Game’s pledge to plough £15m into online and digital gaming was applauded by Espirito Santo but it was concerned that sales growth might not offset the investment.

The entertainment retailer revealed plans to triple digital revenues to £300m by 2013 at its strategy update last month. However, Espirito Santo argued that, although Game was right to invest in online, it would struggle to compete on price with etail rivals.

The broker said: “The scale of the task ahead, in terms of winning market share online, should not be underestimated.”

Arden analyst Nick Bubb was pessimistic about Game’s next trading update on April 27 because the games market has been poor so far this year. Sales of UK software in the past four weeks were down 22% according to ChartTrack industry data.

Espirito Santo reiterated its sell advice and reduced its profit before tax forecast by 8.9% to £39.7m for 2012. Arden rates Game an add due to the yield at present levels.