GAME gives 46 head-office staff the chop

Blood is spilled in the domain of Basingstoke.

Less than a week after it was confirmed GAME were in talks with their lenders to sell off its overseas operations, MCV have reported that the axe has fallen slap bang on GAME’s UK HQ in Basingstoke claiming 46 jobs. Big jobs with arcane titles like chief commercial officer and channel director, positions now occupied by former (as of this instant) commercial strategy director Tricia Brennan and now-previous UK MD Tom Devine respectively. Another name mentioned is Dave Hughes, who recently oversaw the re-launch of and will supposedly be gone from the company in March. This last one is a bit surprising considering GAME’s online arm has done pretty well compared to its brick-and-mortar outlets at home and abroad, being the only part of the company to show an increase in sales.

One has to wonder if these cuts were willingly offered up by GAME or if they were foisted on them by their lending syndicate. I’m not Michael Pachter or any other industry analyst type so I can’t say for certain with any authority. All I do is peddle opinion like one of those gobby street market vendors flogging fruit, flowers and phone cases. Get your tomatoes ‘ere! I’m more inclined to believe Dave Hughes jumped ship of his own accord than that he was pushed, prodded and shoved. I can’t, for the life of me, imagine how ditching the bloke responsible for your one ray of sunshine in a gloomy year makes any sense. Maybe it’s just one of those weird traditions they have in the upper echelons of the corporate world. Some obscure proto-Mithraic rite where the young god-king must be sacrificed to guarantee a bountiful harvest of carrots or something. If any initiates of the inner mysteries of corporate blood-rituals can explain this to me, do get in touch.

As much as I rail against GAME as a corporate entity I take no pleasure in people losing their jobs, be they till jockeys or people with officious titles and job descriptions that read like an essay on made-up languages by JRR Tolkien. I’m just naturally more sympathetic towards the guys and girls in the trenches than I am towards the General Hague’s sipping tea miles away from No-Man’s Land. A GAME spokesperson has told Eurogamer this morning that this restructuring is the extent of the company’s plans regarding layoffs, and I’d sincerely like to hope this means no more people working for GAME need worry themselves sick at the prospect of waking up unemployed tomorrow. Considering the company still intends to go ahead with plans to reduce the number of their UK stores by 2013 however those words will offer little comfort to staff. Ideally all the front-line workers affected by these closures – let’s call it what it really is – will be given jobs at other GAME stores nearby. Alas, I’m sure we all know that’s probably quite unlikely.

In the meantime if you’ve got a vast surplus of disposable income, and you’ve always wanted to own a videogame retail outlet in another country, you have until Friday to register you interest in buying GAME’s overseas operations. Some 663 stores in France, Spain, Australia, Sweden, Denmark and Norway will soon be up for grabs.

Source: MCV


Matt McDermott

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