Game Digital today put multichannel retailing at the heart of its strategy as it reported falling first-half sales and profits amid “challenging” trading conditions in the UK video games market. While overall sales were down, online traffic grew by 5.7% year-on-year and sales of digital content were up by almost 10%.
Game, which trades online and through 319 stores in the UK, said its retail focus would now be on “maximising sales from its core console markets, expanding into new markets and delivering a truly multichannel proposition and customer experience.” The company also aims to grow its marketplace business and to invest further in the allied markets of gaming and eSports.
Game, a Top100 retailer in the IRUK Top500 research, today reported revenue of £549.2m in the 26 weeks to January 23, 6.3% down from £585.9m at the same time last year. UK sales of £407.8m were down by 9.7%. Pre-tax profits of £22.5m were 32% down from £33.2m last time.
The figures come at a time when demand in gaming is moving from older formats to the newer PlayStation 4 and Xbox One software. Game says the UK retail market for console hardware, software, accessories and digital declined by 12.8% in the first half of the year. Over that period, hardware sales fell by 28% and software sales by 8%. Game’s own revenues from UK consoles fell in a similar range, by 28%. Now the company aims to focus on ensuring customers can buy in the way that they want.
Chief executive Martyn Gibbs said: “Increasing engagement with gaming communities and broadening our offer, both within and beyond retail, sits at the heart of our strategy. We are committed to investing in our teams and core foundations to support our plans for the business. The development of our competitive gaming, eSports and gaming events continue to progress rapidly at Multiplay, and we are looking to develop similar activities in Spain through the acquisition of SocialNAT.”