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back to article Game files for administration

High street retailer Game has officially filed for administration, although trade will continue while the process is finalised. "Further to this morning's announcement of the suspension of trading in shares of Game Group Plc, the board has concluded that its discussions with all stakeholders and other parties have not made …

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Correction required

"The retailer is apparently in the process of splitting assets and gearing up to launch a new firm next Monday, funded by the current bank lenders. This would essentially mean the end for Gamestation, but could see roughly 300+ Game stores saved, MCV reports."

Wrong, so wrong. That was just a speculation piece presented as fact, for which the moron at MCV got absolutely blasted for, both by GAME management themselves and LOTS of people on Twitter.

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Re: Correction required

Yeah, I read that myself. Didn't exactly have much in the way of sourcing. Will laugh my arse off if it turns out to be right, though.

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FAIL

Game

over man, game over.

As mentioned a million times though, their business plan of having 2,3 or 4 shops of the same in the same town is plain crazy. Sucks for their staff though, and extra suck for anyone with Game vouchers or cards.

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Re: Game

Same town? The Trafford Center has two GAME stores within 100m of each other (one on the upper floor, one on the lower floor).

Always amused me.

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Re: Game

Well, to a certain extent the suffocation plan worked... Unfortunately they didn' t enact phase 2 - once your competiton is all gone, exploit and cut costs.

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JQW
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Re: Game

That's nothing - in Stockport GAME and Gamestation are situated next door to each other.

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Re: Game

Not forgetting the other (two?) shops in Merseyway 100m away, fellow Stopfordian.

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Coat

Re: Game

Two stores on different floors: is that what you call a level playing field.

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Is it wrong that I'm actually kinda happy about this? Not for the people working there (several of which are friends of mine, incidentally*) but because it brings a smile to my face to see a greedy, often reviled company go arse-over-apex.

*Here's hoping for their sake that the Dewsbury store gets saved.

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Same sentiment here

It's no great loss really.

Oh and hey Greg, small world ;-)

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Re: Same sentiment here

*Wave*

Judging by the downvotes, it apparently is bad. Phht, hypocrites. Everyone's willing to rail on a company when they're doing alright, for being overpriced, bullying suppliers, having terrible stock and generally acting like arseholes, but when they go down the pan everyone runs straight for that moral high ground as fast as possible.

Game took out Gamestation and EB. Good riddance.

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GAME's problem was they didn't do value, fostered zero brand loyalty, were constantly selling up at the till and were stiffing people for trade-ins. Their entire approach appears to have been to rape the customer using their saturation presence in the market place to soak up the most sales.

Problem is that supermarkets began selling more games, the likes of Amazon consistently undercut the high street retailers by up to 30% and digital downloads have been growing steadily for years now. The market is shrinking and shrinking fast. Suddenly GAME finds itself over saturated with flagging sales and they begin haemorrhaging cash. I really don't feel sorry for the company.

It sucks for the staff and it sucks for competition. Tesco / Sainsburys / HMV will have less one competitor to undercut so there is less pressure to lower prices. So from that point of view losing an chain as awful as GAME is still bad for competition.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same sentiment here

Game didnt take out EB, EB bought Game. To get out of paying royalties to EB USA they phased out and rebranded.

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But.. where will I buy my Tractor simulators and Barbie™ riding school PC Games now?!

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Flame

Happy?

RANT

I don't think we should be happy about this. The problem is the useless management. In this admin situation, the company will be bought in a pre-pack deal - shafting a load of the creditors, the shareholders, half the staff. And then on Monday, the same twats rock up to their Basingstein Headquarters and take another stab at wrecking things.

Frankly the board of directors should be ashamed of themselves, they clearly couldn't pour shit out of a boot, even if the instructions were printed on the heel.

/RANT

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Re: Happy?

With you on this one.

Many of the staff are genuinely knowledgeable about games, but the stores have been disastrously managed from the top. Every store has two huge two sections - one encouraging people to preorder and containing nothing but shelf after shelf of empty boxes of games that haven't been released yet. The other part of the store is pre-owned games piled up at random. A few shelves will contain the top ten games, cheap peripherals and precious little else.

Gamestation is marginally better, but all the stores have that teenager odour about them.

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Re: Happy?

Mike,

I think you'll find they also sell DS styluses that look like pencils, angry bird alarm clocks, nintendogs pencil sharpeners, and all manner of other complete crap that just takes up space :-)

And good point on the pre-order... why waste space with case after case of pre-order items, especially when they don't even have artwork / screenshots on the bloody back! Honestly, my rabbit could have run a better show than these idiots.

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Unhappy

Re: Happy?

^ This.

I'm no fan of Game but I think this is very sad. I think the stores were consistently poorly set up. The ones where I live now (Newcastle) are as bad as the ones in the place I lived ten years ago (Nottingham). I feel awful for the people working there as there must be a lot of uncertainty right now and now is not a good time to be losing your job.

Also, these stores were crap because of the way the company was run, but they had so much potential. Had they given up on the several small stores in a town model, and opened up one large store in each town (think Apple store vibe) machines you could go in and try, a decent amount of stock, prices that didn't make you feel like you were being ripped off, plenty of staff who get regular training and can give advice on anything from what console to buy to the best way to level up in Skyrim, and I think things could have been very different.

I have seen Kinect demonstrations in shopping Centres - but not in the part with Game in. Why didn't they host things like that or at least negotiate with the shopping Centre to get it located outside their shop?

They should be ashamed.

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Re: Happy?

"I think you'll find they also sell DS styluses that look like pencils, angry bird alarm clocks, nintendogs pencil sharpeners, and all manner of other complete crap that just takes up space :-)"

Have an upvote for that one. Who buys that shit? (Other than Zelda fanboys?)

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MJI
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Re: Happy?

Er looks at the childrens Sackboys, OK one was with the game and 2 are keyrings.

Actually AFAIK none came from Game.

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Happy

@greg

Who buys it? Erm, my kids, who like Nintendo & Angry Birds, my wife, who loves Zelda - why rip on people who like merchandise? GAME is one of the few places to get Mario keyrings, and all the other little baubles that a typical game-loving family might be interested in. Does that make us failures as citizens? Fair enough, then!

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Re: @greg

"Does that make us failures as citizens?"

Yeah, that's what I said....

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Re: Happy?

"I think you'll find they also sell DS styluses that look like pencils, angry bird alarm clocks, nintendogs pencil sharpeners, and all manner of other complete crap that just takes up space :-)"

However what they don't seem to stock (or didn't last time i dropped in on the off chance looking for a birthday present) are useful things like gaming mice unless they're a newly released one specific for this month's trendy game, gaming keyboards, or any useful peripherals like that.

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Re: Happy?

Very true Corinne. They do sell some peripherals, the shite own-branded ones. The same sort of crap that any 2-bit supplier will give you as a freebie.

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Anonymous Coward

lost the game

you just lost

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Re: lost the game

Bastard.

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Facepalm

Same bunch in charge??

I don't understand this. Are they turning the company around and then buying it back? How does that work? Do this mean the current creditors get shafted and the same monkeys stay in charge of the business?

Considering that Game group, as the largest Game software retail firm in the country, couldn't get supplied by major game publishers such as EA and Ubisoft, why do they think this sticking plaster effort will change anything - isn't it a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"?

I haven't bought anything from Game in ages, mainly 'cos their stock is poor and the stores impossible to get into/out of, but I will miss Gamestation. After this I doubt those sentiments will change. At least HMV has expanded its Games section recently...

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Re: Same bunch in charge??

There is no sticking plaster, the MCV article was rich, creamy bullshit, as they were forced to state at the bottom soon after it hit. Baffled that this piece references it. Ignore it all.

The bank, RBS, will hire their own administrators. They never agreed to a buyer as the GAME board wanted to stay in their jobs, RBS told them to fuck off.

Their appointed administrator will come in on Monday, fire the lot of them, close all GAME stores, and sell off the GameStation stores to an undisclosed buyer.

Thats the main rumour, anyway.

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Re: Same bunch in charge??

Joe,

I hope you're wrong here. I can certainly believe the piece about RBS saying no to having the same imbeciles in charge, but the UK portion of Game is profitable. We're talking about a company that turned over £1.6bn last year. This means it's a decent prospect for a pre-pack admin purchase, so long as you can ditch the shitty management. Of course, that shafts the creditors, but as long as they pay the suppliers they should be able to smooth everything else out.

After that it's 'just' a case of slimming down to a reasonable number of stores and making some tweaks. There is no reason the business cannot be sustained through this and the next gen console cycle - say ten years. That'll give them time to react to whatever the industry does.

I note that a large shareholder is questioning the administration already - their duty is to get the best deal for all creditors. In reality I suspect they'll go for the best deal for the administrators :)

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Here's hoping

that the online part will survive as well. I only online order since I'm not in the UK but I like the service a lot.

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FAIL

Writing on the wall

The writing has been on the wall for Game for a long time.

If you stick outlets just doors from each other, fill them with disinterested staff on minimum wage and ensure the place either stinks of Lynx, BO or shit (I've experienced all 3 in their shops) then frankly I'd rather go and buy software online.

Remember when computer games shops were exciting places with the latest games being demoed by enthusiastic staff? Remember when you first saw a Dreamcast in action with a crowd of excited kids around it and the staff *loving* having their hands on the latest console?

Game are just box shifters now. And not very good ones at that. If you just want to buy a game, you might as well just use Amazon. You'll get it cheaper and you'll avoid the smell.

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Stop

Simples

Reduce number of stores, reduce costs.. reduce prices...

Who needs 2 stores on the same street. Let alone in the same town..

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Re: Simples

"Who needs 2 stores on the same street. Let alone in the same town.."

Can be useful when the one in prime position on ground floor of new shopping centre doesnt have item you want on shelf and only staff are all serving a long queue and don't want to wait 5-10mins to ask if they have stock in the storeroom. If there is a second branch hidden away at far end of top floor of older shopping development 5mins walk away which has only one other customer i n browsing then that can be quite helpful!

In this case my son was looking to spend a Game voucher he'd been given on a particular game he wanted ... glad I made sure we went to use voucher asap as I assume it would now be worthless - however on flip-side kicking myself for not opting to use the £5 credit I'd built up on my loyalty card at same time!

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Unhappy

My local shopping centre

seems to be a microcosm of business ...

Alders

Woolworth

Millets

T.J. Hughes

Peacocks

Burton

Officers Club

Past Times

and now ...

Game

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Re: My local shopping centre

Mines a little different:

Alders

Game

Woolworth

Game

Millets

Gamestation

T.J. Hughes

Game

Peacocks

Game

Burton

Game

Officers Club

Game

Past Times

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Re: My local shopping centre

:-D This is brilliant, almost spat my Lilt Zero all over the keyboard.

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To-let sign already up on the Albion Street store in Leeds (just round the corner from the Headrow store, naturally). I get the feeling that was already there, but damn that's harsh.

Went to spend the point on my Game card, and despite checking both stores, the stock available was that shit that I literally had difficulty choosing a game FOR FREE.

Grainger Games (springing up round here) might have disorganised walls of new/preowned games, but at least they're games and not keyrings, and they don't cost the Earth. CeX opposite on the Headrow also seems to be doing a roaring trade, and long may they continue.

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Anonymous Coward

I miss Leeds :(

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Albion Street

I noticed the "To Let" sign up there a couple of weeks ago... I always saw that one as an obvious one to go - I expect the rent is larger on it - although can't really imagine the one on Headrow lasting either.

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EB / GameStation

EB back in the PS1 / N64 era were knowledgable and enthusiastic.

GameStation in Scotland (they never had any NI branches) for retro gaming (Anything from NES/SNES up through Dreamcast to the latest Xbox 360 releases) was an absolute treasure trove. A shame that they were swallowed up to become Game clone stores, anything older than the latest generation was got rid of.

Game became a string of pawn branches, offer you £5 for a brand new unsealed game that will end up on the shelves at £30.

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Anonymous Coward

I've not brought a game for myself in years now,

BUT when I was into gaming (i.e. at school with free time!), I always frequented a small independent store, which is still running 20 odd years later!

Unfortunately the advent of the internet is killing real store for many things.. Convenience of same day purchase, or trying out the product first are some of the few reasons to go into a shop now...

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What happens if game dies?

Other than supermarkets and online, oh and HMV who may not be long for this world either...

Where do you get games from. I know veterans will already be aware of games and carry on normally but what about people who want to buy games as presents and need advice on things. None of the above sellers are able to provide any reliable info are they?

Is this where Best Buy will come in?

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Re: What happens if game dies?

Well you could try the same place PC gamers have had to buy their games for years - because GAME doesnt want to stock them.

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MJI
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Re: What happens if game dies?

PC Games

I am already at the stage of PC game = Steam.

Correct or wrong - just how it has gone

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Re: What happens if game dies?

Steam is appalling for new titles. If you think GAME is bad for prices go look on steam where a new title retails for its RRP. The same game can be had on Amazon for 30% less. And that's in a physical format with manual, box and p&p. Steam is a ripoff pure and simple. Prices become more acceptable once a new game has been out 5 or 6 months.

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Anonymous Coward

Game Over.

Insert credit for extra play.

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Unhappy

Where was El Reg when this was going down?

As a major GAME shopper, every day over the past month or so I scanned The Register for the latest on the GAME saga... couldn't find a thing. So it was back to Eurogamer, et al for the latest. To me, the lack of coverage here is more surprising than the fact that GAME finally went titsup when the bankers has apparently given it another week or so...

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Re: Where was El Reg when this was going down?

Well, to be fair, while El Reg covers some gaming stuff, it never seems to be a focus for them

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FAIL

Game sink even lower

There's a new game out called Mass Effect 3. What kind of naughty retailer would put v2 of the game at number 1 in its charts and then put a price sticker over the 3?

http://i.imgur.com/lEkVa.jpg

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