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Retail

EA pulls new releases from GAME shelves until further notice

EA pulls new releases from GAME shelves until further notice

Wed 29 Feb 2012 10:59am GMT / 5:59am EST / 2:59am PST
Retail

UPDATE: "We will not sacrifice long-term credit requirements for short-term sales," says retailer

EA has pulled its new releases from both GAME and Gamestation's schedules, with SSX the last confirmed game from the publisher to be stocked until further notice.

Several branches of both chains have confirmed that pre-orders for EA titles, including BioWare's Mass Effect 3, have been cancelled, with refunds of pre-order deposits being promised, plus a 5 credit.

GAME have issued an official statement on the issue, explaining the refund situation in full.

"We currently have a supply issue with regards to Mass Effect 3, which means that GAME and gamestation will not be able to fulfil orders for Mass Effect 3 at this time. We want to give customers as much notice about this as possible and provide them with a range of options ahead of launch.

"We appreciate that this is disappointing for our customers, and we apologise sincerely for the inconvenience that this will cause. We value the loyalty of our customers very highly and as a gesture of goodwill we are providing the following:

  • Customers who have pre-ordered in store, will have the opportunity to add 5 worth of Reward points to their card if they visit us from today through to 16 March 2012.
  • Customers who have placed a deposit for the title will receive a refund as well as the 5 worth of Reward points between 1 and 16 March 2012.
  • Customers who have pre-ordered online, will be provided with an online voucher to the value of 5 to be spent on any purchase on our sites.

GamesIndustry.biz has also obtained an image of the internal email circulated to GAME and Gamestation branches explaining the situation (pictured) to staff, with the company explaining it is struggling with credit terms from its publishing partners

"We gave the industry commitments - we committed to integrity and openness in our dealings, and working with everyone equally. We committed to only stocking products on which we could get the right credit terms, regardless of the title or supplier," the email reads. "We will not stock products if the terms are not right for our business - we will not sacrifice long-term credit requirements for short-term sales opportunities.

"As a result of us taking this position - a position that we believe is critical to our long term health as a business - we have taken the very difficult decision not to stock EA's March releases, including Mass Effect 3.

"As a specialist retailer dedicated to games and gaming, it is never easy to make a decision to stock a title, particularly one with such a strong fan base. But it is imperative that we treat every supplier evenly, that we stick to our commitments, and that we don't sign up to payment terms that will hamper us further in the future.

"We will not stock products if the terms are not right for our business - we will not sacrifice long-term credit requirements for short-term sales opportunities."

Internal GAME email.

"It is even more critical that we manage this appropriately with our loyal customers/ We know they will be disappointed regarding Mass Effect in particular and in recognition of this we will be contacting our Mass Effect pre-order customers and as a gesture of goodwill we will be offering them 5 of reward card/elite points."

EA is pointing customers towards an announcement on the official Mass Effect 3 website which has instructed customers who have pre-ordered special editions of Mass Effect 3 from anywhere but Zavvi, Play, Amazon or ShopTo to re-order them to guarantee their purchase.

"For customers who have pre-ordered the N7 Collector's Edition please re-order your copies through these retailers," reads an announcement.

1

"For further information regarding the Mass Effect 3 Standard Edition with the N7 Warfare Gear in-game weapons pack, please check this page later today. If you have placed a deposit for a pre-order or are uncertain that your existing pre-order will be guaranteed, please contact your local retailer. Your local retailer is doing everything possible to make this process as smooth as possible to ensure you get your copy on launch day."

As well as Mass Effect 3, GAME will also not be taking pre-orders or deposits for FIFA Street, Tiger Woods 13 and Sims 3 Showtime.

According to our sister site Eurogamer, Nintendo's Mario Party 9 is another title that GAME will not be stocking on release day.

GAME's relationships with publishers have been increasingly strained. During February it has failed to stock new releases including Wii game The Last Story and Namco's Tekken 3D Prime Edition.

More significantly, Ubisoft's entire line-up for the PlayStation Vita was missing during launch week - although this has since made it into stores following renegotiations.

Both GAME's headquarters and Electronic Arts have been approached for confirmation.

57 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,629 1,509 0.9
Holy Hell!

That's going to turn a lot of people against Game/Gamestation, especially if only store-credit is being returned. In this economic climate, having to shell out *another* 50/60 just to get a game you technically already paid for is going to be painful, and going to lead to angry customers. (As it stands currently, the Special Edition PS3 version is still on the Game/Gamestation websites available to buy, which is worrying).

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Mike Stubbsy Studying Extended National Diploma In IT (Level 3) Software Development, Boston College

2 0 0.0
Does this mean they wont be stocking FIFA Street ?

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Rupert Loman Founder & CEO, Gamer Network

139 45 0.3

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Matt Howes Community Coordinator, Jagex Games Studio

3 0 0.0
Maybe I'm missing something, but this doesn't sound like it was GAME/GameStation's decision. I know some publishers aren't massive fans of the used game market, so perhaps this is an opening move to start encouraging consumers away from frequenting retailers who offer 2nd hand games? Wild speculation on my part, of course.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
What did PR say last week "we cant stock every game" and they said all games they have for pre order will be stocked.

If you start to not stock one of the biggest games of the year you are in very big trouble.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
I think if the retailer fails to get the game you pre-ordered, they should give you cash back. If I put money down for Mass effect 3 and they cant get it for me, I naturally want my money back, so I can purchase it elsewhere. Failure to do so will result in me filing a lawsuit. Its not fair that if I put down 50$ for a game they arent going to sell me, that i have to get an extra 50$ to purchase the game they couldnt get me elsewhere. That would force me to buy a game that I really wasnt looking foward to. I dont know how succesful suing them would be, but its what i would do. I truely am disgusted by this move from game.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Ben Hewett Studying MA Philosophy, University of Birmingham

40 1 0.0
With a serious downsizing exercise, could Game's second-hand sales keep them afloat?

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Game should fear the reaper, just to make a mass effect reference.

On a serious note who pays full price on pre order? Thats usualy 5 or maximum of 10 bucks if you pre order in store.

Not sure downsizing would help save money in the short term depends if they rent store space monthly or if they have a longer lease running on them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Private on 29th February 2012 12:19pm

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Catherine Goode Technical Designer, SCEE Team Soho

7 5 0.7
I can see it now :p

GAME: "We can't afford that price, give us a better deal and help us out"

EA: "Stop promoting 2nd hand games? Give us a cut?"

GAME: "No"

EA: "Well no then, you can't stock our games"

GAME: "Well FINE! Our customers will be on our side with our 5 gift"

EA: "LOL"

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Neall Jones

1 0 0.0
I had Mass Effect 3 pre-ordered through their website, I cancelled it this morning when I saw this, no money was taken from my account for the pre-order and the order cancellation went through fine, so it must be in-store pre-orders that have taken deposits that they are refunding with store credit.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
You can probably still trade those EA games in that they wont stock, maybe even for a good price as they wont have new retail copies of them in stock.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Matt Howes Community Coordinator, Jagex Games Studio

3 0 0.0
@Andreas: Yes, that's absolutely how I think the conversation developed between them, but I think it's likely that those "unfair terms" were motivated by the "publisher vs used game market" issue in the first place, if you see what I mean.

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Lewis Bex Studying Archaeology, University of Sheffield

1 0 0.0
I call this karma biting GAME on the ass. As a former Gamestation employee, It's satisfying to watch.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,629 1,509 0.9
I'm definitely going to go into town later, see if they've taken down the ME3 ads in the local Game. It'll probably look a bit sparse if they have.

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
sure when game goes down (only a matter of time) a new company will come in to fill the void and I wouldnt be surprised if that is Gamestop.

With EA and Nintendo now more or less gone and Sony putting stickers all over their property it can't take too long befor Game is over.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Private on 29th February 2012 1:45pm

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart

219 7 0.0
Wow. The quality of commentary has really tanked on this website.

Posted:2 years ago

#16
*grumble* Could not log into GAME to cancel pre order. Apparently the account is not to be found (even).
Time to say sayonara to Game online.

Luckily Zavvi are still accepting ME3 N7CE pre orders

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Martyn Brown Managing Director, Insight For Hire

141 56 0.4
Mass defects?

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,629 1,509 0.9
@ Graham

You do realise the silliness of a comment on an article about how the commentary on articles has gone downhill, right? ;)

More seriously, I think everyone is tired of Game just teetering on the abyss, and tired of commenting on how bad it is. It needs to either die, or restructure itself. There's no middle ground now - it really is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the sooner it realises that, the sooner something useful can come out of it. I'm also shocked that the share price hasn't dropped like a stone with this news (High of 5.98, Low of 4.60, currently sat at 5.06).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 29th February 2012 2:14pm

Posted:2 years ago

#19

Simon Lawrence Production Manager, SEGA Europe

12 4 0.3
My understanding is they refund the deposit (I would assume in cash or back to the card used) and give you 5 store credit, not that they refund the deposit as store credit.

Odd move from them given the woes currently faced on the High Street. Guess we'll see how it plays out.

Posted:2 years ago

#20

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
Seeing as EA are making inroads into digital distribution, they should make a genuine effort to capitalise on this and put all of their games on Live/PSN on launch day matching retailers' prices (i.e. 40, if not a little less).

I sincerely doubt that would happen though, considering they want 45 for a downloadable version of FIFA Vita - even though it's $40 to download over the pond.

As for Game, it's a shame and I don't want them to go under, but it's hard to see any way back for them now.

Posted:2 years ago

#21
I was about to write the exact same thing regarding refunds Simon, seems a few people have misunderstood that.

"Customers who have pre-ordered in store, will have the opportunity to add 5 worth of Reward points to their card if they visit us from today through to 16 March 2012.
Customers who have placed a deposit for the title will receive a refund as well as the 5 worth of Reward points between 1 and 16 March 2012."

If it's not already too late it would be suicidal for Game to try to keep people's deposits!

Posted:2 years ago

#22

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,629 1,509 0.9
The excuse that has been used up to now regarding digital distro pricing has been that publishers didn't want to alienate retailers by selling digital editions of games for considerably less than the physical product, which they should be. When Game goes under, depending upon what takes it's place, that excuse is no longer viable. Chances are good, a lot of publishers still won't want to reduce prices, since the profit they make on digital pricing is considerable, but we'll see.

Posted:2 years ago

#23

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Agree with Morville, they fail to have new games stocked and keep pretenting things are not that bad while the games they cant stock are not small shovelware games. They cant stock Mass Effect one of the biggest games of the year, neither could they stock the last story, tekken and resident evil. Those are all bigger games and they are a game specialist retailer while they run now more like a moneyconverter by depending a lot on used game sales.

I feel bad for the people who will probably lose the jobs, but Game should come clear on the situation instead of pretending its not that bad and I find it hard to see them coming out of this well. When you cant make sure you have the bigger games the customers will go somewhere else where they know they will get the games they pre order instead of hoping they will get them.

Posted:2 years ago

#24

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
I bet they dont stock new games, but they are quick to take in used games. I can see how they wont stock Mass effect, but will take them is from customers used, sell it at just 5$ less and take all the money for themselves, nothing for the developer. I really hope GAME goes down under. As a publisher I wouldnt allow them to sell my products.

Posted:2 years ago

#25

Dom Almond

8 0 0.0
Get it from Blockbuster:)

Posted:2 years ago

#26
You know, I worked at an independent game store at one point and I remember that one of our distributors sort of screwed us over with Mass Effect 2. All of our pre-orders were the collectors/special edition, which is to be expected as they were the core fans. Because the game was "heavily allocated" we were only allowed to stock a copy of the special edition per every 5 regular edition we stocked. Since we had already taken all of those pre-orders, we went ahead and overstocked on the regular edition so we could fulfill our pre-orders, and ultimately had to take some bad losses on the whole thing.

Fortunately, that was only with like 6 or 7 pre-orders. It could have been way worse if we had more customers.

Ugh, it hurts to say that. "It could have been worse if we had more customers."


Anyway, I think a few of the people that commented didn't notice the part about a store credit gift in addition to a refund. I'm pretty sure they could be sued for only issuing store credit as a refund, so I'm pretty sure they're issuing full refunds, as well as offering a small credit as an apology. Then again, I don't know how their pre-orders work. The store I worked at counted putting any money down on a product as a pre-order, so you weren't paying extra to have us hold it. I think some stores do charge for the pre-order itself though, in which case this would just be a refund in store credit for the order, plus any money back on an actual deposit, even though this is supposed to be provided as a gesture of good will. It's also worth mentioning that I'm in the US. GAME is found in the UK right?

I hope that's not how they do it, considering I personally know other stores that wont sell people their pre-orders on launch night "because those copies are for walk-ins. You can come back tomorrow morning though". Paying in advance should be enough to have your copy held, especially if there's piss-poor service like that.

Can anyone clarify this for me? Do they charge for the pre-order itself, or does one place a deposit on the game, which counts as a pre-order?

Posted:2 years ago

#27

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
You pay lets say 5 bucks to pre order and when go pick it up you pay that amount less for the game, so its a deposit on the game. Its nice and good that they give you 5 bucks as compensation for the trouble, but if you pre order a collectors edition and then find out a week before they wont sell it you have to look if you find it somewhere else in that short time. Or in the case of The Last Story they told people a day or two before launch they wont sell it. As a core gamer I would be very upset if I would miss out on a special edition I was looking forward too or if I couldnt get my game on launch day and would need to wait a few days because I had to go and order it somewhere else with a short notice period. In the UK and Ireland games mostly come out on Fridays compared to US and rest of EU.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Private on 29th February 2012 5:07pm

Posted:2 years ago

#28

Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design

70 14 0.2
Writing's on the wall, it seems.

Posted:2 years ago

#29

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Game released a statement and continues to downplay the situation.

" There have, during that process, been isolated instances where it has not been possible to agree launch plans for individual game titles."

Isolated? 70% of the bigger games lately isnt isolated if you fail to stock Ubi vita launch games, the last storry, tekken for 3ds, resident evil for 3ds, mass effect 3 and fifa street. Do they really beliefe share holders will believe that?

Posted:2 years ago

#30

Matthew Eakins Technical Lead, HB-Studios

53 36 0.7
The title for this story is very misleading. EA didn't pull their games, GAME decided not to stock them.

Posted:2 years ago

#31

Ian Brown IT Developer / IT Infrastructure

107 26 0.2
Well im very annoyed indeed and thats an understatement! Having preordered this well into early last year to have an email saying that my collectors edition won't be sold to me a SINGLE week before it hits the shelves. Games fault or EA's fault, I'm not sure and not to bothered about the politics behind this, i was more concerned about getting the final to the greatest trilogy I've played. Well guess there is always Amazon, but then their preorders are more like "new releases when we can be bothered to ship them to you". Any one know any other stores that are good for release dates?

Posted:2 years ago

#32

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
Gamestop delivers to the UK, from my experoence here in Ireland they tend to deliver the day before release with express delivery.

Posted:2 years ago

#33

Jack Lee

60 6 0.1
I'll admit that I'm a retail neophyte here, and I have only a rudimentary understanding of how retail distribution works, but I'm a little confused. What kind of terms could GAME be asking for? Better margins (i.e. lower prices from the manufacturer/publisher, so that they keep a bigger chunk of that $60/40 pounds)? A better buyback policy for unsold copies?
Or do we think it's EA that tried to demand harsher policies on GAME (e.g. lower margins, less favorable buyback terms), which GAME declined? Because that would seem to me like a power play on EA's part to try and "teach the secondhand sales market a lesson" or some such. Is there any evidence to point one way or the other on this? Again, sorry if I'm missing something obvious, but I don't quite understand.

Posted:2 years ago

#34

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,287 2,507 1.1
Jack, keep in mind that GAME didn't stock any Ubisoft Vita titles at launch, Resident Evil: Revaluations from Capcom on 3DS, Tekken Prime 3D from Namco on 3DS, The Last Story from Nintendo for Wii and won't carry Mario Party 9 from Nintendo on Wii. So the range of publishers, platforms and potential big sellers suggests much of the problem is on GAME's end of the deal.

Posted:2 years ago

#35

Ian Brown IT Developer / IT Infrastructure

107 26 0.2
If publishers really want to end the second hand market just do what they did with PC games. One serial key and no other means to get it once used. I found it painful at first but soon got used to it. You can't say they want to end the market by putting online passes on stores, which means people don't have to buy the game new. They'll get a back lash at first but once the dust settles it won't matter so much. I hardly buy games second hand any way, most of the time the prices fall to levels that are far better than second hand. Rage for example I bought from Game online for only 9.99 in the January sale, often the price of the online passes they sell online.

Posted:2 years ago

#36

Jack Lee

60 6 0.1
Ian, the way I've always understood it is that the big publishers (and I only mean big publishers... your EAs, Activisions, maybe Disney and WB, and a handful of others) aren't so much concerned with the actual reselling of the games so much as they're concerned that they don't get a piece of it. The online pass is more of a way to get a slice of that pie without A) looking like they're straight up trying to destroy a legitimate (if somewhat unsavory at times) business or B) potentially undercutting their own games' reach. As much as many people abhor the Gamestops and GAMEs of the world, it's hard to argue that they don't increase the reach and accessibility of games to the mass market.

Then again, as I basically just made a post admitting my own limits in understanding the games retail business, I might be completely misinformed, in which case feel free to correct me.

Posted:2 years ago

#37

Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor

411 209 0.5
I've also heard that some Gamestation employees didn't get paid today. Hope that's not across the board or this is going to get very messy very quickly.

Posted:2 years ago

#38

Lewis Pryme

3 0 0.0
I went into my a GAME shop earlier to have a chat with the employees who i get along with quite well. They actually found out first thing this morning so it did take quite a few hours for the news to hit the internet. Many have decided they have had enough/worried that they are going to be out of a job very soon and doubt that their store will be open much longer. They were hoping to stay open to the launch of the new onsoles but they doubt they can last that long.

They did still have all of the Mass Effect 3 Point of sales up around the store.

To confirm peoples earlier questions, you would have placed a 5 deposit for the standerd edition or a 10 for the collector. They are offering the deposit back as store credit along with a bonus 5 credit for the inconveniance, but if you do kick up a fuss they will be forced to refund the deposit properly.

They weren't 100% sure but it is believed that GAME approached EA asking for the stock of games and with the promise to pay them fully once the games had been sold. EA declined obviously (a factor could be that there were some problems earlier in the year with GAME paying EA which is now resolved) and offered different terms which GAME declined and decided to not stock the game instead.
An interesting point that was raised was how are HMV stocking EA games? They are currently in massive financial trouble and it is known that some of there stock is only paid for once it has sold, if EA allowed them to do it they must truly have it out for GAME.

What i have found most interesting about this is the collector edition of Mass Effect 3. It was originally a Game/gamestation exclusive in the uk. I pre-ordered a copy mid january but by the beginning of febuary i was informed that my pre-order was cancelled due to lack of stock (many other people had this e-mail as well). Whether this was an early warning sign to this is anyone guess.
Play, Amazon, Gamestop, Zavvi, shopto and blockbuster all instantly got confirmed stock of the collector edition by midday, blockbuster being the only high street shop to get stock. By roughly 5 o'clock they were sold out everywhere but amazon and when i checked at 7 they were sold out at amazon.
Many people have actually sold their pre-order of the collectors on ebay for extortiante prices, so now they no longer have these games, what happens next on ebay might be highly amusing.

Just a note about the second hand market, Call of Duty MW3 brand new cost the store roughly 42 to buy in per copy. They then sold for 45, so only a 3 profit. This isnt the same with all new games, but it is very similar.
Once you take away store rent, electricity, wages there is no profit, so high street stores NEED pre-owned to actually make money.
The publishers introducing all these online passes has damaged the pre-owned market and the rumours of the new xbox only playing new games would have put the final nail in the coffin. Unfortunately the publishers annoyance at not having 'a piece' of the pre-owned market will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs, not just in retail, but also in uk distribution companys and probably some other sectors.

I think the damage is now done for GAME and GAMESTATION and that as a consumer i just have to sit back and wait for the closing down sale, though it will be a shame to loose a store that i have known almost my entire life.

Posted:2 years ago

#39

Gregory Keenan

102 11 0.1
The high street has been soaking in the ridiculous RRP that many publishers have been putting on games in an attempt to get people to buy games. I try never to spend anything over 30 for a game - and luckily being a PC gamer, I very rarely brake that rule.

Posted:2 years ago

#40

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,629 1,509 0.9
@ Lewis

It could be that EA's recent financials have them more cautious about offering such credit. It could also be that because HMV are more financially viable than Game (due to their new hardware/headphones departments which are creating a profit for them) that EA believe HMV are more likely to survive the current economic climate than Game. Which is a good guess, I think - out of the two, I can see HMV still being around at the end of the year.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 29th February 2012 9:04pm

Posted:2 years ago

#41

Simon Garner Managing Director, Gameplanet NZ

11 5 0.5
@ Andreas & Catherine,

I very much doubt this has anything to do with second hand sales. As much as the publishers dislike the 2nd hand market, they could have moved against it a long time ago and didn't - because if they moved against all the retailers who participate in that market, including GameStop in the US, they'd just end up shooting themselves in the foot.

I think it's pretty clear this is all about credit terms. It's normal (at least in this part of the world) for larger retailers to be given time (30/60/90 days or whatever) to pay for stock after ordering, so that they have time to sell it through. In some cases retailers may also be able to return unsold stock back to the supplier if they can't shift it. These credit terms transfer much of the risk of stocking a product back onto the supplier, rather than the retailer shouldering all the risk themselves.

However when a retailer looks like it's in trouble - as GAME does right now - suppliers get cold feet. The risk becomes too great. If EA supplies 200,000 copies of Mass Effect 3 to GAME on 1 March with 60 days to pay, then GAME goes into bankruptcy on 1 April, then EA could end up out of pocket. So the suppliers will put the screws on, either reducing the credit term length or even demanding payment for stock up front.

I can only speculate, but it's quite possible that's what has happened here - EA could well have told GAME if they want to sell Mass Effect 3 they have to pay for the stock before delivery, and GAME can't afford to do that (they would need to borrow the funds from their lenders, who are just as wary of GAME's credit worthiness right now as the suppliers are). GAME would have no choice but to not stock the titles.

This quickly becomes a slippery slope, as if a retailer can't get any stock to sell then it can't make any money.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Simon Garner on 29th February 2012 9:55pm

Posted:2 years ago

#42

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
What I would like to see with retail strugling would be a digital rental service on Xbox and PlayStation that you pay 5-10 bucks or so and can play the game for x amount of days with the option to buy afterwards and the 5-10 bucks deducted from the price.

Posted:2 years ago

#43

Ray Kirkland Audio designer / Composer

12 0 0.0
people need to ready this again,

"Customers who have placed a deposit for the title will receive a refund as well as the 5 worth of Reward points between 1 and 16 March 2012."

just incase any more people want to post about only getting store credit. that says refund!

Posted:2 years ago

#44

Ray Kirkland Audio designer / Composer

12 0 0.0
from what I can gather of all this, EA wanted a better deal for them and GAME responded with that isn't fair to other publishers or retailers or customers. so I wont be buying any EA games until they stop trying to bully more profit out of everything that moves. which means I will most likely never be able to buy an EA game again.

Posted:2 years ago

#45

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,629 1,509 0.9
Mmmm... The accountant in me agrees with Simon regarding credit terms. They can and usually are agreed on in a case-by-case situation (certainly when the retailer in question is financially unstable), and that seems nothing more than EA being financially smart.

But the consumer in me thinks that EA could easily have agreed to Game's terms, and that it's just the Steam issue all over again - EA wanting to be treated extra-special, because they're EA, and they think they shouldn't be given the same deal as other publishers.

Posted:2 years ago

#46

Simon Garner Managing Director, Gameplanet NZ

11 5 0.5
It's not just EA, though is it - GAME is also having trouble stocking titles from Nintendo, Ubisoft and Namco according to the article.

None of these publishers wants to be left out of pocket if GAME becomes insolvent and the receivers are called in. That's what this is all about.

Another article on GI.biz recently (Matt's editorial) mentioned that GAME's stock of PS Vita launch units were all labelled "Property of SCEE". Clearly GAME had been unable to purchase the stock itself and had to be loaned the units by Sony. Who do you think those labels were directed at? Receivers, of course. If GAME fell over while holding those Vita stocks, it would help ensure they were returned to Sony rather than being seized as part of GAME's assets for liquidation.

Clearly there's a putrid stench coming from GAME and its suppliers are exercising an abundance of caution. It remains to be seen whether this condition will be fatal.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Simon Garner on 1st March 2012 12:37am

Posted:2 years ago

#47

Trevor Roberts Studying BSc (Honours) Computing and IT, Open University

9 0 0.0
I'm Commander Shepard and GAME are not my favourite retailer.

Posted:2 years ago

#48

Sean Warren Inspector

34 0 0.0
So, who are crushing these GAME folks? I smell a cheap buyout.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sean Warren on 1st March 2012 1:10am

Posted:2 years ago

#49

Luke Giddings Programmer, Supermassive Games

23 5 0.2
"I'm also shocked that the share price hasn't dropped like a stone with this news (High of 5.98, Low of 4.60, currently sat at 5.06)."

Considering their stock only 12 months ago was worth 61 and is now worth less than 10% of that (or go further back to pre-financial crisis when their shares were 150-200), I'd say their share price has already dropped like a stone and hit rock bottom. I'm not sure how much lower it could go.

Posted:2 years ago

#50

Alex Byrom Studying Multiplayer Online games design, Staffordshire University

33 0 0.0
It sounds like the last nail in game group's coffin :-( i do like visiting game shops, but honestly they cannot compete with zavvi and play

Posted:2 years ago

#51

Alec-Ross` Bower Journalist

7 0 0.0
EA have done a lot to combat the pre-owned market in the past couple of years; the release of Mass Effect 2 and the extra content from the Cerberus Network, meant that buying the game brand new gave you more for your money - regardless of which version you bought. People who bought 2nd hand copies would have to pay extra for the additional content. This is a wise tactic, and one they've used on several other titles subsequently, such as Dead Space 2 and Battlefield 3. I think it's lame that people who rent games miss out on extra content, after all, not everybody can afford games brand new, but that's a different matter completely.

I was peeved at EA for what they did with the pre-order campaign of Mass Effect 3, especially with the limited supply of Collector's Editions - I couldn't get one any where, which meant I'd be missing out story content (something that should never be cut from a game, even if it is DLC). At least in ME2, you were giving the extra content on the standard version too.

With this GAME debacle, all those poor saps who pre-ordered their limited editions had to quickly pre-order else where, since the stock was passed on to other suppliers. I managed to snatch up a Collecter's Edition cos of this, cancelling my original standard pre-order with Amazon and upgrading to the rare item, so a little bit of good news has come out of this for me.

I don't think GAME will fail, I believe the company will have to change tactics. After all, any savvy gamer stopped buying at retailers like GAME and Gamestation years ago in favour of cheaper, online purchases. But there is still a large market of casual gamers and parents buying games for their kids, perhaps GAME should start leaning towards that audience?

Posted:2 years ago

#52

John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London

486 457 0.9
EA need to work on some of those strategies though. A friend of mine bought me Mass Effect 2 for PS3 for Christmas, no idea if it was used or new, but when I installed it a couple of weeks later and tried to get the Cerberus Network content it told me that the offer had expired and was only valid for people registering the game before the end of 2011!

Clawing some money back from people who borrow, rent or buy the game second hand is understandable, but when you're punishing people for not buying the game in the first few months of release and expecting them to fork out 10+ for content that's advertised on the box as being free, that's a bit harsh. As it is, I loved the game so much I felt EA and Bioware deserved the extra money and bought the DLC anyway, but I was still a bit miffed to miss out on the offer just for being late to the party...

Posted:2 years ago

#53

John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London

486 457 0.9
Also, someone earlier mentioned limited time trials. These already exist on PS3, and it's a great service - you can download the whole game, play it free for an hour, keep your save game and trophies, and then if you like it buy the game to keep playing.

But, after playing Prototype free for an hour and quite enjoying it, I went to the PS3 store to upgrade to the full game, only to find that Activision were still wanting to stiff me over 30 for a game that's more than two years old. With Prototype 2 out soon, you would think it would be in their interest to get as many people as possible to play the first game to build an audience for the sequel.

By comparison, EA just cut the price on Mass Effect 2 on the PSN store by 50% to get people hooked for the arrival of Mass Effect 3, making the digital download competitive with online retail prices. Now that's smart.

Posted:2 years ago

#54

Howard Newmark Managing Director, HPN Associates Ltd

6 0 0.0
I am more than a little concerned about all of those on this thread who appear to be eagerly awaiting Game's demise as some kind of 'payback'.

Sure, they have made mistakes and as a small publisher I don't always agree with their policies - but at the same time, I am having trouble imagining a UK games industry without a major specialist in it.

Assuming that a White Knight, be it GameStop or whoever does not have the appetite to come in and take over - I am not convinced that the slack caused by the demise of 35% of the market will ever be taken up. Who is going to hold midnight launches across the country for new hardware and AAA releases? Sainsbury's?
Where are people going to be able to browse back-catalogue PC titles? Tesco?
The growth of DDL is not yet sufficiently at the stage that it will cover this loss - as a consequence, it will lead to fewer titles being released, downsizing of the UK's development and publishing community, less marketing and ultimately, less choice for consumers.

To mix metaphors, yes life with Game is tough, but consider the alternative...

-

Posted:2 years ago

#55

Lewis Pryme

3 0 0.0
@Howard

The only high street shops that could take up the slack seem to be blockbuster and hmv. This might be a silver lining for them but only if they are ready and eager to do it.

Posted:2 years ago

#56

Private Industry

1,176 182 0.2
@ John

I know the PS3 trials, I was just thinking something even further in the form of rentals where you could lets say pay 10bucks and play Skyrim for two days with the option to buy it afterwards for 40 instead of 50 bucks. Probably not a method for AAA games like Skyrim, but I could see that working for small and medium games to increase profit. Like Vanquish last year didnt sell that good altough it was a nice game but maybe there might have been a lot of people willing to pay 10 bucks to play it a few days. Obviously that would need a very secure console to make sure nobody can use that incorrectly as well as a price range and amount of days fitting for the length of the game. For me that would work, there are a lot of games I cant buy full price but would be interessted in playing them and willing to pay a certain amount to play them for a set amount of days without having to go to a store where only a small amount of games are available for rental.

Posted:2 years ago

#57

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