GAME sells Belong e-sports arenas for $50m

GAME Digital is set to sell its Belong Gaming Arenas to US firm Vindex for around $50 million.

The brand and intellectual property will now be owned by Vindex, but Game will continue to own and operate the in-store arenas via an exclusive licence.

GAME, which was purchased by Mike Ashley's Sports Direct empire last year for £52 million, will also see its chief executive Martyn Gibbs join Vindex’s management team as head of Belong Gaming.

Since launching in 2017, 21 gaming arenas have been opened, usually within or next door to GAME stores. They feature high-end gaming PCs, consoles and accessories like virtual reality headsets, allowing players to try out new games, as well as hosting e-sports tournaments.

Vindex has raised $300 million in funding to drive a rapid expansion into this sector over the next five years, with plans to open more than 500 e-sports arenas in the US and a further 1,000 across Europe.

In October last year, GAME appointed CBRE to review its property portfolio, with the aim of significantly restructuring its operations. That was followed, in January this year, by the confirmation of intent to close 40 stores throughout the UK.

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