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#1 Edited by poisonmonkey (324 posts) -

It looks like the beginning of the end for Game stores in the UK according to Eurogamer (Game have been in trouble for some time):

Eurogamer has heard from multiple UK industry sources that the specialist video game retailer has lost credit insurance with a number of agencies.

This means that publishers are now forced to take the risk on games that do not sell - something they do not wish to do.

GAME is now being asked to pay for new stock with cash. If GAME doesn't have the cash, it could result in the shop being unable to stock new games.

Source:http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-02-01-game-in-trouble-as-doubt-cast-on-ability-to-stock-new-games

Personally I hope this isn't the end as I don't want to have to go to a supermarket to buy a game (or music as HMV is in trouble too), whilst I sometimes use online shops for games its sometimes nice to browse and find the odd surprise on shelves.

I will try to keep you all posted on the matter if I can as I have both shop credit and pre-orders with Game myself and the info may be useful to someone else.

EDIT- 02/02/12 - the Game corporate website has the following statement on the matter:

Response to press speculation

02/02/2012

In response to press speculation the GAME Group plc confirms that it is in ongoing dialogue with its lending syndicate to reach agreement on revised terms for its facilities. As part of these discussions, the lending syndicate is reviewing a strategic plan of the company which includes a review of its overseas operations.

A further announcement will be provided once discussions with its lending syndicate have concluded.

Source - http://www.gamegroup.plc.uk/gmg_plc/investors/news/2012pr/2012-02-02/

It seems the above is Game hinting at selling its overseas operations.

EA boss John Riccitiello has the following statement (does not mention Game as the retailer but it is pretty obvious):

EA boss John Riccitiello has voiced concerns about the financial health of a "major European retail partner".

Speaking during an investor call earlier today, Riccitiello didn't name the company in question, but explained that the situation could affect the publisher's next set of financials.

"We are concerned with the financial condition of one of our major European retail partners, which could lead to both increased bad debt and lost sales," he said.

Chief financial officer Eric Brown also chimed in later during the call.

"We are focused on some isolated European retailer issues that have recently been announced. A negative outcome could adversely affect our Q4 results."

Source - http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-02-01-ea-concerned-at-financial-health-of-major-european-retail-partner

UPDATE 02/02/12 (AGAIN!!)

GAME has worked out a new agreement with lenders that will allow it to continue trading.

The retailer will have to "operate within lower limits of its existing facilities than was previously available" and has agreed to submit an updated strategic plan covering all aspects of its activities and strategies, which its lenders will then have a say in approving.

Source - http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-02-02-game-agrees-new-deal-with-lenders

#2 Posted by Neurotic (631 posts) -

Huh, perhaps that's why Game inexplicably cancelled my Catherine pre-order. Well, by and large I use Amazon to get games anyway but I trade games in at stores to get money off every now and then. Buying games at a supermarket makes me feel bad about myself.

#3 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Maybe my shopping centre will have something more useful than 4 shops that all sell games within 10 seconds of each other now..

#4 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

I hope so. Game has been overpriced and had shit selection for the past 8 years.

#5 Posted by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

Haven't people been predicting Game's downfall for some time? When is it actually going to happen?

#6 Posted by AlexW00d (6167 posts) -

I try and give them my money, but the PC section there is so fucking small and overpriced I just can't.

#7 Posted by Gargantuan (1880 posts) -

Does that affect GAME in Sweden? It's the only game store in Skellefteå.

#8 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

@Gargantuan said:

Does that affect GAME in Sweden? It's the only game store in Skellefteå.

Just order from Webhallen or amazon UK dude. GAME's prices are outrageous. I'm not at all surprised they're doing badly with that kind of pricing and never having exclusive deals.

#9 Posted by optimusprime223 (396 posts) -

my local one is pretty quiet all the time. I went in today and I was the only customer in there for like 20min except for 1 women who asked a question, they didnt have what she wanted, so she left. Not saying that is indicitive of where GAME is heading but it is a bit damming, and the shopping centre is brand new so gets lots of footfall...

#10 Posted by Mijati (875 posts) -

I have no sympathy for them due to what they're doing to online distribution (a lot of PC games have been unavailable on steam for a while in the UK due to GAME basically threatening publishers). I believe Space Marine was one of these games (wasn't available for preorder) as well as Skyrim at some point, I can't remember what else and it's not a huge effect but it's still there so screw them.

#11 Posted by Grimluck343 (1146 posts) -

@Neurotic you stole my avatar!

#12 Posted by X19 (2304 posts) -

I think GameStation is owned by GAME too. Hope they both die a horrible death.
 
Will go to HMV and the supermarket until games go fully digital.

#13 Posted by TheSpartanDon (158 posts) -

Makes no difference to me.

ShopTo.net has a much better service so I'd much rather shop with them. Unfortunately GAME gets exclusive rights to certain editions of games like the ME3 Collectors Edition.

#14 Posted by Bobstar (310 posts) -

Well that explains why they suddenly closed for no good reason here in my town.

#15 Posted by jetsetwillie (857 posts) -

sad for the employee's. never good to see people loosing their jobs

#16 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@TheSpartanDon: I had my bank card details jacked after using Shopto just once...never again.

#17 Edited by MattyFTM (14328 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

I try and give them my money, but the PC section there is so fucking small and overpriced I just can't.

Small, yes, but I wouldn't call their PC selection overpriced. Obviously the latest releases are going to be cheaper on Amazon or other online retailers - GAME just can't compete with their prices. But when looking for slightly older PC games I'm often blown away by some of the deals GAME have. They've regularly got a decent selection of games, about a year old & still selling for around £15-20 each on places like Amazon or even Steam, in their "3 for £15". Obviously with their small selection you've got to get lucky with which games they'll have in stock, but I've often walked out of GAME with three good games, when had I bought them from anywhere else I'd have paid at least triple the price.

Either way, I can't say it's a surprise that they're going down the swanny, with online retailers and digital distribution cropping up all over the place their business strategy seems to leave a lot to be desired. I mean, there are two GAME's and a Gamestation in my small city, and they're always empty. There's never more than one or two people in any of them, and they're often completely deserted. They've got to be losing money in those stores. Why not close two of them and leave one open? That would make sense.

Moderator
#18 Posted by aspaceinvader (256 posts) -

Game will end up going with it's online retail side if the business if the retail shops close. Both game and gameplay are the same online retailer.

Online
#19 Posted by CookieMonster (2414 posts) -

How did they lose their credit insurance then?

#20 Posted by Adamsons (877 posts) -
@jetsetwillie said:

sad for the employee's. never good to see people loosing their jobs

Gotta echo this.
#21 Posted by rmanthorp (3849 posts) -

This sucks. Despite their flaws I would really miss them.

Moderator
#22 Posted by poisonmonkey (324 posts) -

@rmanthorp: me too I like to pop in and look about even if i am not buying

#23 Posted by Neurotic (631 posts) -

@Grimluck343: Nah, yours is more of a close up than mine :P I'm changing it anyway, I've seen at least one other dude with it as well.

Game sells a ton of PC games on the cheap, it's just a shame they're all sucky.

#24 Posted by Jimbo (9767 posts) -

They hardly seemed able to stock new games anyway. I used to make a point of always buying from GAME, even when cheaper alternatives were available (just because I remember a time when they were the ONLY place I could buy games), but in the end it just became a complete waste of time. I would drive there, ask them if they had any copies of game x that just got released, and as often as not they'd just stare blankly like you'd just invented the game or something.

Let's face it, the whole idea of specialist brick n mortar game shops is out of date now anyway (along with most of the rest of the high street). Supermarkets will carry the big games and internet delivery / digital distribution will handle the rest.

#25 Edited by Eidderf (506 posts) -

@TheSpartanDon said:

Makes no difference to me.

ShopTo.net has a much better service so I'd much rather shop with them. Unfortunately GAME gets exclusive rights to certain editions of games like the ME3 Collectors Edition.

Yeah that's what is worrying me at the moment, I have pre-ordered it there so hopefully they stay around until at least that's released. I probably wouldn't buy it from them otherwise (shopto or zavvi tend to be better) though I don't have a choice.

#26 Posted by GiroMindTricks (63 posts) -

GAME have always been good for pre-order bonuses, but they are too expensive compared to their competitors. In the North East there's a store call Grainger Games which is always cheaper for the same thing. Will be a shame to have another empty store in the high street though.

#27 Posted by Vorbis (2749 posts) -

Only buy from them because of pre-order crap, I would love for them to go away and for independent stores to make a come back.

#28 Posted by Scooper (7882 posts) -

@Canteu said:

I hope so. Game has been overpriced and had shit selection for the past 8 years.

@AlexW00d said:

I try and give them my money, but the PC section there is so fucking small and overpriced I just can't.

@TheSpartanDon said:

ShopTo.net has a much better service so I'd much rather shop with them.

These points are why I don't care if GAME shuts down. It was useful for me as a 13 year old kid years ago who could nag my mother to get me the 2 for £10 deals while we were out shopping but as an adult that knows about games there's no reason at all to buy from them. There's a GAME right across the street from where I work and I usually pop in there on my lunch break a few times a week. They've never got the games I want and 90% of the stock is way over priced. There was a preowned copy of Street Fighter IV that I saw in there for £15!!! FIFTEEN QUID! That game is like 3 years old and 3 editions out of date. I got my copy of SuperSFIV online, brand new day one for £20 and it came with a cool shirt.

Also the fact they try and push you a £15 guide or upsell you on collectors editions everytime you try and buy anything really puts me off. Most of the staff are pretty clueless about most games, too. I went in there the other week trying to get a copy of King of Fighters XIII, I ask a guy there if they have it and he said "I don't think we have that but this is pretty similar" and then went on to hold up a box of Call of Duty: MW3.

#29 Posted by sanchopanza (247 posts) -

I usually buy my stuff online these days, and I guess a lot of other people do too which is part of the reason this is happening.

Does this mean though that CEX will get more business?...NOOOOOO!!! I've been to different one in different cities and the people that work there are complete retard scumbags.

#30 Posted by poisonmonkey (324 posts) -

@sanchopanza: God I hope not, come back Game all is forgiven!!

#31 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@GiroMindTricks: I used to shop at grainger when it was literally a cart in the market...those were the days. Grainger has pretty much ruined all other game stores in the north east, and they're spreading south too.

#32 Posted by theodacourt (519 posts) -

I'd say it's a shame for more casual gamers as they won't be able to get direct advice on games they're unsure of, but it's probably company policy to say all games are amazing and you should buy them all anyway. Plus casual players will continue to buy CoD and Fifa and not much else. Still, if I didn't follow the industry I'd appreciate the abliity to go and talk to someone for advice.

#33 Posted by GiroMindTricks (63 posts) -

@Canteu: Is great to see how well they're doing now. When they had 2 stores in the grainger market I would run between the 2 to see if the Dreamcast game I wanted was any cheaper. It never was. :(

#34 Posted by AlisterCat (5468 posts) -

A shame for employees, but whatever. They are a rip off. I buy almost everything online now because I dont want to have to physically walk and pay for public transportation to go pay more for something that I could get sent to my house first class delivery for even less money. Online shops like ShopTo.net treat me as a better customer than GAME ever has.

Online
#35 Posted by Chindie (192 posts) -

I work in a branch of Game's sister company, Gamestation.

This hasn't been good to hear.

#36 Posted by poisonmonkey (324 posts) -

@Chindie: yeah, its not good, lets hope they can sort it out. HMV has been in trouble for years but is still OK at the moment.

#37 Posted by StrikeALight (1112 posts) -

@AlisterCat said:

Online shops like ShopTo.net treat me as a better customer than GAME ever has.

Pretty much this. It's a shame whats happening to our high street, but if retailers can't remain competitive, I'll spend what little money I have elsewhere.

GAME have been a rippoff for years though, and I prefer sealed new copies of my games, thankyou.

#38 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

That is sad, I personally enjoy the customer service I get in GAME, the overall purple athsetic of GAME and the name. I mean how more straight to the point can you get? But honestly I've just started buying games from the Supermarket (Tesco).

#39 Posted by MysteriousBob (6272 posts) -

@poisonmonkey said:

Personally I hope this isn't the end as I don't want to have to go to a supermarket to buy a game (or music as HMV is in trouble too), whilst I sometimes use online shops for games its sometimes nice to browse and find the odd surprise on shelves.

Gamestation and Grainger Games are both better anyway.

#40 Posted by OtakuGamer (1222 posts) -

Going to a store is inconvenient, pre-ordering online or downloading isn't. It’s no surprise that these retailers are shutting down. They've had a good run, shame to see them being replaced by 99p stores and chicken shops.

#41 Posted by poisonmonkey (324 posts) -

@MysteriousBob: Game own Gamestation

#42 Posted by buft (3300 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

I try and give them my money, but the PC section there is so fucking small and overpriced I just can't.

true that, i tried to buy the witcher 2 but ended up leaving when the guy kept insisting there was no box retail release for it.

#43 Posted by AmatureIdiot (1060 posts) -

I'll be really sad if Gamestation goes with them as I have tones of memories of that place. I still remember that the first games I bought were Mega Drive games from there, abusing the fact that they paid £5 each for unboxed N64 games way too long after the N64 and going to the Midnight launch of the PSP with friends.

I can't believe that both will go down though, surely there's enough space for one good game shop still. If I have to go to Cex for dumb old used game purchases I will be most unhappy.

#44 Posted by SpaceRunaway (826 posts) -
@Scooper said:

I went in there the other week trying to get a copy of King of Fighters XIII, I ask a guy there if they have it and he said "I don't think we have that but this is pretty similar" and then went on to hold up a box of Call of Duty: MW3.

I love this.
#45 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

@MattyFTM: We used to have three GAME stores in my city, all within 10 minutes walk of one an other. Two of them were smaller stores inside Debinghams and Borders but it still made no sense.

And yeah, even for those who aren't so computer savvy, it's very easy to hop onto Amazon and compare prices of games. There's just no reason to use them and they've done almost nothing to try and compete, except maybe secure a bunch of exclusive pre-order bonuses and limited editions, which they must be paying through the nose for.

#46 Posted by masterpaperlink (1827 posts) -

GAME is the worst retailer of its type. I wish blockbuster still owned gamestation.

#47 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

well that sucks. i hope that people in UK get a game store.

#48 Posted by Evan223 (81 posts) -

My local game isn't terrible, the staff are always friendly and seem to know what they're on about, I even got a 10% discount when I said that the product I was after was priced cheaper on their website.

#49 Posted by IkariNoTekken (990 posts) -

@Adamsons said:

@jetsetwillie said:

sad for the employee's. never good to see people loosing their jobs

Gotta echo this.

Like a long train tunnel I'll echo this some more. Not good for employees.

-

Don't use GAME that much as they tend to be more expensive than a lot of other retailers, but hey they stocked the Gears Of War 3 Epic Edition and delivered mine in one day for free so they never really did me wrong.

#50 Posted by poisonmonkey (324 posts) -

@jetsetwillie: Well said