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Posted by Alex (2294 posts) -

Given the recent history of the company, its various financial problems, internal layoffs, and most recent inability to negotiate with publishers to stock major product on its store shelves, it should come as no real surprise to anyone to learn today that UK specialty retailer GAME has entered administration.

To anyone who wrote "GAME Over" as a headline re: this story, you are history's laziest monster.

For those not up on the UK's financial laws, administration is effectively the country's equivalent of bankruptcy. As a result of the declaration, GAME has been removed from stock trading and all current shares are suspended.

While going into administration doesn't necessarily mean the outright end for the company, were some new version of GAME to emerge from this whole mess, it wouldn't necessarily resemble the video game retail giant that more or less dominated the UK's brick-and-mortar market. MCV has laid out a few possibilities for the company once its board has made the necessary preparations to move forward. The best among the likely scenarios sees GAME shrink down to about 300 locations (from its current 1,300). This would result in the company's Gamestation brand being sold off almost entirely, alongside any locations outside of the UK. Reportedly GameStop has shown an interest in those foreign retail outlets, but no deal has been settled on just yet.

It's telling just how dire things are that the above scenario is the most ideal one at this juncture. While the possibility of some angel investor coming in and saving the whole company is a possibility, it's a highly unlikely one. This means that the only other realistic possibility outside of the shrunken version of GAME rising from the ashes is for no version of GAME to rise from the ashes. If any of the above plans fail, it would likely mean the end of the company outright.

Regardless of where it ends up, it's safe to declare that GAME, as many European customers once knew it, is dead. This translates to quite a lot of lost jobs any way you slice it, as well as a massive, gaping hole in the UK games retail market. It'll be curious to see who rises up to pick up the pieces left by GAME's destruction, assuming anyone sees benefit in such a venture, given the current business climate.

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#1 Posted by Alex (2294 posts) -

Given the recent history of the company, its various financial problems, internal layoffs, and most recent inability to negotiate with publishers to stock major product on its store shelves, it should come as no real surprise to anyone to learn today that UK specialty retailer GAME has entered administration.

To anyone who wrote "GAME Over" as a headline re: this story, you are history's laziest monster.

For those not up on the UK's financial laws, administration is effectively the country's equivalent of bankruptcy. As a result of the declaration, GAME has been removed from stock trading and all current shares are suspended.

While going into administration doesn't necessarily mean the outright end for the company, were some new version of GAME to emerge from this whole mess, it wouldn't necessarily resemble the video game retail giant that more or less dominated the UK's brick-and-mortar market. MCV has laid out a few possibilities for the company once its board has made the necessary preparations to move forward. The best among the likely scenarios sees GAME shrink down to about 300 locations (from its current 1,300). This would result in the company's Gamestation brand being sold off almost entirely, alongside any locations outside of the UK. Reportedly GameStop has shown an interest in those foreign retail outlets, but no deal has been settled on just yet.

It's telling just how dire things are that the above scenario is the most ideal one at this juncture. While the possibility of some angel investor coming in and saving the whole company is a possibility, it's a highly unlikely one. This means that the only other realistic possibility outside of the shrunken version of GAME rising from the ashes is for no version of GAME to rise from the ashes. If any of the above plans fail, it would likely mean the end of the company outright.

Regardless of where it ends up, it's safe to declare that GAME, as many European customers once knew it, is dead. This translates to quite a lot of lost jobs any way you slice it, as well as a massive, gaping hole in the UK games retail market. It'll be curious to see who rises up to pick up the pieces left by GAME's destruction, assuming anyone sees benefit in such a venture, given the current business climate.

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#2 Edited by scraz (78 posts) -

Good for Gamestop UK.

#3 Posted by jisboss (7 posts) -

nice

#4 Posted by Morningstar (2192 posts) -

Shame.

#5 Posted by lithiumproject (32 posts) -

On the same day the government announces tax breaks for the UK game industry as well

#6 Posted by Jazz (2289 posts) -

Shame about Gamestation, Game on the other hand..ergh

#7 Posted by ObsideonDarman (652 posts) -

Can't really say that I'm surprised given the general terribleness of it's stores. Their Games were so over priced.

#8 Posted by Branthog (5583 posts) -

For everyone on this side of the pond, that means "bankruptcy".

#9 Posted by PlyrYaKA (28 posts) -

I had a customer services nightmare with them, they just patronised me and referred me to "general help" pages for weeks before I found someone to actually help me out. Still will be sad for all the people they employed

#10 Posted by Winternet (8025 posts) -

GAME over.

#11 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

@Winternet said:

GAME over.

Oh Snap.

#12 Posted by Chindie (192 posts) -

Bye bye job.

#13 Posted by BleedingStarX (281 posts) -

GAME hasn't entered administration yet... they have filed a notice of intent, which isnt techinically the same

#14 Posted by GunsAreDrawn (321 posts) -

I was thinking of applying for a summer job at GAME if that was a possibility, looks like I can spend my summer just playing games instead.

#15 Posted by junglistgamer (65 posts) -

I feel really awful for the people who'll lose their job as a result of this news but I can't say I'll miss shopping at Game. I don't really care about customer service but their prices were always really high so it's just way cheaper to shop on Amazon or download a PC game from Steam or Origin.

#16 Posted by lithiumproject (32 posts) -

This might end up being (but probably won't) a saving grace for HMV

#17 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -

I really like the sign.

Nothing fancy. Just "GAME"

It looks like something I would see in Family Guy or something

#18 Edited by Cubic (171 posts) -

The last time I went into a GAME was when I wanted to apply for a job as a sixth form student, and that was years ago. It's sad about all the jobs that were lost, but that store rarely stocked anything I wanted (it'd stock the newest of new releases and the rest of the shelves were filled with Dora the Explorer for PS2), and it was ridiculously expensive compared to Amazon. HMV is still around, so there's hardly a dirth of brick and mortal stores that sell video games for the luddites that don't have an internet connection.

I am sad that the local Gamestation that had massive vinyl stickers of various retro game characters adorning every window will go away, though, even though I never went in it.

#19 Posted by JustKamToo (701 posts) -

It's a shame I even got a free game from them, but I'm going to spend my remaining reward points now.

#20 Posted by Y2Ken (1183 posts) -

It'll be a problem if they go and there's no replacement that's for sure. They really haven't been competing with prices though so this was always coming - new games are cheaper online and in supermarkets, and even used games (traditionally their big money-maker) tend to be cheaper elsewhere.

Hopefully someone such as GameStop will come along and take over GameStation but we'll have to wait and see I guess.

#21 Posted by JoeBigfoot (110 posts) -

nice to see GAME shafted after the way they managed to kill off most independent game stores.

#22 Posted by Blunt (61 posts) -

Wonder how this will affect the foreign owned GAME branches. GameStop are rumoured to be interested in the Italian stores but have passed on the chain in Australia where they already operate under the EB Games brand and they see no point in buying up outlets in shopping centres where they already have a presence. Couple that with EB AUS reportedly slashing casual staff hours and store budgets recently, it wouldn't seem like GameStop would be too interested in that area of the world at least. And Australia is one of the few places in the world where the local economy isn't in the shitter.

Interesting days ahead for brick and mortar game retailers indeed.

#23 Posted by Binman88 (3689 posts) -

Admit it Alex: you thought up that "GAME over" headline when you heard the news, only to find someone had beaten you to it.

#24 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

It just kept getting worse and worse, didn't it?

#25 Posted by AlexW00d (6309 posts) -

@Jazz said:

Shame about Gamestation, Game on the other hand..ergh

But they are the same company, how is there any difference?

#26 Posted by IAmNotBatman (655 posts) -

I can't say that I care very much, never go to brick and mortar stores for games anymore.

#27 Posted by djames216 (378 posts) -

Assuming that Game dissapears entirely, I don't think it leaves a void to be filled per se. There are planty of other outlets in the U.K. (Supermarkets amongst them) that sell games, and if you are after a back-catalogue title that a retail store like Game may have stocked in the past then you are more than likey to be savvy enough to search online anyway. And of course there's Steam. It's sad to see people lose their jobs, but from a consumer's perspective I don't think it will be sorely missed.

#28 Posted by Krixok (85 posts) -

THIS IS GREAT!

Destroy all physical videogames!

Also, @Winternet said:

GAME over.

The comment section is over. It has been won.

#29 Posted by kaodh (4 posts) -

Got tired of the pushiness of the staff to try to upsell everything when all I wanted was to buy a game. That and the prices which were getting to be 10-20% higher than other stores such as Tesco.

#30 Posted by JTB123 (1048 posts) -

Apart from people loosing their jobs, I'm really not sorry to see either Game or Gamestation go away. Terrible pricing and only stocking the huge selling new releases and dedicating around 90% of the floor space to pre-owned stuff is evidently not what people want.

#31 Edited by Sweep (8927 posts) -

I'm glad, to be honest, though I appreciate I'm being fairly short-sighted. GAME has always catered to the image of gamers as being anti-social, unhygienic slobs. Their shops always smell like body odour and regret. Fuck 'em

Moderator
#32 Posted by abdo (1037 posts) -

They had it coming, and hopefully Gamestop is next.

#33 Posted by 234r2we232 (3181 posts) -

I remember a time when their were two GAME stores on the same street - well, it was shortly after they and EB Games merged (or whatever happened).

Their prices have always been ridiculous. I guess GameStation and their obnoxious "trade-in everything you own to us" marketing won.

#34 Posted by CrunchbiteJr (114 posts) -

@BleedingStarX said:

GAME hasn't entered administration yet... they have filed a notice of intent, which isnt techinically the same

Sort of is and isn't. Notice of intent is needed to enter administration full stop. The idea is that the notice gives the company breathing room from creditors/winding up orders. In effect though given the lack of investors it's reasonable to say they have entered the administration procedure.

#35 Posted by Drazat (169 posts) -

This is what happens when you don't adapt with lower prices online and in supermarkets.less competition is not good but I don't think many will miss Game.

#36 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

It's not really a gaping hole in the UK retail market, there's like 10+ other stores that all sell games.

GAME is merely a store that sold specifically video games. There was tons of stores on the high street (and still is) that sell just as much gaming hardware/software in addition to other forms of media. You can also trade in games to many, many other stores than just the GAME group's.

#37 Posted by r3d_zombie (34 posts) -

they've been fleecing mums and dads for years with their ridiculous prices (often 20% higher than online retailers), barely had any games outside the top ten and on occasion have seen them sell second hand games as new, feel sorry for the staff, but i wont miss them.

#38 Posted by PK_Koopa (583 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

@Jazz said:

Shame about Gamestation, Game on the other hand..ergh

But they are the same company, how is there any difference?

Surprisingly enough, there actually is a difference. They have better deals than GAME in terms of 3 for 2 and stuff like that, and while they did get more expensive once they were bought by GAME, they were still cheaper. Even their employees are better. At first I thought it was just a particular Gamestation store that had good people working their, but I went to quite a few places and they were generally kinder and more enthusiastic about what they were selling.

It's gonna be a shame to see them go.

#39 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -

Man this is big news, I mean it's very indicative of the while worlds retail market as a whole. More and more people are buying online (myself included) because it's easier, better customer service and a wider selection, not to mention the generally cheaper prices. I only hope this leads to a resurgence of independent games stores

#40 Posted by kerse (2117 posts) -

@JTB123 said:

Apart from people loosing their jobs, I'm really not sorry to see either Game or Gamestation go away. Terrible pricing and only stocking the huge selling new releases and dedicating around 90% of the floor space to pre-owned stuff is evidently not what people want.

Yeah same here, I'm also not a fan of buying a new game and seeing them pull out a disc and put it in the case, especially after that whole Deus Ex incident. The fuck are they opening new copies of games for anyways?

#41 Posted by bybeach (4900 posts) -

Sorry for the jobs..always sorry for that. That said, I haven't bought a game in a brick and mortar for years now. I live in the US, but I can't imagine Britain, Ireland and most all of Europe not having the same opportunity.

#42 Posted by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

Although I've got one or two friends that work there and actually enjoy it (thus it's sad they'll be losing their jobs), I can't say I'll miss the store much. The way they gutted packages (I once bought a "new" DS game with a save already on it), charged higher than everyone else, effective dropped the PC market and peripherals, and their complete inability to maintain a decent back catalogue means I haven't made a point of shopping there specifically since 2004. But I guess the really downward spiral started as far back as 2006 when I found it was a better experience buying games from supermarkets.

Again, it's sad for the people who work there, but this industry deserved better than a specialist retailer who only had to sell *one* thing, and yet still managed to be bad at it. Adiós.

#43 Edited by CornishRocker (397 posts) -

Maybe we can finally say goodbye to overpriced, pre-order bonus ridden titles in the UK? One can dream, right?

#44 Posted by originalgamer (49 posts) -

The end of Game is an interesting concern, this leaves no specialist stores for game, and 'indie' shops have very little footing in the country because publishers have so much power (people believe that MW3 was £45 because retailers thought they could fish out that price, in reality that was/is very close to the publishers selling price and retailers made very little money from them), Asda (supermarket) sells games cheaper than most because they're looking for smaller profits (the fact is they lose money) but while you're there you're more likely to buy your groceries at the same time. HMV gaming is awful no matter the most optimistic view of it, very small selection.

In case you didn't know, Gamestop has a presence in the UK already, and already shut all their stores bar the Northern Ireland one i believe.

The people that will really suffer from this are parents and the younger generation of kids, parents require advice when buying games, or at least somewhere to browse, and parents are unlikely to buy something new based on a website or amazon page.

The more interesting results of this will be likely seen when a new generation of hardware comes out. but that is still a way off.

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#45 Posted by Chindie (192 posts) -

@kerse said:

The fuck are they opening new copies of games for anyways?

New titles get gutted so theres a display box, not all companies provide dummy sleeves. It's especially the case if it's low stock item. It also has the side bonus of reducing the amount of space needed for stock.

#46 Posted by clientkiller (69 posts) -

There are definitely enough other companies selling games to fill the void of GAME going into administration but its a shame that a store which I've been going visiting for two decades (Remember future zone?) is finally going away.

The management of GAME really didn't seem to know what it was doing. Very boring sterile and bright environment, row after row of exactly the same game (normally the fucking sims). Staff employed to just walk around and ask you if you need help every 5 minutes and worst of all extremely high retail prices on everything, even the pre owned section was just an unsorted mess of crap and expensive games.

I hope another company does come in, take over and sort the above problems out.

#47 Posted by enemymouse (334 posts) -

@Winternet said:

GAME over.

GAME on.

#48 Posted by Glees0rz (33 posts) -

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I love my local Gamestation (sod GAME). A few guys from my work and myself are going there tomorrow to buy a bunch of games to help them get back on their feet:)

#49 Posted by big_jon (5743 posts) -

GAME over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#50 Posted by Nicky92 (76 posts) -

Games in the UK can be brought from much better and sometimes cheaper places. Play and Amazon are the most notable for online. HMV, Argos, Currys all sell video games and most likely always sell them at a cheaper price than GAME did. Hell even supermarket stores sell games, Sainsburys and Tesco sell everything so GAME going downhill is no problem for the UK games industry. They where to expensive than other retailers so them going bust doesn't concern me. The one good thing that GAME did have going for it's self though was selling pretty much every game. If there was a game that was pretty old and you where trying to find it, GAME would have surely had it. But the main blockbuster games that they sell are cheaper elsewhere so why pay more at GAME.