Game slumps after console sales tail off

Steve Dinneen
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SHARES in Game Group plunged more than 13 per cent yesterday as slowing Wii sales and a lack of blockbuster games hit its forecasts.

It warned its total sales for 2011 will be around three per cent lower than last year.

Chief executive Ian Shepherd blamed a stagnant hardware market, with the next wave of console releases from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony not expected until next year.

He said: “Until we see some of that new hardware arrive in the market place, you are very much managing the end of the previous hardware cycle. This is most obviously true for the Wii, which is showing quite sharp year-over-year drop.”

Sales in the UK fell almost 12 per cent year on year, with its international sales dropping nine per cent.

It received a timely boost from the release of Rockstar’s new LA Noire detective game last month, slightly narrowing the sales drop.

Game says it will continue to cut costs, slashing up to £8m from its expenditure this year.

As expected, Chris Bell was appointed non-executive chairman after 70-year-old Peter Lewis stepped down following the firm’s annual meeting.