HMV strips down game arm amid redundancies and closures

By Dave Cook, Friday, 15 February 2013 10:49 GMT

HMV’s restructuring with administrators Deloitte has seen its games division whittled down to just two games buyers. The group’s recent round of lay-offs and store closures suggests a severe down-sizing of HMV’s games business.

MCV reports that of out of ten games buyers at HMV, only two remain, following the departure of head of technology and games Ewan Pinder, games category manager Andy Pinder and fellow execs in the game department Mike Fethers, Nick Ashley, Will Cox and Ed Lee.

It comes as US analyst at Wedbush Morgan Michael Pachter called UK games retail ‘a joke’.

Deloitte will also shutter two of HMV’s ‘Gamerbase’ stores – Edinburgh and London’s Trocadero – as part of its recent bout of closures. Gamerbase boss Dominic Mulroy has also resigned.

Speaking with MCV, one source within HMV commented on the strategy, saying it “doesn’t look good for games at HMV. I’d have to speculate that the potential buyers don’t see it as a big player in the future of the company.”

One UK games publisher told the site, “I am not sure how they can just credibly continue with just two people. How do you bounce back from this? Over the last year the games industry hasn’t quite given HMV the same level of support as the music and DVD guys.

“As a company looking to move forward and reshape its business, it is understandable that games might be the ones to suffer. But hopefully that will change when the new consoles come out. We’ll be sorry to see them go.”

What do you make of the above? Can HMV compete with online game retailers, or is this strategy the only logical step? Let us know below.

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