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.