GAME Goes Bust [Updated!]

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

GAME Goes Bust [Updated!]

image

The UK's biggest games retailer has buckled under the weight of its debts.

Having endured months of instability and stock problems following the loss of its credit insurance at the start of this year, The Game Group has now "entered into administration" (which is British money-speak for "has gone bankrupt and is now being rebuilt by a third party"). Lead administrator Mike Jervis of restructuring firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC) has been appointed to oversee the restructuring of the Group's GAME and Gamestation businesses with a view to reselling them at a later date, leaving the futures of the company's 6,000 British employees uncertain until PWC completes its work.

Additionally, the GAME website, game.co.uk, has been reduced to a "down for maintenance" notice which tells us that orders currently placed on the site are being reviewed and processed.

The Group's CEO, Ian Sheperd, stepped down this morning. In an internal memo obtained by MCV, he told employees, "I've said a number of times that the administrator, once appointed, takes charge of the business...[Jervis] will have a lot to do very quickly. Let's be clear, he will certainly make big changes, both to the store estate and in the office, but will be doing so with a view to creating a trading business that he can attract a buyer for."

"As I've said before, the business is worth more trading than not," continued Shepherd. "It's going to be a difficult week for everyone, but the best thing you can all do is support [Jervis] and his team, and do your best to help create the most positive outcome you can."

"The best thing we can do now is demonstrate clearly, to an administrator and to potential buyers, that this is a great business filled with great, committed people. We have a rocky road ahead, but this is not the end for this business on the High Street. Stay with it," concludes Shepherd's memo.

Unfortunate as it is, it wasn't difficult to predict that The Game Group wouldn't make it through this week in one piece. It became apparent last week that the company would need in excess of £180 million ($286 million) to cover its end-of-the-month payments for March and that any prospective buyer would need to be willing to cover that bill almost upfront; at the time, the chances of these requirements being fulfilled were rightly designated as being fairly slim. Rumors of buyouts came and went, including a rumor of potential interest from GameStop which was snuffed out by that company's disinterest in GAME's Australian operations.

If PWC can remold GAME and Gamestation in a way which takes advantage of the gaps which remain between indie stores and non-specialized games retailers, we could see something of a comeback; in the meantime, however, there is no doubt that the uncertain future of the business will be laying heavily on the shoulders of its thousands of employees.

UPDATE: As reported by the BBC, PWC has clarified that it will be closing 277 GAME and Gamestation stores in Britain with immediate effect. This means that 2,104 employees will be made redundant before the end of this week.

At the time of writing, PWC intends to keep the company's 333 other stores open while it works on further restructuring and searches for a buyer.

Source: MCV via CVG

Permalink

Going through a bankruptcy myself with my previous employer I feel bad for those who are now in fear of losing their jobs.

Hevva:
"The best thing we can do now is demonstrate clearly, to an administrator and to potential buyers, that this is a great business filled with great, committed people. We have a rocky road ahead, but this is not the end for this business on the High Street. Stay with it," concludes Shepherd's memo.

...as he steps down and nips off for a quick holiday.

Nah, Im being flippant of course, and I do feel sorry for the employees. The very likely threat of losing their jobs is going to make it hard to stay motivated, and I assume a large chunk of the employees will follow the "Why bother?" approach.

Good luck Game, hopefully it all works out for the best!

My local gamestation closed its doors forever today, now I have to shop at Granger games.

Christ not PWC. Those hacks will just asset strip the company and leave the rest an un-salvageable hulk.

I was actually in a gamestation store an hour ago when it went into administration...they told us all to finish our purchases and leave. The GAME down the street was still open but according to the staff member I spoke with there, it looks like Wal-Mart might get them...

Here's one GAME that got a worse ending than Mass Effect.

This is a sad day for the UK high street. Oh well, at least I managed to grab everything I could before it went down.

Walked past my local Gamestation today, shutters were down.
Gave me a sad =[

Colinmac93:
This is a sad day for the UK high street. Oh well, at least I managed to grab everything I could before it went down.

Yeah, a shop with a terrible business model, archaic returns policy, and ludicrous pricing went bankrupt.

Oohh tragic days.

I know I won't be missing them.

Karma is a bitch.

Shit, I missed the sale!?:(

On another note, sad to see them go. They were a huge part of my childhood and I will miss that purple sign dearly.

And I'll miss you Game, and I don't wanna miss a thiiiiing.
That said, their trade in prices were extortionate, their game prices were way too high and meh. Still, I'll miss browsing for games. Very sad.
Guess that'll be one more thing I'll be buying online from now on haha.

This is sad news to me. My local store was pretty good and the last place in town you could get new games from. The staff there were usually friendly, so I really feel sorry for them losing their jobs with unemployment being what it is.

Strangely enough the GAME store over here was open this morning with just a sale poster and as expected nothing had change other than the lack of new games.
If it still open tomorrow than surely it must close down sometime this week.

DVS BSTrD:
Here's one GAME that got a worse ending than Mass Effect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnOl4VcV5ng

Let me help you with that

I think my high street is now empty with nothing but clothes shops...That's for women only.

Ouch. My heart goes out to all the employees who've been laid off... I hope my old store isn't one of the one's closed... we were one of the really successful ones. (Sometimes just having a nice staff and good conversationalists can save utterly ridiculous prices)

If anything close the overseas stores the one's in Sweden really sucked (apologies if any Swedish GAME employees make use of this site but I was not impressed). And they have GameStop too...

Great, nothing of interest in my town now. I even heard that our branch of HMV might be closing its doors soon.

That just leaves a massive host of charity shops, womens shoe shops, modern-age-mild-prostitute-fashion girls shops and 4 McDonalds. Someone stop me before I become over excited with awe

I've always found Grainger Games to be better value for money and carry a wider stock range, this may be just where I live which bizzarely has two Games and a Gamestation in close proximity to each other. THe most confusing thing was that the two Game stores often seemed to be competing on prices, there were some games there which I noticed to be a few quid cheaper in one than the other.

It is a sad day for the employees of Game and Gamestation and I'd be surprised if many who still hold jobs weren't fearing for how long their employment will continue, but faced with how haphazard the company seems to have been over the past decade (mostly from my personal experience) I'm quite surprised they've lasted this long.

No matter how you look it [the store being a rip-off or anything else for that matter], the biggest videogame chain is going under taking all of its jobs with it. Its already throwing a few thousand people out of work and, my guess, theres gonna be more. [If not all].

I just find it ironic that GAME goes under at the same time as the buget is released which said that it was going to create jobs and give tax break/cuts to the entertainment industry. [Film/Game/TV]

Anyway, my heart goes out to all of the former employes. Good luck with future endevers

Yup, heard myself today that the store I worked for last summer in Canterbury (UK) was closed down without any prior warning at 12:30pm today (26/03) - they had no clue the store was closing and all employees contracts have been terminated on the spot. Considering the store was one of the best in the region, its not looking good...

This is the passing of a legend, I feel like we should have a moment of silence or something...............oh wait they had the most stupid business strategy in the world. Ever. Shame to see more empty shops across the country though.

As much as I acknowledge that their business strategy sucked (who needs 2-3 GAME/GameStation stores in every town?), considering theyre the only video game retailers in my town, Im pretty sad about it... Not a fan of buying on the internet... Would much rather browse games in a shop and be able to talk to people than just click a few buttons on amazon.

Still, got some good bargains before they went under... Every cloud, n all that XD

This whole thing has been an incredibly sad state of affairs. The fact that I was in a GAME store this weekend and had about 3 staff members show a friendly interest in what I was up to was nice, but it looks like it was too little too late.

I'm glad to see that if you run your business like a dick, eventually you'll go under.

wooty:
Great, nothing of interest in my town now. I even heard that our branch of HMV might be closing its doors soon.

That just leaves a massive host of charity shops, womens shoe shops, modern-age-mild-prostitute-fashion girls shops and 4 McDonalds. Someone stop me before I become over excited with awe

If charity shops are the same thing we call "thrift shops" in the U.S., I wouldn't write them off so quickly. I've bought more PC games at my local thrift shops in the last couple of years than I have games for other systems at all stores combined, and that's not counting all the awesome music and movies I've bought. Granted, most of that was on vinyl and VHS, but I've got a turntable and a VHS hi-fi unit, so I'm not exactly complaining about the $0.99 albums and the $0.50 movies.

Edit: Oh, and books. Thrift shops are great places to find used books.

To add an OT to this, I feel sorry for all the employees at Game. Never having been to the UK, I can't really comment on what the stores were like, but it sucks for the employees and all the small towns that now have no place to buy new videogames.

I've felt awful all afternoon following this. The store I worked at for 4 1/2 years is safe for now, but I worked temporarily at two other stores which have both shut today. So gutted for the people I worked with, they were genuinely lovely, enthusiastic people and I couldn't have asked for better people to work with. I'm just hoping that something can be made out of what's left, and the people facing a very sudden redundancy today can get back on their feet quickly.

Say what you like about pricing, the business model, etc. At the end of the day, over 2000 have lost their jobs (and that's only so far). That's nothing to be glad about or say "good riddance" to. The upper management handled everything badly and the prices weren't in the least bit competitive these days, but this much sudden unemployment is nothing to be happy about.

Damn, sucks for them. God knows the last thing this world needs is more unemployed people.

draythefingerless:
Karma is a bitch.

What goes around, comes around...

oh yay even less bloody jobs here.

if you cant tell the yay was sarcastic.

Can someone explain how game was bad barring personal experience with shop employees (because lets be honest, for every bad employee you've got, somebody had met a good one) and the trade in's (which you can say no to and go somewhere else if its too low.)? Because everyone keep's talking about this terrible business practise but i'm not exactly seeing anyone talking about what this practise is.

I am CEO Sheperd, and this is my favorite store on th- :|

We had some good times Game. Remember when I traded in a copy of Marvel vs Capcom 2, and you gave me 5 pounds for it? Yeah. Or, when I paid 30 pounds for a preowned game when the game at retail was actually less. Shit, now where the hell are UK consumers going to buy their game copies now? Oh yeah, the internet...

Odd. The Gamestation in my town is still open. Game's closed though. I loved taking advantage of the clearance sales, but now that it's come to the closing I really hope things can turn around. While Game was always too expensive for me, it's still one of the few big game retailers we have.

I probably should be feeling glad that GAME is shut down. But I'm not because that isn't me. That's the internet me who states what opinion is best instead of stating my actual opinion. So truthfully? I'm sad. Like on the verge of crying sad. I have so many fond memories of walking into GAME, if only to browse. I didn't care about the prices I just wanted to look around a place fit for me, a gamer. It made me feel happy inside. Maybe I'm lucky and my local one is still open. But for now I think I shall put on some sad music and say goodbye GAME. I'll never forget you.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here