Game goes into administration

Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers move in to Game and Gamestation's parent company, state they are "hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable."

Troubled British specialist retail group Game has officially entered administration, it was announced today. The move was widely expected after the firm suspended its shares last week and announced its intention to call in administrators.

EA pulling Mass Effect 3 from Game stores was widely seen as very bad news for the group.

Game Group--which runs both Game and Gamestation stores in the UK and mainland Europe-employs around 10,000 people globally. Of those, 385 work in the firm's Basingstoke headquarters and 5,136 in its shops in the UK and Ireland. The firm had a turnover of £1.6 billion ($2,6 billion) in the 12 months to January 2012.

"This decision is taken after careful consideration and ceaseless interrogation of every possible alternative," the Group said in a statement released this morning.

The firm has had issues with obtaining credit from its suppliers on good terms and latterly getting stock. A falling out with EA shortly before the release of Mass Effect 3 was widely seen as the death knell for the firm in its current form. "The group has faced serious cashflow and profit issues over the recent past. It also has suffered from high fixed costs, an ambitious international roll-out and fluctuating working capital requirements," according to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Mike Jervis, one of the administrators.

"As a result, we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable," Jervis concluded.

UPDATE: The firm has issued a statement saying that "until further notice" all Game gift cards have been frozen, along with points in GameWallet accounts and on Game Reward Cards. No new pre-orders are being taken, and no refunds can be obtained for existing pre-order deposits. Software trade-ins are still possible for those looking to accrue Game Reward points or exchanges conducted in the same purchase. Trading in software for cash and trading in hardware at wall have both been indefinitely suspended. The firm is also not currently able to offer refunds or exchanges, irrespective of whether the purchases were made before or after administrators were brought in.

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Discussion

71 comments
kuda001
kuda001

This kinda stuff gets you thinking about the futureand how GAME got caught out. With Sony & Microsoft considering blocking used games might mean trouble for CEX for example. The growth of digital downloads will only grow meaning fewer and fewer sales for retail shops but does that mean better value for consumers? Probably not.

Mark07041971
Mark07041971

@ jackomagic: To some extent, that whole "pounce on you as soon as you get in the door" phenomenon is endemic to American retail. I've had the displeasure of working retail in the past, and can tell you from experience that, in America, retail employees are specifically trained to do just that. Some retailers even have standards in place enforcing the number of seconds an employee has before "pouncing" on the poor sap who's just walked through the door. For some reason unknown to me, "jumping on your back the second you walk in the door" and "customer service" have become synonymous in American retail.

jackomagic
jackomagic

I could kinda see this happening, my past trend of buying games was through either Blockbuster, an independent shop in the high street, CEX or through Amazon or Play.com. I will miss Game big style, it filled a hole that Electronics Boutique left when they disappeared from Britain a long time back. The only thing I am major bummed about is the fact that I've lost my preorder for Diablo 3 through Gamestation as Gameplay mysteriously merged into Gamestation just prior to this whole event. What a pants decision that was. The last time I bought from GAME was well over 2 years ago but had bought from Gamestation recently despite its very dingy stores (but only because I got a good pre-owned bargain). I'm sure there are companies that can fill the slot but expect it will change old habits for a lot of game punters. For those Irish peeps, we don't have Gamestops here but I've visited a few in America and they seem ready to pounce on you as soon as you get in the door, pressure buying never really appeals to me. Boooo!!!

Balmane
Balmane

@ksp2011: Gamestop in the Square, Tallaght have employees who are huge gamers. I know this cuz I know some of them so they aren't all ignorant. The pricing varies but most of the games cost the same. I buy games from both shops(well used to) and I found them both equal :?

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

In recent months I've bought a 3DS and several games from Gamestation. I'd be sorry to see my local Gamestation get shut down. Hopefully they will find a way to save some of the stores.

Dugular
Dugular

@thegamegod Eh?? 1 gb for 2 hours isn't too bad, are you sure you get 2.4mb/s? I get 1.5mb/s and happily downloaded Rage in about 4 hours. Normally I find it's still quicker downloading than ordering online and waiting the next day. Though, to be fair, despite my devil's advocate above, I am kind of with you. I like the ability to install rather than download when given the option. I really wanted a physical copy of Mass Effect 3 and trawled a whole day through nearly all of London to find one rather than downloading through Origin. Eventually ended up at HMV on Oxford Street, where there were none on shelves but had a 'forgotten' last copy on PC behind the counter! Man, that felt like a win!

burgo81
burgo81

i am sorry bout how could you have a 1.6 BILLION turnover and still go into administration. it is bit like team bondi down here in oz having the best selling game and going broke. what is the game industry doing to get things soooooo wrong

famekiller
famekiller

This is what happens when eyeballs bulge with greed. The day is coming when all games stores will be on-line, which will kinda suck. But cheaper games for us. And lots of 'crying poor' landlords with empty shops. Your greed is your demise.

Mark07041971
Mark07041971

The consumer always loses whenever the competitive field shrinks, regardless of the industry. Buying stuff is just like sex: more options are always better...

Nomadic7
Nomadic7

was waiting for this to happen... their prices were always more expensive than JB hifi and EB here in Oz, I checked them regularly... the store in Chatswood Westfield stopped stocking PC titles (which was a bad sign) to focus on console titles... then they shutdown altogether one day. It was a silly venture to start with. Unless you're going to provide competitive prices or offer something different you're going to fail. It's hard to compete with JB who buy in bulk and offer launch prices that are $20 cheaper than anywhere else.

ksp2011
ksp2011

I dunno about the UK but here (Ireland) GAME have been the best value for games, new and pre owned. I've been a loyal customer since the past 15 years and will miss their prices and nice staff. Gamestop are a serious rip off and have very ignorant staff

Renoo27
Renoo27

Looks like Computer Exchange is the only store my brother and I are gonna be visiting when we next go out.

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

Sucks that so many will lose out thanks to extremely poor management and greed. Customer service in some of the stores though was shambolic. I hope a buyer is found as it will be interesting to see what is done with it. Time for an overhaul, no doubt that unfortunatly there will be some closures though as there are far too many, 3 in the same shopping area for example is just crazy....

benbonney
benbonney

If block buster buys game.... God forbid

ssorrekrab
ssorrekrab

Its official. 50% of the places I have ever worked are now out of business. Feel sorry for the employees but won't miss Game, they treated us badly when I was there.

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

This was almost certain to happen as of a few days ago, but I am surprised at how immediately some of the stores have closed - ones I was in yesterday that had no idea what today would bring, are now closed down and out of work :(

digi-demon
digi-demon

I'm with Broodwin - although 8 out of 10 times the service in Game & Gamestation did suck big time, I too enjoyed browsing the pre-owned for bargains - along with looking through the new titles for offers etc :P. I rarely ever traded my games in at either shop though :lol:

darran05
darran05

Im sorry for the employee's but Game was taking pre orders right up until there web site closed..robbing gits!...and don't get me started on the gift cards!

atopp399
atopp399

Too bad. I imported Xenoblade through them (before NoA wised up) and my transaction went well. I would guess your credit card company would have your back if they didn't refund the preorder, especially if you live in another country.

Broodwin
Broodwin

I am sorry to see this happen to Game and Gamestation. I thoroughly enjoyed browsing the preowned games section and picking up bargains from time to time. I agree that the major titles were sometimes on the more expensive side, but so what? No one forces you to buy a game in a shop - it is your choice. If you prefer the internet; it's still there, use it! I am happy to pay for convenience, the convenience of being able to go out and buy a game on a whim. I hope that some of the stores can be saved and a suitable buyer found.

JFERNANDEZ84
JFERNANDEZ84

Well, I don't care about GAME. Zavvi is a way better store.

DorisTheDragon
DorisTheDragon

To everyone that's saying they don't care that GAME is going but sad Gamestation is because Gamestation was oh-so much better, I'm here to say that as someone that worked in a GAME across the road from Gamestation, we were stupidly similar. This is based on the number of customers that always compared between the two of us (why the hell shouldn't they?) and yes of course Gamestation sometimes came out better, but so did we, I'd say it was probably about 50/50, so shut your uninformed and bias pie holes. We were equally good/bad as far as I'm concerned, just in different places.

Balmane
Balmane

At least there is still a Gamestop, a HMV, an Extra-Vision and a Smyths Toystore for me to get games. Sorry for those who are soon to be unemployed :(

thegamegod
thegamegod

So saddening that gamestation is being shut down,the store in my city was brilliant,full of people who genuinely seemed to love gaming. As, for game, meh they were crap anyway. I was planning on building a gaming pc,but i don't think i will anymore seen as the brick and mortar stores seems to be going down the pan. I know everyone will just say use steam,but when your download is only 2.4mbp/s it really isn't viable to download anything (a 1gb download takes me nearly 2 hours)

gbrading
gbrading moderator

So it goes. No sympathy for their management, but it's really disheartening for ordinary staff who will be made redundant. The whole "no refunds for existing pre-orders" business is despicable. :(

DF667
DF667

noone can fathom how much of a f**k i do not give about this, they were greedy money hungry c***s & im glad i'll no longer have to walk past the poor excuse for a shop anymore of which at one point there were 3 in my town (2game, 1gs) all within under 5 mins walking distance from each other, seriously wtf were they expecting doing things like that F**king morons. ok rant over, sorry to those that lost their jobs, been there, sucks x :)

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

Jeeze, they only just bought playtime too so now that's 3 lots of store chains (pretty much all of the UK stores that exclusively sell games) down the pan if they end up going down. Why did they even buy playtime, to drag them down with them? At least there is a Grainger Games in Bradford but now all that's left (other than Grainger Games which isn't in too many places) is HMV and all the crappy stores like super markets and stores that have ultra tiny game sections next to other crap. I wonder if they'll have any REAL closing down sales where I can pick up stuff really, really cheap though. Wouldn't mind getting some odd games cheap but I bet even when they're closing down they'll charge close to RRP lol.

firebladedx
firebladedx

EA "because who needs friends when you have money" also That's 9000 girls with bright hair and piercings out of a job.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Lets be honest the UK Is expensive In terms of property buying or rentals & the Government don't give a "Friar Tuck" despite what they claim. The Inland revenue want the shirt off your back, just look at the dying pub trade, greedy breweries & high taxes. If this carries on the UK high St will be nothing but nasty fast food places & pound shops, In some areas It almost already Is. Game buying Gamestation was never a good move for the consumers so In that respect tough luck as It added to the loss. However, I feel for the ordinary people who are losing jobs.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

Game was rubbish. Super glossy stores with a miniscule amount of overpriced stock on display... Gamestation on the other hand is brillient, fantastic deals, good offers for trade in's, pleanty of games to browse, a real gamers shop... Shame their owned by the same company that owns game. Would have been good if they hadn't been bought out and rose to prominence with the collapse of the protensious game.

chuckchoder
chuckchoder

Game should have taken a page from Gamestop and bought out all their competition. Its hard to shop around when there is only one place to go.

RobinGS
RobinGS

@HitmanSquirrel I agree. The people at my local game were/are idiots that no nothing about games. Game is going under and I hope someone invests in them. No more pre order deals, second hand games and special editions.. I think. I hope there's a sale, I need some new stuff

NuclearPig
NuclearPig

Hmm I'm pretty sure then the next line of consoles wont have disk drives

WhitePhoenix86
WhitePhoenix86

Can't say I'm sorry to see GAME go. They never were my favourite game retailer, their prices always seemed to be higher than everywhere else. Will be sad to see the end of Gamestation, though.

MrFwibbles
MrFwibbles

@deathmetalgod Yeah, using eBay is just so hard...

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

To be completely frank here Game is atrocious, it's the most over-priced gaming shop there is and I'm amazed it stayed open as long as it did :? I went in to a Game store at the weekend looking to see what there were in the 'Spring Clean' sales - and guess what, there was diddly squit. Call of Duty MW3 has been 'price-dropped' to 37.99 (pounds), yeah okay.. fair enough.. but that's what stores having been selling it at since release. They charged 49.99 when it was first out, how? Nowhere else did. I'm all for supporting your local stores and not the local supermarket but when Tesco release a new game for under 35 quid and Game charge nearly 20 pounds more where do you think people will shop :| It's a shame for Gamestation because I love the store's, but as for Game.. well.. Good riddance. Bad news for employees of the company obviously, but the management should have seen it coming a long time ago. It was all money money.

Olgark
Olgark

Well I stopped buying games at my local Game store when they stopped stocking PC games on the shelf and just tended to the console market. Any box PC game I get now is online as my town doesn't have a decent outlet anymore.

torbonator
torbonator

The gaming industry is heading to digital download in the next few years I'll be surprised if we see boxed games at all soon, so specialised game stores such as GAME wouldn't have been round long anyway.

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

Game shutting down, damn I feel sorry for the customers including myself and for the employees.

tom_cat_01
tom_cat_01

Really saddened by this, my local store was shut down today. I not have no choice but to buy my games online or...uurrrch, in a supermarket!

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Very Happy... hopefully someone who cares about the industry and knows how to run it will take over... Although i'm pretty sure the days of game shops are coming to a close with the dawn of online distribution. Smaller game shops that they put out of business were much better.

racing1750
racing1750

Too be completely honest I'm not surprised. Games prices are just not competitive enough and places like ASDA undercut them considerably. It's a shame so many will lose their jobs thanks to this. I hope those people find work without much trouble.

StarWatchers
StarWatchers

I blame the board! having stores like they were starbucks, yet failing to realise that there is no money in games at all, the god awful pre-owned pricing was a complete mess too. If I was in charge of a company that was going down like game did I would have closed all the less profitable ones and the ones within a small walk from each other and focus on generating the money from key stores instead of keeping ones open that manage to get 10 people through the day. That's exactly what these administrators are going to do.. Once all the fat has been reduced you will see more of an interest in the company from perspective buyers, the problem was they had too many cowards in head office who failed to act. I do feel sorry for the employees but at the same time if they knew anything about the industry or there company they should have foreseen this coming a long time ago and should have taken steps to secure themselves instead of being left hanged out to dry. I heard it's been brutal that administrators have just walked in and shut down stores and yet in head office they remained quiet...Utter Cowardice.

kekejefferis
kekejefferis

Not a great surprise to be honest as in my experience when shopping for games I would often end up buying them from places like HMV, Argos or Tesco as they were considerably cheaper than GAME. Indeed those stores have other forms of income other than software but still that shouldn’t give GAME the right to overcharge their loyal customers. Due to the disappointment GAME gave me with my ME3 preorder and with the news of them being in trouble I swiftly went into my local store in Bristol and spent the last bit of money I had on my gift card. I for one wont be sad to see them go when there are much cheaper and more reliable retailers out there.

mtait01
mtait01

Game Over. Simply put, this was inevitable, their business model is bad and has not changed at all even with the rise of internet shopping and services such as LoveFilm and Netflix. They sell games that you can get cheaper in super markets, other shops such as CEX and online - Their websites (especially Gamestation's) were embarrassing, awful awful layout, bad search bar functionality and almost everything was out of stock, wait a go to compete with internet shopping market (Internet shopping the the UK adds up to 10% of the economy spending btw) so again, wait ago! The sad thing is that 6,000 people will be losing their jobs now because of God awful management decision and a poor business model too stubborn to change.

Gamer-Geek
Gamer-Geek

Shame... however they did kind of set themselves up for disaster. Competitors like Amazon, Zavvi and HMV are just better value for money.

LeoLex_
LeoLex_

My Game closed its doors today in my town in the north of England, yeah apparently a Polish shop will be going there.....

Marky360
Marky360

It's sad to hear a mega retailer like Game is going out of business I guess there competition just was better so ppl didn't buy from them. I doubt anything like that would happen to Gamestop here in the states as they've got the best deals anywhere so I'm sure gamestop will be fine sorry about Game though.