It looks like 2015 could be a big year for competitive gaming in the UK. Just weeks after we found out where the UK's first eSports arena will be located, Britain's biggest video game retailer GAME has confirmed it's getting into the tournament business. The company announced today that it's spent £20 million to acquire Multiplay, a community-driven games company that focuses on live events, gaming services and eSports.
According to CEO Martyn Gibbs, GAME has been itching to get into eSports and live events "for some time." Even if online sales are reducing the need for physical stores, retailers can still build communities of gamers around midnight releases and other real-world events. The integration of Multiplay could even herald a new era of gaming tournaments hosted in larger GAME stores.
With more and more people now settling down to watch other people game, retailers are taking note. Last year, Amazon acquired game streaming service Twitch, further enforcing the legitimacy of eSports. GAME knows it can't keep reducing its margins to remain relevant in retail, so it's looking at other avenues to ensure it stays relevant.