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Minecraft creator blames GAME failure on digital distribution

Tuesday, 27th March 2012 05:03 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Mojang boss and indie ambassador Markus “Notch” Persson finds digital distribution a bit of a two-edged sword.

Speaking to Gamespot at the BAFTAs, Persson said he had mixed feelings on GAME’s situation.

“I think it’s is an unfortunate side effect of digital distribution, and I think digital distribution is saving gaming,” he said.

“So I’m kind of torn. I think it’s very sad, but I think it’s also very fun. So it’s hard to be happy or sad about it.”

The financially beleaguered GAME has gone into administration, axing thousands of jobs and shuttering close to 300 stores.

Digitally distributed games, on the other hand, are going great guns despite their refusal to stick to the traditional triple-A formula so loved by high street chains; Minecraft has brought in $80 million.

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5 Comments

  1. Christopher Jack

    I find dedicated gaming stores quickly becoming redundant, be easier if we could walk into any general goods chain store & have people just as knowledgeable & dedicated as a EB Games or GAME employee, not that it’s hard to find, but when I go into Big W’s, Target’s or K-mart’s electronic sections, I shouldn’t have to expect a woman in her mid 50′s who’s never played a game in her life ‘assist’ me.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    Its due to Game inability to move to digital distribution. They had to have known it was going to happen. You can’t just close your eyes and wish it away.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DarkElfa

    Game died for the same reason BlockBuster died and say what you will, it IS dead.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Noddy Jnr

    Game has died because not only has it not enbraced digital distribution which there is no doubt that is the direction the industry is going. But relied on the trade in market. The last few times I went into the store I was shocked by how over 2/3rds of the store was dedicated to pre owned and new games had a top 10 wall for each of the consoles. That is it. 10 new games for each console and the rest pre owned. I refuse to buy pre owned from Game as the way they price pre owned games is to take a new game and undercut by £1-£2 and push it in front of the customer. I have seen employees ask someone who has taken a new game to the check out whether they want to swap it for a pre owned version and save £2. Game is no longer good for the industry and I for one am glad to see them go.
    I do feel sorry for all the people who have lost there jobs over this. They are the victims in all of this, not Game. And I hope all the newly unemployed are able to land back on there feet after this.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Muddy

    Game died because it had over 600+ stores. The overheads for that operation would have been massive. In Southampton where I am from there was once 5 branches of either Game/Gamestation within a 1/2 mile radius in the city centre. The leases/business rates and also the employment of individual managers and staff for those 5 stores would have been in the £1000′s.
    @#4 made some valid points. I to was put off from using Game with the amount of pre-owned crap which filled 90% of the shop floor. My confidence in purchasing new games was dented and only a manufactorers cellophane seal would be the only thing which would let me part with my money as you couldnt guarentee an unsealed copy was pre-owned.
    Digital distrabution would have certainly hit PC sales but again the like of Amazon,Play,shopto etc were cheaper and more often delivered before realse date. They should have atleast price matched their own website even if it ment they shipped a copy to the store to refill its stock.
    OK Supermarkets can underwrite the cost of Games with a can of beans and tbh prices there will now go up as people choices are limited.
    With the success of the Wii they thought there would be a never ending que of casual customers willing to pay through the nose for endless piles of poo, whilst forgetting about their core customers who put them there in the first place. Yes we are in a reccession and banks are closing in on debts but isnt funny how the death of Game has also coincided with the death of the Wii.
    I wont be too sad to see them go, I do feel for the majority of the staff but no business can survive on turnover alone there must be some profit and maybe a more leaner/competitive Game which returns to its roots may have a chance in the high street (well until the whole blinkered “growth” exercise is repeated again to keep the share holders and markets happy)

    #5 2 years ago

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