GAME's Administrators Address Diablo III Pre-Order Situation

Yesterday GAME went into voluntary administration, putting PwC in control the entire operation. Now PwC has made a statement regarding the lack of Diablo III stock, and apologised to consumers affected.

"I regret that Diablo III isn't available across the whole network of stores and to all customers who have pre-ordered," said Kate Warwick, joint administrator, "however the stock on hand represents the total stock ordered prior to the appointment of Voluntary Administrators yesterday, and unfortunately there are insufficient funds on hand to purchase any additional copies".

Yesterday we suggested that consumers affected by loss of pre-paid pre-orders should register themselves as unsecured creditors; Kate Warwick reiterated this same advice, directing consumers to the GAME website for more information.

However, if you do have a Diablo III pre-order with GAME, your first step should be to contact the store you pre-ordered from, there is still a chance your copy made it to the store.


    This is an unfortunate situation for those that preordered. But the thing that's most galling is the fact that staff say they were told to push preorders, effectively taking money for goods that the company knew they would never supply and never have to refund. Appalling. And now it's up to PWC to do the apologising?! These GAME honchos are bastards.

      I doubt they knew they would never supply the pre-orders, more than likely the penny dropped and the head honcho's tried to do it before D3 was released rather than afterwards.

        A lot of the comments from Game employees yesterday were saying they knew they had no stock but are still told to get people to preorder. I dunno, just going on those comments it seems totally underhanded.

          The staff wouldn't know anything more than the general joe blow in regards to this.

          The entire company would be kept in the dark and no one would know about the exact date of appointment except for the actual appointer. PWC would have been doing investigative accounting leading up to the appointment, but they wouldn't know the exact date either, until the day or the evening just before.

          As far as management would be concerned, they would have been told to conduct business as usual, and pushing pre-orders sounds like they did exactly this.

    I think if anything it is going to affect pre-orders in Australia. More people who become aware of this will result in less people pre-ordering.

      Or at least people refusing to pay a deposit to put down an order. I still don't understand why that's necessary.

        to prove you actuallly want the product and that you'll pay for it. free preorder would result in everyone doing it and eliminate the purpose of preorder bonuses

        A preorder is a commitment to purchase. A game store will base its supply around preorders, and the last thing they want is to order 1000 copies after getting 700 preorders, only for 500 of those users to change their mind as there is no obligation to follow through.

        Also, many games come with pre order bonuses that customers get before the game ships, be it access to betas, unlock codes or whatever. They couldn't offer these bonuses if there wasn't some form of commitment.

        Lastly, to reverse your question, short of the company going bankrupt in this case, is there a reason why $10 is unrealistic for a pre order? If you don't want to pay it, just walk in on the day.

    Voluntary Administrators the day before... smells fishy.

    I feel sorry for anyone that loses out on this, at least there is the starter edition... Oh yes, and register as a creditor

    Most per-ordered game in history?

    Sounds like a good time to sell prr-orders with no intention on having them on hand :S

      Blame the iPad fingers / speelling etc.

      It's the most pre-ordered PC game in history on Amazon and Battle.Net

      It's not the most pre-ordered game ever. Only for those 2 sources.

    "However the stock on hand represents the total stock ordered prior to the appointment of Voluntary Administrators yesterday and unfortunately, there are insufficient funds on hand to purchase any additional copies"

    Does this mean Game had ordered less copies in the first place before going down? If so, that's pretty suss.

      Probably never know, but at some point GAME/EB have to go back to the distributors and say we have "X" pre-orders for the CE. The distributors will then allocate that stock and a few more on top to be sent to AU.

      I get the feeling that GAME actually tried to do the right thing in this instance and attempted to purchase "X" amount of the CE for their pre-orders. The problem being their credit rating and the distributor refusing to fulfill the entire order believing that GAME wouldn't be able to pay them back, so they gave them only what they could pay for at the time.

        That does sound weird, and is most likely bullshit. Before games can even be offered as pre orders stores are told in advance they will only get x amount of certain edtions (CEs and LTDs) so it's impossible to pre order more than what they get for those. But in terms of standard editions We were told to push pre orders at every available opportunity because it basically constitutes a guaranteed sale, so what I don't get is if they have the numbers of people who have put down money for a game why aren't they getting that stock? it's pretty much guaranteed that the publisher will get their money because there's proof the customer is going to pay for it because they have put down cash.

          It can work both ways, the publishers can limit the amount of stock that will be available (and generally you will have online orders only in that instance) and other times a CE is based on the amount of pre-orders upto a certain date.

          Each major store (EB/JB/GAME) were offering pre-orders on the CE again last week, these would be a combination of each company reconciling their active pre-orders (removing those who cancelled) to the stock allocated to their company and any additional units they received.

          Acti/Blizzard would have likely told everyone to take pre-orders of the CE upto a certain date, at that point they would have got a number from everyone. (hypothetical numbers)

          EB - 9,854, JB - 6,790, GAME - 8,194

          So Acti/Blizzard they will look and see that 24,838 orders were places, but it might be easier to ship 25,000 units into Australia (162 more than what was ordered) so then each company would get a few extras based on the percentage split and they were offered last week.

          The suggestion is that the management of GAME knew of the problems and they were still pushing for pre-orders simply to grab as much cash prior to pulling the pin, which sadly does make sense as it's one of the biggest games this year.

          You have to remember, that while a pre-order can guarantee a sale, the money earnt from a customer sale doesn't go back to the distributor, they already have their money from GAME buying the initial stock, it goes to the company to cover the cost of stock, pay staff, rent, etc.

          GAME simply didn't have funds to buy their allocation, think of it this way, GAME management maxed the hell out of their credit card and their bank didn't want to up their credit limit anymore and thus any shop they tried to use it in is rejected hard!

        What I find curious is how close this was to the launch date. They clearly did not have enough stock on hand to supply outlets, therefore had they not gone into administration they would have had less than 24 hours to make the orders and ensure stock was available at every game store nationally. With JB, EB and other retailers already stating they were sold out of their last units (for the CE), where did game think they would get the stock from and would they seriously have gotten it to everyone in time?

        I can't say I know the internals, but I would have thought for things to go smoothly here, the stock would have been arranged with more than 24 hours to go, and if that is the case it raises large questions as to why staff were being told to push sales over Sunday.

        Not that I'm blaming sales people, but I find it very hard to imagine that management werent aware earlier than yesterday. Kotaku posted its story at 9.50AM in the morning too, so there is a good chance discussions happened at least a day earlier.

        If management knew, I hope they are held accountable for sales made over the weekend.

    Stated this yesterday, but I wonder if they will ever address the method of allocation of the available stock. A friend pre-ordered online from their website on May 1st, his order was fullfilled, mine and I'm sure many others pre-ordered well before this date and received nothing.

    It's a shit position for the employees to be in, but they at least could have attempted to allocate based on first come first serve.

      I think in this case maybe the web orders took precedent over the store pre orders? Which would mean head office is covering it's ass and leaving the stores to fend off the angry mobs. Sounds like head office MO.

    Oh yes how very unfortunate for those that preordered Diablo, they might lose out on a couple of dollars. Too bad about the hundreds that face losing their jobs in a matter of weeks, but I'm sure they feel terrible about people missing out on a videogame.

      This is what I was thinking. I see a lot of comments these days going, "Death to retail!" None of them show any though for the thousands of people who work in the field.

      I don't - for most it was a crummy, low wage retail job. I'm sure they can get another if they want it.

      Thank you!

      Yes, shame on all you customers who have had your hard earned money re-appropriated by lawyers to pay the debts of an incompetently managed company and feel somehow entitled to either a product or refund.

      Think of the surly teenage casual staff and bitter middle-aged managers. They will probably find work pretty quickly due to nation wide low unemployment but still - they might have to go an entire week without that extra large pizza for dinner. Outrageous and UNAUSTRALIAN.

        Or you could just consider that this sucks hard for both consumers and employees. Plus, employment isn't as easy to find as you're making it out to be. I know two guys who have been unemployed for close to a year now, and I have seen them apply for pretty much every job opening they can. I'm sure if it was easy, both these guys would be employed by now.

        Oh and surly teenagers and bitter middle-aged people have no right feel betrayed by the company that has been telling their staff that nothing is wrong for weeks now. And what the hell makes you think that we have money to spend on extra large pizas, what we dont have rent or electricity bills to pay, no thats right all our HARD EARNED money goes to fatty food and paying for games right... if your obese and that is your first thought I feel sorry for you.

          Do you even know what the implications of unemployment statistics are?????

          If there is high unemployment it is because there are not jobs out there; not that people are just choosing not to get jobs. Losing your job in a time of high unemployment means it is harder to get a job, not easier.

          I agree that both the consumers and the employees have a right to be upset. However, losing your income is far more substantial then losing money on a game.

          And I feel sorry for you because you've got no job now lol

    Wont somebody think of the children??

    Buy direct from blizzard? Problem solved if you support the developer

    It appears these administrators are only interested in paying back creditors with complete disregard to customer satisfaction and promoting brand image. GAME has no hope recovering in the future.

      Kind of funny that they ate doing exactly what they are required to do isn't it? If you've spent money sign up as a creditor...

    I just found this on the forums... Seems Blizzard is lending a helping hand to those affected by this:

    Some good news from Blizzard for those of you left out in the cold

    Apparently Blizzard will cover those that have been effected by this issue. (at least I think it's true)

    Buy online always. Never support local because this is how you get treated

    Stop talking about Diablo 3 pre-order!!
    What about my Ghost Recon pre-order!?

    Australia Post has just delivered my pre-ordered Diablo 3 CE to my work at roughly 12:12pm. I ordered from the online store and used a credit card for my purchase.

    Here are some pics:

    Australia Post Packaging

    Opening Box

    Papers and Diablo 3 CE

    The Postman said that this was the first time he had seen GAME use Australia Post for delivery? Either way I am just posting up proof that credit card pre-orders are coming through from Game’s Online Store.


    “however the stock on hand represents the total stock ordered prior to the appointment of Voluntary Administrators yesterday and unfortunately, there are insufficient funds on hand to purchase any additional copies”.

    So, they didn't order 99% of their copies until the day before?

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