Some GAME Stores Not Stocking Diablo III, Not Providing Refunds On Pre-Orders

As a result of today's news that GAME has gone into administration, select GAME stores will not be receiving stock of Diablo III. We've just been informed that if you have a pre-order with a store not receiving Diablo III stock, no refunds will be provided.

The following text message has been sent to consumers who have existing pre-orders with stores not receiving stock.

Due to the appointment of an administrator to our business this morning, it is with regret that I inform you all that our stores will not be receiving any stock of diablo 3. Because of this, we regrettably will be unable to fulfill any pre-orders. Also, we will be unable to refund any deposits paid towards a pre-order of diablo 3. If you need any more info, please email [email protected]

We called up one of the stores not receiving Diablo III stock. According to that store manager — cash placed on Diablo III pre-orders cannot be used to buy other games and it cannot be used to pre-order other unreleased titles. It is simply money the consumer will have to write off.

Incredibly this is not illegal.

It's a complex situation. Apparently you're in a much better position to do something about the pre-order if you paid with credit card, in which case you can dispute the payment itself. Another solution, which some may find unwieldy, is to actually register as a creditor. GAME Australia's website actually provides details on how you can do this, by sending Proof of Debt forms to this address:

C/Mary Mullins PwC GPO Box 2650 NSW 1171

Technically, with GAME going into administration, consumers with paid pre-orders have become unsecured creditors. The Corporations Act determines the order that creditors are paid, and unsecured creditors are generally at the bottom of a long list. You can find more information about your specific rights here.


    Let the rage begin.

      You have to feel sorry for the store level staff. I mean they had no idea this was happening and thus did their best to secure pre-orders for this title and upcoming titles, and now they have to face the angry customers whilst fearing for their jobs.

        Store not getting stock = store closing down...

    That really does suck. Administration really does screw everyone over except the lawyers.

    No more collectors edition for me :(

      Me too, dude.

      I noticed JB Hifi had some stock up on their online store last Friday, but I passed it up thinking "hey, I've had my preorder since Jan!"

      As expected, they're all out now!

        Try Dicksmith, I managed to get a collectors only last month, well after everywhere else had sold out.

      I kinda saw this coming, had the collectors on pre-order fo a year or two now at GAME. When the UK went into admin I reduced the deposit on my pre-order to $5 and hunted around for alternatives. I am fortunate in that I am receiving a copy tomorrow from JBHIFI online. I am glad that I hedged my bets.

    So we can all now agree Plunkett nailed it on Saturday right? Umph to all those a**-hats that said the "retailers need it".

    Umph I say!

      That's right! He tried to tell you guys.

      Cue another version of that Hitler rage video with subtitles about this haha.

        Man I love those.


      This was done on purpose. They chose today so they could keep all the preorder money. It's happened in the business world before, albeit not with Diablo 3.

        if it was announced yesterday, the result would have been the same...

          If it was announced next week, or even tomorrow, the result would have been completely different. They got the most money this way.

            They are NOT getting shipments for games. They cant afford it due to the debt. Yes it sucks that many many people are losing money but it wasnt their choice. In a previous article, it was mentioned that supplies have been dwindling. Kotaku was informed that no copy's of d3 would arrive due to payment issues.

            Even if it was announced a week from now, it still wouldnt change the fact that they are unable to for fill pre orders. Its not like they are sitting on piles of money and refusing to pay.

              Obviously game would have to be aware of the fact they couldn't afford copies, so why wait till now to tell every one? Lachlan is right, it was all about being able to keep the money, thanks to going into administration they have no legal obligations to people who pre ordered.

              -GET OUT OF JAIL FREE-

                all it would be is that d3 was shipped to stores over 3 different delivery scheduals despite a embaro date, some stores depending on locations would of received stock prior to the announcement. after the announcement all other delivieries not delivered, would of been cancelled prior to delivery to the store by the distibuter of the game, because once it was deliveired they would become a creditor waiting in hope to recieve their money. the supplier would recall it from getting delivered and redistribute it to other companies who would actually pay them for extra orders.

        You can't delay bankruptcies. Trading while insolvent is very very illegal .

    Wow! Im interested to see what the ACCC replys back to you with Mark.

    Ties neatly into that weekend article about "Stop preordering games!"

      absolutely. i havent preordered a game for years.
      i'm sure a lot of peoples morals will disagree with me, but if i had money invested in a preorder/gift card etc. that wasnt going to be fulfilled, i would happily walk in and take stock to that amount. wouldn't even bat an eyelid.
      i really feel for the staff that are going to have people like me coming in.

        Hope you can run from the police.

        Enjoy your criminal record asshat.

    How much was the deposit?

      $10, got my preorder in the mail today. I'm one of the lucky ones. So sorry for people that missed out and the employees of GAME. It's a horrible story and may mean I might eventually have to purchase something from EB which I have refused to do in a long time. I despise EB more than any other company in Australia. On another note competition in Australia was insignificant. I'm sure we can kiss cheap new releases goodbye.

        Can still hit up harvey norman for cheapest first day release price

    How on earth is that not illegal? I'm sure it's something to do with them going into administration, similar to Angus & Robertson not honouring gift cards when they went; all their money is technically not theirs any more so they can't offer a refund, and it's not like they're worried about the bad press. Still, that's an incredibly ridiculous situation.

      Another thought: If EB are thinking properly, tomorrow morning they'll announce that they'll honour GAME's Diablo 3 pre-orders for like half their value or something. It'd earn them a massive amount of good will, and it surely couldn't cost them that much.

        lol EB would never do that. No just because EB but because it would put them at a loss. They would lose a lot of money from doing so

        Which would be pissing all over their own customers who have paid full price. They wouldn't have the capacity to supply all the collector editions either very likely.

      It's not illegal basically because (from my understanding) a company entering administration is selling all it's assets to cover it's debts which means they owe more money than they possess in total value. Since someone *has* to lose out in this equation it pretty much ends up being the customers with banks and other corporations getting their debts paid out first.

      I had a computer company go into administration on me several years back after ordering a $200 sound card, got listed as a creditor (along with a few thousand other customers) and never saw a cent (although I got *tons* of legal documentation mailed to me :P)

      It sucks horribly but well when there's not enough money to go around there's not enough money to go around, I guess if you feel screwed and that they're getting away with your cash remember a lot of the higher up management basically just had their careers/lives go down the drain (good luck getting another decent corporate position if you were in charge of a multinational that went bankrupt) so they may not have criminal charges but they are certainly paying....well some are :P

        Effectively, people who preordered are now part of the group of the people who are owed money by a company without any.

    From what I hear, preorders were being pushed on the weekend. Whilst this isn't illegal in and of itself, it may make a case for accruing debts when insolvent.

      Keep in mind the staff may have just been pushing pre-orders on the weekend because they had nothing to tell them otherwise. I was a manager with Angus & Robertson when that all went down & we found out about administration & us not honouring gift cards through the ABC about a day before management told us.

        Not blaming the staff. Word has it upper management was pushing staff to secure preorders well after they must of known they couldn't fill them.

          In these cases a lot of the upper management dont know either.

          In these cases a lot of the upper management dont know either.

      Word is boxes arrived in stores on Friday and staff were told game was shutting down on Monday.

    buy stock in pickfork and flaming torches companies. we will be rich by lunch time tomorrow.

      I feel bad for laughing at this, but laugh I did.

      Best comment on the net

    Didn't GAME get bought out recently? Or is this the Aussie chain gone into Admin now?

    Kinda bullshit that this doesn't count as theft or fraud, can imagine more than a few very angry customers as a result of this.

      UK branch went into admin, then got bought out. Now it's Aussie branch going into admin. and yeah, it should be counted as theft.

        Its just like the people who get taken for a ride with housing developments, think places like dubai where alot of this happened lately. People buy into a company who is going to develop some giant complex and uses the money to organise the end product. The money is badly managed or not enough interest in property purchases is generated. Costs skyrocket and they go into debt. Owe too many people and boom. The consumers are the ones who suffer the losses and paid for a house that they don't get and its all completely legal for them not to get their money returned..

    Even if game somehow survives this, methinks they won't be the most popular retailer going around afterwards...

      They never seemed to be very popular anyway. Most stores I've been into are deserted, and the only thing I ever bought from them was Left 4 Dead 2 for twelve dollars. I'll be buying my copy of Diablo III from Harvey Norman for $69.

    I'd imagine you'd be classified as an unsecured creditor, same as what happened to me when nintek went under. An unsecured creditor is the last one in line for money in the event of bankruptcy/administration.

    I wonder what happens to all their Diablo 3 stock though? I'd imagine we'll see an influx of CEs in other non-Game stores now, n'est pas?

      I'd say this is the most accurate reponse, if they end up with some money at the end of the saga (after paying secured creditors and staff etc), you might get a portion of your money back, but I wouldnt count on it.

      This is exactly why I don't preorder games from retail stores anymore - there isnt enough room for them all to survive unfortunately :(
      Digital Distrubution all the way!

      I believe this is exactly what happens when a company enters administration.

      The administrators either restructure the company or liquidate assets to pay the creditors, of which people with gift cards and pre-orders then become [and right at the bottom of the food chain as you have pointed out]. The same situation occurred with A&R and Borders when they went under.

      It still is an interesting situation though with "pre-orders". The philosophical argument holds up when you talk about defaulting on gift cards. As when you hand over the cash for a gift card, they are giving you the right to the equivalent value in goods, sort of like their own currency. You are merely purchasing a card, which they themselves deem to have value. If the company goes under, their legal obligation [but not necessarily their moral obligation] ended when they handed you the card.
      With pre-orders however, it is a little less clear. You are handing over money to "reserve" a copy of a game, you haven't purchased it, and they haven't given you anything for it. The money is just "there" [and now theirs ;-) ].
      But again, you can't get blood from a stone. It's all well and good to demand someone give you money for a debt owed, but what can you do if they don't have any money to give you? Now ask this same question from the perspective of a creditor/distributor who is awaiting payment of millions of dollars of stock....... the little guy with the 10, 20, 50, 100 dollar pre-order pales in comparison. [not saying its not a massive kick in the nuts, but just shows you your place in the scheme of things unfortunately :s ]

      Ha, I just wrote a reply to someone else saying similar mentioning a 'computer company'...that would be Nintek :P I feel your pain (don't know what you lost but for me it was a $200 sound card). Did you get flooded with legal documents too? I'm wondering if they do the same for all 'creditors' for game that's a scary amount of paper >_<

        Mine was a water cooling kit, about $500 from memory. I do remember getting a mass of legal documents but didn't chase my money at all. I heard that the employees weren't paid super for 6+ months, so I'd be amazed to discover that customers got anything. From memory, I just wrote it off as a business loss.

      There never were any most likely.

    Some blame must be given to publishers for forcing people to preorder to garuntee items too. Unfortunetely ACCC cant do anything about it.

      No items with Diablo 3 on preorder. Just the game.

        Don't forget about collectors editions. announced in october last year, that's when i placed my pre-order at EB, knowing all their stock would be pre-ordered within the month.

      What a ridiculous comment. It has nothing to do with publishers. They're not "forcing" anyone to do anything.

        The publishers have to take a share of the blame here for advertising pre-orders and collector edition bonuses.

          No, they don't. The only people to blame here are GAME for not being able run a business.

            BS. Preorder bonuses are the incentive for preordering, ergo no one would have lost money if they had encouraged it.

              Causal responsibility isn't always the same as moral responsibility. I think Game deserves 99% of the blame here.

          Are you saying that because video game publishers publish video games that they are partly responsible for game being stupid and poorly run.

          You must work for GAME somewhere very high up

            No, those promoting pre-order should take responsibility for those who lost out. That is GAME, the Publishers, and yes, even the media. At the very least any time a pre-order bonus is mentioned or the fact something is available for pre-order is advertised, people should be informed of the risks involved with pre-ordering these games.

    It's really crap that you can't use that preorder money on something else they have in stock. I preordered Max Payne on the weekend, and less than 2 days latter I'm told that I can't get my money back, nor can I use it on any of the other in stock items. I feel for those who perordered, and paid in full, for something like the Diablo 3 CE. Really feels like plain old theft when they do this.

      Hang in there man. It is theft, but the UK store managed to bounce back and honour gift cards. Hopefully after a huge amount of negative press and I imagine a few fights breaking out in stores, you'll get your money back.

        I'm not so worried, as I only put down $10, but I know some other people who had more down, and were basically told that unless the game they preordered (in this case it was ghost recon) turned up, they were out of luck.

    If you paid by credit card you can receive the money back. Lodge a complaint with the card provider for non receipt of goods/services and the CC will re-credit the funds under the Electronic Transaction Act.

    Alternatively (Mark will get this response from ACCC) contact your Fair Trading Consumer department in each state to understand your rights. Also do NOT throw out any receipts etc, and make like Ford Prefect and "Don't panic"

    Just called Game Broadway (Sydmey) they're still telling us they have their CE allocation ready to put in our hotlittle hands from 10 am tomorrow morning. Was going to go after work but I''ll be going into work a little late to ensure they don't reneg.

    Consumers should most definitely have the right to have their money back. This is terrible.

      There is (basically) no money to have back. This is why they are in administration.

    Of course it is not illegal. Once a company goes into adminsitration, anyone who is owed money (or goods, or services) becomes a creditor. And gift cards, preorders etc w ill mean you are unsecured. Basically you'll see cash only if there is enough left after everyone else gets their share.

      You're dead right. I don't know why people are having such a hard time understanding this rather simple concept.

      Personally, I think anyone who had a pre-order standing with Game is an idiot anyway. After seeing what happened to their UK stores, I'd be looking to get my money back from them while I could, it was only a matter of time before the Australian branch was in trouble. Saying that though, I do still have a 'loyalty' card sitting here with about $20 credit from when I bought my PS3.

        This would all be correct apart from te simple fact that a vast majority of people would have preordered before the UK issue went public. How you can call these people 'idiots'? I personally think you're an 'idiot' for assuming that everyone ordered after the UK branch of GAME went into administration. I apologize for calling you an idiot but considering you called a hell of a lot of people idiots with little to no juatification I assumed you wouldn't mind if I did the same. Cheers! :)

          Also, forgive my appalling spelling. Standing on a train with an iPhone will do that. This possibly makes me an 'idiot',

          Those in particular are the people I think are idiots, the ones who had pre-ordered before GAME UK went bust. If I saw that and I'd handed money over to GAME Aus for something I had not received yet then I'd be looking to cancel my pre-order with them in case the same thing happened here. Which it did.

          With hindsight being 20/20, if Gamestop and EB games were going out of business overseas would you hand the Australian stores your cash for pre-orders now? I wouldn't risk it.

          Any maybe idiot is the wrong word. Perhaps ignorant is better.

        People paid money, they expect to have their needs put above all else. Human Nature 101.

        Less cynically, having been through a couple of involuntary administrations myself I understand how some of this stuff works but it really isn't a pleasant business, nor one that leaves very many people happy. All I can say is thank goodness for GEERS (or whatever it's called now). I hope people land on their feet.

          No such thing as an involuntary administration

        Get off your high horse "bangers" you don't happen to be the smartest person here. Considering not every person pays attention to the credibility of a game store, you just come across as a jerk.

      I get what your saying, but this sort of situation is inherently bullshit. Presales really shouldn't be counted as an asset. Problem is, their needed to generate investment.

      I don't know what you can do about it, but it seems to be that preordering and gift cards should be banned after what's happened here and with Angus and Robertson, where they basically used the money to stay solvent a little longer.

    I understand that they have gone into administration but this behavior is disgusting

    So, they took out money knowing they were in trouble, then used it to pay off debts, leaving nothing to fulfil their obligations to customers. Legends.

      Sadly, this sort of thing often happens with companies in administration.. I worked for a telco once, who went into administration and did very naughty things with credit card direct debits on the way down.. The worst part is that as a consumer you generally don't have a leg to stand on, and will only get some kind of refund if you're REALLY lucky. :)

      It was very well documented that they were in trouble for months. It's bad timing for sure, but it's not completely out of the blue either.

        lol, it was known in certain circles in the retail gaming industry that they have been in trouble for years, they were being propped up by Game UK as very few of their stores were actually profitable.

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