Job Cuts, Store Closures Hit Aussie Retailer GAME

Specialist games retailer GAME has laid off up to twenty people, and lost several key executives, ahead of plans to close a number of its stores around Australia.

MCV reports that directors Rob Lukic and Tony Pagano have resigned in the wake of a poor year where GAME struggled to grow market share.

"The chain has reshuffled a number of key executive positions and has plans to close several of its outlets. MCV has been lead to believe that between 10-20 jobs have been lost in total."

It's not known which, or how many, retail stores will be closed. Anonymous sources within GAME have told Kotaku that the job cuts have so far only been felt at the retailer's head office. Management has not yet informed staff of what cuts will be made at store level.

We'll follow up with GAME and update you when we hear any more.

AUS: Redundancies at GAME [MCV]


Comments

    This is much the same as the big players of the second hand market closing down in the US. Gamestop/EB are the absolute best at robbing customers blind with thier trade deals/second hand market. With years of experience trying to go up against them particulary in Australia is crazy.

    This is interesting, I was in GAME in Tuggeranong, ACT a few weeks back and the staff there seemed to be gearing up for a 'relocation' or 'takeover'.

    So I would put money on this shop closing down. The whole shopping centre is a bit of a joke anyway. I doubt any shop would do really well in this particular shopping centre.

      Tuggeranong Hyperdome is also my local shopping centre and it is very average. I had no idea that game there was struggling (But I wouldn't be suprised).

      Ill ask my mate who works there if he knows anything.

        I wouldn't expect Tugga's to go. It is one of the strongest stores in the ACT. Gungahlin on the other hand...

        I wouldn't expect too many store closures. The reason why there were so many terminations from head office was that they were aweful at what they did.

        Rob and Tony were two of the worst. They had no concept of a good game and as such bought huge amounts of chaff that we couldnt shift. Additionally the buying team (which I would expect to go entirly) managed to cause issues with oversupplying bad games whilst ordering none of the good one (eg. they didn't buy any chrono trigger for the ds) They are also the ones who meant that we never recieved any good pre order bonus'or cusomer incentives.

          I have to agree with you. GAME has missed out on some premium deals that ended up going to EB because the upper management couldn't get their act together.

          I'm wondering if any of the Melbourne stores will go? I've heard of a few that weren't going too well, so they might be closed.

          But hopefully they'll open one in Melbourne Central. They'd do well to have one there.

          To run a successful company, you need people who know what the people want..... hopefully, the people who are caretaking will be able to make some changes.... for the better.

          (Btw: I'm a current employee too, but that's all I'll say).

            I guess the boxhill GAME will close, the location is horrible (top floor in quiet shopping centre)
            and EB is locate right outside the train station exit.
            Beside, imo GAME is worse than EB since their staff hate you tradein games or price match.
            Once they don't let me price match and told me take it or leave it lol

            Strange Le_Gambit, I though most large companies have a buying department, rather than leaving it up to the Managing Director to organise deals with suppliers.

          gunners would be a shock to close as its clearly a store set up for the future as its still a growing area

      I was just in there the other day to pick up Backbreaker and the guy was telling me there were some changes going on in Head Office, it seems odd that if he were mentioning that, that he wouldn't mention if they were known to be closing. Unless the stores don't actually know yet.

    To say this sucks is an understatement.. Game has really grown on me as i've been drifting further away from EB...

      Agreed. If GAME goes under because of EB, then I'm only getting my games from JB Hi-Fi.

      The unfortunate thing with GAME is, that their line-up isn't as wide as EB, which is a pain.

      This is making me regret ever going to EB to get my games in the first place... :(

        Game have never been competitive in this Australian market. I don't think I have ever bought anything from Game despite continually walking in to their stores in the hope that they might have something that would make me think twice about a purchase.

          Out of curiosity, what have you been looking for? I've bought a few games (especially when my local store was a GAME) and accessories, and have started doing some preorders there as well.

          The one thing I bought from GAME was a plush murloc when Wrath of the Lich King came out, I didn't get Wrath from there as I got it cheaper elsewhere.

          I have to agree. I really wanted to buy stuff there, as I do personally hate EB; but they just aren't competitive. Every now and then I'd see a preowned game cheaper there than at EB but most of the time they were worse. These days I get my new games from JB as they have the best prices, or price match it at EB so I can take it back if need be.

    Our local game is directly opposite GameTraders in the mall, and 30m from EB.

    I'm gonna guess it might be one to go. Shame, they do the best trade-ins.

      Robina town eh? if so i hope they don't go D:

        I thought GameTraders @ Robina was gone!?!? If it's still there that shop is worth the drive down from Brissy.

    It's a tough gig trying to make money by setting up a store chain that's pretty much the same as EB, selling the same stuff for the same price, and your stores are in the same shopping centres as EB.

      pretty much. It was never going to be easy beating EB at their own game, especially considering EB has been around for years and is the first place the average consumer would think of when they want games.

      @gregorian: Hence why I buy most of my games from JB-HiFi

      70 percent of the time they'll have the game I want and for a cheaper price at that
      The Game store and EB stores I have to visit are exepnsive and only have the most popular or newest titles and the the old titles they do have like COD4 are 90 dollars pre-owned

      This is especially true when Game dont have a huge corporation backing them up from the States. EB can afford to run low/no profit stores while poor GAME simply cant.

        You do know GAME are a massive European company right? From memory they had almost 1B pound turnover last year with over 1100 stores......no company can sustain low/no profit stores for to long, eventually the question is asked why it is still trading.

          In that case I would suggest that Gamestop would have to be much larger than whatever European company GAME originates from.

          Besides, it's actually illegal to operate at a loss to put a competitor out of business; anti-competitive y'know.

    its a shame; the people in game know their stuff, and seem to be much happier to help you out than at EB. But that's just my experience there, i recognize it wont be everyones

    The GAME store I sometimes visit in Hornsby is a ghost town.

    I had a feeling this would happen sooner or later. Still, I only walk into video game stores nowadays just to look at physical copies of the game itself.

    The convenience of importing is growing too strong to resist.

      Hey... that's my local!

      It really is a shame, I was always a EB customer myself as I became friends with some of the staff there, but they move on and the new lot aren't as approachable.

      So I moved onto GAME, who really have one of the worst positions within the centre (EB are right in front of the food court). The guys and girls there are great and the bonus of the reward scheme is awesome also.

      The weird thing is they will pricematch any store within the centre, but they wouldn't even price match their own website. So I always felt they were trying to push consumers to the website rather than the actual stores. So they may have resulted in the management getting fired because it wasn't working?

      They've probably taken about $1500 (minimum) of my money already this year, and there will be plenty more this year. Having just quit my job for something else in another suburb, hopefully they will stay open so I can come back to them in the future, otherwise will have to find another one.

        You're right about the new staff at EB. They're unapproachable and I usually got average-shithouse service there. The staff at GAME though do seem pretty nice (compared to some of the annoying, always-there dicks at my local GAME in Hurstville) but then again, I don't talk to them in the first place. And you're also right about their GAME store's position. It is terrible. Right next to Myer and the Games Workshop...

        Which reminds me, I have a GAME $30 voucher to use as well!

      Weekends at Hornsby GAME is alright, isn't it?
      Everytime I pass by on weekends, there's seems to be a bit of flow between Games Workshop and GAME. Although EB has way better placement, in front of the food courts and escalators.
      The one at Macquarie Centre is also pretty awkwardly placed. I think they'd be pretty happy if there were more than 2 people in the store at the one time.

        They might be in there during weekends but I don't see too many people buying anything though...

        And the Macquarie centre is a maze. EB, GAME and JB Hifi are all positioned in stupid areas. Especially JB Hifi.

    I'm not surprised when they try and sell a 360 game for $109.95, when up the escalators JB sells the exact same game for $79.

    Hell, even Dead Rising was $69 second hand in there a few months back.

    I can't say I'm surprised, given the sorts of prices I saw from them. As others have said, in most cases where there's a GAME there'll be an EB Games or a JB Hifi, and even EB's prices usually beat out GAME.

    The management at GAME are absolutely bafoons, they have such great deals but their stalls are in very secluded areas. Would it kill to open one in the CBD? I mean EB games opened 4, so whats so hard about it.

      Dude, there are store in the QVB, Broadway and Estgardens and Bondi. There are, or were, a few in the city.

    As a GAME employee, this news disturbs me greatly, as I work at a small shop with only three employees. Although we do reasonably decently for our size, our turnover is still quite low... Bad news indeed.

      And as for the competition we face, it's extremely tough. Next to JB, and in a centre that also has an EB, Big W, Kmart and Target.

      It's sad, because so many people just go to JB, who really aren't that cheap anymore. GAME price matches everyone, and most of the time will be able to beat their prices by at the very least a dollar. And our trade values are on average double EB's, according to our customers.

        The problem with price matching is that for a lot of people, they find out the prices by going into the store. So why bother going to another store to get the same product at the same price (or $1 less)?

        JB might not be as great as they were for bargain hunting, but between JB, Big W and KMart, I'm struggling to think of the last time that I've had to pay close to what stores like EB and GAME typically ask.

          It's actually quite rare for GAME to be drastically higher in price these days. We have "competitive pricing" on most new releases, matching prices similar to JB, or sometimes have deals, where, although you're paying full price for an item, you get something else with it, e.g. red dead, where you paid 109.95, but got 1500 free MS points, or where we gave away a free (if somewhat ordinary) game with God of War III.

          Although I agree that when GAME first hit the scene it was dramatically more expensive, it really has changed to become more competitive recently, and I'm not just saying that as an employee. With the reward card vouchers it's more competitive again.

          That said, I know it's extremely hard to change people's perception of a shop price-wise, which is sad, because the people that do come to us swear by us.

        Yeah JB HiFi has been jacking their prices up bigtime lately. They are definately not the cheapest option anymore. I've heard it's because they are moving away from focusing on DVDs and games and concentrating on the TV market.

        Price matching against money-hungry rip-off artists like JB and EB is easy enough; if Game started to actually charge customers even remotely close to what the game is actually worth I'd start buying from there. When it costs me $20 less (sometimes even better) to order a game from the US (including shipping!) than it does to buy it in Game, it's getting kind of ridiculous. I refuse to buy from Australian retailers; they are the reason that idiot game companies think it's cool to jack up their Aussie prices on Steam. Screw the lot of them.

    Man, I love GAME, they've been a lot better than EB and even better than most GameTraders :c

    My local GAME I would imagine is having a tough time. It's in the same complex as EB and rarely ever has any people in it. Their stock doesn't match up to the EB downstairs (the almost non existent PC section rubs me the wrong way). It also doesn't help them that Dick Smith, Big W, Kmart, Target and Myer are also all in the same shopping centre.

      Bankstown NSW?

    There is hardly anything in my local GAME, I've been in there a total of 2 times since it opened. I've never been much for EB either, especially their trade in deals. I can see right through those. I personally think JB HIFI has the best trade in deals.
    But neither EB or GAME could compare to a privately owned shop I use to go to, it had the best deals, friendliest staff and the range of second hand games was enormous ($5 PS1 games you couldn't go wrong).
    Sadly this had to close down though because of EB and GAME.

    im in my local game store alot there staff is great very good to talk to about games and they will get out on the floor and chat to customers unlike the staff at eb games who sit behind the counter and do nothing and dont help at all! this is a damm shame!

      I go to the Belco, Woden and Civic stores and have found all of them far superior to both JB and EB. The guys there know what they are talking about and are usually good for a chat.
      The EB sales force I've seen at Darrel Lee and Gloria Jeans, although friendly, they are retailers, not gamers.
      It will be sad if any of those go. JB don't offer the 7-day return if you don't like the game.
      It's difficult for any Aussie store to compete with $25 new releases from India though.

    Been waiting on this news all year. I'm baffled as to why Game tried to enter an already saturated and naturally slow retail market like Australia with no significant point of difference from EB.

    Most recently they opened a new store in an already dud shopping centre with an EB, JB, Big W and a perpetual-clearance-bargains Harvey Norman across the street. I can't even understand how the local market share could support THOSE stores let alone another one, the place has tumbleweeds in it on late-night-shopping nights.

      Likeany people have said already in this discussion, the GAME staff get out and actually serve their customers, and they also know their stuff, from my experience with them. EB does not do either of these points, and so thre is the point of difference, customer service. Just a pity that the average gamer dosent give a flying F*ck about what service they get, they just want the cheapest price, hence stores like JB. Go and ask them what the difference between a 360 and PS3 is, and then you realise why they are so cheap. A Shame

        The only people that shop at Game are nerds with a grudge against EB. The average consumer would not pick a retailer like Game over EB - there is little to no difference between the two to the naked eye.

          thats a very nerdy thing to say sounds like someones a eb fanboy.

          So if "there's little to no difference", then wouldn't it make people just as likely to go to GAME as EB, thus totally refuting your very own "nerds with a grudge" reasoning.

            Err... it didn't refute my reasoning at all. You are missing my point which is that the only people that shop at Game are those that have a grudge against EB because of the negative press they garner within the video game "inner circle". To the average consumer, they are both similar game retailers, and they will always pick the store they are familiar with, the one that has been around in Australia for years and has the brand recognition which is EB.

    Serves them right! There is no excuse for them to demand 120 bucks for a new ps3 release when Big-W or Jbhifi sell it for 95.

    Seriously, specialty game stores are a bloody ripoff.

      What new releases have you been buying at $95? If you shop about you can basically get anything for ~$85. And GAME price match. And often have awesome release deals, too.

      Serves a company right for charging recommended retail when all the other HUGE stores charge on cost, but make their money in other areas? I think that's a little rich.

      Have fun with your customer service and support. Oh wait.

    Too expensive. Gamers are not that stupid that they wont go to Big W or JB or even get EB Games to price match.

    I never buy from game as their selection is below par and their prices are too high.

      I normally just make the effort to get the prices from Kmart, Big W, Ebgames etc etc and get game to price match/beat it. They've never had a qualm about it, and i reckon they deserve the sales anyway.

        I didnt know they price matched.

          They actually beat the price - even if it is by $1.

          But yeah - they've always price matched as far as i've been aware. The only time I will shop at EB is when they have a Collector's Edition that is exclusive to them. And the chances of them having the exclusive rights to game I want so bad that I would get the Collector's Edition isn't that high... Mass Effect 2 I got from there, but that wasn't exclusive, they just had copies left.

          Other than that - its price matching to Game or JB or I just get from Big W and Kmart cause of the convenience of their stores being closer as they're not always at large shopping malls.

          I do prefer GAME to EB though - although I agree that EB have a wider range, I have found GAME to have a stronger trade-in offering. It would be sad to see GAME turn into a Gametraders or demolish completely.

    Our Game is right near a JBHiFi, GameTraders, EBGames, Kmart and Big W, and they came in last after all the other stores had established themselves, so I'm really not surprised that they're struggling.

    It's a shame, though, because they have by far the best staff. GameTraders used to be great, but it's since been overtaken by a bunch of staff who seem to know nothing :S EB is full of pompous 15yos and JB is really much more music-oriented.

    I think they need to do more to stand out from the crowd of game stores. Either offer rare titles or do better bundles or something. Because unfortunately great service doesn't bring people into the store :(

    Oh well, if one near me has a closing down sale I'll certainly take advantage of it.

    Oh man, I find this really sad. Call me biased as an ex employee but GAME had a really good policy of hiring people who both knew their stuff and wanted to give people great service.

    They had trouble at times matching lowest prices, but always tried to get some awesome pre-order deals. Add to that (IMO) the best trade in deals and generally the most competitive console deals and they really filled a niche between the terror of EB and the impersonal nature of JB.

    Best wishes for Tony and Rob and fingers crossed for all my homies in Canberra.

    I am SO SICK of people bitching about GAME! They have over 49 stores located in NSW alone! how many stores do EB and JB-HI FI have. Everytime I walk in to JB-HI FI there is NEVER anyone to help me, and when I finally find one they don't know what their talking about, & EB is even worse. Their customer service sucks, my boss walked in looking for a 360 memory card and they told him there's no such thing! guess what, there is I have 2. now if they don't exist why do I own 2!! don't bitch about GAME, they know more then ANYONE else & at least they can be bothered to actually help you!!! Always friendly and around, I will not be happy if they close down & will refuse to shop at JB-HI fi and EB...

      LIKE!

      Wow - this coming from a wife of an employee! Biased much? Maybe head office at GAME should hire you for spruking some random shit at passer-by customers at the front of GAME's low-performance stores. You could be all like 'Step right in, folks. We are a purple/silver force to be reckoned with, full of games only EB get hard over on Thursday nights and on weekends. Eb sucks, you know. So does JB. And Big W. And Target as well as K-mart. And pretty much any retailer who sells computer games and whose name isn't GAME'. BTW Gnomes suck hard -big time!

        I'm so sorry that you think I'm being biased & FYI, I already have worked for GAME! Instead of ripping into me, how about you stop going on like a random spaz like seriously 'gnomes suck hard - big time' what the hell does that have to do with ANYTHING! Just because you couldn't come up with anything decent to say [about GAME, or anything else for that matter] you had to talk about gnomes. hmm. You sound like a complete noob to me.

    I like the GAME brand and I think the customer service in-store is generally fantastic. However, as soon as I see the prices, I'm gone, running over to JB Hi-Fi. I was also given a $25 off voucher for GAME and when I tried to use it, it was a nightmare. The guy thought it was a fake. I haven't been back since.

    Honestly I am not suprised at all. I have tried to support GAME over the past couple of years, but everytime I walk into one the prices are always ridiculous, even on sale. I have rarely, if ever, seen a game offered cheaper at GAME compared to EB, which as others have said is generally no further than a few stores away.

    The one saving grace perhaps is their website which seems to have decent specials every now and again.

      I agree. Their websites have great deals on special editon games.

    Fuck Game.
    They wouldnt even price match EB for me and EB was literally 50m down the mall from them.

      wow. but judging from the rest of the posts here, maybe that was an exception?

      even so, that's a really crap situation :\

        it's not just distance to the store that counts, it's also the actual price of the item, if a game is $20 under cost price due to a sale, if someone were to price match, they'd be losing money on the sale, sure the customer would get what they want but then the buisness loses money. Then whats the point???

          you all have no idea, you actually get good and bad service at any stores you go to if its JB, Game, K-mart or whatever......the fuuny thing is the people that work at Game are the fish EB reject and thats why thier service is crap.......Game dont even give you your money back if you dont like the game and they make you put your traded games on a pre-order you dont want instead of giving you a gift card........Game have got thiker just desserts and got one thing left to say BYE BYE..

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