Game's demise is tragic, but industry's shift towards digital was inevitable claims TIGA

Self-publishing wins the day

Game's demise is tragic, but industry's shift towards digital was inevitable claims TIGA

Trade association TIGA has come out in support of troubled UK retailer Game, but the body has claimed its role on the high street was always likely to run into difficulty.

According to TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson, Game's woes are in part the result of the gaming industry's wider shift to digital platforms, with consumers spending habits switching to embrace new, non-physical retail channels.

Boxed out

"This is clearly a deeply worrying time for Game's 6,000 employees and we wish them the best of luck during this crisis," said Wilson in a statement.

"Game's difficulties are due to a combination of factors: the economic downturn which has hit the high street generally; intense competition from other physical and online retailers; the decision by big global publishers not to stock Game with new releases; and the shift by consumers from purchasing boxed products to digital games.

"Retail sales of video games have declined for four consecutive years, as consumers change their spending habits."

Naturally, there's little cheer in Wilson's assessment of Game's current situation, though he does suggest that the store's dire predicament has come about as a result of something all the more positive: the indie scene's newfound sense of self determination.

A changing game

"The situation at Game will reinforce the trend which has seen UK game developers and digital publishers move towards network gaming – mobile, massively multiplayer, social and online gaming," he concluded.

"TIGA's research shows that 80 percent of new development studios are working either exclusively or in part on network gaming.

"This move towards digital self-publishing enables developers to create original games, retain control of their IP and achieve greater financial stability."

Wilson's comments come after Game admitted some suppliers are withholding stock from the retailer, despite its attempts to secure its future.

Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.