UK-based retailer GAME will not be stacking any of publisher Electronic Arts’s March games, including Mass Effect 3, it said today.
In a statement on its website, the retail chain said it is “not in a position to supply [its] customers with Mass Effect 3“, although it “may” stock copies of the game in the future.
Other EA games slotted for March release include FIFA Street, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 and The Sims 3: Showtime.
Eurogamer obtained a copy of an internal memo sent out to GAME staffers that explains the company’s decision. According to the memo, GAME could not come to an agreement with Electronic Arts on credit terms for selling the publisher’s products.
“We committed to only stocking products on which we could get the right credit terms, regardless of the title or the supplier,” the alleged memo says. “We will not stock products if the terms are not right for our business — a position we believe is critical to our long term health as a business — we have taken the very difficult decision to not stock EA’s March releases, including Mass Effect 3.”
GAME, one of the largest game retail chains in Europe, says it will refund all preorders and offer £5 ($7) worth of reward points to affected customers.
Times have been tough for the brick-and-mortar retailer, which has been losing business to online stores like Amazon and Play.com. Earlier in February, the company renegotiated a deal with several British lending banks that would give it some financial breathing room and help it keep its stores supplied.
However, the retailer has still had trouble striking deals with some of its publishing partners. Until yesterday, GAME was not stocking any of Ubisoft’s Vita titles. It still has not reached terms with publisher Nintendo to sell games like Mario Party 9 and upcoming Wii UK release Pandora’s Tower.
One former GAME employee told me today that he believes the company is in serious trouble.
“They are going broke,” he said. “GAME had by far the best developer/publisher relationships of any retailer in the UK, got all the support and exclusives, and now they can’t even get credit for stock.”