The unfortunate, protracted end of UK retailer GAME's dominance of the region's video game market reached its next terrible, logical step today, as we learn of the closure of 277 of the company's UK retail locations. This reportedly includes all but three of GAME's Northern Ireland locations, as well as its flagship store in Birmingham. MCV has a more complete list of confirmed store closures.
As a result of the closures, 2,104 employees of the company are now out of work, a number that makes up roughly 40% of GAME's original total workforce.
The move comes as GAME begins the administration process--the UK equivalent of bankruptcy--and begins shedding assets in order to become potentially salable. Multiple companies are evidently interested in possibly purchasing a leaner version of the corporation, including North American games retail giant GameStop.
Elsewhere, EuroGamer is reporting that all remaining GAME locations have been instructed to suspend all exchanges, refunds, and gift card purchases. This includes any pre-orders that included money already put down. No refunds will be issued for those pre-order deposits at this time. From a statement by GAME, the retailer explained that this policy will be "reviewed over the next week" and consumers will be notified "if anything changes."