisher of that product is normally insured. Soul Calibur V is out tomorrow, for instance. If GAME cannot offer Namco credit incurance on the stock it intends to sell, that means Namco has no guarantee it will be paid for its games. If GAME goes bust next week, and the credit on Soul Calibur V’s GAME stock isn’t insured, Namco will lose a great deal of money.

The issue of credit insurance in games retail is of particular importance for two main reasons. Firstly, there are the license fees publishers have to pay platform holders, such as Sony and Microsoft. Secondly, developing a triple-A video game is extremely expensive. If, for example, HMV can’t supply credit insurance on stock of a music CD, the risk to the publisher is nowhere near as acute as it would be on a video game. As such, any sign that a retailer has failed to secure credit insurance will stop supply of games stock very quickly. Especially in the current climate, risk on a stock large enough to supply 600 UK stores could easily kill a mid-range publisher, and even the very biggest – EA, Activision, etc – will take a very dim view.

Show me the exit

No stock, no business. GAME does have some options, although they’re essentially futile. It could close stores and fire staff. This is only a short-term solution that could be made in an effort to balance books, and doesn’t fix the fact that it’s clearly failed to manage the transition from high street to internet. While the packaged goods business is declining and online sales are increasing, GAME.co.uk has failed to gain enough market share to prop up the business. GAME faces particular difficulty in this area as it doesn’t ship from Jersey, as do Play and Amazon, meaning its consumer-facing costs are generally higher.

Merging GAME and GameStation into one brand? This is basically the same as closing shops and firing staff.

In short, GAME is in serious trouble, and it’s likely it will cease to exist in the near future. It may have negotiated stock for releases this week, but what about next week? And the week after that? Publisher have known GAME’s been experiencing difficulties for months, but it’s only in recent days that the severity of the situation has hit the press wholesale. It will be difficult for GAME to be able to navigate these problems quickly enough to survive.

Is this is end for games on the high street? Of course not. Many people still want midnight launches, and they want to be certain of games on day one, but specialists like GAME are being bullied out of relevance in the “event” release space by massive general stores like Sainsbury’s and Tesco. GAME’s niche as a shop which stocks a wide variety of games has traditionally kept people walking through the door for all their gaming needs, but the whole concept is failing. If you want an historic game, do you go to your local store and find it’s almost certainly not in stock, or do you buy it online? You buy it online. GAME’s business of being a catalogue retailer is becoming void. Day-oners will almost certainly go to a supermarket for the next Call of Duty: it’s cheaper and there’ll be more stock. So you go to Sainsbury’s for your triple-As to ensure you get them on time, and you buy Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3 from Play.com.

And where does that leave GAME?

Someone once told me that for an business to succeed it must be one of three things: faster, cheaper or better. GAME can’t be faster. Day one is day one. It can’t be cheaper on the high street because it’s competing against multi-national giants, and it doesn’t have the set-up to stay below competitors online. A games retailer that doesn’t insure stock will find it difficult to be “better,” to say the least.

Watch the clock. It’s starting to tick at double-time.

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27 Comments

  1. Razor

    Is there a reason why GAME can’t move their online service to Jersey?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. BillyBatts

    Perfect explanation, thanks for that!

    #2 3 years ago
  3. TheBlackHole

    Ouch… Nice piece Pat, but any reason why you felt like you had to kick someone when they’re down?

    You know as well as anyone that journalism like this is inflammatory and generally unhelpful in the wider scheme of things.

    Well written though, and I agree with pretty much everything you said.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Golden

    Thank you Patrick this is a great article that succinctly describes the situation. I have not been a positive supporter of GAME having received some terribly poor service and equally poor corporate responses, none the less there are many many people whose jobs are on the line right now and this can be deeply destabilising.

    We knew that digital purchases’ of games would be the future but the loss of a major high street retailer in the UK (and Europe?) could speed this along considerably. I can only imagine the impact this will have on publishers who will lose a valuable revenue source.

    Just a final point to clarify, I understand that as of April 2012 Jersey will have to pay VAT so the haven experienced by Play, Amazon etc is coming to an end. Will these companies then see further damage to their income? Could this be the start of a snowball effect for the games retail industry?

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    @3 Uuuuh….

    Is journalism supposed to be helpful to companies, authorities or individuals?

    FoxNews247?

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    @3 I just wanted to explain the situation. I’m pretty sure most people have no idea what credit insurance is, for instance. I know it’s harsh, but I take no pleasure in it, I assure you. I honestly hope I’m wrong, but it’s not looking good when you add everything up.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. daytripper

    i usually use shopto.net and gamestation for trade ins, just thinking of peoples jobs, its really sad.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. dreamcastnews

    This is why they should have really kept Gamestation as a separate brand, at least they could have sold them off like Blockbuster did.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. drewbles82

    The biggest problem for Game is not digital downloads. Its the Supermarkets and online retailers. 99% of the time any game can be found cheaper else where. Amazon, play being the main ones. Then when its a big game like COD, the supermarkets do better deals, last two years Tesco have done COD for £25 if you buy 2100ms points, still far better deal.
    The staff at my local game are useless, they had the best deal for a kinect bundle which is the first time I bought anything from Game in almost 10yrs.
    Whilst trying to decide what to get with the bundle, a few parents with no clue on gaming, I overheard and basically got them the right package, they even said if it hadn’t of been for me, they would have gone else where.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Patashnik

    Game haven’t helped themselves with their buying policy either. For publishers selling in to retail, Game are notorious for looking for any excuse not to support anything outside the top core titles.

    Publishers like Rising Star have been vary vocal in their criticism of this rather blinkered policy.

    They, themselves, have diminished choice at their own retailers – look at their piss-poor 3DS selection for example (top ten or nothing).

    Personally, I don’t buy games like FIFA, Call of Duty etc – they’re not to my taste. I have no objection to shopping at game – it’s just that they never stock games I want to buy.

    I have no choice but to shop online or buy from the indies.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Psychotext

    Poorly run and quite amazingly competent at alienating their core customer base. I wont shed a tear when they’re gone.

    Others will take their place, be it online or on the high street. Maybe those on the high street will have a little more sense than to have four or five stores within 5 minutes of each other.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. TheBlackHole

    @6 Fair enough. I appreciate the response.

    Any way you look at it, GAME going down would be pretty disastrous for the UK industry. GAME account for around 35% of the UK boxed market – that’s a huge deficit for publisher and developer bottom lines. I do feel like they’ve done it to themselves though.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Chockster

    In answer to #1, the Jersey tax loophole is being closed, so even if they moved tomorrow, GAME couldn’t hope to make enough out of it to sustain themselves.

    edit – forgot to say great read Pat.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Patrick Garratt

    @14 – Cheers. And thanks for the Steam thing! Will drop you a mail soon.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Froseidon

    Kinda hoping GAME get out of this. It is my favourite retailer after all.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. NeoSquall

    I just wish they can send my copy of the Syndicate Executive Package…

    #16 3 years ago
  17. tcm2007

    Wow, hope your libel lawyers are well funded. It’s one thing to say there are questions over a company’s future, quite another to say that it’s definitely going down.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. OlderGamer

    Good piece.

    Again.

    Makes me wish the food marts in the states would sell video games. Here GameStop and Walmart have the retail markets cornered. Online isn’t a hell of lot different, same players, same high prices. Very controled pricing.

    Buying online second hand games is a much cheaper venture.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. GrimRita

    GAME stuck two fingers up at PC gamers, then did the same thing to publishers. You simply can NOT shit on your door step and now they are paying the price.

    Good piece Pat as always. Its a shame those at the top dont think about those at the bottom who will be hit the hardest.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Psychotext

    #17: Opinions… have you heard of them.

    You know, like it’s your (clueless) opinion that this piece is libelous.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. DSB

    @17 Usually judges don’t take kindly to hysterical lawsuits.

    You might want to read up on what libel actually is.

    There’s neither accusation nor defamation in that piece, just Pat Garrats own commentary on the facts as they appear.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. G1GAHURTZ

    I must have spent at least £4K in GAME during this last gen.

    The staff were annoying sometimes, though.

    Anyway, like I’ve said before. IMO, online is the future of gaming, and that includes game sales.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. drewbles82

    @22 online gaming maybe the future but we are nowhere near ready for it. Too many internet companies have daily download limits for a start so already thats a huge portion of people not able to download. Then you got internet speeds which are dreadful in a lot of areas esp in the Uk.

    Example, we have virgin media, 20mb theres a 4GB limit and most games would be almost twice that. If you go over your 4 limit, virgin half your internet speed or in some cases if cut you off for a day or two. Their speeds are crap as we pay for 20mb and I’ve never even seen more than 4mb speed. Prob take me over a week to get one game where as I can order online get delivered the day of release or go my local shop 20min walk and pick it up.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. DSB

    @23 Fair point, but it’s still cheaper for retailers to let you download your stuff.

    Why is it like that with your internet though? I’ve never heard of anything like that in Scandinavia.

    Unless it’s based on the infrastructure and slow government, it should be a no brainer to offer a subscription with no limit and own the competition.

    I can maybe understand it in really rural places, especially in the US where residential zoning was apparently left to (very drunk) european immigrants, but in the UK?

    That’s weird. I dropped my last ISP because the bandwidth was inconsistent.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Psychotext

    I don’t know what service drewbles is on (I’m guessing ADSL), but on cable Virgin Media don’t have any hard limits. They do throttle if you download too much, but that’s only within certain hours and it only lasts at most 12 hours (and that’s only on the 2mb package).

    http://www.virginmedia.com/images/tm-table-fu-large.jpg

    I don’t really know of any provider in the UK with hard limits, though I’m sure there must be some ultra cheap services that work that way.

    By comparison, I’m using a completely unlimited 100mbps connection… so drewbles’s hardships aren’t universal. ;)

    #25 3 years ago
  26. merson88

    Well let me start with the press are all the same give them a good kicking when there down, it’s journalists like you who think there know what there talking about and in fact are talking hot air, have some respect for the staff “fire staff” yeah that’s someone who has a heart, these are people who have family’s and bills you are talking about, how would you like it if you and your colligues where losing your jobs, and some smart arsed heartless journalists where writing it’s all over no way back etc, it’s the last thing you want to hear especially when it comes from someone who doesn’t know what ther are talking about, I don’t work for Game to set the record straight, but I know what those guys are going through it’s happend to me before and it’s been rough for the company I work for now which is Hmv and we had no support from the press, 90 year old British company and when it gets in a bit of trouble the press get together and kick it down to the ground, we are ok now as universal emi disney and a few other labels have come in to support us, so much for put the dog down and the other stupid headlines the press make, it’s like there enjoying people lose there jobs. Oh and yes I do know what credit insurance is thank you, stop trying to be a smart arse, and yeah the supper markets are cheaper but there only stock 35 copies of mw3 and there out of stock for a week, so people can’t go to super markets and get there game as there don’t stock anough copies, game need to close stores to close to each other and non profiting and try to relocate staff keeping redundancies to a minimum, have a top 10 to 20 chart, focus on pre-owned games, and get customers to pre order those niche games for day release, another good one for game is to have more concessions, cheaper rent and also premoting there products to another customer base, plus the tax loop hole finally been closed which should of been done years ago from our government will certainly help both sides of the business and make it a level plying field for everyone, game and Hmv pay there taxes, amazon, play etc don’t so that’s why the Internet is cheaper, it’s hard for a lot of business out there at the minute and there all need help and support, not kick downs and gloom and doom from journalists like this guy, yes I know some things are more expensive in store but there are lots of bargins to have as well, pop in your local game, Hmv, next, boots store and help support our highstreet and economy, and keep people in jobs and to help create more jobs for people, put it this way no high street thousands up on thousands of people out of work claiming benefits to live and support there family’s which means taxes goes up for those people who work and it would be a huge increase in your taxes more than the £2 to £5 saving from amazon every now and then who haven’t given anything to the British economy, I hope everythig works out for the staff at game and for the company to get back on it’s feet again it would be a sad day to see game gone from the high street.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. GrimRita

    You have valid points merson – but the fact remains that the likes of GAME/HMV/(insert name of out of date concept store here) havent moved with the times.

    For years, HMV blamed the pirates for poor music sales when infact, more and more were turning to digital. itunes lead the way in that field and the same is true of Steam with computer games.

    So instead of blaming something that is beyond your control, HMV/GAME etc should have embraced technology earlier and planned instead of bashing it and keeping their fingers crossed that their PR bull shit assault would work.

    Throw in HMVs shit pricing policy and their so called sales and you have an out of date store struggling. The same is true of GAME. They kicked out the PC Gamer, did the same with publishers titles by focusing too much on pre-owned – hell Gamestation even were about to run an advertising campaign a few years back slapping day 1 releases in the face against the price of pre-owned but thankfully the games industry were vocal and the adverts didnt make it to print.

    All GAME did was expand like Tesco but unlike Tesco, GAME only focus on one area of retail – games and that simply isnt the way to do business.

    GAME more or less have abused their position in the market by charging publishers for retail space, chart position etc etc which was fine before the advent of digital but things have changed and moved firmly back in the hands of the publisher.

    Yes, I feel extremely sorry for those who work on the front line because they will be the ones paying the price for a board room full of total pricks who are running the business in to the ground.

    Retail is on life support because people have changed how they shop. I more or less shop online and hardly ever visit a store because the lack of good service and crowded environment doesnt appeal to me.

    But thats life and businesses need to learn how to adapt, quickly if they are to survive

    #27 3 years ago

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    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]

  • Star Wars Disney Infinity re-release on the cards – rumour

    Star Wars is a no-brainer for Disney Infinity, and at long last it looks like it’s happening. A Star Wars re-release called Disney Infinity 3.0 has reportedly leaked from German retailers. We have to lable this one a rumour as we haven’t seen the original source, but the story was originally reported by DisKingdom, which […]

  • Award-winning mobile indie Monument Valley out now on Windows Phone

    Windows Phone’s game selection can be a bit restrictive, but has expanded delightfully today: Monument Valley is now available. Monument Valley is one of those gorgeous, mind-bending puzzlers the indie scene produces on the regular, winning awards and consuming everyone’s lives for weeks on end. Developed by Ustwo Games, with beautiful, understated art from Ken […]

  • Old-school EverQuest servers safe from legal troubles thanks to Daybreak agreement

    EverQuest rights holder Daybreak Game Company given its blessing to the wonderful Project 1999. EverQuest: Project 1999 is one of those lovely ideas that it are all too often crushed by the realities of the games industry. An entirely fan-managed affair, it provides an emulated version of the classic EverQuest experience, which is no longer […]

  • Free Dragon Age short stories fill us in on Corypheus’s followers

    Dragon Age: Inquisition developer BioWare invites you to learn more about the lore and characters that make up its beautiful role-playing setting. Dragon Age is set in Thedas, a world still only partially revealed by the three core games to date. BioWare puts a heck of a lot of work into its worldbuilding, employing a […]

  • Remember that gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo? It now utilizes DirectX 12

    Remember the gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo Square Enix showed off three years ago? The firm showed it again at Microsoft’s Build Conference, this time utilizing DirectX 12. The Witch Chapter 0 [cry] real-time tech demo was created from research Square conducted using real-time CG technology and DX12 in collaboration with Microsoft and Nvidia. The […]

  • Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones sneaks onto GOG and Steam services

    Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones can now be purchased through GOG and Steam. On both services it will run you £12.99/€14.99/$14.99. Links here and here. The game features: Fully explorable ‘Metroidvania’ style overworld, laying siege to a diabolical cloning facility with varied and detailed environments. A variety of special equipment to unlock new […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC Ascendance has arrived on PC, PlayStation consoles

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players on PC and PlayStation consoles can now download the Ascendance DLC. The second content pack contains the OHM weapon, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the second entry in the Exo Zombies saga, Infection. Four new maps are also included: Perplex, Site 244, Climate, and Chop Shop. Ascendance was […]

  • Latest Xbox 360 system update is live, now supports 2TB hard drives

    Xbox 360 now supports 2TB hard drives via the latest system update for the console. Support for the drives was announced earlier this month and has been available for preview members. “In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive,” said the firm. “If you are using 16GB of […]

  • Kickstarter for Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee launches tomorrow

    Playtonic Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for its spiritual successor to the Banjo Kazooie series, Yooka-Laylee, will launch tomorrow. The title of the game was announced today along with the Kickstarter date. Formerly known as Project Ukulele, the 3D platformer is said to be “between the size of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie,” and stars Yooka […]

  • Console version of Mistwalker’s Terra Battle is in development

    Now that Mistwalker’s Terra Battle has surpassed 2 million downloads on mobile, the developer is now working on a console version of the tactical RPG. As part of the original Download Starter campaign, the 2 million milestone means the company will begin development on Terra Battle’s console version with details to be announced at a […]

  • Prison break game The Escapists is heading to PlayStation 4 from May 29

    The Escapists, Mouldy Toof’s prison break game originally released as a timed console exclusive Xbox One, has a release date for PlayStation 4. For those unfamiliar with the title, which is also a PC release, it tasks players’ time management skills as they do a bit of digging and crafting, and other prison-type stuff as […]

  • Dead Island 2 delayed into 2016 to ensure series is “taken to the next level”

    Dead Island 2 has been delayed into 2016 by Yager in order to ensure the sequel “takes Dead Island to the next level.” According to a tweet from the developer, it set “big goal” for the game, and in order to deliver what fans expect, the team needs more time to reach development goals. “We […]

  • Project Cars: here’s a list of all available cars at launch

    Project Cars will contain many, many cars and if we are counting correctly, there will be 74 total at launch. The standard edition contains 65 total, and when factoring the free car as well as the Modified and Limited Edition cars packs, you can add an additional nine cars to the mix. Comb through the […]

  • Competitive matchmaking support is coming to Team Fortress 2

    Team Fortress 2 will soon feature support for competitive matchmaking, which Valve says is a “high priority” project for it at the moment. According to a report from TeamFortress.tv, which visited Valve headquarters recently, Valve is looking into the possibility of 6v6 or 9v9 matches 9v9, a possible quick play option and it is also […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch fixes garage, Job crashes – full notes here

    Rockstar has pushed out a 353 MB patch for GTA 5 on PC The patch fixes a number of annoying bugs related to vehicles and garages, some deathmatch issues and purchase errors. It should also fix various freezing and crashing bugs, as well as a little issue with Steam. Time will tell if the patch […]

  • Fire Emblem If will come in White Kingdom and Black Kingdom versions with amiibo support

    We’ve finally got some juicy details on the next Fire Emblem game, but the most interesting aspect is that there will be two versions of the game. According to Siliconera, who translated an interview between Intelligent Systems and 4Gamer, there will a White Kingdom and a Black Kingdom version that offer different aspects of the […]

  • Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess heads west with “Golden Toilet” pre-order bonus

    Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess will debut on western PlayStation 4 systems this summer, Koei Tecmo has announced. It is also coming to PS3 and Vita. The game was produced by Keisuke Kikuchi of Fatal Frame fame and takes up where Deception 4: Blood Ties left off allowing players to relive Laegrinna’s pursuit to free […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario demo, Paper Mario, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo of Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, Paper Mario on Virtual Console, and amiibo Tap. The full update is below. eShop update amiibo Tap – free – Wii U Star Wars Pinball DLC – Wii U Paper Mario – Wii U […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC port handed off to Nixxes

    The PC port of the new Deus Ex has been handed over to Netherlands based studio, Nixxes software. After the initial reveal trailer at the beginning of April, we’ve only had a few morsels in the way of additional news. The most intriguing tidbit to date has got to be the fact that you’ll be […]

  • First-ever PC Gaming Show to take place at E3 2015 in June

    PC gaming will finally have its very own E3 press conference this year, thanks to PC Gamer and AMD. The PC Gaming Show will take place on June 16 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles and it will be livestreamed on Twitch. PC Gamer said speakers at the presentation will include representatives from Blizzard, […]

  • Majora’s Mask light available now on Club Nintendo for 6000 stars

    Club Nintendo shuts up shop on September 30 and members are being encouraged to spend accumulated stars before then. And what better to spend them on, than this adorable Majora’s Mask light? If you’re a member based in Europe you can nab it for 6000 stars. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, it’ll only […]

  • Unity support announced for HoloLens, will work with Windows universal apps

    Microsoft is partnering with game engine developers Unity in order to make HoloLens compatible with apps and games which use the cross-platform engine. The partnership was announced yesterday during its Build Developer Conference. Universal apps for Windows 10 systems will also be available on Xbox One later this year, suggesting possible HoloLens functionality with the […]