GAME UK Has Filed For Administration

The end has come for UK retailer GAME after the GAME Group was delisted from the London Stock Exchange and filed for administration.

GAME UK said it's board sees "no equity value left in the Group" and as such wanted it taken off the stock market.

In a statement released to the press, GAME UK said: “Further to the announcements of 12 March 2012 and 14 March 2012, the board of GAME has assessed the status of the ongoing and regular discussions between GAME and its lending banks and between its lending banks and a potential third party provider of finance to the business.

"The Board now considers itself to be unable to assess the business’s financial position, and is of the opinion that there is no equity value left in the Group. Therefore the Company has requested that the listing of its securities on the Main Market ofLondon Stock Exchange plc be suspended from trading with effect from 7:30am today.

"The Company will provide a further update in due course.”

The retailer will continue trading for the time being and the 6000 GAME staff have been assured that they will be paid what they've earned.

GAME Australia has declined to comment at this stage, although it is important to note that GAME Australia operates independently from GAME UK.

[MCVUK]


Comments

    GAME Australia may operate independently, but they're still owned by GAME UK and you can bet they're in big trouble too.

      Incorrect dude, GAME Australia are a completely different from GAME UK although they are a subsidary they are totally self funded and work directly with Australian Distributors. They only effect I see is that the name will lose credibilty.

        "GAME Australia are a completely different from GAME UK"

        Is that why they report directly to GAME head office in UK?

        Companies don't buy other companies just to give them their name and let them operate independently.

      hardly. They are their own Pty. Ltd. company and this would not affect them. It would either be sold off to the highest bidder or GAME Australia would be left to fend for themselves. The guys at my local store wouldnt comment but they seemed pretty up beat this morning and dont seem worried at all. Afterall, they are stocking Resident Evil, the Star Wars Kinect, and all the upcoming titles UK arent getting. Sure they may only be for preorder customers only. But I preorder anyway.

    It did operate completely independently from the UK, until the UK stepped in and kicked out the original games wizards guys who were running it and placed their own agents in the top spots. It is still somewhat independent in terms of the money made here not going back over seas, but they are all part of the same big network (from my experience) with the CEO coming over here to personally inspect stores and how the company is run.

    What I'm concerned with is will the European arm of GAME force the closure and liquidation of the Australian stores to make up for the short falls of the European stores?

      Going from the Borders experience, almost certainly.

      If you have any points or whatever with them, I suggest redeeming them today.

        Yeah if you have any money on pre-orders, I would be pulling them out ASAP. I can't imagine this well end well for GAME Australia unfortunately.

          EB mentality: I went into EB and that's all they can scream at the moment. In fact it's not the first time i've heard them say it. I have preorders at both companies and as with GameUK i'm sure if they can't provide they will let us know. I just find it pretty dispicable that EB needs to slander in such a way in order to get their preorders.

            "what reznor said"

            i wont buy anything from EB and always from JB store or GAME. much better service. i hope GAME survives here.
            Reason i don't shop at EB? they constantly harassed me one day to buy a battery pack from my controller. i told them i was going elsewhere and just would accept it. i bought it cheaper at GAME even after EB offered a discount

        Its no surprise people are running scared from GAME in Australia with ridiculous comment like this. The reason Game UK has had problems is due to the fact that the UK has had the highest increase in online purchasing anywhere is the world. The current financial climate is tightening everyone's purse strings and the fact that you can save so much money is pretty much a no-brainer. The likes of ASDA and Tesco selling them for so much less doesn't help the situation. They sell them all as loss leaders and make so much margin on their own brand stuff that they can afford to do it.

        The staff of these stores have no control over this and people spouting on about that the stores deserve to be closed down is just plain ignorant. These are good people with children to feed and housing to pay for.

        Give them a break, its not their fault!

    I've emailed Game Aus checking my preorder of Diablo 3 CE and they told me all preorders stock has been gaurenteed by Activision/Blizzard and that the Aus chain is independant and will not be closed.
    I think to many people are assuming there is an issue here when there is not.

      Pre orders are one thing, as they are guaranteed sales and proof to the publishers/distributers that GAME is albe to sell X amount of games as they've already been pre-sold to customers. But what happens after those games come out? Maybe they are the last few games they can take pre-orders for as the future isn't certain and the publishers won't want to take a gamble, just like what happened in the UK over MAss Effect 3.

      I do hope you're right and there is nothing to worry about, I have some very good friends who work for GAME and would hate for them to lose their jobs. But judging from the way GAME operated when I worked for them, the UK call the shots completely, especially over matters like this, so it wouldn't come as a complete surprise for them to use the closure/liquidation of the Australian stores to balance everything out, after all the Australian market isn't going great for retail game stores as it is.

      of course their official line is that, they're not going to actually tell you they're in trouble. and stuff like your diablo 3 CE stock would have already been allocated so you should be safe there, but if you think GAME Australia is safe from all of this you are kidding yourself.

    A shame. I worked there for a year and a half a couple of years ago, in a Norwich and London store - nice place to work and the staff and bosses were always nice people.

    aus should just cut ties and do their own thing

      It was the Games Wizards chain of stores before GAME bought them out, but kept the managing directors from GW on to run it. In 2010 the UK came over and gave them an ultimatum - either run pick it up our we'll rearrange everything and kick you out. They kept running it the best way they could but UK still weren't happy and got rid of the original GW guys, a whole bunch of other people left along with them both from head office and in stores. The UK then installed their own directors from overseas and have been trying to turn it around.

      So it was independent, but now it's completely owned and run by GAME, so cutting ties isn't really an option, because it's all one big company, it's not a separate arm of the Euro sector, it's all completely connected.

        i have no idea how you have come to this conclusion.....

        Game Australia, although they are apart of GameGroup are a separate entity and the funding and dealings with suppliers are different from the UK.

        Game UK can go into administration and still essentially have no affect in australia other then that of the media with incorrect stories.

        Backing Impedingdoom's comment when aus can essentially cut ties

          What I wrote happened while I worked there, that's how. We answered to the UK, they came over here to inspect everything personally and kicked out the original Games Wizards guys to install people from the UK to run the whole thing. If the Australian stores are completely separate then how can the UK heads come over here and restructure everything?

          It would be great if the Australia stores could be independent but I don't see that happening with the experience I have had with the way the UK exerts it's control over the Australian stores. I said above I hope they can remain open, even if they aren't making 'enough' money for GAME my only fear is that they will try and make back money they have lot overseas by liquidating everything over here.

            What I think people don't understand is that GAME AU and everything it owns is an asset of GAME UK. When GAME UK goes into administration then all assets will be stripped off and sold or dumped. GAME AU being an asset will either be picked-up as a whole, stripped down for smaller assets (most likely) or dumped. Each store is essentially an "asset" i.e. stock, fixtures, hardware etc so each store is open to these 3 outcomes also. There is the option for GAME AU in it's current form to start a new business, acquire funding and purchase the AU assets from the UK administrator however finding that lending facility will be incredibly difficult.

            There is also the issue of stock supply, given what is happening in the UK you will be hard pressed to find a trade credit insurer willing to cover GAME AU. This will mean GAME will need to prepay all stock in advance with it's suppliers instead of enjoying delayed payment terms on purchases, any business especially one operating on the thin margins GAME does won't last long on CIA payments, especially when your main funding source has been cut-off (GAME UK).

            GAME has and always will hold a special place in my heart but it will be tough to get out of this one in my opinion.

    I'm sure they're not telling their staff anything because they want to keep there stores operating whilst they organise a plan to shutter everything.
    They didn't inform staff 5 years ago when they stopped paying commissions until 3 months after they were overdue to be paid.
    They didn't inform staff about massive cutbacks in the SA stores until 2 weeks before closures , the minimum time required by law, and as a result ended up paying out a substantial amount in severance packages.
    Communication from the top 2 guys (who came down from the UK stores) -- was non-existent for a long time, whilst there were firings going on all over the place in head office due to massives losses and shady practices. - Kotaku sort of reported about it here: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/06/job-cuts-store-closures-hit-aussie-retailer-game/
    At any rate, as someone who worked there since very close to its inception until a couple of years ago, I can say with certainty, that the Australian stores have not once had a profitable year!
    You would also have to assume that the Australian suppliers are not too bright, they should have cut off their stock months ago aswell!
    Their desperate measures should've made this obvious to anyone grey imports sold as $10 cheaper 'preowned' games with non-descript ratings stickers and the buying up large numbers of consoles from Big W/Target sales and reselling them as new, the company has been lucky to retain any sense of credibility and the staff in the stores should have realised they were working on a sinking ship.
    Since I left they started the ridiculous GAMEtv, showing two guys who lived in the basement shouting out to mum for food and drinks, releasing (and subsequently pulling) reward cards with dodgey innueundo, and who can forget the big success that was GAME swinging!! Talk about losing touch with your consumer.
    At any rate, I feel awful for many of the low level staff who will be left with nothing, after repeated promises of huge progression opportunities and the opportunity to work for the worlds second largest games retailer, with awesome job security! Whilst the area, regional and national managers will walk away quite wealthy into another company that they can flush down the toilet.

      When did you work there? From all I saw, once the old H/O dudes got the boot the company only then starting giving better offers/ service and the like. All my mates who worked there were happy to tell me how much clearer and straight forward things got after the change???

    I was shocked when I went back to the UK a few years ago and found that ll the independent stores had been replaced with one chain, GAME. There was no choice, no competition and very little outside a narrow band of games and hardware available. This company bought out almost everything and to all intents and purposes, messed it up. I hope with them going, the space may get filled by more independent stores again. When the first GAME opened in Australia, I was really hoping it wouldn't happen here; which looks like it won't now...

    my bum hurts

      your bum always hurts

        get out of it!!

          it's not me it's Commander Shepard

    I think the big problem for Game is that they were getting their funding from their head office as they aren't making money in Australia. The Australian stores were put up for sale a month ago but it looks like there were no buyers for it. Who'd in Australian retail would buy the Game brand anyway? EB sure wouldn't as they're in the same centres as Game are anyway. My thought is that even if Game survive for now it won't be long before they've either rapidly close stores and cut dead weight, which would be easier to do in receivership, and then restructure and reopen again - same as whats happening in the UK really.

    I do feel sorry for the guys on the shop floor though as my local Game guys are pretty cool and not obnoxious twats like EB staff...

      Yeah i totally second that kingsta!

      I work at a JB Hifi (The enemy!) next door to game and i have a great relationship with everyone at the store. I've actually tried and succeeded in getting a couple of them a job in our games department.

      It is a shame because Australia needs more competition that just EB and a few big retailers. Speciality stores really make game retail more personal and interesting.

      I mean its not like our local BIG W knows much at all about what they are releasing in the next few months let alone the price.

      Yet again, GAME Australia are completely seperate GAME Australia works with it's own funding from money made in Australia, they deal with Australian suppliers and distributors.

      I understand this is a conversational topic but people are digging into things where there is no where to be dug, and lots of people are making assumptions with zero facts or evidence to back this up and it's a shame they people are talking like they know and they don't.

        "lots of people are making assumptions with zero facts or evidence to back this up and it’s a shame they people are talking like they know and they don’t."

        I'd lump you into that same cateogry. Read above, there's plenty to be read.

        You do realise that it is GAME GROUP PLC that has gone into administration, not just GAME UK?
        Thats the entire international company, which GAME AUS is a part of. GAME AUS is as much of an independant entity from GAME GROUP PLC as BWS is from WoolWorths Group. If head goes, so do all the limbs.

    I love my local Game store and the staff that actually care about gaming. Gives me similar minded geeks to chat to while the missus gets her nails done. Sure hope they don't end up in the toilet but if they do I sure hope they put on one huge firesale.

    Being the money mogul that he is and that his "online venture" was rushed and retarded, Jerry Harvey should throw some cash at GameAU, "restructure" the knobs at the top and over time franchise the stores back out ala every other HN franchise

    Haha a bunch of gamer noobs thinking they know how the world of business works.

    Well according to to the retail games industry website MCV the French,Scandonavian and Australian stores are the ones losing the money and the Spanish/Portugese and UK ones were keeping the company as a whole afloat.So I would say GAME Australia is on borrowed time.

    Most of my game purchases are from ozgameshop so this news doesn't bother me.

    I'm one of those lowly floor staff. This news is really worrying. I don't want to have to find another job. GAME is a fun place to work.

    Don't get me wrong, the company itself is... difficult to work for - the decisions that they make a lot of the time have you constantly face-palming. And you're constantly in fear of breaking one of several hundred policies whenever you attempt to help a customer. To me it seems, especially recently, that they've really lost touch with that whole "customer service" thing. But that is another story.

    It's the people I work with and the customers I interact with on a daily basis that make the job worthwhile. The fellow staff members at my store are great guys. Really fun to chat and have a laugh with. The customers too! When you're not getting grilled by someone that you can't help due to all the "red tape", its awesome to be able to talk a customer's ear off about a game you both like or about opinions on a certain piece of news or rumour. No other job I've had has been like this: I'm really happy working at Game!

    The fact that I may well soon have to give all that up really scares and worries me :/

      Kaisa if I were you I would update my C/V and apply at EB,JB Etc. now before all the other GAME employees do.Because at best you only have a month or so left at game.Or better yet look to getting out of retail with Dick Smith and WOW sight and sound closing tech based retail has been on a downward slide .Even if GAME gets bought out they will close some stores and let staff go, not to mention a new regime with new managers Etc.
      I know this sucks but the sooner you act the better, and you dont want to competing with 100's of ex game staff for a job.

        I'm a floor staff too, i think if every staff member at game went looking for work now it would be a nail in the coffin when suddenly stores can't open due to staffing issues =/ doesn't look good for aus at all if everyone jumps ship sadly

        Do you work for game?

      Sounds like a very similar experience to what I had whilst working there.

    Damn that's some bad news.
    As for the whole AU stores operating independently, I agree on that. You get a totally different customer service in Aussie than in the UK. And by different I mean better. Sure you will catch the odd Sunday crew here and there, but when I was living in the UK I often set foot in Game but quickly walked out. I found staff there to often be quite unhelpful and useless when I asked them for basic info on certain games, and ended up buying my games across the road from the local trade & save.

    None of that here in Australia though, they almost always have a great customer service, the staff know their games and do not bullshit you around. They even help you with non game related stuff like giving you extra plastic bags to carry your groceries around because the bag you were carrying them in before had ripped to shreds. Very helpful! Hope you guys don't get affected over here

    I loved my local GAME store from 2007 - 2010, but from that point onward my local store hired some absolute muppets behind the counter and i started to shop elsewhere. It also help start me on the importing train, so in a way i am thankful for that. But i smile each time i walk past my local store and see it resembling a ghost town.

    but at the end of the day, its $4 cheaper at big w? maybe $5 at jb... right?
    with kick in the dick service, twats who don't know fucking shit and in my experiance (always eb games) smell like they have shit themselves

    but hey, you can buy a can of coke or two with those $4... right?

    I'm staff at GAME, and I can say that although I'm not surprised (Head Office make some questionable, inconsistent and at times downright retarded moves), it's a damn shame. Stores have been slowly closing for the last couple of years, so it was only a matter of time. Customer service was something that we could really employ effectively and it gave me great pleasure in helping other gamers find what they wanted. That focus kind of shifted over the last year and a half (lots of higher ups left, I remember reading the e-mails from them addressed to the stores) to a very 'business-ey' kind of model like EB Games, which was incredibly frustrating to work under at times, but it never stopped being fun.

    Fact of the matter is that a lot of customers clued in to importing games cheaper, or would go to JB if they were feeling lazy. EB Games will once again be the only boutique game store and I can only hope they lift their game in light of this news.

    I think it's as simple as this - if the Australian arm is profitable then it will stay, I don't expect GAME Australia to remain open much longer. :(

    Hmm, i must sat it didn't look good around when I was leaving at the end of JAN this year, and next hardware cycle is still a little away yet. As an ex-store manager that was there for a number of years (started in 2007), it was clear the company model was failing, to no fault of the staff, everyone was trying as hard as they possibly could. When i was at a conference late last year, I asked about the structure and funding. All of it for AUS comes from the board in the UK, so I don't think they will continue independently unless someone buys the business, which is unlikely.

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