Retailer Game 'Not Stocking' Any EA Blockbusters On Credit Concerns
The UK's biggest gaming retailer suffered a potentially huge blow on Wednesday after it was reported that it would not be offering Electronic Arts' upcoming blockbuster games on their shelves.
Blaming "supply issues", Game said titles including Mass Effect 3, one of the year's most anticipated releases, will not now be stocked when it hits other retailers on 9 March.
Game usually settles its bills with suppliers within 30 days, and a deal earlier this month saw it securing deals to ease its short-term finances.
The Telegraph said that EA refused to take part, which is why their titles are among those being dropped from the store.
An internal memo from Game management to staff, published by IGN, blamed "payment terms that will hamper us further in the future".
According to another internal memo, reported by EuroGamer, the retailer will not be accepting pre-orders for EA titles Fifa Street 3, Tiger Woods 13 or Sims 3 showtime.
Eurogamer also reported that Nintendo titles including Mario Party 9 won't be stocked.
The group, which has 1,300 stores worldwide trading under the Game and Gamestation brands, has faced huge difficulties in recent months and recently said it expects it made a loss of £18m in the year to January 2012.
It recently missed out on stocking Ubisoft's PS Vita titles at launch, only putting them on shelves days later.
Bloggers have openly speculated that the group may collapse, leaving the UK without a dedicated gaming specialist.
According to an alleged and unconfirmed internal memo to staff published in full by IGN, the beleaguered retailer announced it would not be stocking Mass Effect 3 or any new EA titles after SSX.
The memo told staff that it "would not stock products if the terms are not right for our business", IGN reported.
In an updated version of its pre-release website, EA directed its customers to reorder Mass Effect 3 from other retailers including Amazon, Play.com and Zavvi.com.
"If you have placed a deposit for a pre-order or are uncertain that your existing pre-order will be guaranteed, please contact your local retailer," EA said.
"Your local retailer is doing everything possible to make this process as smooth as possible to ensure you get your copy on launch day."
In a statement Game said:
We currently have a supply issue with regards to Mass Effect 3, which means that GAME and gamestation will not be able to fulfil orders for Mass Effect 3 at this time. We want to give customers as much notice about this as possible and provide them with a range of options ahead of launch.
We appreciate that this is disappointing for our customers, and we apologise sincerely for the inconvenience that this will cause. We value the loyalty of our customers very highly and as a gesture of goodwill we are providing the following:
- Customers who have pre-ordered in store*, will have the opportunity to add £5 worth of Reward points to their card if they visit us from 1st March through to 16th March 2012
- Customers who have placed a deposit for the title* will receive a refund as well as the £5 worth of Reward points between 1st - 16th March 2012
- Customers who have pre-ordered online, will be provided with an online voucher to the value of £5 to be spent on any purchase on our sites
For more information we would advise customers to visit EA www.ea.com/uk/masseffect3update
on how to get hold of Mass Effect 3.
*All customer must be able provide valid proof that they have placed a pre-order or deposit