UK retailer GAME… you remember GAME right? You had to go there back when games came in boxes. You’d dig past the rows and rows of console releases, wade through stands full of pre-owned games, and there, in the back corner, was a dusty shelf full of expansion packs for The Sims and driving test quiz software. Sometimes there was also a rotating display where you could nab three truck simulator games for a tenner.
Anyway, they’re taking a step towards our digital future by stocking Steam Wallet cards in stores, from today, that let you purchase one-use codes in denominations of £5, £10, £15 and £20. According to GAME’s CEO Martyn Gibbs, “this is the latest initiative offering unrivalled value, range and ease of obtaining digital content for our UK gaming community.”
Unrivalled value, range and ease? I’m at my computer right now, making topping up my Steam account (or just buying a game directly) pretty damn easy. Except, the move isn’t aimed at people who already have a direct link to the Steam games pipe. It’s for family members looking to buy presents without running through the technological minefield of game gifting, or for kids without credit cards or adults sensible enough not to put there details onto the store only to be tempted by every one of their damn sales.
Basically while it’s unlikely to get many established PC gamers back into GAME, it does promise to extend Steam’s already frightening reach even further. And the cards are only the first part of the planned GAME/Steam partnership. Martyn Gibbs again: “The partnership forms a significant part of our increased offering for any PC gamer which will also include a full digital catalogue available on tablets in store to browse and new ways to pay for digital downloads, making the process easier and more secure than ever.”