Yesterday’s press rampage over GAME not stocking Mass Effect 3 (and other EA titles) this month caused something of a media frenzy, but perhaps it shouldn’t have done.
I’m no expert – by any stretch – but from here it looks like the truth is that GAME’s financial lifelines of late have meant that they simply don’t have the same amount of cash to spend on new games – and under the same conditions they’ve enjoyed for years.
The difference with EA (and Ubisoft last week with the Vita titles) is that as far as we can tell they’re simply not prepared to offer the same buying conditions, and as a result GAME couldn’t – currently at least – afford to stock their games.
We’re told a recent meeting with GAME apparently left attending suppliers super happy and positive about the future of the company, but signs suggest perhaps it wasn’t attended by every publisher in the industry.
Anyone buying games from the retailer over the last few weeks might have noticed ‘property of’ stickers on the backs of certain titles – this seems like it was the publisher’s way of granting GAME the stock but retaining ownership in case there were issues down the line.
Sony were seemingly happy to do this, but maybe EA aren’t.
Because of this, GAME’s limited funds for stock mean that they can’t splash out on the quantities required, and so have had to refrain from selling them, at least for the time being.
The logic’s quite simple, even if it’s frustrating for the consumer.
Although everyone in the games press jumped all over the news there’s a chance that – just maybe – the actual situation was a little different and that none of this was that much of a surprise.
All this – obviously – isn’t great news for GAME, but it’s not as shocking as the headlines might have read.