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GAME is building an 'eSports zone' inside one of its stores

Engadget Engadget 6/07/2016 Nick Summers
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When GAME acquired Multiplay, we knew it was because the retailer wanted to get into eSports. With such a large number of stores, and growing competition from online businesses like Amazon, it seemed an obvious way for the company to earn more money. Now, we're finally seeing that idea come to life. The company has announced an "eSports zone" that will sit inside one of its stores in Manchester. It's a dedicated, permanent fixture with 10 PCs and a virtual reality "pod" that can host both GAME and developer-affiliated events. GAME says it'll cater for titles such as Hearthstone, Minecraft and Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Now, a room with 10 gaming PCs might not sound like a lot. (It won't compare to the Gfinity Arena in London, for instance.) But the space, however small, could serve as a template for other GAME stores in the UK, turning them into venues that combine both commerce and tournament play. The model would be similar to Games Workshop, a British retailer that allows visitors to both buy and play its tabletop games in store.

"The new space supports (our) ambition to become a leading provider of eSports in the UK," Mutiplay CEO Craig Fletcher said, "and we're excited to announce this first step in a wider strategy to add value to the retail experience at GAME." In short, it's the first but certainly not the last.


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