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Retail

Report: GAME staff told to prepare for administration

Report: GAME staff told to prepare for administration

Fri 09 Mar 2012 3:47pm GMT / 10:47am EST / 7:47am PST
Retail

Intervention from a buyer could now be chain's only hope

A report has surfaced claiming that senior GAME Group staff have been told to prepare themselves for administration, with a buyout from Gamestop or another large investor said to be the final hope for the struggling chain.

The retailer has apparently been given a fortnight to put its business in order before administrators are called in.

The story, sourced by MCV, appears to confirm many of the recent rumours circulating around the GAME group's current position.

GamesIndustry International has also heard sources speaking about the near-inevitable nature of administration, as well as the courting of GameStop as potential buyers.

GAME's situation has been under consumer and press scrutiny for weeks, but the incredible cut-price sale of stock unveiled officially today inflamed the situation, as have repeated rumours and certified reports of stock issues and credit agreements with publishers.

Whatever remains now, it's unlikely to be pretty. The Group's share price has dropped by almost 15 per cent again today at the time of writing, from 4.67 at the market's opening, to 3.87 currently.

GAME has been contacted for comment on the situation.

8 Comments

Nick Parker
Consultant

279 143 0.5
If true, I hope that this is not the way the staff on the ground are finding out. I also hope this doesn't start a knee jerk reaction of ignorant blogs by some of the industry who suffered on the wrong side of the negotiating table at some time and feel they have finally got retribution. Game offered a unique high street experience for gamers which, if we're lucky could be replaced by a similar operator but if not will leave a massive hole. If nothing fills its shoes, then developers/publishers will be working late to find a way to get their packaged goods in front of the weekly 3 million UK consumers who walked over Games thresholds. I'd like to think that the independents, small accounts and even HMV will pick up the slack but I fear it will be the supermarkets and online retailers who will benefit the most and consequently, welcome to the wild west. Is the grass greener?

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Iain McNulty
Software / Game Developer

26 17 0.7
We shall see if the grass is greener, but if the supermarkets continue to offer better deals as they have done in recent times, as they compete amongst each other, HMV, and Grainger Games, then is it really all that bad?

Weirdly enough, GAME would not be in this situation if the competition committee did not let GAME purchase GameStation a few years ago, as there would be two game's specialists on the high street with genuine specialist inter-retailer competition (which is better for the industry and consumer), rather than one game's specialist with two different names. In fact, the reason the competition committee gave for allowing the purchase was that Game and GameStation were not the only retailers of games, and that there would be competition from supermarkets and such. I guess they were correct, to GAME's detriment.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Greg Knight
Freelance Developer

56 49 0.9
It's just like working in development! Go figure.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,491 1,257 0.8
Yeah... Definitely feel for the staff. Though if today was anything to go by, the staff would be the first to know - went into my local Game today, and within two minutes overheard someone asking for Streetfighter Vs Tekken and a different person asking for Mass Effect 3. Anyone sensible working there will be looking for another job already.

Edit:

@ Iain

I agree. It's also worth noting that Game's take-over of GameStation meant that their operating costs grew massively. Whilst they started closing stores that were just redundant, there are still a huge number of stores that they should have either closed, or turned into more specialised stores (possibly larger PC sections/a retro gaming section). In Sheffield City Centre there's a Game and a GameStation, and in the Meadowhall shopping centre (about 20 minutes tram ride away) there's 2 Games, and a GameStation. Shocking way to run a business.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 9th March 2012 11:23pm

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Richard Pygott
Level Designer

40 13 0.3
It is shame for the people on the ground if this is true, but GAME have always charged more than anyone else on the high street for years now! I always used to shop at Gamestation as they offered better value, then as GAME swallowed up them, the price hiked up & I took my wallet elsewhere

Posted:2 years ago

#5
If you check out the Game online store, you'll notice there are very few titles that have new stock available.

But they certainly are touting pre owned...this can lead the unfortunate (unsavvy) consumer to not realise that some special, limited, collector editions may have had their special codes/bonuses already activated.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

767 574 0.7
We are talking about the full company then? not only for UK?

It's sad for the workers affected, but I still believe this is 90% GAME's directive own doing.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
GAME's management failed to monetize their footfall as the business model changed. It has been blatantly obvious for a very long time that bricks and mortar game retail was doomed, yet game did not adapt.
Compare and contrast that with Barnes and Noble in America, who are in exactly the same boat. They have adapted their business model around the Nook reader and have thus learned to adapt to what their customers are doing.

Posted:2 years ago

#8

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