Is the British games industry dead?

Rock Paper Shotgun reports that GAME, the leading games retailer in the UK, is going under. What does this mean for the UK gaming industry? Take it away, RPS:

Without GAME, supermarkets will perhaps become the de facto leading games retailers – and thus far they have seem uninterested in stocking anything except the most surefire of hits. Sure, GAME was an increasingly disappointing source of lesser-known titles already, but Tescos, Asdas et al are unlikely to stock anything much smaller than a Call of Duty or Mass Effect. Again, not really an issue for PC gaming in 2012, but I worry about the knock-on effects. The console industry is taking its sweet time to move fully online, and whether it warrants it or not the console industry does tend to dictate what the mainstream games industry as a whole does – specifically, where it spends its money.

The question is whether other retailers such as HMV – which is in wobbly shape itself – can step into the breach, whether GAME’s customer base switches its attention to online retailers, or whether someone else buys up GAME. There is reportedly interest from US retail king/despot Gamestop, but so far they mostly seem interested in the Spanish and Portugese offshoot of GAME.

This is a bummer, for like eighteen thousand reasons. To me, it reiterates that in the light of the death of tradtional games retailers, we need an iTunes-esque resource for purchasing games. Steam is good, but we need something better.

[via Rock Paper Shotgun]