There are grim noises coming from major European retailer, GAME, among growing concerns that they may be be unable to buy stocks of upcoming releases. A Now Gamer source said that Game has lost credit insurance with a number of major publishers after a big downturn in profits during the Christmas period.
A loss of credit insurance means that GAME would have to pay for batches of new stock up-front. If they don't have the cash reserves to buy up new releases directly, they could fail to stock them entirely.
There are already reports of stores turning away pre-orders for Mass Effect 3. In an earnings call yesterday, EA CEO John Riccitiello said "we are concerned with the financial condition of one of our major European retail partners, which could lead to both increased bad debt and lost sales."
Today Eurogamer say that Game have admitted that they're in talks with money lenders, and have hinted at selling off its overseas operations, which includes hundreds of stores throughout Europe.
For years, GAME has been a great resource for PC gamers looking to pick up a copy of Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker, an old Neverwinter Nights expansion or some weird pinball game that nobody remembers making. Okay, so it's never been a great place to get PC games, but the loss of GAME would have far reaching consequences for the industry, and hundreds of jobs are under threat. Hopefully the beleaguered retailer will find a way through.