GAME plans to open 18 new shops by July

In preparation of success rather than as a declaration of it.

Video game shop-chain GAME, which this time last year was in dire straits, plans now on opening 18 new shops by July.

It's not a lot in the scheme of things, as GAME already owns around 330 stores up and down the country. But in March last year there were another 227 GAME and Gamestation stores around.

GAME has also launched a new loyalty programme called GAME Reward, which is rewarding.

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Hmm, isn't this how GAME got into trouble last time?

So are things on the up for GAME? Apparently market shares are "like-for-like" with the previous GAME Group, but GAME still posted an 18.3 million loss in the four months after new owner OpCapita swooped in, according to City A.M and The Telegraph. GAME still owes OpCapita, the company that was in charge of the crashing Comet, 103 million, which it's paying off at 7.5 per cent above the base rate, and is due to repay the full sum by April 2017.

Nevertheless, the in-drought traditional video games market can smell the rain - the next-gen console rain. "In 2013, there is much anticipation around the release of Grand Theft Auto 5, and the company looks forward to further new hardware releases from Microsoft and Sony in coming years," said GAME boss Martyn Gibbs.

Whether that rain is enough to water the entire struggling high-street retail market, which saw the near-death of HMV this year as well, will remain to be seen.

To ensure its survival, GAME has branched out into selling a range of tablets as well as downloadable PC games and free-to-play games. There are films on sale now, too, and GAME plans to stock the Gamestick and Ouya Android consoles when they come out.

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