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Video game retailer The Game Group has announced that it will begin streaming demos from its website from this spring.

The move towards bolstering its digital offering will be welcome news to investors who took a 5% hit yesterday when it was announced that the retailer would not be stocking the forthcoming Mass Effect 3 game following a dispute with publisher Electronic Arts.

The company will now have to refund customers that pre-ordered the game, which is predicted to be a best-seller, and may lose out on more than £2m in profits if the dispute is not resolved.

Game is in the same boat as HMV in that the success of e-tailers like Amazon and Play has destroyed profit margins on the high street.

HMV has recently moved towards a multichannel approach and it makes sense for Game to do the same.

The retailer does currently offer a limited selection of downloads via its website, but these tend to be add-ons and top-ups for digital wallets rather than actual games.

Game said its new partnership with cloud gaming service Gaika will enable consumers to stream game demos at the critical moment within the purchase decision-making and checkout process.

But whether this will be enough to turn the tide in Game’s favour is up for debate.

Last month it announced the closure of 35 stores and it is predicted to make losses of £8m this year.

David Moth

Published 2 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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