GAME Over, Man? GAME Struggles
by GL News
The ever-present and mysterious ‘they’ do say that the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and once dominant high street giant, GAME certainly has a long way to plummet. From near dominance of the high street gaming sector, its fortunes have been on the decline of late, as news outlets have been quick to report, and today sees the news that the GAME group has put itself up for sale in an attempt to avoid total collapse. According to a report in the Sunday Times: “Struggling video games retailer Game has put itself up for sale as it tries to raise cash to pay a quarterly rent bill due in a fortnight.” If a buyer can’t be found, then the company will enter administration.
Only a few days ago, the troubled retailer was trying to turn its fortunes around, selling off stock at rock bottom prices in a bid to inject some much needed cash into the coffers, but administration was always on the cards if things didn’t pan out with an acquisition deal – US firm GameStop were and still are being linked as a potential buyer. What has perhaps been the killing stroke, however, has been their inability, due to credit insurance issues, to stock the latest hot titles, namely the record smashing Mass Effect 3, Street Fighter X Tekken and Asura’s Wrath, Mario Party 9. Indeed, stating the bleeding obvious, the lucrative Spring quarter is not the ideal time to have stock/publisher issues, and missing out on stocking what may well turn out to be the biggest selling title of the year, in the shape of the record breaking Mass Effect 3, may well be the coup de grace for the firm.
The official word from GAME:
Further to GAME’s announcement of 29th February 2012 and recent press speculation, the Group confirms that it remains in discussions with its suppliers and lenders in relation to terms of trade that allow the business to operate within the facility provided by its banking syndicate, as announced on 3 February 2012, and to meet its revised strategic plan. While these discussions are ongoing, it has not been possible to source new products from a number of suppliers.
The Board of GAME is working actively to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. This includes ongoing discussions with suppliers, seeking access to the original facility or alternative sources of funding, and reviewing the position of all of its assets in the UK and international territories.
It is uncertain whether any of the solutions currently being explored by the Board will be successful or will result in any value being attributed to the shares of the Company.
GAME have never been the most popular high street choice for core gamers, from their antics of swooping on cut-price supermarket deals and re-selling the products at a higher price, to pushing pre-owned over new stock (and in doing so potentially jeopardising the very industry that they are in bed with), to forcing consumers to buy expensive (and often naff) bundle deals rather than allowing them to purchase standalone hardware. It is fair to say that they have made many enemies along the way, and not just with gamers. Their refusal to stock smaller publisher and niche titles and their ever shrinking PC sections have been seen by many in both publishing, developing, and consumer circles as unforgivable arrogance, and will undoubtedly earn them little sympathy.
However, when all is said, done and picked over, 10,000 jobs are ultimately on the line in an already shitty economy, and regardless of your personal view on the chain and its questionable practices over the years, we personally think that the human cost is worth more than a passing thought before the embers of GAME are danced around. Whether the next few days will bring a new, humbler GAME from the ashes of the old, or we’ll suddenly see a GameStop where the giant pink one used to reside, or whether GAME and Gamestation will just simply vanish from the high street, only the next few crucial days will tell.
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