Friday, 2 March 2012

GAME Group Adopts Gaikai's Cloud Gaming Service Beginning Spring 2012

Gaikai, the cloud gaming service, and Europe’s leading computer and video games retailer GAME Group plc. today announced the signing of an agreement which will see the retailer offer streaming game demos to European consumers from its website beginning Spring 2012.

Gaikai’s cloud gaming service forms a significant part of GAME’s strategy to grow revenues from its web and digital business. GAME’s initiatives include an expanded multichannel strategy to increase online market share, exclusive digital products unique from other online and brick-and-mortar offerings, and new purchase methods to increase customer participation and loyalty.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with GAME across Europe to help them expand their digital presence and engagement with online consumers by streaming Gaikai’s portfolio of high quality content,” said Robert Stevenson, EVP at Gaikai. “As gamers continue to increase their digital consumption of the industry’s best games, GAME will be well positioned to lead the way.”

“Gaikai's ground-breaking game streaming technology fits in well with our strategy of delivering the very best range of games and gaming products to our customers,” said Ian Shepherd, GAME CEO. “We are thrilled to offer our consumers the ability to instantly preview game titles right at that critical moment of the purchase decision making and checkout process.”

Gaikai is currently providing time limited high-end game demos from the likes of EA, Ubisoft and Capcom on YouTube, Best Buy, EA Origin, Green Man Gaming, Eurogamer and the biggest retailer in the US, Walmart. They have also partnered with Facebook to provide cloud streamed PC game demos to the social network giant.

GAME is the largest European retailer to become a member of Gaikai’s network, which includes several major video game retail outlets.

It is interesting to note that OnLive partnered with GAME and announced their partnership at OnLive's launch in the UK last September. GAME planned to host OnLive's instant game demos on its web sites like GAME also wanted to start selling OnLive merchandise, OnLive hardware and game redemption cards in their retail stores in the UK before last Christmas.

It is well known that GAME has financial problems and may not make it alive through this year. They can't even afford to stock hit games like Mass Effect 3 and other EA games. It looks like GAME's nearing demise is a harbinger for main street retail of video games.

The thought is near that GAME also can't afford to stock OnLive hardware and merchandise. Maybe OnLive and GAME couldn't come to terms about their partnership because of GAME's financial woes. It's simply cheaper for GAME to partner with Gaikai and embed their demos on GAME's web sites. GAME doesn't have to pay for anything and shares revenue from the game demos with Gaikai.

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