GAME Australia under administration

PwC confirms that the Australian arm of the British games retailer has entered administration.

Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been appointed voluntary administrator of GAME Australia, confirming earlier reports that the game retailer has entered administration.

GAME Australia has entered administration.

According to PwC, GAME will initially continue to operate its 92 stores across Australia as the company tries to find a solution for its future.

"Initially, we will continue to trade all stores, operating these on as close to a 'business as usual' mode as possible, whilst we get a clearer understanding of the current state of the business and actively pursue options to secure its future," PwC partner Kate Warwick said.

Warwick also stated that prior to PwC's appointment, GAME Australia had been "exploring interest in investing in the business with a number of parties."

"While we are still investigating the causes behind the Australian administration, the impact of the administration of its parent, an ambitious national roll-out combined with the current soft retail environment appear to be key factors."

Warwick confirmed that PwC is working on schemes aimed at giving GAME Australia customers some return on claims, including loyalty cards, gift cards, and vouchers. Further details will be available to customers online or in-store soon.

The UK games retailer first ran into trouble in March, causing the UK business to remove its stock from the London Stock Exchange and call for administrators.

At the time, it was understood that the Australian branch of the business would not necessarily be affected, with managing director of GAME Australia Paul Yardley telling GameSpot AU in March:

"The choices that GAME UK entities are making don't necessarily impact us here," Yardley said. "In case the UK entities do go into administration, the Australian management team and I are working hard on a number of viable alternative options for our business. We are fortunate that we have strong relationships with local publishers, and continue to work closely with them. We will keep stocking the latest releases, as well as honouring all our pre-orders."

GameSpot AU will continue to update this story.

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Discussion

28 comments
Genesis_Hatake
Genesis_Hatake

at my local area we had a game and if all the stores are like theres I am not the least bit surprised as they were the most waste of time game store around at least if the store closes in my area something more with more of use will take it's place. There prices are way to high and the selection of games is below bare minimum. want good buys for games go to EbGames , JB Hi-Fi or Gametraders they won't scew you around like game. can't for you guys to close

Mr_Q_Oz
Mr_Q_Oz

A shame - I was shopping with them back when they were Games Wizards. They haven't been an attractive option in recent years though, so I guess this is no surprise.

As for the Diablo 3 orders - one more reason not to waste your time and money on pre-orders. Hopefully they'll sort something out, but usually the customers come last in these things.

Auger_Martel
Auger_Martel

Can't say I'm surprised. Stuff was way too expensive at retail price and far too generous (cheap) when on special. Add to the fact that there are way cheaper alternatives online (Ebay, ozgameshop etc) and the fact that opened shops are really ridiculous locations (Oakleigh Centro...I mean really, it was gone after about a year or so) and it's easy to see why. I hope the floor employees will be able to get new jobs.

famekiller
famekiller

they lie. they aint honoring Diablo 3 pre-orders. They put out a press release saying Diablo3 won't be shipping and anyone who pre-ordered won't be getting a refund. Nice work criminals.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

When it's cheaper to have FedEx deliver an uncensored American copy to your door in 2-3 days, is this really a shocker?

andytisnt
andytisnt

somone is gonna get a really cheap deal upon liquidation of gme.ax .... otherwise eb will go unrivaled as many game retailers are closing even dick smith are cutting there losses and closing there game sections. and there is rumor that jbhifi will be doing the same 

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

It doesn't sound like the Aussie management were doing a much better job than the guys here in the UK were but here's hoping that, like here, they can work something out to at least save some of their stores and jobs.

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

They're not going to honour preorders of Diablo III where the store doesn't receive stock. That's why this was announced today, and not tomorrow. They're going to keep everyone's preorder money (although I believe the collectors editions are in stock).

HAZCHEM88
HAZCHEM88

Hope nothing bad happens. Sick of buying from EB.

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

Retail in this country is in massive trouble and not just games. People are going to buy online and import until these companies start being price competitive since we are over charged for almost everything in Australia. It is no co-incidence most Australian developers now are either closing down or moving to mobile gaming because people are not willing to pay insane amounts of money for games anymore. Unfortunately EB Games has far too much dominance and until they start being price competitive, other retailers won't.

Takiah
Takiah

One thing that contradicts this is the fact that according to my sources, all eftpos has been shut down which means they are only accepting cash payments for their products and their pre orders. Its just horrible, yet understandable. In 2010 when I was managing a store for them, it was hard enough then (which is why Game Corio/Geelong were shut down). I feel it important to mention that it was the best job I had ever had, I loved my store and my customers with all of my heart and it was literally heartbreaking closing the doors.Its a horrible situation to be in and I can guarantee they will do their best to look after their customers for as long as they can but the community needs to understand that without people buying IN STORE rather than downloading/online this was inevitable.Companies like Game and anyone else running a retail business can only do so much. Its an incredibly tough time right now, INCREDIBLY tough. Honestly the only way we can prevent this from happening again (whether its with games, fashion..anything retail) is if we all work together.The next time you are about to purchase something online, if its only $10 difference for example - remember that you are potentially helping our community keep their jobs if you choose just purchase from a physical store instead. You guys can help make the difference our economy needs.

 

-Tak

ts997
ts997

any reason why this happened, bad accounting or bad sales.

adders99
adders99

 @andytisnt  I dont know about jb Hifi... they would make a killing on games. I mean I normally buy all of mine from there because they have them out the cheapest... But I do have to admit that the games sections in the the Jb hifi stores seem to be getting smaller.

famekiller
famekiller

 @Nintendo_Man the trouble with australia is there are too many greedy people here now. Landlords charge unbelievable rent prices to retail stores, which have to then pass on these prices to us. Eventually more and more stores will go bust because people are buying cheaper online, and the poor greedy landlords will have all these empty shops making them no money. karma there.! 

TCMOREIRA
TCMOREIRA

 @Nintendo_Man Here in Brazil we have the same issue, I understand what you're saying!! And I agree!!

davedrastic
davedrastic

I'm sure we all feel sympathy for the staff, but I don't think management deserve our sympathy. They've been screwing things up for a while. - erratic trade in prices, false price matching strategies, poor stock of new games, absurd marketing stunts As much as I can understand your plee for people to buy in store, people won't do that when  they're aware of cheaper, online alternatives. Give GAME $10 more, pfft, it's a business not a charity.

 

I do think you're right in saying that the problem isn't just reserved for GAME, but it does seem that the gaming retail market, in Australia, has been hit massively hard. Sanity closed their gaming department, so did Myer, DSE are in the process of doing so. And the mass retailers are just a mess - K-Mart, BigW, Target still haven't figured out how to mark their prices and Toys r Us are just horrendous in regards to pricing.

 

IMO EB Games pricing aren't too bad. Yes their full retail prices are generally too high, but on par with the mass retailers, and they're pre-owned games are generally obscene prices, but then so are the pre-owned games at GAME. A game could be $20 new at GAME or $50 pre-owned. Hello? EB generally have frequent sales covering a significant proportion of their stock and generally the prices will be good or very good. I often see very good prices on their website but then don't get to find the game in store, as they all sell out. That being said EB do have horrendous customer service and GAME is far and away superior to EB in regards to their staff - they're generally nice, down to earth people that clearly love games and are happy to support their customers.

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

 @Takiah But it's not a $10. With games like Skyward Sword, it's as much as a $50 difference. There's no point supporting a dead medium, importing is only going to survive for awhile longer until digital distribution takes over more than just PC games.It's like those men who used to supply ice to refridgerators. It's just not viable anymore, and unless small stores like EB lower their prices, then it's a slow steady descent. No point hanging on there with them.

Takiah
Takiah

 @ts997 like most retail stores, the economy. Gaming retail is by far the worst with downloads being available and online purchases from the US being much cheaper. I used to manage Game Corio (Geelong) and my store closed down along with many others in October 2010 so this was no surprise to me.

Game UK sold Game AU around that time however its clear that business just wasn't enough. I believe they came into the fold too late especially in our current economy with far too many competitors offering much more to their customers (this also came down to not having strong enough ties with distributors -- EB has the lead there).So yes in black and white...not enough sales.

Takiah
Takiah

 @King_TigerMK3 indeed..I managed Game Corio until both Corio & Westfield were closed. Fortunately we were lucky enough to received amazing payouts which payed for my trip to Blizzcon ;)

 

JB Hifi will be the last standing game retailer mainly because this isn't a sole focus for them and the company don't NEED the sales of games to survive. It won't be long before EB Games is in the same boat, its inevitable. Hopefully though, with Game AU closing its doors it will help prolong the death for a while longer, perhaps giving Game employees a place to go.I for one am done with retail and am trying to get into the Gaming Industry, outside of retail :)

 

To all of my former Game employees I truly hope you find a new career path soon. JB Hifi is certainly your best option if you wish to continue working with games, which I am certain most of you do - you are true game and game community lovers which is why I love you all :)

 

Good luck everyone!

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

 @davedrastic When I bought Gears of War 3 over christmas at GAME, it was $90 pre-owned or $50 new (approx, I got it for $15 with tradeins and I can't remember the price). But their pricing wasn't consistent.In Armidale, where I live, the customer service at EB Games is fantastic, but I've had poor customer service at GAME on 3 separate occasions.

Takiah
Takiah

 @davedrastic exactly. You couldn't pay me to go into EB. Probably because I know how good I am at my job and it just pisses me off knowing I could be doing their job 100000x better. Sadly, I agree with everything. I support why you would buy online over in store, especially with the lack of CS in Australia. Its recently been pointed out  to me that the retail industry is only a small part of our economy so when physical stores do start declining (not just gaming retail) there are still plenty of other industries available for us to work in.

 

I for one am ready to move on from retail. As must as I LOVE my job and as good as I am at doing it, there is no future in retail. Not just for gaming retail (which is suffering the most) but for all types of retail, fashion included (which is where I am now).

 

We need to accept the fates and look towards the future.

 

RIP Game Australia.

LE5LO
LE5LO

 @FlamingFury But this means no more sexy smart girls that work at those shops anymore and that in time they'll be replaced by a 'blip' sound from my couch and 'download completed' on my 3dHDTV/PC.

 

THIS IS A DISGRACE. SUE E.A

davedrastic
davedrastic

 @Takiah 

I suspect that it's not as simple as not enough sales. GAME have had some really silly pricing lately. I've bought several games for $5. Now they have a buy 2 get 3 games, and some of the games cost less than $10. How can they possibly be making money from that. And it's been like that for a while, and again it's not just GAME, several of the retailers have a lot of games marked at really low prices. A good example would be JBs 2 for $40 listings - which include Deus Ex and Dead Space 2. Both of them for $40. Bargain. Even more so if you buy when they have a 20% off sale. How can they possibly be making money from that.  Especially when they have free delivery. It's nuts.

 

On top of that GAMEs trade in prices has been kooky. I was able to trade in several new release games for more than they cost me to purchase, and then more recently they've been giving such low values that it hasn't been worth giving them the games.If I look at GAMEs shelves they've remained the same for the last 2 years or more. The same pre-owned games are always there, and for largely the same price (too much), they're just being circulated, then they have a handful of new release games - really a pitiful amount, and then several bargain bin games, which I'm grateful for, but where is the range? If you go into EB or JB you get everything you could possibly want.Other than the obscure titles.

 

I suspect that GAME have focused too much on trade ins and people have wised up and decided not to spend $80 on a second hand game that they can buy new for half the cost if they import. I can't feel sympathy for them as a company. If they'd just focused on giving us a good price for a good range of games and not tried to sell us this whole buying used games at high margins then they might have survived. They were following a greedy business plan and got burned.

davedrastic
davedrastic

 @Takiah

I reckon JB should buy GAME. I think that could compliment their business nicely. What do I know. Idle speculation only. I hope someone buys GAME though, and hopefully some of the stores could remain open. I think GAME has an enormous amount of good will and long standing customers that will support them if they get their act together, and if they're able to be price competitive. Maybe the answer is simply that they can't be price competitive in which case we could expect all bricks and mortar retailers to pack up shop before long.

 

Also, I find it a bit of a shame that there are no other opportunities for the staff to remain in the gaming industry other than in a retail capacity. Maybe the staff could buy-out GAME.

davedrastic
davedrastic

 @Takiah Yep, in my opinion retail is a mugs game. I've not worked in retail myself but from my experience most people work in low rated, low paid roles and it's really diffcult to grow or increase your salary. It also is very unstable and a bit of a pain working weekends and what-not. I can only hope that the staff are able to consider their next move carefully and find roles that will suit them.

Takiah
Takiah

@davedrastic We all knew they didn't know what they were doing which left us as store managers trying to do their jobs as well as our own.

davedrastic
davedrastic

 @Takiah Good point on that new retail experience thing. Didn't we all think that was doomed to fail? Do they not have calculators at GAME head office?

 

Right, we're going to rent the biggest shop floor we can find, and have the smallest range we can get away with, and we'll fill it up with kids that don't have a disposable income playing a games kiosk for free.

 

Someone really should have got slapped for that one.

Takiah
Takiah

 @davedrastic I agree with you 100%. After working with them even though it was just for 9 months I did feel like the company was ran by people that really didn't understand what they were doing.

 

It became very messy and as you have mentioned, the pricing would go from one extreme to another with little variety.

 

The company was losing money for a long time and it came to a point where we had no choice but to push pre owned as hard as we could. With brand new games there is very little profit (for a random example of figures we would buy a brand new game from the distributor at around say $90 and sell it at $120) then you have to factor in price matching to places like JB and EB who purchase from their distributors at much less than what Game did, allowing them to have lower prices.

 

Pre-owned games have/had a much MUCH larger profit margin.

 

I also felt like those who were running game when I was an employee really had no experience or any idea HOW to provide to their customers and still make a profit.

 

It was a terrible ideas to launch a completely new Gaming Retail store in this economy especially when EB had already had many MANY years of pre established relationships and connections with our distributors.

 

"They were following a greedy business plan and got burned."

 

100% correct.