UK Video games chain warns of loss as fear sweeps the high street
Although gamers queued up last week to get their hands on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Game chief executive Ian Shepherd said the success of a handful of titles was not enough to counter a dramatic slump in overall video games sales, which have tumbled more than 12% this year.
Fear of unemployment, falling real incomes, higher household bills and government spending cuts are all undermining consumer confidence.
Shepherd said Game was at the sharp end of "extraordinary economic times", and there was "a quicker tail-off" in sales after the initial rush for a new title than in previous years. "We can see customers are worried about money and about spending. You can feel it across the high street that consumer confidence has slipped," he said.
Dire recent sales figures mean Game is now expected to slump £10m into the red this year, compared with profits of £17.5m last year. Like many retailers, it is reliant on Christmas sales to hit profit targets and the dramatic swing in its financial fortunes sent its shares down 46%.