GAME: Possibly Still Looking For A Buyer

"I really just want readers to understand a more human side to this story," said a GAME store manager, who wished to remain anonymous. "as there are a lot of staff that have put in many unpaid hours and huge amounts of time and effort over the last few years..."

Today GAME Australia confirmed that it would be going into administration. At this stage we're unsure of precisely what impact this will have on store closures or redundancies. PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company handling the administrative process, is declining to give out specific details.

Speaking to PWC this morning we were informed that they "couldn't say anything at this stage". They did confirm, however, that more official information regarding GAME's situation would be released today.

According to our source, GAME is still attempting to find a buyer.

"As far as I know GAME is still looking for a buyer," they said, "and there a a few parties interested, so if someone buys, then I think some if not all stores will stay open for trade.

"I have also been told that we will refunding pre-orders and still accepting gift cards as normal."

According to the source, most staff members were expecting this but were given little to no information from head office regarding the situation.

"We have expected things were wrong since the UK stores went to crap," they said, "but head office kept acting like nothing was wrong, just business as usual. We kept asking ourselves, 'If we are going out of business, why are we still taking pre-orders on Black Ops 2 and Wii U?'

"Things have started to slowly decline since Christmas, like stock levels on games and consoles, and new regulations were brought in like 'no more laybys', or payments on pre orders, but again, it was all speculation from staff as head office were tight-lipped."

Our source, along with the rest of GAME's store managers were informed of the news this morning by email.

"Mondays are my day off," they said, "and it sucked to wake up to the email on my phone this morning. Ive managed a store for three years, and am pretty upset by it all. I am going into work today to see how the staff are going and see if anyone needs a drink and a smile.

"All my staff are brilliant and to get this news is a kick in the pants to all of them."

We hope to hear the official word from GAME themselves at some point in the afternoon and will update as soon as we hear back.


    Well given the news from the UK and the steady decline over the years who didn't see this coming? Especially as a PC gamer I have zero reason to head in to one of their stores to pay nearly double for what I can get online.

      we better not put in anymore pre-orders just incase that if GAME fucks us over

    Kotaku you might want to fix this post as GAME are certainly not refunding pre-orders.

      I'm sure there'll be specific instructions for different circumstances. I've taken it off the headline, so people don't get misled. Hopefully we'll have more concrete news on exactly what the pre-order situation is. :)

    Sad news... I used to work for the Games Wizards (first full time job) back in '95 before they eventually got bought by GAME... as I understand it the original Games Wizards owners (there were 4 of them) were still very much involved to this point.... If they do shut up shop completely then I think it just weakens the competition in Australia as a dedicated video game retailer.... not too many of them left now.... : (

      haha games wizards. i remember getting a christmas bonus at work and racing there to buy a brand spanking n64 and mario.

    Dey took our Jurbs!

      Dey tuk yr jrrb!

      This news really sucks, one of my best mates (best man at my wedding) is a manager of one of the stores. But thank you Randy Marsh, that is one of the funniest things I have seen in a loooong time! Good stuff!

        Duk juk tuuurbbb!!

      Dkrr drr!

    Geez that sucks. It's true that the staff at these places were some of the better people to talk about games with. It's pretty lame to leave all these people working for the franchise to be kept in the dark like that.

      sadly, keeping the low level employees is pretty much standard operating procedure when things like this happen.

        jesus, typing fail.

        sadly, keeping the low level employees in the dark is pretty much standard operating procedure when things like this happen.

          You're not wrong there
          Mushroom syndrome FTL

    Thats rough. I like the staff at my local GAME. They're friendly, they know their stuff and don't mind just chatting about games. It would be unfortunate to see them out of a job.

      Always good people to talk to and have a laugh.

    Game employee here too. We are really going to suffer with the Diablo launch. No stock/not enough stock and angry customers everywhere. Please don't get mad at us, we are only doing what we are told.

    Hopefully EB scoops up a few ex game staff

      Won't happen - they go for ruthless sales people these days more than friendly people who know what they're talking about and might actually advise a parent NOT to buy that "Imagine: Something stupid" game :P

        They staff at my local eb look at their feet during conversation, not exactly ruthless. In fact some are more shy than I am!

          I have always found EB staff in perth to be generally good (i shop at warwick and the city west stores). On the contrary the perth CBD GAME staff sucked.

      I know a few EB stores that won't hire ex-GAME employees just because they worked for the competition which is a shame as they could use the superior customer service staff

    Pretty rough indeed :s

    I feel real sorry for all those staff members. I've always liked the crew that have worked at pretty much any game i have visited

    I'd rip on your pun Mark but I can't think of anything better :p

      It was Angus that made the image. I swore I wouldn't write those words, but I didn't have another image!

        That guy from the Aliens move when everything is going to hell?

          HUDSON! He is a legend. 'Game Over man'!! -
          - Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!

            Big scary marine before the battle, whiny bitch at the first sign of trouble. Classic.

    Writing was on the wall for 6 months. Smart ones would have been looking for new jobs since then.

      Try 18, thats when I left

    Just called and asked about credit because I have $60 credit I was going to put toward Diablo III tomorrow. I was told they would accept credit but you would have to spend 4 x the amount to have it honoured. I'm not spending $240 to get my $60 voucher honoured. Sounds illegal to me. Also it's the day before Diablo III releases and they had no stock. All my Ozgameshop purchases are to blame for this no doubt :(

      Standard procedure when a company goes into admin. Since you have $60 you're kind of a shareholder or stakeholder. The admin company will get the funds to pay out the people at the top first and you my unfortunate customer are last on the list. Which means, you will never get that $60 honoured.

      Same happened with Borders. Lots of people who has gift vouchers were told they had to spend 4 x the vouchers worth to have it honoured.

      Doesn't sound legal...but thats the way it is.

    gg GAME

    This is very sad news indeed :(. Not because I have a completely paid off D3 CE preorder, but because All of the GAME staff I have met have all been helpful and willing to help regarding almost any gaming related question. It is sad that they are going under. None of the staff I have met deserve to lost their staff.

    It's unfortunate that Game employees are going to be out of work - despite what their head office says, it's pretty obvious that they're going down, and quickly.
    I'm not sure what else they expected - they expanded entirely too quickly, and didn't do enough to differentiate themselves from the competition, ie. EB. Everyone has their opinions about whether EB are the devil or not, but lets not lose sight of the facts - EB has been around in Australia for 15 years, and in that time have built up an incredibly loyal customer base. When Game do nothing to differentiate themselves, and pretty much copy their business plan to the letter, it's no surprise that loyal EB customers just wouldn't do the switch. There are obviously people who've had a bad experience at EB and defect "across the mall", but for every one who has, there are five who have not.
    Game's policy of reckless expansion has been shown to be a disaster in many other industries. The most notable local example of this is with Starbucks, who saw a perceived gap in the market and rushed to fill it; only to find out, a couple of years down the road, that the market didn't exist in the first place.
    It's a shame for us as gamers that there isn't more room for choice but really, games retail is dying anyway, and it won't be long before the headlines on Kotaku read "EB Games Closes 50 Stores across Rural Australia".
    EB World or no EB World.

      People don't shop at eb because they are loyal, they shop there because it is convenient. If everyone was willing to wait 2 weeks for delivery, eb would go under as well.

        No, trust me, it's loyalty. Convenience breeds loyalty.

    It's unfortunate. The worst part is the staff at the GAME stores will suffer the fall out from customers. For not having Diablo 3, If that thing about the spending 4x as much as a Credit note/gift card is worth is true and in general. Hopefully people are rational and realise its not the staff's fault.
    Good luck GAME employees hope the next month or so isn't to rough for you guys <3

    I used to manage a GAME store which closed down in the first wave of closures. Greed and corruption never works for a business, but the men at the top of GAME Australia were never interested in filling the business's pockets with money. They got a lot of money out of GAME UK. Good luck to them, I say. A job well done in a world where we can steal without ramifications.

    Feel sorry for the staff, but good riddance to the company responsible for the abomination that was Game TV - that was exactly the kind of image that helped make game stores seem like a place for 'gamers' and not for everyone.

    I feel sorry for the staff that work there & wish them all the best in landing on their feet. It is a shame that This is happening I have nothing but praise for the staff @ my local GAME. They were always knowledgable & friendly. Again all the best to the staff especially @ Southland.

    As an ex-GAME Store Manager, this is no surprise. Brought down by their own support centre and lack of management skills. They sacked the Australian support team to bring over a UK team, kept borrowing funds off the UK parent company...clearly this wasn't going to last. At one stage they were even selling new games as pre-owned to boost their pre-owned sales figures. According to our local store: gift cards can still be used but can only equate to 20% of the purchase (eg you spend $100, you can only use $20 of a gift card), no more trade in's are accepted (which is where the profit margin is at for these guys), and no more pre orders at all. I'll be surprised if they find a buyer at all; not worth the investment.

    I was a long term Store Manager at GAME over several years and changes in operations and staff structure. I have seen the mistakes that have been made and the way in which the staff were higly turndover, resulting in experinced and dedicated staff leaving, such as myself. I could see after this last christmas rading period that the company was in trouble. THe lack of trasparancy to the staff is shocking and I really feel for the peopel who put in their lives to build a brand. Lets just hope that they get their benefits and entitlements. There was people with real passion for running a shop for gamers by people who loved games themselves and wanted to help their fellow gamers, but in my 6yrs there it was always a battle with the H/O.

    Where do I buy sackboy keyings and other trinkets from now? Serious question

      Gametraders sell them. And search overseas online stores like

    That comment about unpaid hours....... when will this be checked up on? its clearly outlined how illegal this is...

      Most full time staff were on salaries, so regardless of hours done (including launch nights and setting these up), we didn't get paid for the extra hours. I remember being at work from 8am to 1am...yes 1am, to set up a sale on 24 hours notice with only one other staff member to help...

        thats actually an excuse, the way its meant to work is hours you work over it your meant to rack up paid time off. Under australian law if your not compensated in paid time off your entitled to pay for your hours.

        Kings transport tried this with me when I was a fleet manager..... they've been caught doing it numerous times and everyone who took them to court got a settlement.

        Well there you go...I didn't know that, and by the way GAME was run I doubt they knew that too.

        Amen dude, This last Christmas was a case in point. So many extra hours and ridiculous setup times for promotions (that ended up being total dud's). They always made us feel as if we owed them something over what we were being paid for. Over the 5yrs I was there, over time, it got a lot worse. I thought the change of the H/O Structure would maybe help, but it just got more ridiculous. I got out with my leave and benefits paid cause I saw the writing on the wall. A good example of the bullshit is with Diablo 3. I just called one of my old staff members, currently working in a store, and he has been instructed personally to call all of his pre-orders and say they cannot get their game. Making a staff memeber who has already been put through all this uncertainty and worry to then do your dirtywork is indicative of the company's attitude towards their staff and the way in which they see "customer service".

          I'm hearing you mate, the struggle between store level and Head Office was a real pain, hence the reason I left my brief stint in a Regional VIC store.. I started two weeks before the Aussie directors were thrown out back in 2010. Hearing the stories about how they ran the business into the ground, like you I thought the changeover back then would be for the best. Man was I wrong. HO has little regard for the store managers and the shit they had to deal with in regards to the long hours, the 24 hours notice on sale setups (I had only one day to setup the Insane Sale and I had no other full time staff so I had my gf help me setup until the early hours of the following morning), the strict treat-you-like-a-child attitude of some of the Regional and Area Managers (who shall remain nameless)...Hell I even remember being given one day to hire an after-school casual for a sale that started the following day; not an easy feat for someone in their 30's who doesn't hang around the school yard with kids. My point is that I feel sorry for the staff, especially the store managers who have put so much of their own time and effort into their stores, only to be shit on by a support centre who keep them in the dark until the very last minute. AND they won't get any thanks for helping out. But like you, I too have seen this coming for some time now...I just got a text message from the local store telling me that Diablo is not available at all and that the refunds won't be happening...suppose it's easier than making phonecalls to the mass of angry customers...

            Again, today is a case in point to these remarks. I have been on the phone to several of my old employees, still with the company, and some of them found out by me telling them about it. Some of them are really concerned about the current events That is low to do that to your employees, keeping them in the dark about their futures and entitlements. Sounds like EVERYONE in the company, from casuals tom AM's, has just given up. True to form, dis-respecting their staff and customers til the bitter end, the 2 things that keep you in buisiness

    The game near me is in the wrong spot, I keep forgetting they are there.

    Though in a few years EB will proboly close too, once Sony and Microsoft kill the preowned market with there next consoles.

      Preowned is a great alternative to new. Like myself. I have to really really want the game to buy it on release. otherwise I wait for the price drop or until it is preowned. Most of my collection is preowned and I used to be an employee of the GAME world.

      I think preowned needs to continue as its viable and very popular and is what keeps so many of these stores open (look at Gametraders, they rely almost solely on retro preowned). The legislation does need to change though and I think that on any preowned title sold, the publisher/distributor of the original purchase should get maybe like a 10% cut of the profit to keep it real!


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