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UPDATE: UK Retailer Game: 'Publishers To Withhold New Games' - Source

Tom Hopkins


Publisher credit assurance runs out for UK retailer, source tells NowGamer.

Published on Feb 1, 2012

[UPDATE]
We spoke to Simon Soffe, Communications Director for Game Group, who confirmed that all staff pay is up to date as of yesterday. He added that this week's new releases, such as Final Fantasy XIII-2, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and Soul Calibur 5 are currently moving through Game's distribution centres for launch on Friday.

Game is talking to publishing partners - including Sony - regarding future launches, for which the retailer has big plans, Soffe added.

He also clarified that credit insurance is an option for publishers, and that the industry "has been supportive" during the last few weeks. The original story follows below.

[ORIGINAL STORY]

UK high street retailer Game has "lost credit assurance with most of its publishers," meaning it won't be given stock of upcoming game releases, a source has told NowGamer.

If true, it could have a huge impact on the upcoming PS Vita launch, as well as anticipated games such as Mass Effect 3, SSX and Twisted Metal.

Game struggled over the traditionally profitable festive period last year, with year-on-year sales down 17.6 per cent in the UK and Ireland for the eight weeks ending 7 January.

Our source said Game has "lost credit assurance with most of its publishers," and "won't have stock of the upcoming releases."

The source added that there is also speculation within the company that staff's wages will be withheld in an attempt to boost the retailer's year end figures in March, with a press release set to outline the company's stance.

Two weeks ago, Game CEO Ian Shepherd recently told MCV: "We take our relationships with our partners in the industry very seriously. Without them we are nothing. And without us I think the video games industry would be a very different and much smaller place. We support each other and we have done a very good job of it over the last year."

He also conceded that Game "had a bad year financially," in 2011 and that "2012 will also be a difficult and challenging environment in which to trade."

"I don’t think the consumer economy is suddenly going to turn around anytime soon," Shepherd said. "And so we will be very careful. But fundamentally the wider context is, we have a clear vision about where we are taking this business. And when I talk to investors and banks, I hear a great deal of support for that strategy."

We've asked Game and their publisher partners for comment.

Do you work at Game? Have you heard rumblings of withheld pay? Do you buy your games on the high street or online? Would you be concerned about Game failing to stock new titles?

Have your say in our comments section below - more when we get it.

 

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