Game is to invest “heavily” in its Multiplay business and is preparing to exploit the virtual reality gaming market as it adapts for the digital age.

The gaming specialist’s chief executive Martyn Gibbs revealed the majority of Game’s £15m capital expenditure budget will be invested in growing events and e-sports division Multiplay, which it bought for £20m in May.

Investment will go into bringing in an experienced team to help run the business, developing its e-sports platform and growing its events business in markets beyond the UK and Spain.

Gibbs would not reveal how much revenue Multiplay brings in but said the retailer is “investing heavily in it and sees it as a significant contributor [to revenues] in the next two or three years”.

Virtual reality opportunity

Game is also positioning the business to capitalise on a potential explosion in virtual reality gaming. Virtual reality platforms such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and PlayStation VR and the consumer version of Facebook’s Oculus Rift are expected to launch in 2016.

Gibbs said: “Third-party forecasts on the virtual reality market are anything between large and substantial. We are working closely with Facebook, Microsoft and Sony on them – we see the importance we have in putting these to market as fundamental to their success.”

He added Game will monetise virtual reality gaming market in the same way it is generating revenues from digital games through selling downloadable content and monetising virtual reality esports events through Multiplay.

Game’s gross transaction value for digital gaming increased 28% year-on-year for the year ending July 25.

UK sales rose 1.7% to £655.9m and fell 2.9% to £210.7m in Spain during the period. Full-year adjusted pre-tax profit dropped 4.5% to £38m as operating costs hit the specialist’s performance.