It looks like GAME’s moving outside of just selling games, they’ve bought Multiplay for £20 million. Multiplay organise massive gaming events, like their Insomnia LAN parties - the last of which drew in more than 60,000 people.
GAME say they’re “looking forward to delivering more, bigger and better experiences for our communities.” Which may mean in future Multiplay events will be paired with sales in GAME stores and on their website.
“Like Multiplay, we put our communities at the heart of our business," said GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs, reports GamesIndustry. "Together we will be able to move even faster to grow and develop our services for both gamers and suppliers in the UK, Spain and around the world. With our combined passion and expertise, we are looking forward to delivering more, bigger and better experiences for our communities and are excited for what the future holds."
GAME paid Multiplay’s owners £12.6 million up front and have committed to paying a further £7.4 million in cash and shares over the next three years.
A retailer like GAME could well start organising massive game launch events with the expertise of Multiplay. They’re already running prerelease events for some games, letting people try out a game before signing up for a preorder.
This is a large outlay for a company that went into administration two years ago and was forced to close hundreds of stores across the UK. GAME say that everyone at Multiplay will be kept on after the buyout, even the CEO's remaining with the company.