Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses United Kingdom Games

UK's Largest Specialist Video Games Retailer Enters Administration 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the increment-steam's-kill-count dept.
RogueyWon writes "The GAME Group, owners of high street chains GAME and Gamestation, which between them account for a large majority of the UK's specialist games retail market, have entered into administration. In the hours following the Group's entry into administration, hundreds of stores were closed and thousands of staff made redundant. While some of the factors behind the Group's downfall, such as stores located too close to each other and overly-ambitious international expansion, were likely unique to the UK-based company, other factors, such as price competition from supermarkets and online retailers, as well as a reliance on a fickle pre-owned games market, may have wider application."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

UK's Largest Specialist Video Games Retailer Enters Administration

Comments Filter:
  • Not a surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Patch86 (1465427) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:49AM (#39493789)

    Doesn't surprise me, for a variety of reasons.

    As mentioned in TFS, they were crazy when it came to sotre placement. In my town, there were two GAME stores and one Gamestation all on the same shopping high street. There used to be a third GAME in a department store two minutes walk away, and there was briefly a fourth GAME directly opposite one of the current two. They all stocked exactly the same thing, with no great specialisation. What on earth did they think they were trying to acheve?

    Another reason- failure to move into the online space themselves. They do do online retailing these days, but they compare poorly to the likes of Amazon. When you're sat at your keyboard, and you open two websites, and one has a betteer range and is cheaper than the other, why would you use the latter? Instead of capitalising on their huge brand presence, they just let themselves slip. their digital download service isn't even run by them- it's just a rebadge of a whole different company's website.

    A bigger reason, though, was just that they weren't pleasant places to be. They're competing against souless supermarkets and anonymous online mail-order companies. So what was their solution? Become as souless and supermarket-like as possible. Cram in as many shelves as possible, with no aisle space, no demo machines, no nice displays. Gaming is obviously a hobby which a lot of people take quite seriously, but instead of trying to tap into that sense of a hobbyist community, and trying to become a hub for that (lucrative) community, they just focussed on selling as many things as possible as efficiently as possible- something they couldn't hope to win on, against their competition. Compare and contrast with Games Workshop (seller of tabletop games and models); gangs of enthusiastic hobbyists hang around in there for hours at a time, playing games against each other, organising competitions, soaking up the atmosphere. You can buy Games Workshop models cheaper online or through some of the resellers- but the flagship shop is the place to be, and so is where most people buy their stuff from.

    • by omglolbah (731566)

      A local store recently dropped their whole computer-game area and replaced it with more books and board games as well as expanding their 'props' space.

      With the way games in general are shifting to online systems it was a better way to go about it for them. That was the gist of things when I spoke to the owner a while back. There was little profit in it, but it took a significant amount of space. They had not lost any sales by removing the merchandise at all.. Hell, they improved their sales of books as they

      • by delinear (991444)

        The article alluded to the one benefit bricks and mortar games stores can offer, unfortunately it's one thing Game never got right. It specifically says game stores are needed so that customers can try before they buy, yet Game and Gamestation where always awful for this. If you were lucky there'd be one or two consoles switched on, more often than not the controllers wouldn't be hooked up so there was no "trying" component, and god forbid you ask them to reconnect them or, even worse, throw in a different

    • Doesn't surprise me, for a variety of reasons.

      As mentioned in TFS, they were crazy when it came to sotre placement. In my town, there were two GAME stores and one Gamestation all on the same shopping high street. There used to be a third GAME in a department store two minutes walk away, and there was briefly a fourth GAME directly opposite one of the current two. They all stocked exactly the same thing, with no great specialisation. What on earth did they think they were trying to acheve?

      This one always confuses me. It isn't unique to games shops - go into any city centre and you will find like shops clustered together (here we have a bunch of banks all on the same street, the next street over there are a bunch of jewellers, etc.) I can only assume that it must work, otherwise they wouldn't do it, but I'm at a loss to understand why.

      On the other hand, after hearing GAME's previous announcements about their financial problems, none of this surprises me: they appeared to have run the busine

      • by Canazza (1428553)

        This is also one of the reasons Woolworths went under a few years ago.

        GAME/Gamestation had an outright monopoly on highstreet gaming up until a few years ago when Supermarkets started stocking AAA titles (rather than the usual bargain basement rubbish they used to), and even then Supermarkets are hardly High Street.

        In my City, Glasgow, we had about 5 in the City Center alone (including a kiosk in Hamleys Toy shop, which is in the SAME shopping center as a fully-fledge GAME store), and about 8 in total when

        • by JosKarith (757063)
          We had 2 GAMEs and 1 GameStation within about 3 mins walk of each other here. AFAIK only one of the GAME stores survived the cull. It was ridiculous to double up like that - especially when they didn't have any presence the other side of the city at all.
      • Car sales are an area you often see it. Car dealers will cluster together. Reason is when people are shopping for a car, they are often willing to shop at multiple places and they are more likely to go to you if you are in an area where one goes to buy cars. If you are the one guy out where there's nothing else, you probably get visited less.

        However what it doesn't work for is the same store. You also never see that. Competing with yourself is stupid. So while a Walmart might move in next to a Target to try

        • However what it doesn't work for is the same store. You also never see that. Competing with yourself is stupid.

          Except you do see it, all the time, it's really really common. In pretty much any city centre in the UK it is common to see Blacks and Millets next door to each other - they are both "outdoor gear" stores owned by the same company selling pretty much the same stuff (ok, so they started off as separate companies, but they've been the same company for years and years and have ample opportunity to thin the shops out and yet they haven't).

          In the city I live in, H. Samuel (Jewellers) have 2 shops about 200 metr

          • we have Tesco Express opposite Sainsburys Local - both "grocery convenience stores".

            This is a deliberate marketing move. When Tesco started opening up Express stores all over the place Sainsburys had to fight back. The reason being that if you get used to nipping to a Tesco Express to buy convenience items you are more likely to shift your main weekly shop to Tesco due to the familiar product range, loyalty card etc. By opening Sainsburys Local stores right next to them they can pretty much guarantee that

          • by MrAngryForNoReason (711935) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @07:10AM (#39494759)

            in the UK it is common to see Blacks and Millets next door to each other

            While they are both Outdoor equipment/clothing retailers Blacks and Millets were aimed at very different markets. Millets was aimed squarely at family campers and casual hikers, whereas Blacks was more specialised and aimed at serious hikers, campers, climbers etc. The seperate stores allowed them to target their stock and marketing at their particular markets more successfully.

            This kind of differentiation is important when you have very disparate groups of customers. Serious hikers/campers/climbers are pretty snobby about their gear so the product ranges they demand are higher end and higher price, the kind of stuff that puts off casual shoppers.

            Of course in the end both stores have suffered from the prevalence of big warehouse style outdoor equipment stores that have cheaper prices and enough space to effectively service both markets. Millets is now effectively dead and Blacks is seriously struggling.

            • Millets was aimed squarely at family campers and casual hikers, whereas Blacks was more specialised and aimed at serious hikers, campers, climbers etc.

              Not really. They both sold extremely similar stock, and I wouldn't call any of it "serious" in either case. No, Blacks didn't sell any climbing or mountaineering equipment.

              Of course in the end both stores have suffered from the prevalence of big warehouse style outdoor equipment stores that have cheaper prices and enough space to effectively service both markets. Millets is now effectively dead and Blacks is seriously struggling.

              I think this is because they were both pitched at the casual outdoors people, which is something that the big stores deal with just as well (e.g. Go Outdoors, Cotswold, etc). The more specialist stores that really do cator to more serious people are still going strong - people like Joe Brown, V12, Needlesports, Up & Under - these a

      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        Clustered stores make sense as long as they're different companies, after all they're competing with each other and when they cluster that's usually a sign that the area has a lot of people looking for that kind of store. Having redundant stores or banks of the same company is where it gets weird.

        • by lattyware (934246)
          The main issue was they bought other companies, and didn't close any stores. They bought out Electronics Boutique years ago, and then GameStation slightly later. They turned the EB Games stores into Game stores, but kept GS as a separate brand. This lead to you often having 3 (sometimes more) stores owned by game very close together.
        • Clustered stores make sense as long as they're different companies, after all they're competing with each other and when they cluster that's usually a sign that the area has a lot of people looking for that kind of store.

          It makes sense where the stores have different stock, so people want to shop around to figure out which thing to buy: if you're buying a big ticket item like a car, a house, etc then you're going to want to do some serious browsing before putting down some money, so clustering estate agents, car dealerships, etc makes sense.

          On the other hand, a cluster of computer game shops, all selling exactly the same selection of games, aren't going to attract a lot of pre-purchase browsing: you know that the product yo

          • by delinear (991444)
            Not to mention the shops are awful for browsing. What they need is some system where I can pick up a game I've not seen/heard about, scan it at a booth and pull up gameplay video, reviews, etc, even be able to try it out before I buy. Having 20 copies of an identical empty box with three lines of blurb and an artist rendition of the game tells me nothing as a potential customer. They should be doing more of what tabletop game stores do. Run game nights with leagues and competitions, help people connect with
      • by mikael (484)

        Easy. When people go shopping for one item, they usually want to buy a complete outfit. Like buying a new suit with matching shoes, tie, shirt and cufflinks. Same with necklace, earrings and rings. Usually each store will specialize in one particular combination of material like gemstones or metals, and recommend the other shops for other items.

      • This one always confuses me. It isn't unique to games shops - go into any city centre and you will find like shops clustered together (here we have a bunch of banks all on the same street, the next street over there are a bunch of jewellers, etc.) I can only assume that it must work, otherwise they wouldn't do it, but I'm at a loss to understand why.

        It's not a new phenomenon. Roman cities were actually designed like this, with all of a particular type of shop being on the same street. You can still see some street names that are relics of this, being corruptions of the latin for 'street of butchers' or 'street of bakers'. It made life easy for shoppers, because if you wanted to buy meat, you went to the street of butchers. If one butcher didn't have what you wanted, you'd go to the next one.

        The same logic still applies today. If you have shops

      • by delinear (991444)
        I wonder if it's to do with capacity at peak times. Perhaps having two or three stores during their peak run up to Christmas generates enough additional profit (or at least they were hoping it would but it sounds like they miscalculated) to cover the surplus stores for the rest of the year (and since they can't just rent and outfit the stores they need for those three months, it's better to have them open than closed so long as they're breaking even). The Game and Gamestation proximity thing is easier to ex
    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      A friend of mine works in the industry (for Rebellion) and he said that publishers were annoyed about them selling second hand games. Obviously a second hand game produces no revenue for the publisher, and yet Game wanted special deals on new games too. Publishers declined and they ended up not being able to compete with the discounts offered in other shops and online.

      I always found Gamestation a nice enough chain of shops, a bit crowded perhaps but with a good selection of gear and reasonable prices. I thi

      • by samjam (256347)

        I wonder if publishers requiring purchasers of second hand games to re-register and pay some more money in order to use the second-hand game contributed to the downfall of Game.

        Maybe second hand game sales didn't help the publisher directly, but maybe it helped their channel, and maybe it helped fund the purchase of new games for those who sold the second hand games or traded them in when buying new games.

        How bad were these unintended consequences for Game?

      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        Rebellion is probably more impacted by that as their games lately were pretty weak and people are more likely to trade them in for the meagre amount of money that stores like GameStop offer. On the other hand you got companies like Nintendo whose flagship games (not all games but their biggest sellers like Mario Kart or New Super Mario Bros) still cost full price even 5 years after release and few used copies are in circulation because demand far exceeds the trade-in supply (also the trade-in values remain

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Second hand games offer no revenue to the publisher, true. But stopping them will also affect sales of new games.

        People, especially kids, only have so much to spend on games. If they can't sell old games then they won't put that money towards a new purchase. People who were buying second hand will now also be buying new, which will offset that to some extent, but they'll be buying less as well.

        The turd in the punchbowl were the likes of Game that gave sellers 5 bucks a game, then turned around and resold fo

    • Re:Not a surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @03:36AM (#39493955)
      GAME are also in Australia. They want A$80-100 per game (GBP 60-70 ish) I can order the same games from Zavvi for GBP 30. Same with EB games. A lot of Australian gamers have taken to importing games and I dont think it will be long before retailers like JBHiFi test the waters of direct import on games and movies (they already do it on cameras). But GAME and EB wont bother, they're locked into the old way of doing things with local distributors charging inflated prices and as a result are dying slowly.

      GAME and EB Games will join the other retail dinosaurs like Harvey Norman in retail extinction.

      So what was their solution? Become as souless and supermarket-like as possible. Cram in as many shelves as possible, with no aisle space, no demo machines, no nice displays

      And staff it with people who know nothing about games.

      EB games Australia have gone one step further and play annoying techno way too loud. If I do buy a game locally (I.E. I want it today and am willing to pay the premium) I'll generally walk down the street to the nearest JB, no music, easy to find stuff and slightly cheaper.

      • by snookums (48954)

        The EB games at Broadway in Sydney actually had some real gamers on staff - at least for a while. I had a good chat with a guy there about where to buy retro games (PS1 and earlier stuff) and he seemed knowledgeable and interested.

        The retial price of games here is crazy though. It's a relic from the days of poor exchange rates. The dollar went up 50% in value, but the price of games stayed the same. It doesn't surprise me that physical game stores that don't work hard to add value are in trouble though. Mos

        • by mjwx (966435)

          The EB games at Broadway in Sydney actually had some real gamers on staff - at least for a while. I had a good chat with a guy there about where to buy retro games (PS1 and earlier stuff) and he seemed knowledgeable and interested.

          Most stores just hire bog standard retail teens. They are more interested in getting the soccer mum through the door with her 6 whining kids.

          BTW, when did the PS1 become retro? (blows into cartridge and shakes walking stick at youths)

          • by Nursie (632944)

            About ten years ago, IIRC!

            (/loads head alignment tape into commodore 64 tape drive...)

        • by Nursie (632944)

          I just ordered Ninja Gaiden 3 (yeah, I know, it's supposed to be bad, but I liked the last two) from amazon US for 56 US bucks. EB wanted 98 AUD.

          Steam and some other online game distributors also play this trick, ripping off the Australian market, and it can be harder to work aroud them if you don't have a foreign credit card.

    • Acres of empty boxes on display with all the stock stashed in couple of drawers at the back. Actually that's my only disagreement with you, I don't think they did anything efficiently.
      Last time I went in, was to have a look at a Vita. I knew it was cheaper online, but hadn't (and still haven't) actually got my hands on one to play with it. I'd assumed due to the window sized poster, there'd be a demo pod inside, bundle deals etc. When I went in... well there was a big poster listing the not-very-good-deals
      • "Acres of empty boxes on display with all the stock stashed in couple of drawers at the back."

        Common anti-shoplifting measure.
        • by samjam (256347)

          It's now seen to have been important for Game to have noted that anti-theft alone is not the same as pro-sales, as goldcd points out nicely.

        • by delinear (991444)
          But the point is it's also a terrible use of expensive shop space. Why pay so much rent if all you're going to do is fill it all with empty boxes? I don't need to see 20 copies of the same empty box side by side on a shelf. Just have one box and a bunch of "Take this token to the counter to buy" things behind it. That way you instantly claim back masses of floor space for things like demo units that instantly give you a killer advantage over both superstores (who just want churn) and the internet. Same deal
      • Once we've removed Game and the high street is no longer saturated with mediocrity, smaller chains and indies may return and offer something better.

        IMO you'd have to be pretty crazy to open a game store at this point, afaict most games stores make their real money on preowned games but many PC games already have anti-resale measures and console vendors are looking in that direction too.

    • The list of closed stores can be found at MCV: http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/store-closures-begin-at-game-and-gamestation/093365 [mcvuk.com] Just looking through the list shows lots of store duplications within towns, I know that Hanley had two stores within one shopping center seperated by a ceiling and a Gamestation in the main high street. And that's the list of just the closed down stores.
    • by RogueyWon (735973) *
      Yes, I think you've got a good point about the condition of the stores. I've done a couple of fairly lengthy journal articles about the collapse - one on the causes here [slashdot.org] and one on the repercussions here [slashdot.org].

      I think the key thing for me is how little consideration GAME's management gave to what their key strengths ought to be set against supermarkets on the one hand and online retailers on the other.
      • by delinear (991444)

        Excellent journal entries, I'd advise anyone with a little time to go read them. On the credit front, my GF was one of the lucky ones. She'd pre-ordered Mass Effect 3 for me and when we received notification that they couldn't meet the order as they'd been refused stock (and gave us a £5 voucher to make up for it) I instantly realised we were talking days or weeks rather than months or years left on the clock for Game and told her to cash the voucher and her ~£25 of loyalty points in.

        I can under

    • Gaming is obviously a hobby which a lot of people take quite seriously, but instead of trying to tap into that sense of a hobbyist community, and trying to become a hub for that (lucrative) community, they just focussed on selling as many things as possible as efficiently as possible- something they couldn't hope to win on, against their competition. Compare and contrast with Games Workshop (seller of tabletop games and models); gangs of enthusiastic hobbyists hang around in there for hours at a time, playing games against each other, organising competitions, soaking up the atmosphere. You can buy Games Workshop models cheaper online or through some of the resellers- but the flagship shop is the place to be, and so is where most people buy their stuff from.

      I wonder if the video and board / miniatures gamers represent two vary different markets, because of their two very different social aspects.

      Miniatures and board games almost always require an opponent and face to face play to be enjoyable; much of the fun is in the interaction and, with miniatures, seeing how others have painted them and showing off your creations. Rules are to be argued over, historical authenticity debated, and playing fields to be created. In short, it is a very social activity, much l

  • by TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @02:59AM (#39493825)
    On the window of a Game store in Ireland: http://i.imgur.com/BQ8iD.jpg [imgur.com]
    • This makes me glad to be Irish. And even gladder not to work in GAME.

    • by biglig2 (89374)

      Our local one had a sign in the window yesterday saying "We're closed, your nearest store is now Slough" and then Slough had been crossed out and Reading written in... I presume they learned they were closing, put up temporary signs, then found out that their neighbour was closing too.

      Today they had specially printed signs in place. Can't imagine it was much fun arranging that.

  • While it's sad when people have to lose their jobs I do feel that it's mostly a good thing that online marketplaces are taking over the traditional store model for games (and other software too). By far the most interesting games I've played lately have been made by small independent teams. Lower barriers for entry into the business makes it easier for independents to get a shot.

    Unfortunately, the online marketplaces, especially on consoles, are also in effect a monopoly on the platform. But that will likel

  • by gweilo8888 (921799) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @03:10AM (#39493857)
    I would wager that, as much as it is to do with GAME's own failings, it is also down to two other things: the industry-wide switch to digital distribution (Steam, Xbox Live Marketplace, Playstation Store, Wii Shop Channel, App Store, Google Play, etc.), coupled with the engineered death of second-hand sales caused both by digital distribution and the game publishers and console makers alike actively taking steps to prevent resale, effectively turning your "purchase" into a "rental".
    • by Xest (935314)

      This WAS part of GAME's own failings.

      When I bought Dawn of War II from them a few years back I complained to them about the fact I had to activate via Steam, and specifically that Steam wasn't letting me activate at first. I pointed out that the whole reason I bought a physical copy was so that I didn't have to deal with stupid online systems restricting what I could do with a product I'd paid for. I complained because whilst there was mention of activation, there was no mention that I'd have to create acco

    • It'll probably happen, but it is a long way off. People who use it tend to think it has since we tend to switch over. I rarely buy retail games these days, DD is too convenient. However that leads to a skewed perception. The majority of sales are still physical. Even for titles that are available DD, it is still mostly physical. Stardock says about 4:1 physical to DD for them.

      Then you take the fact that many titles aren't available digital on consoles, and consoles are big markets. PC gamers sometimes forge

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Steam, sure but the others aren't replacements for retail stores as they offer completely different products.

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      There was one more aspect to this, the banks. RBS (yewp, thwe bank that had to be bailed out and is now owned by the UK taxpayer) didn't want to allow full use of the credit facilities it already had in place (games retail is a very cyclic business, and we;re just about at the bottom, waiting for new consoles), which made suppliers very nervous about supplying games to Game. This meant Game failed to get any revenue from big titles such as Mass Effect 3, and this pushed it over the edge.

      RBS than received a

    • by Zarjazz (36278)

      I used to work for GAME many many years ago in their digital division. We had the developers, network infrastructure, industry clout (at the time) and the strategy to create Steam before Steam even existed. We were incredibly motivated to do this, basically it was why we'd all been hired. We all knew digital distribution was the future.

      In the end the then board decided "forget the internet, we ship boxes". The entire digital team was disbanded and moved to other departments. Just one of many, many mistakes

      • by delinear (991444)
        This is almost always the issue when the board aren't properly invested in the long term future of the company. The approach is always: gut the company, make a fast buck now, then jump ship (hopefully before it sinks). There's no incentive to invest in new technology, there's no incetive to take risks with different approaches - why would the board care about that when they can just milk what they've got for profits right now then move to a company that's already done the hard work and investment later. It'
  • There's a large number of businesses failing in this way in the UK right now (Peacocks went bust about 3mths ago). GAME have gone under with debts of £180M. They claim it's due to the rise of the online retailers (as if they didn't see that coming).

    It's going to have a massive effect on unemployment in Basingstoke. The only good thing is that my daughter didn't get a job at GAME when she went for an interview there about 18mths ago.

    • A lot of game retailers really didn't (and some still haven't) noticed DD as a growing thing. An example would be Gamestop. You'd think they'd have been in on this from the fairly early days. Their whole business is games so it would be highly relevant. Well, no they had no DD presence and ignored it until it was already huge. They are in it now, but because they bought Impulse from Stardock. It was an already established DD service, quite an old on in fact (Impulse grew out of Stardock Central which came o

  • In Australia... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pjr.cc (760528) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @03:32AM (#39493941)

    Not sure what GAME uk's demise means for the australian game line, but i keep wondering how they *STAY* in business. They are consistently higher then everyone else simply for price.

    Consider their biggest competitor in the retail market is probably a place called JB hifi, and in shopping centers they're often so close (physically) together that you can see the big tags advertising their price for games (Specially up coming and new release ones). Yet, GAME au's prices are always more expensive.

    When they go out of business in AU, I will not be supprised. I've bought games from them (but only second hand ones, and at most 3 - typically jbhifi is cheaper for those as well). But AU's model can be summed up in 3 links:

    http://www.game.com.au/diablo-iii/pc-games/DIABLO3PC [game.com.au]
    http://www.jbhifionline.com.au/game/pc-games/diablo-3/654000 [jbhifionline.com.au]
    http://www.game-lane.com.au/pc-mac-games/2782-diablo-iii-3-pc.html [game-lane.com.au]

    To me, in AU, its not "how did they go out of business" its "how do they stay alive?".

    • by Zeussy (868062)
      MCVPacific is running a story [mcvpacific.com] on what the Australian GAME is trying to do, to save it's hide.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @03:43AM (#39493983)
    GAME was a spinoff of EB Games and shared the same mentality - high retail prices and a propensity to stiff customers who traded in or bought second hand. GAME took over its main rival Gamestation and got so big in Britain that the average medium sized town / city might have 3 or 4 stores belonging to one brand or another often across the road from each other.

    So you have an (over) saturation of stores in prime rent locations selling a commodity, poor customer loyalty thanks to GAME's own business practices, a recession, and increasing competition from supermarkets, online stores and digital downloads. GAME didn't bother responding in any meaningful way to any of these threats and so it lost a lot of money and went bust. It sucks for the employees but it really isn't a surprise that it happened.

    Going into administration is probably the best chance it has of surviving. The creditors can cut the store down to size which might ultimately whip it into a survivable shape.

  • In short: (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gravis Zero (934156) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @03:49AM (#39493993)

    Video Game Retailer Modded "Redundant -1"

  • Trade-in prices (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @04:35AM (#39494163) Homepage

    Trade-in prices is what put me off going to Game. I'd take in something recent, like, say, Street Fighter X Tekken and they'd give me maybe 13GBP for it, or 16 if it wasn't "scratched". They'd then sell it second hand for 30GBP (or 28 if it doesn't come with instructions or a box).

    Meanwhile, the independent shop near it, CEX, would give me 28GBP cash, or 30GBP exchange.

    • they'd give me maybe 13GBP for it, or 16 if it wasn't "scratched". They'd then sell it second hand for 30GBP (or 28 if it doesn't come with instructions or a box).

      Funny that you mention that game. The GAME nearest to me is selling it second-hand for £39.99. A quick search on Zavvi tells me that they're selling the Xbox360 version, brand new, for £36.95 [zavvi.com]

      The other big game that they're not selling new, Mass Effect 3, is also £39.99 second-hand in my local GAME branch. I'd check prices for that, but I'm lazy, and can confirm seeing new copies being sold for somewhere in the £30 range.

      As for price reductions for copies of games without boxes or ma

  • Game over.

  • It would be great if someone used terms more familiar to those international folks who don't know British law :-)

    Does it mean they went bankrupt (as summary seems to say), under investigation (which forced closing the stores), became a public administration entity (who then decided to close some of the shops), or what?

    • by Alioth (221270)

      Roughly similar to Chapter 11 in the US, which even if you're not from the US is fairly widely know.

  • The GAME store in Dundrum, Ireland has/had (I'm not certain if it is closed) some great staff. They always seemed really into the games they sold, and never offered any kind of judgement.

    I once pre-ordered WotLK expansion in Gamestop in Bray (Wicklow, Ireland) and I was excited to play it, so had taken 3 days off work and arrived the morning it launched at the shop door, just as they were opening. There were 3-4 other people there waiting for the store to open. When the clerk arrived and opened the door, yo

  • My home town has 2 GAME shops that are less than 100 yards apart, and a further GameStation shop less than 5 minutes walk away. This never made any sense to me. Besides, you can buy games in at least 3 other shops nearby. If this is normal, there's no wonder they are going into administration.

    The demise of GAME may be sad for the staff in the shops, but for anyone else, this is hardly that upsetting. Someone else will take over, and hopefully do a better job at running their business.

  • Didn't they refuse to carry recent big name titles like Mass Effect 3?
    You think you can be a game retailer for long and get away with things like that?
    • by Builder (103701)

      They didn't refuse - they couldn't get the finance to pay the distributor for the copies, so the distributor would not supply them.

  • In one shopping centre in Essex, they had 3 stores. None of these stores sold anything that you couldn't get at the others, and the floor space in two of them was quite large.

    As well as competing with themselves, there are 4 other stores in the centre that _also_ sell console games.

    When my wife and I saw all of these stores open we took a bet that it would be 6 months before Game went bust. It turns out it took 18, but we were close enough.

"How do I love thee? My accumulator overflows."

Working...