GAME starts closing stores, explains what's happening to reward points, pre-orders etc

GAME stores are closing as I type and a grim message has been posted on the GAME group's Facebook page. The official GAME website is down, replaced with a banner stating that the group has gone into administration, meaning an external company is now in charge of all of its assets. Orders currently being processed are under review. That wouldn't necessarily be the end, but just now our local store just closed its doors for what looks like the last time. This could be it, folks.

Above: The outlet in Bath's new Southgate shopping area is gone, apparently for good

At the time of writing, the message on Facebook says:

Dear GAME customers,

Here’s some important news about us. GAME Group plc (the parent company of GAME in the UK) is now in administration. We want you to know that the Administrators aim at this time is to continue trading while they seek to find a new owner for the business.

In the meantime, we’ve had to make some changes. We’ve summarised them below. Some of them are temporary, some are permanent.

1.Online Sales: We expect some disruption to our online services over the next few days while we make some changes. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.  

2.Refunds and Exchanges: Until further notice, we will not be able to offer refunds or exchanges for products purchased either before the administration or for products purchased from the date of the administration.  

3.Pre-Orders: No new pre-orders can be taken until further notice. No refunds can be given for any pre-order deposits which have been paid. We are reviewing this over the next week.  

4.GAME Reward card: We have had to suspended use of GAME Reward Cards. This means that points can be earned but NOT redeemed until further notice.  

5.Gift cards: We have also had to suspend GAME gift cards. The value on these cards cannot be redeemed. If this changes, we will let you know. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.  

6.GAMEWallet: the value stored in GAMEwallet accounts will be suspended until further notice following the appointment of administrators.  

7.Pre-owned Software: You can still buy pre owned products at great prices in your local store or online. If you trade in a pre-owned software item then you will still be able to accrue reward points and use your trade in to exchange for another item. You will not be able to trade in pre-owned software for cash. If this changes, we will let you know. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.  

8.Pre-owned Hardware: We have had to suspend trade in for pre-owned hardware at this time. If this changes, we will let you know. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes. 

9.Click and Collect titles: We have had to suspend this service. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes. 

Pretty much all of that is bad news. No refunds or exchanges, no refunds for existing pre-orders and any cash or points value on gift cards or loyalty cards is worthless until otherwise stated. Which could be never.

Above: Looks pretty final from here - but GameStation remains open, interestingly

From here, a buyout is about the only thing that can save GAME, but with reports of several potential buyers pulling out over the weekend (but still some interested parties), closure and liquidation looks the most likely outcome for every GAME store. Our thoughts are with the company's employees.


  • sleepyMexican45 - March 31, 2012 4:59 a.m.

    While it was always apparant that there were too many Game stores, my local (in Cornwall) was always bustling. Has the online Game shop destroyed the highstreet stores? Luckily there are two great local independant shops that will benefit hugely from my nearest Game shop closing. (They struggled previously both with preorders and retail pricing.)
  • jmcgrotty - March 28, 2012 12:45 a.m.

    My first impression was to grumble about this happening, then I gathered myself and used common sense.... "No refunds or exchanges, no refunds for existing pre-orders and any cash or points value on gift cards or loyalty cards is worthless until otherwise stated. Which could be never." At the same time, it could be in 3 hours from now. While I expect that ultimately it will turn out bad for the people who will be losing out, be rational about it. Just calm down, take a deep breath and wait a bit for them to figure out what is going on before you rail agaist them. And it needs to be pointed out that, in terms of games and orders, there is one phrase that was never said: "We won't honor pre-orders and we won't honor online sales." Really, their only comments had to do mostly with the whole online system. At the time being, no one has lost anything except whatever those reward cards are. I understand the bigger disappointment is the closure of a brick and mortar store (since there is aboslutely no good reason to not buy in person... not taking into account the store closing), and I expect it to end ugly for people, but the overall picture is too hazy right now to get too worked up over what the final result will be. It is only semi-related, but remember how many people freaked the hell out after the PSN theft? People treated it like the end of the world, cancelling credit cards, changing login passwords and security questions for every single account they have for anything, etc, etc... What was the result of the theft? Nothing. Zero. Zip. People freaked out over a non-issue before knowing what the truth is. This is the same situation.
  • TheSplund - March 27, 2012 12:28 a.m.

    It's a shame that yet more are going to be made redundant but I'm surprised that GAME lasted this long. In fact I'm surprised anybody is left trading in media on the high street when Amazon & Play (both also dealing in 2nd-hand stuff), and all the Supermarkets are nearly always cheaper - also consider those that must/want/need to buy their games/media via XBoxLive/PS3Network(?)/Steam/GoG/iTunes etc and you have to admit that the only things these places have got going is their bargain buckets.
  • Japanaman - March 26, 2012 5:53 p.m.

    So GAME has STOPPED a lot of things. Yet, GameStop is just getting started when it comes to being a seller of multimedia.
  • goggamanxp - March 26, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    I live in the U.S., so this won't take any effect from me. But, I will say that Gamestop in the US will eventually go to this route. It is sad to see these stores go away, and that good people are losing their jobs.
  • Carthy25 - March 26, 2012 3:35 p.m.

    Ah bugger..Oh well, the place really did smell bad. I noticed when i went in last week almost the entire pre-owned section had gone. I'll miss the older helpful guy with the glasses. Sad.
  • Fruitbat - March 26, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    For those saying that Gamestation isn't closing, I can confirm that my local Gamestation was the first to go under on Southampton high street.
  • TheLeagueOfNinjaSquirrels - March 26, 2012 2:52 p.m.

    It is sad to see yet another empty shop on the high street but my Stockbroker saw this coming about a year ago. Game is always the most expensive compared to other shops such as Tesco, Morrison’s and ASDA by a good £8 to £10 and that’s before you look online. Plus I hate the pushy nature of ALL the Game shops. Countless times I go in to have a look and get bombarded with “pre order this game”. Even when I got my 3DS with Zelda, they continued to pressure me into buying game guides, screen covers and pre orders for games I don’t wont. I know that they are told to sell these products but I and many other people I know stopped shopping there ages ago. Still, sad to see yet more people lose jobs in an already hard time and with Petrol going up weeky and cost of living blowing sky high, things are only going to get worse.
  • robert-goose-paul - March 26, 2012 1:28 p.m.

    looks like i was lucky to sell them my games friday just gone then if they can't take trade-in's for cash anymore.. sad to see them go (if they do go completely) but was kinda inevitable
  • Chappy87 - March 26, 2012 1:24 p.m.

    Firstly, I'd like to say I really feel for the staff losing their jobs. Yet again another big company where the average Joe suffers because of the incompetence of the people trusted (and paid big money)to make the big decisions. The irony of the situation strikes me too- can't compete with Amazon's low prices, but the less competition out there the less reason for Amazon to keep prices low...
  • ithurtstopoop - March 26, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    me sad now
  • helloimgaydo - March 26, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    While I do feel for the people who are losing their job (a few of my friends are among them), fuck Game, seriously, it has to be the worst company I have ever worked for. I don't know why I ever put up with it. The way I was made to treat customers and then the way I was treated by the company was sickening. I'm glad I got out when I did. Still, one good thing about my local store closing is the almighty piss up we'll be having in the pub afterwards.
  • bebl09 - March 26, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    While it's sad that people will be losing their jobs and it'll mean a lot less of a presence of video games on the high street, it isn't entirely surprising. When you can get games off Amazon for often at least £5 cheaper on launch day, and then a few months later you can often find a game on Amazon that costs £15-20 more in Game cause they refuse to lower their prices, I don't know anyone except uninformed parents/relatives that would buy from Game rather than Amazon, as they need advice from people in the shop on what little Timmy might like for Christmas.
  • SDHoneymonster - March 26, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    Saw this walking through Bath this afternoon myself - it is odd that they'd close Game and not Gamestation, although they were looking pretty forlorn up there too. The selection in there wasn't always great, but the staff always seemed pretty cool and every time I bought a game to the counter they'd happily chat away with you about it. It sucks that they've lost their jobs and it's being repeated all over the the country.
  • TurkeyOnRye - March 26, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    I couldn't imagine going into a store armed with a gift card and credit from previous trade-ins and being told I can use neither. Mind blowing that a company can legally do that... Can a company legally do that?
  • bebl09 - March 26, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    You've got credit, but you'll be a long way down the list of creditors who expect to get their money, mainly the company's lenders, so if they can pay off their other debts then people may get the value of gift certificates refunded, but obviously that's looking highly unlikely.
  • gazzc - March 26, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    You get to join the administrators list of creditors, if they can't sell the business then you get your share of whats left at the end along with everyone else, although this will likely not be the full ammount, or even anywhere near considering how much debts they had.
  • hoba - March 26, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    People complain about places like GAME not stocking obscure stuff, but how hard will they be to get hold of at your local Tesco? Might head into Sheffield centre now and see if there's still a store there.
  • jackthemenace - March 26, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    Maybe, it'll finally be the killing blow to huge video-game retail outlets, and people will go back to opening sort-of indie game stores, where you CAN buy obscure games, and stuff like imports. Although, I've never actually SEEN one of these, and it sounds an awful lot like it'd be too good to be true...
  • gazzc - March 26, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    We used to have 2 such shops in my town, until game and gamestation both opened opposite each other. They had games from years back, right up to the newest imports from japan and you could always go in and try a game before you bought it. They were also always open to negotiating price on any second hand stuff or trade-ins instead of a really bad fixed price.

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