GAME lose Mass Effect 3

Coming up with new header images for posts is half the reason I cover GAME's demise. The other half is despair.

UPDATE: GAME have since confirmed all refunds on pre-orders will be in juicy, juicy cash, as is only good and legally proper. The “goodwill gesture” of a £5 gift voucher however will be a limited-time offer from the 1st of March to the 16th of March.

Fuck me, so it’s come to this. After months being unable to guarantee stock of games like Tekken 3D Prime for the 3DS and Ubisoft’s entire Vita launch lineup GAME has found itself in the embarrassing - nay, downright humiliating – position of being unable to fulfil pre-orders for Mass Effect 3. A company-wide memo announcing the situation was sent out to GAME and Gamestation stores at 10:30 today, and “various” staff immediately got in touch with Eurogamer to let them know all about it. All this means that SSX is the last EA title you’ll be able to purchase at GAME stores for the foreseeable future, quite possibly ever.

EA are directing all queries about this to a Mass Effect 3 UK Launch update page on, on which is a list of retailers selling the N7 Collector’s Edition. GAME are conspicuously absent from this list, which comprises Amazon, Zavvi, Play and ShopTo. “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.” Since GAME crushed any and all local retailers in its rise to become the de-facto monopoly on specialist videogame retail in the UK that’ll certainly be your nearest GAME store, unless you happen to live near a Grainger Games up north somewhere.

According to the staff who contacted Eurogamer, GAME will offer customers who pre-ordered a refund with in-store credit and a £5 voucher for the inconvenience. Now I’m no legal expert but I’m pretty sure when you exchange money for goods you enter into a basic legal contract. If one side or the other cannot fulfil their side of the agreement that contract is void, and any goods or money traded must be returned to their respective parties. You are legally entitled to your money back, so don’t let them fob you off with in-store credit that isn’t worth the paper or plastic it’s printed on. Stand up for your rights as a consumer. You do have them you know.

Christ, it’s like watching a once-beloved relative slowly succumb to a horrible terminal illness. You want to reach for a pillow and put them out of their misery but you can’t, so you have to watch them deteriorate further in a way that soils any happy memories you still have of them. Every time you come to see them they spit abuse at you and try to hit you. You still visit but its more out of a sense of obligation than any genuine love or affection. Sometimes you see a glint in their eyes of the person they once were and you hope beyond hope for a miracle to happen, before another insult sticks its barb into your scarred and calloused heart. You take it, grim-faced, consoling yourself that it won’t be too long now.

My sympathies and best wishes, as always, go out to the boys and girls in the trenches at GAME stores everywhere.

Source: Eurogamer

Matt McDermott

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