Q&A: Does GAME Franchise in the UK?

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You may have seen GAME stores on the high street, but the business also has a network of gaming arenas and an annual festival called Insomnia, drawing over 150,000 people. Gaming is big business in the UK, but does GAME franchise?


GAME is one of the UK’s largest video games retailers, selling a wide range of products, from consoles to PC accessories, gaming chairs and, of course, games. The retail giant also offers trade-in services, second-hand sales and a marketplace, allowing game-lovers to sell their unwanted or pre-loved goods.

History of GAME

GAME was founded over 25 years ago and now has more than 550 stores across the UK and Spain. Despite a turbulent decade, which saw it enter administration and close many of its stores, the games retailer has seen its fortunes improve in recent years. Developing an increased focus on online retail, GAME is growing once again.

The introduction of the business’s new concept stores called ‘GAME Belong Arenas’ has also helped the brand see success. The new locations allow gamers to come together to enjoy gaming as a social experience. They can participate in competitions and tournaments, and enter the exciting world of esports (which according to the British Esports Association is set to be worth around $2 billion by 2022).

This diversification has helped GAME find new customers, and the business now hopes to open more than 100 brand-new arenas across the country, which will help bolster its retail stores.

Does GAME franchise?

GAME is a public limited company and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in June 2014, following acquisition by OpCapita. So, all GAME stores are currently company owned, and all the profits and losses go straight back into GAME PLC.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any franchise opportunities with the gaming retailer and the company hasn’t suggested this will change in the near future.


How to get involved with GAME

If you’re eager to work under this national brand, you can apply to become a GAME employee. On its careers site, you can choose whether to look at vacancies in retail, head office, distribution, events or the Belong arenas.

The gaming market in the UK

Despite being regarded by some as a fairly niche sector, gaming generates billions for the UK economy. In fact, over 40 percent of internet users game online. Last year in the UK, consumers spent £448 million on console hardware and £3.8 billion on video game software. In total, the video game market is now worth more than £5.4 billion (Statista).

Online and mobile gaming have revolutionised the industry in recent years. The gaming sector used to rely on revenue from the sale of gaming consoles and software in disc format, but this isn’t the case anymore. Consumers can game on tablets and even their phones, anywhere with Wi-Fi, which opens up the market for new business opportunities.

Did you know? More than 40 percent of internet users take part in online gaming.

Although the video games industry is known for its potential to produce incredible returns, it can also be a very expensive world to get into on your own. There aren’t currently any dedicated game shop franchises looking for new franchisees, so the industry is ripe for the taking if you think your business would suit the franchise model.

However, if you’re a fan of all things gaming and want to get involved in the industry another way, there are lots of opportunities out there for savvy entrepreneurs.

Similar franchise opportunities

Whether you want to go behind the scenes and help develop exciting mobile games or help buyers find the right pre-loved games and tech for them, there are franchises for you. We’ve picked out two of the best franchise investment options at the moment.

Project M Asia

If you’d like to tap into the multi-billion-dollar mobile games industry, Project M Asia could be the perfect game franchise opportunity for you. The innovative franchise has won many awards for its concept, including Most Original Game, Best Startup Winners, Best Small Independent Studio and Best Technical Innovation from TIGA.

Here’s the concept: Players collect virtual gold nuggets from a mine and bank them. Once they’ve banked a certain amount, they’ll be sent a real 24-carat gold bar in the post. Franchisees buy game ‘levels’ and make money from in-app purchases and advertising revenue. The larger the level, the more time the player spends on it and the more money you stand to make.

  • Becoming a Project M Asia franchisee: As Project M Asia is a pioneering business in the franchise industry, you’ll benefit from your position as part of the first games company to welcome franchise partners.
     
  • How much you need to invest: Your initial investment depends on the game level you choose to buy. The ‘standard’ option for a level of 6,250 square feet starts at £30,000, while the most expensive ‘mega’ level, with 50,000 square feet costs £160,000.
     
  • What you get for your investment: Each new franchisee benefits from onboarding training and ongoing support. They’ll also have access to a franchise support team via email and telephone. You don’t need any previous experience in the gaming industry, as all you’ll need to do is design and name your mining level.

We have already sold over 200 levels, making it the fastest selling franchise this year. – Sean McNicholas, founder of Project M, 2016


CeX

If you’d like to help customers across the UK find high-quality second-hand technology, you might like to consider joining CeX.
This franchise sells second-hand consumer electronics and entertainment technology and has quickly become the go-to retailer for any customer with an interest in gaming or hard-to-find electronic equipment.

CeX was launched in London in 1992 and now boasts a huge customer base in the UK and across the globe. The brand currently operates more than 600 stores in total, many of which are run by franchise partners. It relies heavily on the franchise model in the UK, as 267 of the 385 UK stores are run by franchisees.

  • Becoming a CeX franchisee: The brand asks that its franchisees have previous retail management experience to be accepted onto the programme. To find out more, head to the CeX profile page here on Point Franchise.
     
  • How much you need to invest: To join the franchisee network and set up your own CeX store, you’ll need to have funds of between £150,000 and £250,000.
     
  • What you get for your investment: CeX franchisees have access to a world-renowned brand and an established customer base. But if things don’t go to plan and you change your mind, you can turn to CeX’s ‘buy-back guarantee’, which gives you a safety net when you first join.

Get your game on

The gaming industry has a huge customer base, and it’s evolving all the time. Although GAME doesn’t currently offer franchising opportunities, it’s worth keeping an eye out for businesses looking for investment in the future. As the popularity of online and mobile gaming grows even more, it’s likely game franchises like Project M will be on the lookout for franchisees to expand their businesses.

We don’t have any game franchises on our books at the moment, but why not take a look at some of the best online franchise opportunities out there?

>> Read more articles on the Game sector

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