UK retailer GAME keeping its Belong arenas open for nowUpdate: Retailer has now decided to close them until further noticeRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterMonday 23rd March 2020Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareOriginal story, March 18, 2020: UK gaming retailer GAME is keeping its physical store locations open for the time being, and has outlined the precautions it is taking against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).The company has said it is providing hand sanitizer in all stores, and that it is instructing employees to clean all surfaces “regularly.”This includes the gaming stations in its Arenas, which GAME says are being fully cleaned after each use. Additionally, empty stations between players or groups are being left “where possible.”Both Arenas and regular retail stores are remaining open, but Game says it may have to vary opening times or close individual locations due to staff availability.Finally, Game has cancelled and postponed various tournaments and events across its Arena locations.Meanwhile, US gaming retailer GameStop has cancelled all its upcoming in-store events and shut down in-store gaming stations, but employees have expressed concerns that they are not being supplied sufficient cleaning products, and are being forced to use existing personal, vacation, or sick leave if ill despite the pandemic.Update, March 20, 2020: Game’s decision to remain open is “having a huge human impact” on its employees, according to one manger. Speaking with Eurogamer, an anonymous manager working for Game said staff are either having to remain at home and lose money, or go to work and risk infection of spreading the virus. “Staff are being put under immense stress as we are all worried about loss of earnings,” they said. “Obviously we don’t want to spread the virus if anyone comes down with symptoms but we are equally worried about how we are going to get by. We want to share our passion for some great releases but we’re worried about what that could mean for our health.”Staff who follow government advice to self-isolate will be entitled to statutory sick pay, which is just £94.25 per week; for context, the average price of a one bedroom flat in the UK is around £600 a month. “Many are having to grapple with the idea of staying at home and losing all income, or coming in with symptoms and risking spreading the virus because they can’t afford to self-isolate,” said one worker. The state of UK retail is already a precarious one, and earlier this year Game announced plans to close 40 stores across the country. Update, March 23, 2020: This weekend, GAME announced it has closed its Belong arenas until further notice.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games In a statement, the retailer said the decision followed the Government’s latest measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus.”Although this is extremely disappointing, the welfare of our employees, players and communities is paramount, and we recognise that these new measures help protect that,” the company wrote.Game is working with publishers to arrange free online activities and tournaments to replace events that would have been held in Belong arenas.Additional reporting by Haydn Taylor and James BatchelorCelebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesResident Evil: Village is the third biggest PS5 launch so far | UK Boxed ChartsBut physical sales down over previous Resident Evil gamesBy Christopher Dring YesterdayEpic reportedly offered $200m to Sony for PlayStation exclusivesThe firm also reportedly started discussions with Microsoft and noted that securing first-party Nintendo games would be a “moonshot”By Marie Dealessandri YesterdayLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOver the years, a lot of hopeful rookies have overcome many hardships to earn a crack at a National Football League roster spot. I’m sure there are a lot of rough stories out there, but probably none any rougher than the story of Bill Noethlich. A 6 foot 7, 308-pound offensive lineman who just signed a contract with the Minnesota Vikings, Noethlich battled back from tragedy after tragedy heeding his grandfather’s dying advice to become a football player. (READ the story in Yahoo Sports, via the Star-Tribune) Photo credit: Southwest Minnesota State U. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore