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Capcom Ditches GAME As Possible Closure Looms

| 5 Mar 2012 17:39
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Troubled U.K. retailer Game announced that it will not be stocking Street Fighter X Tekken or Asura's Wrath as executives consider "pulling the plug" rather than struggling through more financial losses.

"It's always darkest before it goes totally black," as the old saying goes, and it's getting very dark indeed for U.K. videogame retailer Game. The company announced today that it will not be carrying Street Fighter X Tekken or Asura's Wrath, both scheduled for release on March 9. The games join Mass Effect 3, Mario Party 9, Tiger Woods 13, Sims 3: Showtime, The Last Story and FIFA Street among the major releases that will be absent from Game shelves in March.

"Unfortunately Capcom must confirm that Street Fighter X Tekken for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and Asura's Wrath, both scheduled for release on Friday March 9, will not be stocked by Game or Gamestation either in their retail outlets or on their online stores operating in the UK and Ireland," a Capcom rep told MCV. The game will still be available through other retailers in the U.K. and Ireland, the rep added, and Game is offering full refunds on preorder deposits.

This latest blow could spell the end for the Game Group, as The Express says executives are already considering shutting down the company completely rather than trying to struggle through future losses. "There is a real risk that Game's directors will pull the plug because they can't be sure that the company can survive through the next trading season, and then insolvency becomes inevitable," a "source close to the situation" said. "They are in discussions with their legal advisers about whether to shut up shop rather than rack up more losses."

The Royal Bank of Scotland, which heads a consortium of Game Group lenders, is reportedly growing antsy with the situation but can't push too hard for more closures for fear of making things worse. "Suppliers pulling their products is a stepping stone to administration, but the problem for RBS pulling the plug is that it will be an expensive and complex administration because Game has 1,274 stores across Europe and Australia," another source said. "Lending banks will only want to consider a pre-pack administration, where there is a pre-arranged buyer, but who would want to buy Game?"

One possible suitor for Game is U.S. retailer GameStop, although any potential deal would have to work around GameStop's lack of interest in Game's Australian operation. Game hasn't commented on the loss of Street Fighter X Tekken and Asura's Wrath, but says its current supply problem is a "temporary situation."

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