High Street Blues: GAME Enters Administration

By Alec Meer on March 26th, 2012 at 12:07 pm.

The shelves in my local branch are a whole lot emptier than that

It appears to be the end of days for troubled UK high street games retailer GAME and its sadly homogenised subsidiary Gamestation. While the chain has long been guilty of multiple heinous disservices to gaming (the aforementioned homogenisation, unwillingness to promote lesser-known titles, far too many stores far too close to each other, excessive reliance on pre-orders and trade-ins, refusal to stock almost any PC games and unproven allegations that it was getting publishers to delay Steam releases in the UK), do remember that is not the fault of its general workforce. Plus despite its sins, it has been a monetary backbone to the UK games industry. The gaming landscape without it is an uncertain one.

Its likely successors, the supermarkets, are even more aloof and risk-averse than it is/was, so the net result is very unlikely to be an explosion in the availability of interesting games. Of course, we have etailers like Amazon and Play, and on PC there’s Steam, Gamersgate, Origin and co, but it’s tended to be promotional presence and potential on the high street that has guided publishers’ budgets – both in terms of what and where their marketing and distrubtion spend is and even what they greenlight. Hopefully, a brighter, more digital future awaits, but I suspect we’re in for a bumpy few months or even years as the industry adapts.

That said, GAME isn’t entirely dead just yet, but it has entered administration – which means it’s suspended itself from trading and has placed all its assets in the hands of a third party who are tasked with finding a buyer, otherwise it’ll shut up shop entirely.

Having monitored this drama on Twitter over recent weeks, it’s clear that the likely demise of GAME is seen as a cause for celebration by many, and given the many mistakes made by the chain’s management that is understandable, but please don’t forget how awful this is for the 5000+ employees across GAME’s 609 UK and Irish stores. Barring a miracle, they’re going to lose their jobs, and with UK retail generally in the doldrums right now finding new work won’t be easy. Best of luck to them, and our sympathies.

There had been hopes of late that a buyer would emerge for the struggling business, but either it was deemed too damned or there’s been a predatory urge to wait until things were at rock bottom and thus prices cheaper. Someone may well step up to the bat now GAME is in administration. Said Mike Jervis of administrators PwC:

“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. Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one, the UK. As a result we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable.”

If that does happen, we just have to hope it’ll mean continuing work for GAME’s high street employees. GAME’s CEO Ian Shepherd has already stepped down, incidentally.

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166 Comments »

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  1. marach says:

    I’ve heard rumours the managers flat rejected an offer from gamestop even as recently as last Wednesday…

    • fionny says:

      Jeebus and I wouldve thought gamestop the most compatible purchaser, I guess they actually want to go totally bust.

    • Love Albatross says:

      Might be the same situation as Woolworths, where there was – allegedly – a viable rescue plan but the administrators turned it down and earned themselves millions managing the closure of the business.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      In situations like this, it tends to be the banks providing the finance that control the destiny of the company, not the management.

      If Gamestop tried to bottom feed and get Game’s assets without RBS (their major creditor) getting a large payout of the £80m they’re owed, it’s not surprising that Game’s management said no. RBS essentially get to choose the destiny of the company, and they will choose the path that gets them the most money back.

      There is no way Gamestop would have been rebuffed if their offer was to pay all creditors in full. Which means they were offering less than that, which means the creditors, rightly or wrongly, think that they can get more money back through administration.

  2. DeanLearner says:

    Where are mums going to go now to buy “that driving game, where you don’t race, but take cars and hit bad men.. oh what was it….. cheaty aid! Was it Cheaty Aid? Anyway it’s on the white game machine”

    • SiHy_ says:

      What about that one where you’re in a war… and there’s lots of shooting and explosions? It’s on the PC. No I don’t mean PC… er, I mean the… erm… *whispers* Piss 2?
      Well, you know, the shiny black one with the joystick that looks like handlebars. He wants to play it with his friends. You know the one?

    • Enso says:

      My favourite and most memorable experience of GAME was a mother very angrily arguing that, no matter what the clerk said, the new mario game was definitely for the Xbox and they were all idiots. Goodnight sweet prince.

  3. 75oharas says:

    Maybe im wrong but when i saw they was advertising a ‘spring clean sale’ this morning and offering (and pushing) pre orders as soon as you walk in the door, it felt like they was being dishonest about what’s going on to customers who aren’t informed.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      From what I can tell, it’s sad but nearly all the business that go bust do this. The older PC shops that went bust over night were taking orders for future delivery up to the point the doors closed. That’s a lot of upset and out of pocket customers.

  4. KikiJiki says:

    The truly sad fact is that the collapse of GAME is the entire fault of pisspoor management that’s been going on for over a decade.

    Herp derp, 2-3 stores within spitting distance of each other? That won’t destructively eat into each other’s profits while tripling rent costs, no siree.

    Derp derp, no focus on employee training and product knowledge to provide a decent level of service to our customers? That’s cool, nobody expects to get good service in retail anyway.

    Derp herp, dumb down the ethos of the brand and stores and cater for the lowest common denominator instead of cultivating the specialist market that gaming is? FIFA IS BEST U MAD SON?

    Tl;dr retail is dying all over, GAME was a particularly shitty example of retail.

    • jalf says:

      Derp derp, no focus on employee training and product knowledge to provide a decent level of service to our customers? That’s cool, nobody expects to get good service in retail anyway.

      Well, those things cost money. How many additional sales would they have generated?
      And of course, how come other retail chains with zero employee training or product knowledge are profitable?

      Derp herp, dumb down the ethos of the brand and stores and cater for the lowest common denominator instead of cultivating the specialist market that gaming is? FIFA IS BEST U MAD SON?

      So they would’ve made more money if they’d dedicated shelf space to niche games instead of the ones that Joe Average actually wants to buy?

      Of course management is to blame when the thing they’re managing goes bust.

      But pretending that “they should have just catered more to *me*” is the perfect solution that’d save everything? That is just ignorant and naive.

      Perhaps letting people know that “we actually stock this super popular game that everyone and their dog wants” is actually not in itself a bad way to run a business. Even if that game is FIFA, and you, personally, do not care about it.

      • KikiJiki says:

        Not sure if troll, but I’ll bite ;)

        Well, those things cost money. How many additional sales would they have generated?
        And of course, how come other retail chains with zero employee training or product knowledge are profitable?

        Uhhh, providing a good level of customer service is totally, utterly core to sustaining a retail business in the long term. I worked about 5 years of retail from 16-21 and the only way you’re going to get repeat custom is if you either provide service that makes people want to come back, or there is no other competition on the high street. If you provide a good level of service then people are going to actively want to come back to your store rather than desert you as soon as there’s an alternative. It’s an intangible, but service definitely does improve sales.

        So they would’ve made more money if they’d dedicated shelf space to niche games instead of the ones that Joe Average actually wants to buy?

        What I was trying to say is that instead of watering down their brand, GAME should have tried to cultivate their target demographic of gamers (not ‘hardcore’, just gamers). Instead they decided largely that the chav pound was the one they wanted, and now that times are tough I’m not surprised to see the end result.

        But pretending that “they should have just catered more to *me*” is the perfect solution that’d save everything? That is just ignorant and naive.

        Why is it naive? I’m the target demographic, yet I don’t want to spend money in GAME.

        • Kaira- says:

          You are *IN* the target demographic. You are not *THE* target demographic.

        • jalf says:

          Uhhh, providing a good level of customer service is totally, utterly core to sustaining a retail business in the long term. I worked about 5 years of retail from 16-21 and the only way you’re going to get repeat custom is if you either provide service that makes people want to come back, or there is no other competition on the high street

          And the main retail chains which are profitable while offering zero customer service don’t at all disprove your thesis? There are plenty of ways to get repeat custom. Good customer service helps, but it’s hardly the only factor.
          Besides, there *is* really no competition offering better customer service, is there? Your claim seems to be based on the assumption that (1) competition exists, and (2) the competition is offering reasonable customer service. As long as the competitors are also treating customers as dirt, you don’t lose a lot by doing the same in your own stores.

          If you provide a good level of service then people are going to actively want to come back to your store rather than desert you as soon as there’s an alternative. It’s an intangible, but service definitely does improve sales.

          Sure. The question was whether it improves sales *enough to offset the added cost*. You haven’t given any reason why we should consider this to be an universal fact. And yet you blindly assume it is true in *their* situation.

          What I was trying to say is that instead of watering down their brand, GAME should have tried to cultivate their target demographic of gamers (not ‘hardcore’, just gamers). Instead they decided largely that the chav pound was the one they wanted, and now that times are tough I’m not surprised to see the end result.

          But you think doing less to cater for those (very numerous) casual gamers who just want FIFA would have been more profitable? Perhaps, but again, pretending that it is some kind of universal FACT seems disingenious. There are more people interested in buying FIFA than there are who want to buy the more “specialized” niche games.

          Why is it naive? I’m the target demographic, yet I don’t want to spend money in GAME.

          As already pointed out, no, you are not. You are one small part of their demographic (and since, as you say, they’ve been focusing very much on what we might call the FIFA segment, you’re probably not only skirting the edge of their demographic. GAME doesn’t make money by attracting *you*. They make money by attracting *lots* of people who are willing to spend money. Convincing *you* to spend money there doesn’t necessarily translate into more revenue. Not if catering to you means losing other customers.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            The profit they get is because they can offer zero customer service. Game could not do that the day Steam/Origin/Amazon/GOG etc came into existence. The likes of Games Workshop (tabletop games) shows you need more than just shelf space if you want to survive.

            In all the jobs I’ve been in, you would loose customers quicker than Sony looses customer details, if you did not provide a good service.

          • Colej_uk says:

            Your agruments fall down in light of what is actually happening to GAME. If they are doing things right in your opinion, then why is this happening to them?

            KikiJiki’s makes a good case imo. I’m sure there are other reasons too, but if GAME were doing things right they wouldn’t be in this mess.

      • Ben Sizer says:

        Focusing on only the most popular titles was always going to end poorly. With those games, they compete against the likes of Tesco. If however they had diversified into lesser-known PC games, then sure, they wouldn’t have sold through those copies as quickly, but it would have been a more compelling place for gamers to browse and pick up impulse purchases.

    • Jimbo says:

      Hmm, not really that ‘herp derp’ a few years ago. There was obviously enough demand for two or three specialist game retailers in every town at one point, and owning all of them made sense at one point. Buying out GameStation and then immediately shutting down all of their stores would have been pointless, because it would have just made room for another competitor to take GameStation’s place. Serving all of the high street demand and leaving no room for anybody else was the whole point in buying them out. They just haven’t been quick enough in adapting to the falling demand on the high street in recent years.

      However it pans out, I’d imagine half of those jobs are going to disappear from the high street, because they obviously have far more stores and employees than than is necessary to serve the current high street demand. I’d expect a video game retailer of some brand or other (perhaps GameStop) to take GAME’s place for another few years at least. You don’t go from two/three stores worth of demand in every town to zero stores worth of demand. Somebody will meet the high street demand that remains, they’ll just do it a lot more efficiently than GAME has been doing.

      • Baines says:

        Assuming it was like America, then there was demand for competing stores because the competing stores were competing.

        Competition could even help generate business. With competing stores, customers found better overall selection and could generally find better deals than they’d get going to more general stores like Wal-Mart. Some stores would focus on different types of customers, and carve out a sustainable niche. I think nearly adjacent competing stores in the same mall even looked a bit healthier (which encourages people to shop there) as customers would be actively moving around inside and between the two stores.

        When the US game stores started being bought up, that started to change. When Gamestop owned everything, that competition was gone entirely.

        Where a mall originally had a Babbages and an EB Games 40 feet apart, it now had two Gamestops. And they were identical, except for the names of the employees. Games stocked were pretty much the same, and prices for everything was the same. The small Gamestop at an outlet mall was now just an undersized sibling to the larger Gamestop five miles away. The only reason to go to the smaller one was arguable convenience, which wasn’t so convenient when its small size meant it didn’t have the game you were looking for.

        The multiple Gamestop retail locations don’t so much compete as leech away from each other. And I think it has hurt them in competing with general stores as well, for various reasons. (Online stores are a further complication.)

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      At its simplest, the whole argument boils down to this: Game’s prices were more expensive than all other options and the range of products was more limited than all other options, they did not offer anything (perhaps, as suggested, in the form of informed service) to significantly offset this lack of competitiveness.

      • Jimbo says:

        Hmmm, the convenience and impact of being visible on the high street still counts for something, just not as much as it used to. Obviously not enough to carry quite so much dead weight.

        • Sassenach says:

          I think that trying to leverage visibility and convenience went out the window as a viable strategy when they started competing with supermarkets.

        • Nintyuk says:

          Visiting a GAME for me when I was younger was never a convenience. It would always be a £5 bus journey to the nearest high-street containing GAME, but when I was younger it was all ways my main source of new games for my gamecube and my DS and later my Wii. But after I transitioned away from consoles and on to the PC GAME became a expensive waste of time. The last thing I bought there I think was a Counterstrike Source and DoD:source Bundle pack because I had no means to buy directly from steam at the time.

  5. Dowson says:

    GAME has been ran by incompetent idiots for over a decade now. I’m surprised this didn’t happen years ago.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    A charge I often saw levied against GAME by PC gamer’s was that it had a poor seection of PC games, but for all of its flaws i think this was highly store dependant. It’s the only shop where I’ve ever seen boxed indie titles. Even when I wandered into the Oxford branch the other day to sniff out a bargain (I didn’t find one, what with overpricing being one of GAME’s flaws!) they had boxed collector’s editions of Super Meat Boy and Gemini Rue. I remember similar things being in the Glasgow store back in the day.

    Anyway, definitely a shame for people who will end up losing their jobs but I guess the writing has been on the wall for a good few weeks now.

    • SiHy_ says:

      That’s true. I checked out the “spring clearout sale” of a Game in Gateshead and was surprised to see that they had an entire rack of PC games including Gemini Rue and Terraria along with AAA titles and even some niche simulation games. The prices were still extortionate but they were there.

    • mickygor says:

      Yea, I saw Gemini Rue and Terraria in Game last week. What’s more, they have 10 shelves dedicated to the good old 3 for £10 older PC titles. That’s a lot of games. I’ve found some right gems there in the past.

    • Danorz says:

      my local game, the main branch, they have a bigger shelf than the entirety of the PC section *just* for the Call of Duty franchise

    • Roxton says:

      I found a dual-box copy of Thief and Thief 2 in GAME many, many years ago, which was what got me into the series.

    • Jimbo says:

      I really don’t think a poor PC selection is a significant factor here.

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      Malibu Stacey says:

      I remember similar things being in the Glasgow store back in the day.

      Which Glasgow store though? Between Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street & Argyle Street (as in the main shopping ‘high’ streets for those who haven’t been here) I count 5 GAME stores & 3 GameStation stores all within 5-10 minutes walk of each other.

  7. lordcooper says:

    Games Workshop should muscle their way into videogame retail.

    • Primar says:

      You pay £60 for a game and have to compile it from source yourself?

      • Sami H says:

        And have to make your own textures too.

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          AmateurScience says:

          And have to pay for the colours you use when creating said textures. And don’t forget the source book of algorithms and game systems.

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            JB says:

            Oh, not THAT source book of algorithms and game systems. That one’s out of date, you have to get the new one.

          • Phantoon says:

            And somehow, the entire experience would still be better than GAME.

          • Steven Hutton says:

            In spite, or perhaps because, of this entire thread. I still love Games Workshop.

            I don’t buy their stuff any more because I haven’t liked the most recent editions of the rules. But I love that such a weird, esoteric hobby can maintain a high street presence. It’s boss.

    • Archonsod says:

      They abandoned that back in the 80s funnily enough.

  8. Sami H says:

    I live in Canterbury, where we have both a Game and a Gamestation (both were there before Game bought GS) within 200 metres of each other. Still to this day I don’t know why.

    I would make a joke about the closure of Game keeping me in a job (I work for the DWP… boo hiss etc) but that would be rather bad taste.

    • DeanLearner says:

      *Canterbury Fist Bump*

      It’s almost like after the take over they forgot to consider the fact that they own the store they were competing with. They should ask both subway’s how they manage it.

      • KikiJiki says:

        Subway is a franchise business, so those two stores aren’t actually eating each other’s profits.

        • DeanLearner says:

          The only thing getting eaten at subway is their delicious freshly made sandwiches.

          MMmmmmm I can taste how fresh it is.

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          drewski says:

          …wha?

          Subway’s model works because there’s enough demand for both stores to make profits in areas where there are more than one outlet.

          The same demand with less outlets would just result in even higher levels of profit for whatever store was left, assuming it had the capacity to service that demand.

          • Phantoon says:

            We have like, ten Subways in the space of five square miles in my city, and they all do well.

            And we only have 160,000 people.

          • Starky says:

            As Kiki says though, they’re franchises, all they have to do is make enough money for the person who bought the franchise.
            Subway doesn’t actually care how well they (an individual store) do – because if one fails another will eventually take it’s place.

      • mondomau says:

        I’m in canterbury a fair bit – I seem to recall that gamestation focused more heavily on the used side of the business – hardware, console games etc. Which is how they used to split it in most towns that had both stores.

        • DeanLearner says:

          This is a horrible thing to say but… of the few gamestations I’ve been to (Canterbury, Cambridge, Dover), it always seems like GameStation, was the scruffy smelly younger brother to Game.

          • The JG Man says:

            I felt that Gamestation in Canterbury seemed a bit less organised, but it also seemed like it embraced selling games more rather than the polished spit-shine service of GAME down the road. I say that given the massive Fallout statue.

            (I go to UKC. Fistbump for anyone there?)

          • GiantRaven says:

            Gamestation was a much, much better store when it had a bigger focus on retro gaming. I stopped going in there once all that went away along with their huge PC selection.

          • DeanLearner says:

            The JG Man : *bump*

            UKC 2004-2007 Multimedia Technology and Design, 20 Grimshill Court, Parkwood. I loved living in Parkwood.

          • Enso says:

            In my home town of Bracknell, Gamestation was also the choice for retro items even if they portrayed themselves as the smelly metaler (metlar/grunger/etc) version of game. I heard a rumour that when they decided to stop stocking retro merchandise they simply threw it all away instead of offering it for free (because they’re all about gaming!). Thats not nice but anyway I could do without hearing shit Bullet For My Valentine and the like along with, at times, being patronised by HMV rejects everytime I want to buy something.

        • Sami H says:

          The only actual difference was the size of the banners promoting used stuff. Both Game and Gamestation have the same new releases plus massive pre-owned collections. The only real difference is that GS seemed to have more shelf space devoted to pre-owned stuff (although this could be down to the Game store being quite small compared to GS) while Game seemed to keep older non-PC games around for a bit longer.

          In the end though, they still both had trade-ins (often at different prices which is even more laughable) and the same new releases (obviously), so were competing against each other for a limited market. Canterbury also has CEX (which I’m not mistaken kicks their arses on trade-ins), ASDA (which stocks all new games), Argos, Dixons/Currys/PC World, Comet, and all the others.

          It would’ve been far more efficient to use the far larger GameStation store (the old Game one has been horrible in terms of shop layout even back when it was EB – not blaming the shop fitters, just the layout of the building in general) thus cutting down on rent costs, staff, costs, duplicate stock costs, etc, etc. That, and GS seemed to have the slightly better staff. Then again, looking at the chain it seems efficiency wasn’t exactly their go-to word.

          In other news, I think Canterbury is up to its 4th Starbucks now…

          • chakraist says:

            Whee! UKC 2006-2010 (BA Phil/RS MA Reasoning), Parkwood Nickle Court. Small world. Now in Korea.

            Interestingly I only ever used the Gamestation. It was bigger than the GAME and way less claustrophobic. I went in there once at 10.30am after a marathon session of MGS4 (that lasted all night) to get the strategy guide, to start it again. They were not impressed with my story.

    • IncredibleBulk92 says:

      Because while you know 90% of people who use real shops where they have to talk to people do not (kids with pocket money and people buying gifts). To them it seems like there are two competing game stores right next to each oso they might shop in both to find the cheaper option instead of visiting say GAME and Tesco.

  9. MiniMatt says:

    Trade ins I shall miss. Not because the trade ins offered by Game represented any fantastic deal (the most certainly didn’t) but because it legitimised in the minds of consumers rights of ownership and resale – something which the gaming industry is very keen to see stripped from us.

    Still, thoughts with the legions of blameless staff who will be suffering as a result of this news.

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      Actually, those trade-ins by big retailers are what has led to Operation Second Hand Death. Jimmy Earnestface selling his games on eBay was never a big deal. The, as you yourself have admitted, shoddy trade-in deals on the other hand…

      • Milky1985 says:

        Just been annouced over on eurogamer that PwC have started shutting stores, shut down the website, and are not refusing to honour pre-order’s (and not refunding them), gift cards and loyalty points.

        So it has begun, nto sure how legal the refusing refunds on pre-orders is legal since the whole pushing pre-orers before adminsitration, as i believe stuff like that is illegal if they knew they were going under.

        • Tams80 says:

          I’m almost certain refusing to refund pre-orders is illegal. That said, when Northern Rock went under, people lost their money there as the bank just didn’t have the money and GAME also doesn’t seem to have the money.

        • MiniMatt says:

          I’m pretty sure that pre-order customers are, legally, just another creditor and are potentially at the end of a very long list of creditors. One thing I am rather sure of is that HMRC are always first in line with that position defined by law.

          Whether that works out in practice remains to be seen of course, if a buyer is found for any part of the business one might reasonably expect pre-order customers to be looked after.

          Remember Farepak (the Christmas “savings” club, arguably a “pre order hamper” deal) – that went under in 2006 and customers still haven’t seen a full return, and likely won’t.

          That said, to the best of my knowledge no private individual lost savings when Northern Rock went under – there were existing government backed guarantees on private savings which were extended and expanded during the crisis.

          I am not a lawyer however, so treat with usual skepticsm reserved for random blokes spouting legalese on the internet :o)

  10. sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

    Best news of the week so far!

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      AmateurScience says:

      Yay! 5000 people out of work!

      Yay! Major source of revenue for games industry gone!

      Yay! Only national specialist games retailer ceases to be!

      Yay!

      Yay?

      • Lukasz says:

        Yay! 5000 people out of work!
        Nope. not all of them will lose jobs, you can’t shut down something so big and not provide an alternative. nay for people who do lose jobs tough.

        Yay! Major source of revenue for games industry gone!
        Not true. Why would people buy less games because game is gone?

        Yay! Only national specialist games retailer ceases to be!
        So?

        Yay!
        yay!

        • Milky1985 says:

          “Yay! Major source of revenue for games industry gone!
          Not true. Why would people buy less games because game is gone? ”

          Because theirs less discoverability of games and less chance for little johney to “just pop into game for a bit” then pester muma dn dad for a game.

          Theres also less money in the market for new games now people will have a had time getting rid of there old games.

          Theres also going to be a wait for reviews etc as people can’t get rid of there “crap” games as easy so will be less willing to put down £40 at a time when the governmetn are busy selling off all of our public services and so people aren’t spending as much due to being worried about future earnings.

          Need i go on?

          • Apples says:

            Less discoverability? Nonsense, Game only ever really stocked the newest most overpriced AAA games anyway, and now supermarkets (obviously with a much wider audience than a game-specific shop and way more chance for casual parent-bothering) do that. There are also tons of adverts on TV, on streets, and in the Tube for games and I find it hard to believe that anyone interested in them would not know how to buy them on Amazon (or coerce their parents into buying them on Amazon).

            As for selling preowned games though, I never bothered because the prices you could get for them always seemed so low as to make it not worth my while and I like to keep them around anyway, so I can’t say whether or not that will have any impact.

          • Lukasz says:

            so are you saying you won’t be able to buy retail games in Uk then? cause if that is true then i withdraw my comment.

            but it is not true isn’t it? game does not have monopoly on video games. Media retailers will pick up what Game abandoned. Customers would go there, to supermarkets which will see increase sales just because Game is gone. You already visit those places, and with Game gone they can fill up the void, therefore no “Less discoverability”
            if it is gone because so far they are ‘only’ in administration.

            also
            stupid double post of mine. i send it for deletion and it is still here.

      • Lukasz says:

        Yay! 5000 people out of work!
        Nope. not all of them will lose jobs, you can’t shut down something so big and not provide an alternative. nay for people who do lose jobs tough.

        Yay! Major source of revenue for games industry gone!
        Not true. Why would people buy less games because game is gone?

        Yay! Only national specialist games retailer ceases to be!
        So?

        Yay!
        yay!

        • IC says:

          you can’t shut down something so big and not provide an alternative.

          HA. That is the most hopelessly naive thing I’ve read all day.

          My thoughts are with the people losing their jobs today. It couldn’t come at a worse time. Whatever you think of GAME, this is no cause for celebration.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I couldn’t agree more. No matter what your personal feelings are about game, a lot of people have had their lives turned upside down over the last few weeks. Lets think about them.

          • Lukasz says:

            by alternative i do not mean another video game shop. i mean another place for people to work which will open up because game is big enough that when it fails something else will open which will need staff.

          • IC says:

            by alternative i do not mean another video game shop. i mean another place for people to work which will open up because game is big enough that when it fails something else will open which will need staff.

            OK, now THAT’S the most naive thing I’ve read all day. There are high streets up and down the country with tonnes of boarded-up shops that have been derelict for weeks or months.

            It’s not a zero-sum game where every time a shop closes, another opens – or where every time a job is destroyed, another is created. Otherwise we wouldn’t have such terrible unemployment in this country.

        • Jimbo says:

          (Edit: @IC)

          It’s probably true that something will take its place on the high street though. GAME has (/had) massive revenues. That demand isn’t going to vanish into thin air overnight. Wherever that demand ends up going, its likely that some extra jobs will be created to meet it. Obviously not enough to employ all of those people, because GAME had too many people employed unnecessarily in too many unnecessary stores. Some of those people losing their jobs is a necessary evil unfortunately, because they weren’t actually doing anything for which there was demand anymore.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I wonder if the supermarkets are jazzing up their games sections as we speak – I know if I were a supermarket manager that’s exactly what I would do, make it much more like a separate little store

      • Delusibeta says:

        Considering the fact that the top three best selling games in the UK this week were all not available from GAME Group stores, I question how important they are to the industry.

        • Milky1985 says:

          Since we have no numbers you can’t draw this conclusion.

          All we know is that top 3 games were not sold in game, we do not know how MANY units were sold.

          It could be that yes they are top 3 but sold 20k less than equivilent game before, which would show that game did make a difference, it might not show this, until they produce ACTUAL numbers, we can only guesss and use sites like vgchartzs (basically a guessing service)

      • sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

        Fair enough, people loosing jobs is never a good thing.

        But the closing down of an irrelevant, badly priced, badly stocked, badly thought out high street store selling products in a completely redundant medium is

        Any business for which you walk past and think “how on earth do these people manage to keep trading? who would buy anything from here?” isn’t going to last very long. Think Woolworths. Think HMV. Think WHSmiths.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Mmmmm woolworths pick and mix…. They should of turned themselves into a sweetie emporium!

  11. Premium User Badge

    sharkwald says:

    This is a tricky one; gaming is a massive market, and you’d certainly expect it to command a dedicated high street presence. But you’d say the same for books, film and music, and it’s clear that HMV and Waterstones are being eaten by the supermarkets at one end, and Amazon at the other.

    I feel there has to be some model that makes money out a high street shop that sells media and isn’t vulnerable the way Game, Waterstones and HMV are, but I’m jiggered if I can think what.

    My only hope is that some canny businessperson has the idea, and pulls it off — surely there must be a gaping hole in the market?

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      The problem is that online has no limit on shelf space. So there’s a massive selection, which is infinitely easier to browse than a physical shelf. Even a specialist physical retailer can’t be as specialised as an online one. The alternative is to sell the big sellers and be outcompeted by supermarkets.

      One alternative might have been to go ‘social’ a la games workshop and have a much heavier communal gaming presence, PC LANs/networked xboxes, tournies, snacks, more of an internet cafe kinda thing.

      Of course the problem there is that most of the current GAME real estate is wholly unsuited to that kind of usage.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        The biggest problem is the cost of retail premises. The second biggest problem is the cost of retail staff, however badly you pay them. Everything else pales into insignificance next to those.

  12. smiggs says:

    It won’t be ‘miracle’ if Game survive plenty of retail chains have gone into administration recently and survived it’s a kind of brinkmanship to allow the business to pay down it’s debt cheaply and restructure quickly. Game will survive in some shape or form the assets are still to great for it to self distruct completely.

  13. Tim Ward says:

    So, I popped into Game the other day to check out what is in effect their closing down sale. Example “bargain” £45 down to £35 for some Star Wars thing. This tells you everything you need to know about why Game is in the situation it is now in.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Only £4 more than the tax dodgers that is amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=the+old+republic&x=0&y=0

      And with amazon you wait for 3-5 days unless you pay for next day which will likely take the price to…….. £35.

      So i fail to see your point really, other than companies who pay tax can’t compete with people that don’t :p

      • Delusibeta says:

        Which is in turn £6 more expensive than the tax payers that are ShopTo –
        http://www.shopto.net/PC/GAME%20HIGHLIGHTS/PCST32-Star%20Wars%20The%20Old%20Republic.html

        Your argument is invalid, anyway: the Channel Island tax loophole closes next week.

        • CKScientist says:

          Also, 2000 people out of work. Around 3% of the workforce!

        • Milky1985 says:

          You mean the same shopto that sources games from the US (cheaper) and sell them over here as UK (this may be where you get the cheaper game from) :P

          They were also caught basically seeding forums with positive reviews.

          This is the same company that is effectivly run by a guy who was actually bankrupt abnd banned from setting up a new company when shopto was setup.

          I fail to see how the fact that another online store has cheaper invalidates any argument anyway, lots of the online stores are cheaper cause of stuff like not being able to get the game then and there due to no rent costs. Not being able to talk to anyone about complaints other than a facelessd rone over the phone. And in some cases some very dodgy dealings like tax dodges and grey imports.

          Yet people have a go at game :p

      • Tim Ward says:

        Only £4 more than the tax dodgers that is amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=the+old+republic&x=0&y=0

        Actually, when I clicked the link it was £13 more than Amazon. However, the point is the same either way. Even with their major closing down sale, they can’t beat Amazon’s price. I repeat, this was supposed to be a major sale at they come in… a bit over full price.

        And with amazon you wait for 3-5 days unless you pay for next day which will likely take the price to…….. £35.

        Unless you live within walking distance of a town center, going to Game isn’t a cost free option either. Costs me that in petrol to get to the Game in Carlisle, then there’s parking, etc.

  14. Premium User Badge

    GibletHead2000 says:

    <selfish>
    Does this mean there’ll be some good/cheap deals if I head into a Game store this week?
    </selfish>

    • kastanok says:

      No; the shop won’t be open. When a business goes into administration, it ceases all trading immediately.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Surlywombat says:

    I do feel for the staff (I used to work there back when it was called EB), but I won’t say this is a surprise. They have been poorly managed for years.

    It’s been 14 years since the EB merger and yet lots of towns up and down the country still have two Game stores, they never did get around to consolidating.

    Then they purchased Gamestation when the profits were high (because there had just been a generation of consoles released – that boom was always going to last..). Throw in a world financial meltdown, online sales and the growth of digital and here we are.

    Much of their problems are of their own making. Yes the financial crisis was a surprise, but the console market always has highs when new systems are launched and dips when the rumours of the next gen start appearing. They had a mediocre online service, with very dodgy delivery commitments. After watching seeing what happened to music sales it shouldn’t have been a surprise when gaming started going digital too.

    In store the staff turnover was massive. In my experience there was usually one staff member who knew what they were talking about, one manager who didn’t know anything about games and lots of part time kids.

    The fact they were putting Mass Effect 2 at number one in the chart with a price sticker over the “2” just sums them up frankly.

    Update: Just found this quote from the The Competition Commission when they greenlit the Gamestation buy “the merger of Game and Gamestation may not be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the markets for the supply of gaming software, consoles, and related accessories in the UK.” Uh, huh..

    • mrosenki says:

      That’s an interesting point actually, the long life-span of the current generation having such a negative effect on the high street market. I’m guessing Kinect was the last hardware sales blip they had, but for the next two years (if nothing is announced at E3) there won’t be anything major on the horizon. Wii U might be interesting, but we’ll have to see about that.

  16. frenz0rz says:

    I feel for anyone who is losing their job as a result of this. I graduated from university last June and have been unable to find full-time employment despite searching frantically for 9 months.

    Also, christ, its been 9 months.

    • Wizlah says:

      This. 5000 jobs lost is not good, doubly so in an economic environment where future growth within the UK is currently projected as minimal. I don’t care how shit the management, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone right now. I grew up in the days of 20% unemployment in Ireland (18% of which were Long-Term Unemployed). It’s a shit deal if you lose your job right now, especially in the face of cuts to the welfare state. Much harder to get your feet under you and back out there again.

  17. bit_crusherrr says:

    Where am I going to buy PSN credit now?

  18. Mollusc Infestation says:

    Whatever can be said against Game, i’ve always been a huge fan of their “3 for £10/£20″ section. Game is fine for PC gamers, as long as you don’t mind being 2 years behind.

    • Wizlah says:

      I was out of gaming for a while, and their 3 fer 10’s was how I built up a library again. That was in the days before mighty discounts in digital distribution, mind.

    • NathanH says:

      Yep, before Steam sales became ridiculous, this was my principal source of old games.

  19. kororas says:

    PC gaming will soldier on unabeited.

  20. kafiend says:

    “GAME’s CEO Ian Shepherd has already stepped down, incidentally.”
    Yeah, far better to walk than be pushed and than wondering how to dress up “sacked for incompetence” on the CV.

    • NathanH says:

      Still, if he’d remained they could have used him to try to sell the business. “I’m CEO Shepherd and this is my favorite store on the High Street”.

  21. Ucodia says:

    So what will happen to GAME in other countries? Is the whole company bankrupt or only the UK branch?

    • derito says:

      I’d like to know this too. They turned Scoregame into Game here in France and I’d like to know what will happen to them.

      • Delusibeta says:

        AFAIK they are also in the gutter with their UK counterparts. That said, they (broadly speaking) seem much more likely to be bought out.

    • Lukasz says:

      They closed few shops already in Syndey, Australia. I know about two which i frequented. They were always quite empty (no customers) tough so no surprise.

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        Game ran headlong into the EB Games juggernaut in Australia. Fortunately Australian supermarkets haven’t quite figured out how much of a loss leader videogames can be, so there’s still a huge specialist games retailing market. JB Hi Fi is really the only competitor for EB Games in Australia – Game couldn’t compete on price, range, store locations or service.

        Not sure how EB Games will go if the massive franchises go on sale at Coles and Woolies, or Target and Big W actually sort out their games sections (not that multimedia has ever been a big part of either of those two’s business model) but as long as they’ve got the premium segment of the market to themselves (and maybe JB Hi Fi) you’d want to have a pretty smooth operation to launch into Australia. And Game never had that.

  22. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    I refuse to accept it’s a bad thing for the employees and I refuse to accept anyone who says it is genuinely cares about the employees, it’s harmful to everyone to suggest that GAME were somehow doing their employees a favor by employing them, they were exploiting them just like they exploited their customers and their distribution partners a truer definition of a redundant entity would be difficult to find and I sincerely hope the government doesn’t stealthily write off their debt through RBS.

    • Milky1985 says:

      I refuse to accept your refusal to accept, on the grounds that you are a heartless individual.

      Oh and “exploting employees”? its called employment, all employment is basically exploiting employees, you are taking their time to make yourself money (if your a cynical git like myself you can see it like that anyway)

      • Premium User Badge

        Surlywombat says:

        I’ll accept your refusal to accept his refusals to accept in lieu of Game reward points/vouchers.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      You’re saying it’s not a bad thing that 5000 people might be losing their jobs? That’s cold.

      Edit: this post was going to be longer but I decided not to be a dick on the internet.

    • Crane says:

      So, you currently have a job then?

      I’m stuck without one, and I’d not wish that on anyone (well, maybe a few people).
      And now there’s even more competition. Hurrah.

    • Premium User Badge

      The Sombrero Kid says:

      I agree that unemployment is tough, I just don’t like the way it’s made out that 4 hours a week work at £3.50 an hour is a good thing, that kind of employment is damaging to everyone in my opinion, including the employee.

      • Premium User Badge

        AmateurScience says:

        So you agree that unemployment is tough but refuse to accept it’s a bad thing for the employees?

      • Wizlah says:

        Whilst I can see your point, you have to recognise right now that the competition for jobs is absurdly high. My wife has been interviewing people for a number of posts just recently, and the quality level is disproportionately high to the posts they’re applying for. The jobs market is very tough right now, and any kind of slack in terms of time off unemployed will make you look worse in comparison to other applicants. The only kind of good thing you can say about the potential redundancies is that with game being a retail chain, it’s not hitting one area disproportionately – if it had been a manufacturer of some sort, or call centre, that would be a different matter.

        Also, national minimum wage is only 3.68 for people aged 16-17. If you’re over 21, it’s £6.08.

        • Premium User Badge

          The Sombrero Kid says:

          Full disclosure wise, i’ve never worked for game so I don’t know that they do this but i know that a couple of retail places I worked wouldn’t hire anyone over 20 and preferred 16 year old on 6 month contracts, that’s why I said £3.50 I know game have 4 hour contracts for at least some people, again other retail places i’ve worked everyone was on a 4 hour contract.

          • Premium User Badge

            matte_k says:

            Was talking to a Gamestation employee this morning about this- I work for Cex, and he had just come from the Gamestation in walsall searching for work at our place, as have quite a few Game staff. I was surprised to hear about the 4 hour contract, iirc we have a zero hour contract whilst you do a three month probation, after which you are offered a full contract (approx 37-40 hours a week).

            What also has surprised me these last few weeks is how people assume that a company like ours would be happy to see Game go under-not so. A lot of our stock arrives via customers of Game, both pre-owned and new, and good competition drives forward our businesses. The knock-on effect of losing Game from the high street will not necessarily be catastrophic, but they did provide a visible presence in the high street and common media for the awareness of gaming as a cultural phenomenon in the same arena as film and music.
            Also, Shepherd took over from the previous CEO who bailed when he saw the cracks in the sinking ship, so he’s not entirely at fault here, but he hasn’t helped much by allowing the other higher-ups to make some really stupid decisions that have snowballed into the current scenario.

            Having met and become friendly with a number of Game/Gamestation staff, that’s what pains me most about this whole thing-redundancy with very little payout. A sorry state of affairs.

    • Premium User Badge

      Llewyn says:

      “I refuse to accept anyone who says it is genuinely cares about the employees”

      Because nothing says caring like hijacking an unfortunate situation in the interests of political dogma, right?

      I know RPS posting policy requires us to be civil to other posters but nonetheless you really are a dick.

    • The Colonel says:

      The country benefits very little from a job market progressively consisting of awfully paid, awfully supported jobs for huge enterprises who don’t give a shit about their employees or their products. It contributes to a country-wide misery and separation of enjoyment of life from work (where people spend so much of their time).

      It is very unfortunate for Game employees that they are joining the legions of jobless, but that’s the way the job market works in corporation-driven capitalism. Maybe they’ll only have to wait 3 years for the Tories to go away and a whole load of worthwhile jobs will be created by the next government.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        Can you remind me when a British government of any colour last created a whole load of worthwhile jobs? As a child of the 70s I don’t think I’m old enough to remember that.

        I’m also curious as to what sustainable form that might even take.

        • Delusibeta says:

          Spoiler alert: it won’t happen, Labour is pretty much identical to the Tories and vice-versa.

        • The Colonel says:

          Yeah that was cleverly disguised sarcasm through the medium of dead-pan text. Is there a recognised formatting for textual sarcasm?

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            My apologies Colonel. On re-reading, your original post was perfectly clear. Unfortunately my satire detector seems to have become clogged up by the genuine political guff posted by some commenters in this and other GAME-related threads recently.

            @Wizlah: I’d like to share your genuine/proposed optimism but I’m afraid I’m firmly of the belief that the current problems are almost entirely the fault of the previous shower rather than the current shower. I struggle to believe that any future shower will make things significantly better in any way, rather than happening to come to power in circumstantially better times.

          • Johnny Lizard says:

            Is there a recognised formatting for textual sarcasm?

            As it happens, there is, sort of.

            http://glennmcanally.com/sarcastic/

          • Wizlah says:

            @Llewyn: that’s kinda confusing. If the labour government had a demonstrably bad effect on the current situation, why wouldn’t any future administration be able to have a good effect on the economy? Unless you feel that the actions required will not be taken by any future government and so things will only get better through some blind, chaotic economic engine.

        • Wizlah says:

          Whether you agree with it from a political point of view or not, giving the public sector more responsibilities in day to day life necessarily requires increasing the number of jobs. Depending on your political and economic leanings, you might not feel this is a sensible and sustainable long term economic strategy.

          Taken as a brief example, the money pumped into the NHS by the labour government must have increased the numbers of people they employed. Or to put it another way more crudely, the number of jobs lost in the public sector due to cuts has not been replaced in the private sector, and during the labour government, unemployent was significantly lower than now, so putting those two facts together would lead me to infer that they did give people a lot of jobs when the public purse was fullest.

        • The Colonel says:

          The term “worthwhile” here requires some definition. Presumably you’re not considering Labour’s bureaucrats to be particularly worthwhile to the country? My definition of a worthwhile job is one that A: contributes to the worker’s wellbeing, happiness and self-worth, B: either benefits society as a whole or is benign (there are complex arguments to be made for and against super-wealth creating jobs which are said to maintain the standard of living in the country but also reinforce and amplify inequality in the system) and C: by its existence does not harm or actively assists the equalising of opportunity across social classes.

          Maybe.

          • Wizlah says:

            @ The Colonel: I’m not saying either way – in fact, I don’t think I used the word worthwhile at all. I’m just trying to question the statement ‘no government since the 70s has created jobs’.

            I’m no great fan of the last labour government, any more than I am the tories beforehand, but I do think it’s unfair to say they didn’t create jobs. If you’re going to argue their relative merits with other administration since the 70s, it seems like the best thing to do is compare the various administrations’ spend on the public sector and the increase in employement in the selfsame sector, and then argue about the relative effectiveness of that spend (and, indeed, the analysis that some has used to correlate the spend to increase in jobs, but that’s where the economic debate comes in).

          • The Colonel says:

            That comment was more @Llewyn. I broadly agree with you. A job market determined predominately by neo-liberal economics is just really bad for the UK. That the previous Labour government are responsible for all the problems of this government is, in my reasoned and studied opinion ( ;D ), an ideological front presented to justify a conservative agenda. There are plenty of arguments in favour of Brown economics – where he wasn’t wisely blowing with the wind he was attempting to create a long-term sustainable job-market and employment practice which preserves the public sector and protects the individual worker. That the conservatives are now dismantling this, claiming that the country’s finances would be more healthy with less government deficit AND a smaller public sector is pure ideology.

          • Premium User Badge

            drewski says:

            I’m not sure you can credibly say that the country’s *finances* won’t be better off with smaller public debt and therefore, in a time of low tax intake, a smaller public sector.

            Whether or not the state of the public finances in any way correlates with national wellbeing is the better question.

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            You seem to be coping just fine at attributing opinions to me without my expressing any, so I think I’ll just leave you to continue arguing amongst yourself.

  23. mrosenki says:

    yep, gamestation website just went offline…

  24. IncredibleBulk92 says:

    In the future there will only be 2 jobs, people who pack boxes of goods for websites and people who deliver those boxes.

  25. tehfish says:

    A weird side effect of this is that it might allow the HMV stores to survive.

    With Game gone their quite large gaming sections of the stores won’t be undercut and perhaps might make them some money for once…

  26. Premium User Badge

    jezcentral says:

    Ironically, GAME.co.uk has had some good deals lately: Download-only (ie Steam codes) of course, but even better than Steam sale prices.

  27. Premium User Badge

    KindredPhantom says:

    This may strengthen Grainger Games, former Game/Gamestation customers may now go to there stores which could strengthen them. Also the small independent gaming store may get a bit of a boost too.

    • Wizlah says:

      I was chatting this over with a friend who does marketing recently, and we were both wondering if smaller more niche game stores with an online presence would manage more successfully in the way that some independent book stores have. If you’re not a chain, you’re not dealing with the massive rent overheads – not that it isn’t an issue for a smaller business, but at least if you’re just the one business, you’re not having to contend with more variable rental rates because you’re only dealing with one landlord/local government authority.

      as bad as it is, there is now more of a market which doesn’t necessarily have to be serviced by either supermarkets or online distribution. Gives me warm fuzzy thoughts thinking about the first rpg/boardgameing shop I frequented when I was a kid. effectively integrating that with computer games might be a way forward.

      • Premium User Badge

        KindredPhantom says:

        Even Game had to start somewhere. If no one takes over the Game group then all it doesn’t necessarily mean an end of the niche video game store. I know Grainger Games had a bit of a bad rep for the stunts pulled at the award show, but maybe it will step up and take customers and learn from the mistakes of Game.
        I don’t think Game will go, I can see it being re-launched maybe under the same name or a different one.

  28. Deano2099 says:

    There’s a few people here who enjoy board games. Fairly sure every one of them will at some point have attempted to explain them to people and got the response “Is it like that Warhammer thing?”

    That’s the strength of having a highstreet presence, walking past the stores is a huge driver in reminding people they exist, it’s why my mum has heard of Warhammer but not Catan. The loss of GAME as a high street presence will have an impact on visibility of gaming in the UK, and that’s bound to hit sales.

  29. mihor_fego says:

    I’m not a UK resident, but no matter how one felt towards this chain as a customer, this is sad news for all the employees and something we often forget as adults over the net.

    These kind of stores, even if they cater to consoles more are the main place for kids to get their games from. Really now, you think online retailers or digital distribution is the way to go for children to buy games? The alternative, only having the supermarket as a place to find games is even worse.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I think any 10 year old could probably teach their parents enough about using Amazon to get the latest Professor Layton game delivered. I wouldn’t worry about the kids, they’ll be fine.

  30. fallingmagpie says:

    ‘…it’s tended to be promotional presence and potential on the high street that has guided publishers’ budgets.’

    If that’s the case, mightn’t a complete lack of any presence on the high street be a good thing*? If it might push publishers to use different criteria to measure success and inform future decisions?

    (* Job losses aside, of course.)

  31. newc0253 says:

    So here’s a stoopid question:

    Alec says that Game has ‘tended to be promotional presence and potential on the high street that has guided publishers’ budgets – both in terms of what and where their marketing and distrubtion spend is and even what they greenlight’.

    My question is, though, just how much influence does a UK high street retailer have over the decisions of publishers to greenlight a game? My (admittedly very poor) impression of Game was that – as far as PC games went – it only ever stocked AAA titles from the major publishers based in the US and elsewhere in the EU, i.e. games that you were always likely to be able to pick up from Tescos or Amazon in any event. So my guess is that its collapse, while genuinely hard news for its employees and their families, won’t really make that much difference to which games get published.

    I could be completely wrong about this, though, because i don’t pretend to know anyfink about how the big games publishers ply their trade. For all i know, its all manatees and coloured balls agin.

  32. Soon says:

    I don’t work for them. But a manager told me Dixons (Edit: Uh, I meant Comet) bought them last week. But maybe he just consistently lies or I misunderstood. (Edit: They were the ones who misunderstood how definite that was. Wishful thinking?).

  33. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    A few points to add

    My local Game Store was 30 minute away in Crawley, the next closest game store was 30 minutes and 200 metres away in Crawley, the nearest GameStation store is 30 minutes and 300 metres away in Crawley. Actually having 3 shops on the same road, within 300 metres of each other always struck me as being a bit strange and not the best managerial decision

    Mike Jervis of administrators PwC was the administrator when my company went under a couple of year back. Of about 3500 jobs they managed to save 200

  34. Crainey says:

    I think we can all say the eventual collapse of retail game stores to the online retailer is inevitable but I can’t imagine any of us expected this so soon, given this one is not entirely due to online retailers. I expected this 3-4 years from now, not now.
    I find it hard to imagine nobody will want to buy GAME, with the large market share they had there is a huge hole. It’s unfortunate for the employees but of no consequence to me, being a PC Gamer who buys all my stuff online where it’s cheaper I haven’t bought anything for a game retail store in years!

  35. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    The only people I feel anything for are the customer service people who worked in Game. Everyone else got exactly what they deserved – failure. Game was a classic example of how not to run a retail business, which only succeeding through sheer market, near-monopoly power in the good times, and proved so badly managed it was incapable of adapting to ever changing market conditions as soon as their monolithic, customer-hating business model became outdated.

    Good riddance.

  36. Dozer says:

    Any Private Eye readers here?

    PwC have two hats. They put on their ‘auditor’ hat, and decide a company has gone down the tubes and needs to be put out of its misery. Then they put on their ‘administrators’ hat, shoot the company in the head, and sell off its assets. Taking £millions in fees for both actions.

    How dead were GAME really? Were PwC its auditors as well as its adminstrators?

    • Respectable Geek says:

      Actually, having looked at their accounts, they weren’t (for 2009-10 at least, can’t find any more recent but doubt Game will have changed auditor in those years)

      (and yes, Private Eye reader)

  37. aircool says:

    GAME; that’s what you get for not stocking a wide variety of PC games. Serves you right.

    *Hope the staff find some job alternatives soon :(

  38. sinister agent says:

    Surely RPS readers could start a kickstarter to buy GAME? I’ve got £26. What about you lot?

  39. Phantoon says:

    Bad news for people that work at GAME: You’re fired.

    Good news for people that work at GAME: You don’t have to work there anymore!

  40. britpunk80 says:

    I was at Bluewater about an hour ago. The Game store downstairs had a sign on the door:

    “This Game store is now closed. Your nearest Game store is upstairs.”

    And therein lies Game’s problem. Since Electronics Boutique got bought out by them, most towns and cities I know have had at least two Game stores, often right around the corner from one another. This is simply baffling and counter-productive.

    The Gamestation buyout perhaps made the problem even worse, but at least Gamestation had a deliberately different target audience.

    Also, it seems a lot of people seem to be equating administration with liquidation – it isn’t the same. Game will probably (hopefully even) survive – it is the administrators job to ensure this happens and to avoid liquidation where possible. The brand has value so this should be possible.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      As I said on the first page of comments, here in Glasgow city centre we have 5 GAME & 3 GameStation stores all within a 5-10 minute walk of each other on the main high streets or in the 2 indoor shopping centres on those streets. You’ve also got massive HMV stores (only 2 now since Virgin/Zavvi were bought out by them & they consolidated the stores) and a couple of independent games retailers within the same area not to mention Dixons/Currys/Comet etc.

  41. Farsearcher says:

    My local game was still open this morning. I think some stores might stay open for a little while longer. The gamestation in the same area has closed though. Sad to see, it’ll be bad for the games market in general. I went in meaning to buy battlefield 3 today but ridiculously the price had gone up since last week. Not the best strategy to try and save itself.

    Strangely enough it has a decent PC games section – a few paradox titles and some good budget classics amongst the usual chart and casual games.

    I don’t think it was just PC where the selection was bad though. In many game stores I’ve seen lots of console chart leaders and tons of pre owned stuff. I would have liked to have seen more slightly older games, the ones just a few months to a yearish old that seemed to dissapear too quickly.

    Anyway good luck to the staff in finding new jobs.

  42. Xaromir says:

    I just have to throw in a word there: Companies not buying used PC titles isn’t anything unusual anymore as most come with DRM in some shape or form, and apparently people ask for them less and less, that is an issue. :/

  43. sneetch says:

    In a rather disgusting turn Game’s Irish employees have been told to seek their redundancy from the state. Game have shut up shop and are planning on just walking away over here and damn the staff who worked for them.

  44. Bob says:

    Firstly, having been made redundant two jobs ago I feel for the people losing their jobs. Secondly, in Australia EB Games is our main retailer, and although they have a reaonable PC range of games, they are given only a fifth of the floor space as the consoles. Anyhoo, now with Steam’s pricing for our region the new releases are actually cheaper to buy at EB, some by AU$20 or more. Here’s hoping it doesn’t go the way of it’s British cousin.

  45. lociash says:

    Now that Game has gone the way of the dinosaur, I wonder if Steam will stop delaying some titles on launch in the UK (there was even a rumour of price fixing to fall in line with retail, i.e. Skyrim not being available in the UK for preorder on Steam for months and then going up for £35 a few weeks before, way above what other online retailers were charging).

  46. ZephyrSB says:

    Bye bye £20 Diablo III pre-order :(

    Well, at least it was from online, so they didn’t have my moneys. Guess I’ll have to go to CeX now for random bargin-bin browsing. It’s something that simply doesn’t work on-line.