The long-serving United Kingdom retailer GAME has had financial struggles recently, and this morning GAME posted the intention of filing for administration. The two-decade-long established store will likely meet its end in the next couple of weeks or months.
Surprise notice came last month when EA released a statement that GAME and its affiliates would no longer stock their games, only a week before the intended release of Mass Effect 3. The distributing group refused to give GAME reduced rates for buying the games and would not do business with a company with poor credit. Customers who had preordered the game from the store were given £5 store credit and an apology. It’s no surprise that the loss of sales of a blockbuster [barf] game had made a big dent in the company’s financial situation.
A week later Capcom and Nintendo decided to pull supply to GAME too, and shortly after GAME announced a “Spring Clean” sale in an attempt to generate cash flow to keep the business afloat. Not long after that more suppliers including THQ, Microsoft, Activision, and Sega pulled supply from GAME.
Today the company announced a suspension in share trading and an intent to appoint an administrator. It ended the day a 2.3 pence per share, comparing that of last year’s price of 65 pence per share.
The company in recent years had expanded into Europe and Australia and now has 600 stores worldwide in addition to the 600 on domestic soil. It took over online retailer BarrysWorld, remaining Electronics Boutique stores and recently acquired rival retailer Gamestation.
The loss in sales shows a growth in other non-specialist retailers. Including online retailer’s Amazon and Zavvi (who took over the fall of Virgin Megastore’s and high-street stores were liquidated two years ago), catalogue merchant Argos, stationary store WHSmith and music store HMV. Few specialist video-game stores are left including the second-hand trading store Computer Exchange.
To a loyal customer like myself this comes as a sad but not unpredictable moment in the video-game industry. Newspaper columns suggest that the downfall is majorly due to the increase in digital sales such as mobile apps for Android and iPhone/iPad and PC/Mac platform Steam. Are we slowly turning to an age where we will exclusively download games rather than have hard copies?
GAME and Gamestation stores are continuing their sales for the “spring clean” and still accept gift cards and reward points for use in purchasing games. Don’t be surprised of the limited choice of games as most of the notable games for the notable platforms are out of stock.