Monaco Corporation, which is the exclusive New Zealand distributor for Ubisoft, THQ, SEGA and Disney Interactive games, has lost the rights to distribute these brands and is to close its gaming division on the 1st of April.

Sales and Marketing Manager Shaun Russell writes, "Please be aware, that as of April 1st Monaco Corporation will cease to distribute interactive software in the NZ market. This has been brought on by unforeseeable external pressures outside of our control.

"No doubt you will be contacted shortly by your new NZ distributors for each of the brands who will be able to inform you of processes moving forward. Monaco will still distribute all March product for each of the brands."

Gameplanet understands that a dispute arose after the refusal by an international retail chain to pay a substantial debt for stock supplied by Monaco. The retailer requested a compromise which would have effectively wiped out up to half of the debt; Monaco declined, and began proceedings to recover the debt in full.

The unnamed U.S. retail chain retaliated by stating that it would no longer work with Monaco and would not stock any of the games distributed by the company. Gameplanet has been informed that it was at this point that the publishers—Ubisoft, THQ, SEGA and Disney Interactive—withdrew their brands from Monaco's portfolio.