If you love nothing more than a good gaming session to connect with friends or unwind after work, running your own video game shop probably sounds like a dream come true. In this article, we’ve rounded up five of the best things about running your own video game shop and how you can make your living in this exciting industry.
If you’re an avid gamer, chances are you’ve fantasised about opening your own video game shop before. Spending your days surrounded by the very games and consoles you love sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? And it’s one that could pay very handsomely too, as the games industry in the UK is the fifth largest in the world, contributing around £1.5 billion to the UK’s economy every single year. There are also estimated to be around 37 million gamers in the country, who spent around £5.11 billion on their favourite hobby in 2018.
Want to turn your interest into a source of healthy income? Here are five of the most compelling reasons to start your own video game retailer franchise.
>> Read more:
1. The video game industry is growing rapidly
Reports from the British Film Institute (BFI) and the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) has outlined just how quickly the industry is outwardly expanding. More than 20,000 people are employed in the development and sales of video games and the industry has doubled in size since 2016.
From the development perspective, excellent tax reliefs for British development companies has driven more and more UK developers to turn concepts into games, meaning that the market is bursting with exciting new worlds just waiting to be sold to customers. These stats suggest that, in fact, there’s never been a more exciting time to become part of the video game world.
Did you know? The games industry in the UK is the fifth largest in the world, contributing around £1.5 billion to the UK’s economy every single year.
2. Gaming is a community thing
Ask any gamer and it’s likely that they’ll cite one of their favourite things about their virtual adventures as the sense of community they feel with their fellow gamers. Now, gaming shops are becoming community hubs for gamers to meet up with online friends and enjoy the physical side of gaming, such a board games, role-playing and merchandise. They’re an important way for gamers to enjoy valuable face-to-face interaction with people who share their own passionate interests.
And, as growing numbers of young people shun overpriced clubs and alcohol for other hobbies, gaming is becoming a more mainstream and popular way for people to connect. Many young people turn to the internet and video games to find friends on their level. If you build a community for gamers to come together, you could enjoy healthy profits and the satisfaction of giving people a safe, fun place to meet friends and indulge in their favourite hobby.
3. There are different options open to you
If you’re a gaming enthusiast, you’ll know that you can buy physical games and online games. Heading to the internet to find games is quick and convenient; you can’t lose them, and they can often be played on multiple platforms, like PC and Xbox One.
Meanwhile, purchasing physical games gives you the option to return them, lend them to a friend or even sell them on. What’s more, they don’t rely on the internet, so you don’t have to worry about having a poor broadband connection. And, if you’re a bit of a game geek, you can show off your collection to your friends.
As you can see, there are advantages to both types of games, which means both online retailers and physical, ‘brick and mortar’ stores stand to make a profit in the gaming sector. Whichever route you take, there are plenty of factors you can use to promote the shopping experience your business offers.
For example, online customers can see price comparisons and browse a large range of products. On the other hand, brick and mortar stores like GAME, Go2Games and Console Passion Retro Games Store can offer customers a friendlier, more personalised shopping experience. And, for environmentally conscious gamers, shop-bought products come with less packaging.
4. Vintage games are still popular with UK gamers
From vintage PC games to retro arcade machines, lots of us still enjoy playing the throwback classics of our youth as much as the latest releases. Kevin Cornwall, manager of Playnation Games, explained why these timeless games still hold so much appeal with the gamers of today and why they enjoy gaming in stores too.
"It is what people want. It is that feeling of nostalgia, being able to look through the games, see and feel the boxes. Modern gaming has had its pitfalls so now people are looking to the past to relive some real gaming memories."
Michael Cox, owner of Japanese-inspired Konbo Arcade Café, agreed, saying:
“[In Japan], old games weren't removed and brought back in response to a trend - they never went away. They were simply accepted as good games - no level of gimmickry or nostalgia involved, no more than we would treat a 20-year-old film or piece of music as a novelty. A good game doesn't stop being a good game, and there's no reason a new generation of people can't rediscover and enjoy it all over again."
So, if you start a video game business that offers vintage classics alongside the newest releases, you could be on to a winner and will see your business quickly move up to the next level.
5. People will always find money and time for their favourite hobbies
Even if belts are being tightened during a financial downturn, people still need to have fun. And as games are an investment that can offer hours of fun, you’re likely to find that people still buy them even when they’re cutting back elsewhere.
For example, a night out might set you back £50 (similar to the price of a video game), but you’ll only experience it once. Meanwhile, a game can offer 100 hours or more of playtime, particularly if there’s an immersive storyline or multiple ways to play. This means you’ll be entertained for weeks or months, all for one pretty affordable investment.
>> Read more:
Video Game Franchise Opportunities
Here are three of the most exciting video game franchises in the world right now – take a look below to find out more …
1. Game Start
Game Start was founded in 2009 by Michael Elliot, after he wanted to set up a business that would allow him to work for himself in an industry that he loved. Now, a decade later, he has established stores across the US and internationally and is looking to expand the brand even further.
- Becoming a Game Start franchisee: While the company doesn’t currently have a UK presence, there’s nothing on its website to suggest this isn’t something it could potentially explore in the future. If you’re interested in finding out more about bringing the brand to the UK, or want to start your very own video game shop stateside, learn more on its website.
- How much you need to invest: To find out more about the investment cost this side of the pond, you should register your interest with the franchisor.
- What you get for your investment: Those who become part of the network can have their very own store open in as little as four weeks and will be fully supported throughout their business journey by Elliot himself.
2. E-Blue Gaming
The world of e-sports generated approximately $1.79 billion of revenue globally in 2018 and is expected to continue its stratospheric rise over the coming years. If you’re looking to capitalise on this relatively new market, E-Blue Gaming could be the ideal franchise opportunity for you.
- Becoming an E-Blue Gaming franchisee: Head to its website to register your interest.
- How much you need to invest: The website doesn’t disclose the franchise cost, it does however state that there is no franchise free. To see a full rundown of how much you need to be able to invest, you should request more information on the website.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll be supported as you open a high-tech e-sports arena in your local area, equipped with everything from a bar to snack facilities to traditional gaming areas. Within weeks, your premises will be set up and you’ll be joining the thousands of other E-blue locations all across the globe that are making a living from this new, but incredibly profitable, way of experiencing the online world.
This is a mobile video game business that creates themed parties and after school clubs for adults and children.
- Becoming a Gamewagon franchisee: There are franchise opportunities throughout the UK, check out its website for more details and to apply.
- How much you need to invest: You need to be able to invest a minimum of £15,995.
- What you get for your investment: In return you will receive full training in the business operations as well as day-to-day head office support, sales literature and more.
Should I Open a Video Game Shop?
If you’re a lover of games and want to make your hobby your day job, opening a video game shop is the ideal business opportunity. Want to explore more franchises that operate in the digital world? We have plenty of options for every budding entrepreneur, from computer franchises, to online franchises to high-tech businesses ideal for computer experts up and down the country.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©