GAME has tried several key unique initiatives since the company’s initial restructure in 2010, where it went from 118 stores to 92.
Having free reign to make the GAME brand whatever they wanted it to be in Australia to stand out from the pack, GAME underwent a change on marketing materials from the rather more professional GAME UK pink logo to the spraypainted logo.
Alongside this, GAME TV was launched in Australia with mascots Phil and Ed (pictured) hosting a regular web series filmed in a Wayne’s World style basement from which the pair interviewed industry luminaries and ran competitions, while outside the huddled gamers’ den they embodied the GAME brand at countless retail events.
The pair announced the launch of GAME’S new experiential retail concept store in Parramatta in July of 2011, which was to be the first of a limited run of wider, more open GAME stores with plentiful room for players to plug in and play and available games. The move allowed people hands-on experience with all the latest motion-sensing controllers on the market, and was designed to be coupled with ample placement of IDUs in smaller retail stores to establish GAME as a place to play and become educated, rather than just to purchase.
Phil and Ed were also used in-store and on a risque update of GAME’S reward card scheme (which ultimately saw complaints levelled at the company), as well as hosting the Battle of the Clans competition which saw the retailer branch its brand out into the competitive gaming sphere. Teams battled it out over several episodes of GAME TV, competing to become the officially sponsored Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops teams flying the GAME flag.
The pair would see GAME TV undergo a transformation from young-adult focused talk show to a revamped sketch comedy act for its following season.
GAME also partnered with charity Variety in October of last year, helping to raise funds for a centre to help rehabilitate children with cerebral palsy.
Finally, in November last year the company’s most bold marketing move yet was to host an event entitled GAME Swinging, wherein attendees could enjoy an evening of speed dating whilst playing a selection of games, with an option to carry things on later in a high-scorers suites upstairs.
Criticised for using sex to sell games in a way which fell too far from the GAME brand, the company made the move to pull further GAME Swinging events from its schedule, which, while ultimately unsuccessful, was yet another in a long line of pushes by GAME to establish itself as a brand with a strong identity and a point of difference in a market which was unfamiliar with it.
Ben Grant resigned from GAME in October last year, staying on until earlier this year when his replacement Nic Classe came on board in January of this year, shortly before the GAME woes began in the UK.
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