GAME has just announced the arrival of its “Belong” sections in-store.
Put simply, Belong will offer areas where a variety of console and PC hardware is available to play for both casual and competitive play. Whilst the company will be hosting events and esports-related competitions, it will also be a space that accommodates things such as birthday parties or important group gatherings.
Starting in four major locations across the country in what is a preliminary rollout, GAME will later assess potential future locations for the spaces to be developed in.
Here are the current locations being introduced to begin with:
- GAME Portsmouth
- GAME Bristol Cribbs Causeway
- GAME Metro
- GAME Trafford Centre
What’s interesting is that this levels the playing field for a lot of people who might not be able to afford high-quality gaming PCs, or have access to a stable and reliable internet connection. By giving everyone access to the same hardware and gaming peripherals, it’s then only skill that separates individuals from one another. This means focus is placed on playing the games rather than who has the highest framerate or highest quality gaming mouse.
Games shown to be supported initially are:
- League of Legends
- Rocket League
- Gears of War 4
- Call of Duty
If competitions and prizes aren’t your thing and you don’t like to pay competitively, the spaces look to offer a casual scene for people during the ‘open play’ portions of the schedule. There’s even a space in the facility for VR enthusiasts to play VR games and experiences. Not everyone has a massive living room, nor the money to buy one of the VR headsets. The spaces provided by GAME will be a great way for people who want to play VR titles to have the space and equipment needed to try them out.
The new Belong scheme look like a step in the right direction for the company, and will help further grow and foster gaming communities – much like their Insomnia gaming event has already had a positive effect in the UK over recent years. With digital sales on the rise, it’s important the company takes steps to further promote other aspects gaming that they can offer their customers.
If the company ties this venture in with having cross-promotions where participating in events might save money on certain items in-store (and vice-versa), then both the retail and esports side could compliment and supplement each other very well. Cyber cafés and gaming arcades are starting to enjoy somewhat of a resurgence in certain scenes across the UK, so GAME would do well to captialise on this recent trend and become the first to offer a nationwade solution for bringing together the gaming community in a way that’s accessible to all.