GAME Australia was formed out of The Games Wizards, an independent chain. We look back over how GAME grew from humble beginnings.
The first Games Wizards store was founded in 1990 as an independent retailer, and grew modestly over the next few years to reach 7 stores in New South Wales and the ACT by 1999, becoming Australia’s first videogame retailer to sell games online when it launched its site in 1997.
It got its first serious backing in 2004 from Crescent Capital, and transitioned from being The Games Wizards to simply Gameswizards. Following this, a new strategy to chase key shopping centre locations was pushed.
Flash forward to September of 2006 and Gameswizards has 14 company-owned stores and 8 franchise stores across Australia’s East coast. The chain is acquired by GAME for AUD$3.8 million. GAME throws a memorable party in Sydney to celebrate.
In the following six months, the outlying franchise stores are reacquired by GAME and all Gameswizards stores are re-branded. Bright logos begin to adorn shopping centres across the East coast.
By 2007, the chain had 49 stores and had been taken nationally. By 2008, 100 and by 2009 it reached 118 stores nationally. This rapid expansion was followed by GAME implementing new management, and the company was scaled back by 26 stores in 2010 to become a leaner enterprise.
Since then, GAME has enjoyed a healthy position as the competitor franchise in the specialist games market, digging in its heels as the underdog and trying all manner of new strategies to solidify the brand in the mind of Australians.
Then came the news of early this year where GAME UK, the separate company governing GAME Australia, went into dire straits. It wasn’t long before the grim news that GAME UK had entered into administration saw a similar fate befall the local chain.
GAME Australia (trading as TGW Pty Ltd) officially entered into administration on Monday 14th May.
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