Game Group is treating the economic turmoil like a first-person shooter – and it’s winning. The video game retailer got record £36.4 million pre-tax profits in the first half of the year, up from just £2.7 million a year ago, and is increasing both its dividend and its guidance for the next period as a result. Game’s reward card and discounts on pre-owned games all helped.
It’s partly thanks to the success of third-gen consoles themselves, which chair Peter Lewis said had reached 17.3 million in the UK in just three years, compared to seven years for the earlier second-gen line; that means more consoles are out there needing more games more quickly. By the Christmas rush, Game said it will have over 1,300 stores through which to sell titles.
Lewis noted today’s “extraordinarily challenging and uncertain market conditions” but said “playing games provides a more affordable alternative to many other family leisure activities”, adding console and games demand is being driven by the broader demographic base that games now enjoy – no longer do games sales rely on parents buying titles for their kids, today’s gamers have disposable income of their own.