Monday, 16 April 2012

RIP Game Focus


Perhaps the last, proper, independent retailer of import, used and retro games/accessories in London: Game Focus, has shut down, for good it seems. A real shame, as, for a gamer that lived in London, Game Focus was a godsend for reasonably priced snes and dreamcast games, obscure gameboy advance titles (which by the way, you really should own Astro Boy: Omega factor) and hard to find arcade sticks. Basically, everything GAME never stocks, Game Focus would usually have. Or would try to get, if you were on friendly terms with the owner. Of course, the only games journalists that will mention a relatively low priority story are the London based, coke-addled hacks that are upset that they'll have to trade in their review code, for next to nothing (but still 100% profit, because promo games are free) at CEX now.
Dammit, Naughty Bear is a triple-A title, I want ten pounds for it!

But as someone who keeps his promo copies (including the sure to be valuable Rockstar Table Tennis promotional sticker) so instead, I'll prefer to remember Game Focus as being a decent little games shop, that had a great selection of games, pretty much any kind of controller or cable you needed for your console (old and new alike) and the T-Hawk action figure, that remained on their shelf for fucking ages. So what if Goodge Street was always crawling with Romanian gypsies, pretending to be Big Issue sellers? It was a great shop. And now it's gone. So that's London a little more shitty, than it already is.

With the passing of Game Focus, I'm reminded of a "Monday musing" -you know those pointless opinion articles on Xbox LIVE, written by some mouth breather or by one of the LIVE admin team, to promote a upcoming Xbox exclusive- where the writer bemoaned GAME going into administration (this was before the last minute buy out) and how gamers should support GAME, as it's the only proper video game retailer. Bollocks to that, why should you support GAME? They don't support you, if they did, they would have, at least, done a "going out of business" sale. Instead, they closed down a bunch of stores, put hundreds of people out of work and still kept selling games at crap prices and unfair trade-in deals. GAME is a business, not your friend, you don't owe them anything and vice-versa. If they can't provide the title you want at a competitive price, then tough tits.
However, if you live outside London, and you know of a proper indie retailer (no, not Grainger Games, that's just a glorified car boot sale stall) then support them. They rely on every sale, actually give half a shit about games and know about them too and can give you the personal touch, GAME, HMV and certainly Tesco can never provide. Would GAME ever try to order in a import game for you? Does HMV sell the means to play import PS2 games? Would Tesco tell you of a upcoming special edition you might be interested in? Somehow I doubt it.

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