There is light at the end of the tunnel for struggling video game retailers Game and Gamestation, as Electronic Arts, Nintendo and Microsoft stock returns to the shelves.

Many video game developers, publishers and hardware manufacturers stopped providing stock for Game Group in March as falling sales and mounting debts gave them little faith that the group would be able to sell enough stock to pay suppliers back.


EA withdrew stock as blockbuster Mass Effect 3 went on sale, meaning that the group was unable to supply the game to customers who had pre-ordered it; instead the retail chain could only offer in-store credit to buy a different game with.

Following the group entering administration, cutting over 2,100 jobs and closing 277 branches, it was saved by OpCapita, who bought Game and Gamestation for £1 and saved the remaining 3,100 jobs in 333 stores.

The security brought by OpCapita has encouraged Nintendo, Activision, Take-Two, Namco and EA to reintroduce stock.

From Monday, 16 April Game and Gamestation will be stocking games on the high street and online from EA including Mass Effect 3, FIFA Street, Tiger Woods PGA 13 and The Sims 3 Showtime.

Game is now a completely different company to the one that went into administration in March, as the value of its shares was wiped and administrators PwC sold the remaining 333 UK stores to OpCapita, which also bought electronics retailer Comet for £2 in 2011.

PwC is still looking for a buyer for Game's 600 international stores, although US rival GameStop has reportedly shown interest in purchasing them in a similar deal to OpCapita.

Offering a full range of stock will go some way to restoring consumers' faith in Game, but the damage may already have been done, with independent video game retailers reporting increased sales in the wake of Game Group's demise.

IBTimes UK spoke to Nick Elliot of Barkman Computers in South West London, who said that he benefitted from Game's stock problems and we explain how Game Group collapsed so quickly here.

While now fully stocked, Game's reliance of earning money by selling old games that customers have traded in could still cause concern for suppliers, as Blitz Games Studio co-founder Philip Oliver explained to IBTimes UK, this practice hasn't made Game any friends with suppliers.