In the cut-throat corporate world of game retail, where the term underground is evocative of a racing classic and the word mafia once incited a gleeful cheer for a sequel, it appears GAME Australia has finally succumb to the competition after announcing the intended closure of 60 stores and 281 layoffs. This comes to no surprise after our past coverage of GAME Group’s trouble in Europe and the Australian arm’s recent move into voluntary administration following their inability to pay importers, resulting in a shortage of Diablo III and their refusal to accept refunds for pre-orders.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Kate Warwick, one of the appointed administrators, has justified the decision as the most tactful option to revive the Australian branch.
“This is a difficult time for employees and closing the stores was not a decision we made easily,” explained Warwick. “However it is not financially viable to continue to operate at this level at this time.”
Additionally, Warwick stated PwC’s intention to collaborate with the Australian Federal Government to assist GAME employees included in the long list of layoffs, which represents half of the Australian branch’s 500+ staff.