GAME, the UK retailer with some limited presence in Europe, has reported that sales in its stores for last year increased by 90%, with its online sales jumping 213%. There was also, predictably, a major boost in the closing weeks of last year with the arrival of PS4 and Xbox One, while major contributors on the software front were Grand Theft Auto V and FIFA 14.
A rumoured return to the stock market would be a surprise, especially as the company's administration and near-disappearance was only in 2012. Nevertheless, an expected second year of profits make that a rumour, and the continued presence of a specialist games retailer — even if not all experienced gamers are fans — on the high street is a positive for the wider industry. While not cited as a major contributor when referencing major Holiday sales, we shouldn't forget that the 3DS family of systems — and its major game releases — will have likely played a notable role in the retailer's yearly results, with the portable being the highest-selling dedicated games system in the UK in 2013.
GAME has also been pro-active in selling download content, including eShop cards for both funds and individual games, a priority for the business. From a Nintendo perspective, high street visibility through retailers such as GAME — which admittedly gives more shelf-space, generally, to the 3DS than Wii U right now — is valuable, as is the continued support of eShop products.
It'll be interesting to see how retailers throughout Europe and North America have performed over the whole of 2013, with so many high profile releases that potentially boosted sales. In the case of GAME, it appears to be in a strong position for the immediate future.