Mike Ashley’s bid for GAME could be what it needs to drive BELONG’s success

Following the news that Sports Direct has made an offer for GAME Digital, Zoe Mills, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Mike Ashley’s offer to buy GAME outright brings with it the possibility to give the gaming retailer the ability to finally realise the potential of its BELONG gaming arenas. While GAME launched the first arenas back in 2017, it has only grown to just over 20, despite the planned tie up with Sports Direct that was set to open its BELONG arenas in up to 100 new locations. GAME’s core business is also being constantly eroded not just by online competition for boxed games, but by direct downloads to consoles and the freemium model where gamer spend is increasingly moving to in-game purchases, effectively bypassing retailers altogether.

“The acquisition can be mutually beneficial for both parties. While GAME has struggled within its retail arm, now that Sports Direct controls House of Fraser, there is a clear option to utilise some of the increasingly redundant space in some of those stores. This will give GAME the space it needs for its BELONG arenas to cater to demand.”

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