Trouble first appeared to be brewing for major games retailer GAME in February, when pre-orders of Mass Effect 3 were suddenly canceled. All other new EA titles followed suit, and reports began to surface outlining the company's troubled financial state.
GAME's prospects have (perhaps unsurprisingly) failed to turn around as March progresses, MCV reports. The senior management teams are reportedly being told to prepare for the possibility of being placed in administration, a process more or less equivalent to bankruptcy proceedings in the United States. They write:
MCV has learnt that senior members of the GAME management teams have been told to brace for the possibility of administration.
Senior staff were told at a meeting with CEO Ian Shepherd earlier this week that the chain has approximately two weeks to turn its fortunes around.
In other poor signs for the chain's future health, Eurogamer has reported that GAME is conducting something of a fire sale. Under the headline of "Spring Clean," the retailer is offering significant discounts on existing inventory in order to clean out stock and raise immediate funds.
GAME operates over 1000 stores in the UK, Europe, and Australia. While the shift to digital purchasing and online mega-stores like Amazon has been a topic of conversation for years, physical retail still very much has a place in many gamers' lives. The potential of losing some of the largest game retail chains around the world — or even consolidating them even further under a single company's banner — could have significant repercussions for customers.
D-Day looms for GAME [MCV]