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GAME Finds a Buyer, Avoids Outright Closure

The new, leaner GAME will maintain its 333 remaining locations under the banner of a new owner.

The painful near-end saga of UK video game retailer GAME came to a rather swift and not terrible conclusion over this past weekend, with word that OpCapita's Baker Acquisitions Unlimited will taking the plunge and rescuing the company from its overwhelming debt.

How totally evil does "OpCapita's Baker Acquisitions Unlimited" sound? I mean, it probably isn't evil, just saying it SOUNDS evil.

With the deal in place, GAME has now exited the UK's administration process, and will keep the 333 remaining locations it has, along with the 3,200 employees who survived the first, massive round of layoffs following the beginning of administration.

The exact terms of the deal to keep GAME going were not disclosed, but a number of different outlets have cited the likelihood that the company was "officially" purchased for as little as £1, as OpCapita's real purchase was the previous debt incurred by GAME. That debt is estimated in upwards of £85 million.

The saving of GAME ensures that the UK's formerly largest video game retailer continues to exist, albeit in a somewhat hobbled capacity. GAME's website is back open for business, and GAME Reward cards have been reactivated. Unfortunately, other reports explain that gift cards purchased prior to the administration will likely never be redeemable.

While the franchise is saved, the former workers of GAME are still fighting against denied notice period and redundancy payments. Previously, former GAME workers in Ireland were the sole group to take issue with this, but over the weekend former UK employees were given the same news. Despite promises from GAME's administration firm, PricewaterhouseCooper, that the Irish employees would receive news on their complaints soon, there has been no change, and reportedly the Irish employees are still staging their sit-ins.

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex

The painful near-end saga of UK video game retailer GAME came to a rather swift and not terrible conclusion over this past weekend, with word that OpCapita's Baker Acquisitions Unlimited will taking the plunge and rescuing the company from its overwhelming debt.

How totally evil does "OpCapita's Baker Acquisitions Unlimited" sound? I mean, it probably isn't evil, just saying it SOUNDS evil.

With the deal in place, GAME has now exited the UK's administration process, and will keep the 333 remaining locations it has, along with the 3,200 employees who survived the first, massive round of layoffs following the beginning of administration.

The exact terms of the deal to keep GAME going were not disclosed, but a number of different outlets have cited the likelihood that the company was "officially" purchased for as little as £1, as OpCapita's real purchase was the previous debt incurred by GAME. That debt is estimated in upwards of £85 million.

The saving of GAME ensures that the UK's formerly largest video game retailer continues to exist, albeit in a somewhat hobbled capacity. GAME's website is back open for business, and GAME Reward cards have been reactivated. Unfortunately, other reports explain that gift cards purchased prior to the administration will likely never be redeemable.

While the franchise is saved, the former workers of GAME are still fighting against denied notice period and redundancy payments. Previously, former GAME workers in Ireland were the sole group to take issue with this, but over the weekend former UK employees were given the same news. Despite promises from GAME's administration firm, PricewaterhouseCooper, that the Irish employees would receive news on their complaints soon, there has been no change, and reportedly the Irish employees are still staging their sit-ins.

Staff
Edited by Little_Socrates

Huh, really expected GameSpot GameStop to make the purchase.

EDIT: Meant GameStop the first time, posted GameSpot. Did not intend to make that joke.

Posted by Legendary

GAME ON

Posted by theodacourt

I saw this elsewhere yesterday and I wasn't sure if it was the meanest april fool's prank ever or not. Good news!

Posted by Vorbis

GAME was evil enough before, it does not need more evil.

Posted by m2cks

Anything that acquires bakers is up to no good.

Posted by Sweep

@m2cks said:

Anything that acquires bakers is up to no good.

It's a good job that somebody is keeping an eye on them.

Moderator
Edited by Mumrik

Do the Brits actually care?

I haven't bought a game in an actual store for something like 9-10 years...

That's a lot of debt to take on in a shrinking market (offline sales moving online).

Posted by sixpin

@Little_Socrates: Yeah I mix those two names up all the time.

Posted by MeatSim

At least the remaining employees get to keep their jobs.

Posted by ZackBoy

@Mumrik: I'm guessing that the employees of Game are quite relieved.

Posted by Dalai

Awaiting the "New Game" headlines to come flooding in.

Posted by eccentrix

@Mumrik said:

Do the Brits actually care?

I haven't bought a game in an actual store for something like 9-10 years...

That's a lot of debt to take on in a shrinking market (offline sales moving online).

Prices are usually cheaper online and I don't mind waiting a day or two. I like to browse in Game, but I wouldn't miss it if it was gone.

Posted by Wraxend

So GAME will limp on for a few more years or less and will be in the same situation before they know it again. Glad people got to keep their jobs and all but I won't be shopping there anytime soon, not when theres Amazon still around.

Posted by Daniel_Newton

The lack of redundancy pay and GAME apparently keeping pre-order money left a bad taste in my mouth (do customers get the stuff they pre-ordered now that GAME is out of admin?) so I'm not really sure how I feel about this. I guess I'll just treat GAME how I always have, have a look around when I'm in town and if something's cheap buy it, otherwise buy my games online.

Posted by Ravenlight

So does this mean physical GAME locations will reopen in some capacity or what?

Posted by ThePencil

New GAME plus?

Posted by quimstyle

Time to sell all your game giftcards to one of those card consolidation sites.

Posted by Napalm

Well that's alright, I guess!

Posted by Bollard

My local GAME is gone. Eh.

Posted by NorseDudeTR

I fucking LOVE Alex' news stories. Genuinely love his style!

Posted by GunslingerPanda

Isn't this a bit like betting on a horse with one leg?

Posted by Stubee

GAME is safe for another day... unless the next generation of consoles really doesn't support pre owned games. Then (to my delight) all high street game shops are fucked.

Posted by Aaron_G

Only a matter a time until all stores like GAME and GameStop are no longer relevant.

Posted by sephirm87

They should change the name to New GAME plus.

Posted by MonkfishEsq

And I will continue to not give a fuck about GAME. I doubt they will change their horrible pricing or soul crushing staff targets to sell pre orders and warranties.

It just delayed the death a little longer.

Posted by Chindie

Well they already dumped me and my old workmates so fuck em.

For what it's worth these guys had already been turned down by the lenders once, they tried to purchase the company before administration was even in place, and got knocked back.

Also, if the representative that dealt with my old store is anything to go by, PwC is a company made up largely of cunts.

Posted by swedmiro

@Mumrik: With that name I assume that you are from either Finland or Sweden or some area in between. If thats the case you have to remember that we live in broad-band heaven while many parts of Europe and USA actually are quite devoid of decent broad band connections. I live in a student area where the video store had to close about 5 years ago because everyone used the net for their viewing pleasure.

Posted by Pazy

I appreciate having a GAME store to browse and sometimes I might pick up a game there, probably for a little extra, so I can get it on the day that randomly later on post. Though really i wouldent mind if they were gone, its sad for the people who lose their jobs but I cant see why its important that they stay.

Posted by CABBAGES

Both the Game and Gamestation shops are still open here (Game bought Gamestation a while ago)

Seems stupid to keep both of them open if they are closing down hundreds uk wide.

Posted by chrispti

I hate going to Game Stop, Best Buy, EB Games etc. It is annoying to go to brick and mortar stores. The only people I feel bad for are the employees who lose their jobs albeit the horrible, often rude and misinformed customer service I receive more often than not. Amazon all the way.

Posted by eddiephlash
Posted by Mumrik

@swedmiro said:

@Mumrik: With that name I assume that you are from either Finland or Sweden or some area in between. If thats the case you have to remember that we live in broad-band heaven while many parts of Europe and USA actually are quite devoid of decent broad band connections. I live in a student area where the video store had to close about 5 years ago because everyone used the net for their viewing pleasure.

Danish, so yeah, close enough.

This was specifically about GAME though, don't they have similar broadband penetration over there?

Posted by Demoskinos

@Pazy: Because big retailers don't carry niche titles. If your the kind of gamer who likes to buy smaller more niche titles big retail stores almost never carry that so specialty stores like GAME and Gamestop are important.

Edited by gamerpigeon

Im glad that The local Game around me went but the Gamestation stayed. I dunno about the rest of the country but Game was always 25% more expensive. HMV was cheaper and it was next door. Its no wonder they were struggling. Just way too expensive compared to other stores around them. I went in their last year and they were selling Colin McRae Dirt 1 on Xbox 360 for 20+ (why cant i type a pound sign on this website : S) with HMV and Gamestation both offering it for less than 10.

Glad they saved the stores they had left , last thing the UK needs is more stores closing and more people losing jobs. They are fighting a losing battle though. i give them two more console cycles , the next one being transition to buying games on launch digitally then the one after it becoming the norm and the end of highstreet chain Video Game stores in the UK. assuming they last even that long

EDIT: £££££££££££££££££££££ << Solved the problem :P

Posted by MattyFTM

Glad that they're still around. The absence of a large chain of retail stores would be really damaging for the industry.

Moderator
Edited by X19

They're living on borrowed time. 
 
I bet their tactics for selling games doesn't change a bit from before. 
 
Want an example? When Mass Effect 3 came out GAME couldn't sell it. So they took copies of Mass Effect 2, put them in the number one slot in the chart section and put the price tag over the "2". Fucking disgusting.

Posted by Kombat

I sincerely doubt that they'll be able to maintain their mantra toward less-than-ethical publishers.

Posted by JoeyRavn

Oh, shucks.

(Mind you, I'm happy for all the decent fellows that work at GAME who will be able to retain their jobs. But fuck the not-so-nice ones and the company itself as a whole. Greedy bastards.)

Posted by simonsays

Cannot really see this changing much, while I love Gamestation the constant argument is still there 'they charge too much compared to online retailers'. I don't think a big company like Gamestop buying the Game group would have helped either because even though they have alot of buying power in the US, it doesn't seem to transfer over to other markets ( for example: we don't get the crazy deals on the UK Amazon/Gamestop compared to their US conterparts). Also you can buy games cheaper through their online stores compared to retail which is a broken system in its self.

Posted by Pazy

@Demoskinos said:

@Pazy: Because big retailers don't carry niche titles. If your the kind of gamer who likes to buy smaller more niche titles big retail stores almost never carry that so specialty stores like GAME and Gamestop are important.

I was meaning compared to online like Amazon and Shopto (which ive recently come to love). Game has got a better selection than a supermarket but they have never been that great at stocking the small titles so anything that isnt "triple-A" I would tend to just order online. For me Game has always been better for just browsing and a quick pick-up of an old cheap game.

Edited by skelington_

Eh. I haven't bought anything in GAME for as long as i can remember.

In other news, ShopTo continues to be awesome. Ordered a game on Friday morning, got a photo of it being dispatched in my inbox two hours later, had the game arrive Saturday. They are bloody good at what they do, and unless GAME suddenly blitzes their prices, i don't see how you can be any better than that.

Posted by Klaimore

Wow @Alex has brought us good news. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

Posted by LordAndrew
GAME's bakers are in good hands.
Posted by ultra2extreme

@LordAndrew: Yes, their bread will continue to be made!

Posted by hollitz

Don't know about/don't care about the company. Super happy for the employees who've managed to keep their jobs and super bummed for those who have lost them. I'll pour one out while giving a tentative thumbs up.

Posted by Hizang

I don't know whether this is good news, GAME is like a 15 year old dog that had a heart attack, then luckily survived. But in the end the dog will die in a few years, much like GAME probably will.

Posted by Olymp1c

from the link about gift cards:

UPDATE: A source close to the GAME situation has told MCV that customers MAY be able to begin using gift cards, possibly as early as next week. So don't throw them away!

Posted by Entish

maybe they'll be better under new management, lets hope.

Edited by Terranova

Seems the CEO who ran Gamestation before the Game group bought them out will be running Game / Gamestation for the new owners, if he can get it back to how Gamestation was in the beginning they could do pretty well, Gamestation when they first launched were a great had fair prices on both new releases / pre-owned and when you traded in, they did really well and i guess the reason why the Game group bought them out get rid of the competition, so yeah if they can get it back to how it use to be people will come back.

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