Buy-Out Saves British Retailer GAME

Buy-Out Saves British Retailer GAME

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A financial acquisitions firm has purchased the bankrupt British games chain and safeguarded the immediate future of its remaining stores.

The past few weeks have been fairly unsettled for The Game Group, Britain's largest specialist games retailer. The business finally folded early last week, a collapse which resulted in the loss of 2,000 jobs and the closure of hundreds of stores. Now, for the first time in 2012, there's good news to report: The Game Group's British operation has been bought over and rescued from bankruptcy by a financial firm, safeguarding the 3,000+ jobs still attached to the company.

OpCapita, a large conglomerate which owns one of the UK's biggest electronics retailers, brokered a deal with The Game Group's creditors which transferred effective ownership of the business to a financial firm called Baker Acquisitions Ltd. This means that, for the forseeable future, The Game Group's remaining GAME and Gamestation stores are safe from closure.

However, the agreement reached between Baker and the restructuring firm overseeing The Game Group's return to solvency does not include provisions for severance- and back-pay owed to the 2,000 employees who were laid off during the company's bankruptcy.

Former employees in the Republic of Ireland were given no information about severance whatsoever, and their occupation of eleven shuttered GAME stores across the Republic is still in effect at time of writing (you can get in touch with them here). No protests over the abscence of severance pay have been reported in the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the deal, OpCapita managing partner Henry Jackson said that, "We strongly believe there is a place on the high street for a video gaming specialist and GAME is the leading brand in a 2.8bn market in the UK."

"We have assembled a strong team of experienced industry operators to implement the programme of operational change that is needed. There is a huge amount to do but we look forward to the challenge of restoring GAME's fortunes in partnership with its employees and suppliers," concluded Jackson.

What does the future hold for GAME and Gamestation, then? No details have yet been released on any possible changes to the fundamentals of The Game Group's business model, though the deal indicates that the new owners do not intend to close any more stores in the immediate future. Regardless of how we all felt about GAME, the British games industry as a whole would likely have suffered without the presence of a large and very visible high-street retailer for its wares; the loss of jobs is lamentable, as is the continued severance-limbo faced by the company's ex-employees, but hopefully the continued survival of the chain will mean good things for the British industry.

Source: MCV UK

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I knew this was to happen, and finally it's official.

Now what will be interesting to see is how relationships between publishers are handled - I would find it highly probable that those that did not abandon last minute will be given a more favourable station (i.e. increased floor space, reward points multiplier), I'm mainly looking at Microsoft and Activision, whom tried to drive the boot in.

Sony, however, made a very intelligent business decision and declared their faith in the retailer.

I see in the future their product in both Comet and Game Group alike being granted preferential treatment.

I just need to wait now for the company to be re-listed (if it is to be re-listed separate of OpCapita) and continue to make money from them.

Lets hope with the new ownership doesnt continue down the road of "Fuck over all the big guys for a profit since it will never bite us in the ass, ever".

And there go all chances of a resurgence of smaller independent retailers in the UK.

Unless the new business structure is to lower their game price to match those selling online I still have no interest in them.

This is like ME3. I had fun watching this retailer slowly die... and then the shit finally arrives.

I hope baker will cough up the dough for the employees.

...now im unemployed. Curse you fate!

Hevva:
OpCapita, a large conglomerate which owns one of the UK's biggest electronics retailers...

I wouldn't have said that Comet was really "one of the biggest" electronics retailers. Based on that description I expected to see that OpCapita owned Currys/PC World. Still, they have only just bought Comet out so I guess there's still a possible future for both them and GAME/Gamestation.

Pedro The Hutt:
And there go all chances of a resurgence of smaller independent retailers in the UK.

While i'd like to see smaller companies take over this market niche if Game collapsed you wouldn't see them make a reappearance, all you'd get is supermarkets like Tesco taking up even more of the market. The only area Game beat the supermarkets in was trade-ins and resale, both of which I could easily see supermarkets moving into when they saw the gap.

Hopefully being the operative word.

I don't shop at GAME anymore, but I still at least browse GameStation when I pass it, it would be nice if it stayed open.

And it would be even better if they managed to pay back their poor employees who not only lost their jobs but lost out on money they are owed.

Captcha: gee whiz. Probably my favourite ever.

To bad, would have been more than glad to see the first obsolete rickety old price setting industry exploiting monopolizing shitty store go right out of the door.

It might still go that way and this might just be a really really stupid investment, but even in the best case scenario it'll take a few fiscal years before they pull the plug permanently.

I REALLY hope the entire collective game industry just says fuck you to GAME and pulls their stock. No matter what the investors do if no games are coming in there ain't going to be no sales (which there already are barely any off except for used).

No!

The company was a terrible one! It was like if Gamestop had even more of a monopoly!

Game was able to utterly screw the industry over constantly, screwed over it's own employees, bought out all it's competition, and was holding the U.K. game store market with an iron fist. It over saturated the market with far to many stores. It NEEDED to die.

No luck for the Irish workers. Our Game shops are still screwed.

So pleased by this news! If nothing else, at least more people won't lose their jobs. As much as I want to support local smaller game retailers, in my area, Game is all we've got, and I'd much rather buy in-person than off the internet.

While I'm happy for the people who haven't lost their jobs I can't be happy about the takeover. Because I think this is gonna be another big money sink. Just a big waste of money.

There is a reason why it neared bankruptcy, and that in combination with the rise of digital distribution I don't see any future for a company that specializes in regular videogamesales.

It's not saved until it changes its business model.
Simple solution that would get myself and many otehrs going there again: sell games for less, rework trade-in model, redesign special-offer promotions.

The games at game/gamestation are sometimes double the price of its online counterpart INCLUDING postage. They don't have to pay postage to the customer so I would have expected it to be AT LEAST 1.50 cheaper than online, per game. But it's not. It's more like 80% the price on top. If a game is 20 new with free delivery at Amazon.co.uk, at a game store it would be 21 second hand there and 27.99 new. That's why I rarely shopped there.

Good news this. I think we now have one Game (and one Gamestation) open in the city here - it's better than nothing. I just hope things get sorted out stockwise fairly soon. It's rather depressing to visit a nearly empty Game shop with only a smattering of games and accessories spread around the shelf space.

Pedro The Hutt:
And there go all chances of a resurgence of smaller independent retailers in the UK.

This + Your avatar = win

Good news. Its not like they offered games for a stupidly high price anyway. They offered it at the standard and if you really wanted a deal you'd just got to CEX instead.

Even if someone buys GAME, won't they still keep burning into ashes if they don't fix the main problems that caused it to crash in the first place?

Ha. The Captcha is: "it's over".

So, even GAME got a better ending than Mass Effect 3.

1337mokro:
To bad, would have been more than glad to see the first obsolete rickety old price setting industry exploiting monopolizing shitty store go right out of the door.

It might still go that way and this might just be a really really stupid investment, but even in the best case scenario it'll take a few fiscal years before they pull the plug permanently.

I REALLY hope the entire collective game industry just says fuck you to GAME and pulls their stock. No matter what the investors do if no games are coming in there ain't going to be no sales (which there already are barely any off except for used).

Short sighted and hate fuelled. They employed alot of people and still sold games cheaper than most other places in the UK that do (Tesco, HMV etc) as well as a catalogue of older games. Trade ins is gone without them too, unless you have a blockbuster near you.

Seriously, just because you use digital distribution/amozon doesn't mean the rest of us do.

Also, mits of my avatar you villain!

There goes my hope in the indy shops been able to get back on there feet.. fucking hate this store, and there sister store.

I went into Game on Saturday and walked straight back out.

The PC shelf was abysmal, their other games were over-priced (despite the Spring Sale sign which promised half-price on numerous games) and most of their stock was second hand which was still quite expensive. In the end I opted for Cex because although the game was second-hand it was 6.00 cheaper than Game.

Please Game - lower some prices if you can and broaden your PC selection. PC games are usually cheaper than X-Box and 360 so please don't price them the same.

I for one, am very thankfull for this.

See, In Middlesbrough, there are 2 GAME stores close to hand, One in M-Bro town centre, the other in a retail park called "Teesside Park" and these 2 game stores (apart from Grainger Games and CEX) are pretty much the only stores to get games from.

Now, Grainger is heavily in the Used games department (However they do have new games for usually a cheaper price than GAME), and CEX only sell pre-owned games and DVD's, Without GAME there, i doubt CEX would of lasted and Grainger would of felt the pain as well, however because they sell new stuff, they would of probably become the best place to go for games.

All in all, i'm glad they are open, yeh sure their games are overpriced, but the people who work there are fantastic, definitely a chain i did not want to see go.

Good news. Nice to see jobs being saved and the high street not looking even more emptier and depressing.

Gromril:

1337mokro:
To bad, would have been more than glad to see the first obsolete rickety old price setting industry exploiting monopolizing shitty store go right out of the door.

It might still go that way and this might just be a really really stupid investment, but even in the best case scenario it'll take a few fiscal years before they pull the plug permanently.

I REALLY hope the entire collective game industry just says fuck you to GAME and pulls their stock. No matter what the investors do if no games are coming in there ain't going to be no sales (which there already are barely any off except for used).

Short sighted and hate fuelled. They employed alot of people and still sold games cheaper than most other places in the UK that do (Tesco, HMV etc) as well as a catalogue of older games. Trade ins is gone without them too, unless you have a blockbuster near you.

Seriously, just because you use digital distribution/amozon doesn't mean the rest of us do.

Also, mits of my avatar you villain!

My short sightedness is based solely on longevity. If you employ people with fake jobs, in other words by prolongation a dead system, you only shove the problem ahead in time. There were TRILLIONS of websites that delivered at your door, required no credit card and quite honestly had better customer service whilst still shaving of 10 quid off the price that Game offered. It could not have survived in such a market and it didn't.

Many publishers seeing GAME bleed out didn't step in to help but instead pulled their stock because 1: GAME was a monopolizing ass hole of a store. Do you know why Steam doesn't sell Mass Effect 1 in the UK? Cause of GAME.

2: They actively undermined the gaming industry by sabotaging new game purchases in various ways.

It had no future with so many competitors. Not to mention it actively promoted used games sales, because the money it made from those exceeded a new copy. I have friends who have worked there. Who were instructed to reseal used copies and swap them with the new ones so they could mislead customers and get a greater profit margin. They quite frankly underpaid and overworked their employees and had little perspective on the long run.

GAME's own short sightedness cost it dearly. If that means it's employees pay, well guess what they still will with massive lay-offs and withheld payments in Ireland. The only difference is that the cancerous monster gets a second chance to screw it all up again.

But the real problem here is of course the fact that I got my avatar before you did, so you better change it before I REALLY start trolling you!

1337mokro:

Gromril:

1337mokro:
To bad, would have been more than glad to see the first obsolete rickety old price setting industry exploiting monopolizing shitty store go right out of the door.

It might still go that way and this might just be a really really stupid investment, but even in the best case scenario it'll take a few fiscal years before they pull the plug permanently.

I REALLY hope the entire collective game industry just says fuck you to GAME and pulls their stock. No matter what the investors do if no games are coming in there ain't going to be no sales (which there already are barely any off except for used).

Short sighted and hate fuelled. They employed alot of people and still sold games cheaper than most other places in the UK that do (Tesco, HMV etc) as well as a catalogue of older games. Trade ins is gone without them too, unless you have a blockbuster near you.

Seriously, just because you use digital distribution/amozon doesn't mean the rest of us do.

Also, mits of my avatar you villain!

My short sightedness is based solely on longevity. If you employ people with fake jobs, in other words by prolongation a dead system, you only shove the problem ahead in time. There were TRILLIONS of websites that delivered at your door, required no credit card and quite honestly had better customer service whilst still shaving of 10 quid off the price that Game offered. It could not have survived in such a market and it didn't.

Many publishers seeing GAME bleed out didn't step in to help but instead pulled their stock because 1: GAME was a monopolizing ass hole of a store. Do you know why Steam doesn't sell Mass Effect 1 in the UK? Cause of GAME.

2: They actively undermined the gaming industry by sabotaging new game purchases in various ways.

It had no future with so many competitors. Not to mention it actively promoted used games sales, because the money it made from those exceeded a new copy. I have friends who have worked there. Who were instructed to reseal used copies and swap them with the new ones so they could mislead customers and get a greater profit margin. They quite frankly underpaid and overworked their employees and had little perspective on the long run.

GAME's own short sightedness cost it dearly. If that means it's employees pay, well guess what they still will with massive lay-offs and withheld payments in Ireland. The only difference is that the cancerous monster gets a second chance to screw it all up again.

But the real problem here is of course the fact that I got my avatar before you did, so you better change it before I REALLY start trolling you!

Er......Iv'e had this avatar since I joined. Which appears to be before you did. Moving on.....

Yeah, they were a terribly badly run company, I can't fault you there, and the executives deserve to suffer for it (spoiler, they won't) but I fail to see how ANY business going under is a good thing provided they weren't selling uranium laced condoms or something.

Geez, have a little hope, maybe (and ill concede it's a big bloody maybe) they will do better the next time.

Gromril:

1337mokro:

Gromril:

Short sighted and hate fuelled. They employed alot of people and still sold games cheaper than most other places in the UK that do (Tesco, HMV etc) as well as a catalogue of older games. Trade ins is gone without them too, unless you have a blockbuster near you.

Seriously, just because you use digital distribution/amozon doesn't mean the rest of us do.

Also, mits of my avatar you villain!

My short sightedness is based solely on longevity. If you employ people with fake jobs, in other words by prolongation a dead system, you only shove the problem ahead in time. There were TRILLIONS of websites that delivered at your door, required no credit card and quite honestly had better customer service whilst still shaving of 10 quid off the price that Game offered. It could not have survived in such a market and it didn't.

Many publishers seeing GAME bleed out didn't step in to help but instead pulled their stock because 1: GAME was a monopolizing ass hole of a store. Do you know why Steam doesn't sell Mass Effect 1 in the UK? Cause of GAME.

2: They actively undermined the gaming industry by sabotaging new game purchases in various ways.

It had no future with so many competitors. Not to mention it actively promoted used games sales, because the money it made from those exceeded a new copy. I have friends who have worked there. Who were instructed to reseal used copies and swap them with the new ones so they could mislead customers and get a greater profit margin. They quite frankly underpaid and overworked their employees and had little perspective on the long run.

GAME's own short sightedness cost it dearly. If that means it's employees pay, well guess what they still will with massive lay-offs and withheld payments in Ireland. The only difference is that the cancerous monster gets a second chance to screw it all up again.

But the real problem here is of course the fact that I got my avatar before you did, so you better change it before I REALLY start trolling you!

Er......Iv'e had this avatar since I joined. Which appears to be before you did. Moving on.....

Yeah, they were a terribly badly run company, I can't fault you there, and the executives deserve to suffer for it (spoiler, they won't) but I fail to see how ANY business going under is a good thing provided they weren't selling uranium laced condoms or something.

Geez, have a little hope, maybe (and ill concede it's a big bloody maybe) they will do better the next time.

Sure you had it first on THIS site. But I was using it the day the Halo video came out :). The internet is a big place Steve.

Anyway guess what the executives always get of scot free, that's not much of a surprise, but hey are they changing management? Nope. So what do we gain except the same people running the same company. If GAME went under it would free up the market. Guess what's so good about a free market? Competition. You'd have foreign or domestic retailers expanding to fill the void of GAME, hiring the people, or a part, that got let go and overall because of the higher level of competition the end result will be a better service.

That's why companies die. Because they fail to compete, it's the reason why Kodak died, they might have invented films but their camera's were overpriced and of lower quality than the Japanese ones. What would have been gained by buying out and inflating Kodak? Jobs would be saved yes, but what for? There will just be another company popping up soon to take in those that lost their jobs or they will move on to greener pastures.

I walked into a GAME store at the shopping centre I work in on Wednesday.

They had the lights dimmed, nobody had any energy, and they were clearing the hell out of all their pre-owned games.

It felt terrible to be in there, and I bought DOW:WA for $3 and a Red Faction 1&2 double pack for $2 out of pity.

 

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