back to article Game CEO steps down

High street retailer Game formally entered administration this morning. The first casualty of the move: CEO Ian Shepherd resigned from his role. “I’ve said a number of times that the administrator, once appointed, take charge of the business,” said Shepherd in memo to staff. “Having two people try to do that is both confusing …


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  1. Bunker_Monkey


    He should have stepped down sooner... bit late now!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      a sad

      Ending to a retailer who failed to keep up with the times.

  2. irish donkey

    I liked GAME and..

    it will be shame to see them leave the high street.

    but how they are going to complete with Steam and the Supermarkets is anyone guess.

    Now where will all the Geeky kids hang out?

    1. melt

      Re: I liked GAME and..


    2. Bunker_Monkey

      Re: I liked GAME and..

      Hopefully resonably priced indendant game retailers?

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: I liked GAME and..

      They could have competed with the supermarkets by using their massive high street presence and buying power to offer value for money to the customer. Instead they watched stupor-like as the supermarket chains undercut them and took a prime slice of their business. And watched as a lot of the rest of the business when online to or

      It would have been a good idea to buy themselves a slice of the online action either by producing a digital download service, or by buying a chunk of some big online retail firm like or to hedge their bets.

    4. NomNomNom

      Re: I liked GAME and..

      No game needed to exploit their physical presence.

      If I were CEO I would have tried to take them down a play-to-pay on premise/ try games/ LAN-party/gaming internet cafe route. Kind of like a Costa/Starbucks but with gaming. They might have been able to get licenses from games developers to install games on consoles people could play to test out/preview stuff (but obviously not take home).

      I see HMV have moved into selling hardware - tablets, etc. I didn't see Game try a damn thing to stop their decline. Business as usual was clearly going to end in failure. TBH they lost me as a customer due to Steam about 2 years ago. Nothing to do with them, Steam was just more convenient and I was tiring of having so many DVD cases for games I only play once.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I liked GAME and..

        More to the point that even when you buy the DVD version, the moment it finishes installing it decides it needs to go online to 'activate' with Steam, then proceed to download gigabytes of crap before you can play. Or perhaps keep you waiting hours until the activation servers deign to respond and deem your copy playable. Sort of removes the final advantage to getting the physical media version...

      2. David Evans

        Re: I liked GAME and..

        We explored this years ago when I worked there because their Spanish arm ran game cafes just like you're describing. Its almost impossible to get the model to work with UK rents, and even with the much cheaper rents in Spain it was still pretty marginal and I think they even closed most of them down in the end (after my time).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable."

    Dream on.

    Even well-run retail chains are struggling in the UK.

    Game over boys :)

    1. dogged

      Re: "we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable."

      It's possible, if they dump about half of their outlets. There two GAMEs and a Gamestation in central Swindon within 3 minutes' walk of each other. That's just silly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Two GAME stores in Swindon?

        Well OK, there WERE two until last Saturday, when the smaller of the two shops closed down (quite abruptly, I thought), leaving the larger one. (There's still the Gamestation outlet, though - about three minutes' walk away around the corner. Your point stands there :-) )

        Wonder how long these two survivors will stay open? Must keep an eye out for any fire-sale-type deals on Wii games... feel a bit sorry for the staff, though.

      2. StampedChipmunk

        Re: "we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable."

        Noticed this weekend that the smaller Game store in Swindon has "relocated" to the other Game store (less than 50 metres away) which has been in existence for as long as I've lived in Swin (9 years now).

        1. dogged

          Last Saturday

          Oh be fair, guys. I live near Devizes. I try to avoid Swindon for reasons of mental health (I like mine).

          And anyway, if they're that stupid about retail overpopulation in Swindon, it seems likely that they do similarly stupid things elsewhere.

          1. The Original Cactus

            "...likely that they do similarly stupid things elsewhere."

            They do. Norwich also has two Games and a Gamestation preposterously close together. The only thing separating Gamestation and the larger of the two Game shops is the shell of what used to be Virgin/Zavvi.

        2. NomNomNom

          Re: "we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable."

          I didn't know they had a second store in Swindon until I went into what I thought was the only one looking for a Wii controller. The guy working there said they'd sold out so I asked when they get restocked. He said why don't you try the the other game store 2 minutes away?

          So I did and they had a controller in stock. Plus the bin of random cheap games had different games in it. So..and I swear the layout of the store was different too.

          it was like some weird peoples Judean front/peoples front of Judea BS why can't they just have one store and a bigger bargain bin?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          ...the other (larger) Game store in Swindon has shuttered too (or at least it was closed this lunchtime (Tue 27th). If it stays that way, this must count as one of the shortest-lived "relocations" in recent retail history. (Perversely. the Gamestation store round the corner, is the only one now still open.)

          Yup, that's EXACTLY what Swindon's main shopping streets needed: yet another couple of vacated retail properties. One has to wonder how long HMV will hold out...

    2. Hardcastle the ancient

      Re: "we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable."

      'twere it me I'd have gone for 24 hour opening, sold coffee and cakes, and had a creche room where youngsters up to 10 could have been dumped at a fee. And tried to get an old-men-playing-chess thing going on outside (the noise inside would have made it impractical)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable."

        Have you seen the size of the average GAME/Gamestation? Diversifiication of that sort was never on the cards. Even selling "related media" like toys/collectibles is a struggle in stores that size. EB in the US tried it but it never really worked except in some of their larger strip mall stores, which Game doesn't really have.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    If you can't beat them...

    ...join them? I suspect Game will offer (should they get a new buyer) their own Steam / Origin / OnLive Service, and they're advantage over the competitor is that if you don't want the download, pop in store for the physical media.

    That's what I'd be doing anyway. Maybe I should buy Game, I've got a tenner in wallet. Do I get change?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you can't beat them...

      That ship has probably sailed by now. They were actually building the kind of service you're talking about years ago but canned it before it rolled out. Since then Steam has become a category killer and its going to be tough for anyone to crack that market (Gamestop have a download service for instance but have you ever heard of it?).

  5. Richard Wharram

    Ian Shepherd?

    Is that what happens at the end of Mass Effect 3 that everyone's complaining about?

    "Mission over. Now you must try to rescue a failing retail chain. Good luck Commander!"

    1. Jeebus

      One ending has you fighting impossible odds and sacrificing all you care about while trying to pull off an ending 70 IQ points smarter than you actually manage.

      The other is the controversial ending to Mass Effect 3.

  6. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Nice of him to leave it so late. I thought the captain was supposed to go down with his ship?

    So in reality he's jumped off-ship in the life-raft while everyone else drowns in the sinking ship.

    1. Chad H.


      The ship is already sunk. It's the administrators job to manage the salvage operation.

  7. 1Rafayal

    I am both relieved and sad that I cashed in my reward points on the weekend.

    First thing I said to the more hyperactive than normal youth on the way in was "Are you still honoring rewards cards?". The response I got was "We are and will be for a long time".

    I actually think it is a shame that Game looks like it is going down the pan. I have shopped there for years and got to know the staff reasonably well.

    I know a whole bunch of people will berate me for saying that, and tell me that I should have been visiting my local independent store. Thing is though, there simply are none around me. There used to be two, one at each end of the town, but they never really carried much stock.

  8. Tom_

    This is terrible news.

    Now I'll have to keep buying games from online retailers or download services instead of going into a ropey high street store where the staff try and talk me into buying second hand games at point of sale.

  9. Andy Fletcher

    Out of the Game

    Game: Highly polished retailer with squeaky clean floors, well presented staff & prices to match.

    GameStation: Bit of a jumble sale staffed by spotty nerds who actually play what they sell.

    I buy my games at GameStation. Spotty nerds FTW.

    1. snowlight

      Re: Out of the Game


      The staff at Game have always seemed more interested in trying to push whichever tedious brown coloured corridor shooter with raspberry jam mechanics was popular that week, somehow the massive piles of RPG's I was trying to pay for that were a pretty good hint as to where my gaming interests lay were constantly overlooked. Gamestation staff on the other hand were always suggesting other RPGs similar to what I was buying and I've ended up losing hundreds of hours thanks to their suggestions, the sods.

      I hope that they kill the Game brand off but keep the Gamestation brand and more of that ethos and customer service.

  10. AbortRetryFail

    Reading Oracle closed

    I'm shopping in the Oracle today and just witnessed the GAME store closing and the staff walking out. A hand written sign on a whitwboard says the store is closed and will not be re-opening.

  11. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Sad but inevitable.

    I never got to the bottom of the publishers refusing to do business with them. Was it purely financial worries over their ability to pay or something more sinister (and anti-trust worthy) like second hand games selling?

    1. Jeebus

      Re: Sad but inevitable.

      If it was anything other than Game and their complete failure as a business it would be out in the open.

      There is no conspiracy, Game have gone into administration because their business model was a complete and utter disaster, and has been for years.

  12. Thomas Whipp

    high fixed costs

    whats probably killed them is that they are locked into a load of leases with their landlords who

    I suspect whats going to happen is that they get wound up, and then the next day a new company opens (having bought the brand from the admin) and then takes leases on about half the shops at about half of what they are currently locked into paying.

    Hey presto fixed costs drop by 50% (got to remember that there are plenty of fixed costs other than rent - but its going to be a large factor for them).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't use Game often as they are like HMV, insist on full price long after the initial release, and often "new" copies of any games were cheaper than the "pre-owned" copies, odd way of trying to sell used copies.. Gamestation was better but why on earth did they primise to beat the trade in prices of anyone else by £1 including Game when it's the same chain. Mind you why have two shops in the same company competing with each other in the same location...

    Been using CEX for a long time now as they are cheaper and I tend to buy older games anyway.

    My sympahies lie with the staff Gamestation had who knew what they were talking about...

  14. Chris Hill 1

    Southampton has/had three Games and a Gamestation in the centre of town within a very short walk. I wonder which if any they will chose to keep: the one in the prime retail location (high rent shopping centre), the one on the high street, the one on the side street off one end of the high street or the one in the oh so 80s shopping centre that has more tumble weed than punters.

  15. Tezfair

    No Salary No Likely

    see above

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