According to Yahoo!, GameStop are buying Electronics Boutique, for "only" $1.44 billion (compared to Adobe's purchase of Macromedia for $3 billion, this doesn't seem like a lot).
I can't say I'm thrilled at this. The level of competition in Dublin's retail video game market is already virtually nil. GameStop's arrival last year through the purchaseof Gamezone killed one of the few independent retailers left in the country. Now, since Electronics Boutique own Game, and now GameStop owns Electronics Boutique, it means that GameStop has control of 95% of retail video game outlets in Dublin.
The few places left to buy games (with some value - meaning Dixons and Argos are out) are:
- GameXchange on Talbot Street (mainly second hand stuff - snes/megadrive)
I generally don't like buying games over the internet. I'd like to say it's because of the hassle of sorting out returns if the game is damaged in any way, but the truth is that it's just because I'm an impatient little shit who can't wait a week for delivery when he could pay just a couple of euro more to get it today.
But with GameStop's mark-up fast reaching epic proportions, it's looking like there'll be no choice soon.
After a bit of hunting around, I found this on Yahoo:
"On January 30, 2004, [Electronics Boutique] terminated our services agreement with Game Group initially established in fiscal 1996"
So it looks like there is still a little bit of competition left after all.