Photo Caption: Gamers play at ‘BELONG’, a new gaming experience at the recently opened GAME store in Soho, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday December 15, 2016. The dedicated zones will also have themed nights, tournaments and tech launches to bring gamers together. Photo credit should read: John Nguyen/PA Wire
16 December 2016: GAME today unveiled BELONG™ – a celebration of gaming experiences where competition reigns, friendships are born, deep gaming rivalries are forged and communities of gamers built. Through BELONG a collective love for gaming isn’t simply embraced, it is enhanced in physical zones and across the digital universe.
BELONG™ is a new leisure experience bringing video-gaming to high streets, shopping centres and communities nationwide. It will provide dedicated space for the nation’s 19 million gamers to play with friends, compete in tournaments, enjoy gaming nights, celebrate new games and technology launches and share video-game themed events and experiences.
GAME has announced seven BELONG zones today, headlined by a brand new experience in London’s Soho at GAME Wardour Street. BELONG zones can also be found at the Intu shopping centre, Milton Keynes and at existing GAME stores in Bristol Cribb’s Causeway, Hull Prospect Centre, Portsmouth, Gateshead Metrocentre and Manchester’s Trafford Centre. More BELONG venues will open within GAME stores over the coming months with the locations to be revealed in 2017.
Whether it is the most played esport games or the most loved creative gaming experiences, every type of game for every type of gamer will be made available through BELONG. Alongside GAME’s extensive videogames retail offering, BELONG provides a physical location to enhance gaming experiences playing with friends, anywhere, anytime.
Martyn Gibbs, CEO of GAME Digital plc said:
“Gaming is more fun with friends, whether that is face to face or online and that is what BELONG is all about. Almost half the population plays video games and three million of us compete online, and a key part of our strategy is to expand into this fast-growing world of esports. Our ambition has been to bring some of the best elements of Multiplay’s Insomnia festival, where competition reigns across multiple games into our stores and from the four Belong zones that have launched since July we have amassed thousands of hours of gameplay with 20% of players being new to GAME. Our GAME community and BELONG is now at the heart of this strategy as we seek to combine multichannel retail, events and esports.”
Alongside casual gaming and virtual reality booths, BELONG provides professional quality gaming facilities for the UK’s three million esports enthusiasts to gather and play competitively. The move aims to tap into the growing esports scene which is worth nearly £1 billion globally and is predicted to swell to 8 million regular participants in the UK by 2019.
Each store features a dedicated area with up to 25 high specification PC gaming rigs, plus a host of consoles installed with some of the most popular game titles which will be constantly reviewed based on the local community engagement. Space in the gaming zones is available to book in advance, as well as allowing gamers to drop in and play instantly. The stores will also feature GAME’s extensive videogames retail offering and an enhanced PC retail experience to ensure all gaming tastes are catered for.