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."

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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.
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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