GAME stores in Australia have entered voluntary administration, following the lead of GAME UK stores which did so earlier this year.
14:13: The following has been posted by Blizzard on Battle.net:
"We're aware that some Australian GAME customers have been left out in the cold on what should be the hottest night of the year -- the launch of Diablo III. To help with this situation and get these players into the game as soon as possible, we've put the following process in place.
Australian GAME customers with a valid preorder/prepurchase receipt dated before May 15, 2012 can do the following:
1. Purchase the digital version of Diablo III from http://www.diablo3.com now or anytime before May 21, 2012.
2. Download and start playing when the servers go live!
3. Submit your GAME Australia preorder/prepurchase receipt to us before June 30, 2012.
4. Receive a credit from Blizzard, for the amount you paid in advance to GAME Australia for Diablo III. This credit will be applied to the payment method used for the digital purchase.
We'll post further details here on how to submit your GAME Australia receipt to our customer service team as soon as possible. Stay tuned, and we look forward to seeing you in the Burning Hells!"
That, ladies and gents, is customer service.
The Australian stores, which number over 90, will continue to trade as normal.
However an official text from GAME to customers has informed them that Diablo III will not be stocked, and those who have pre-ordered the game will not be refunded.
The official text reads:
"Due to the appointment of an administrator to our business this morning, it is with regret that I inform you all that our stores will not be receiving any stock of diablo 3 [sic]. Because of this, we regrettably will be unable to fulfill any pre-orders. Also, we will be unable to refund any deposits paid towards a pre-order of diablo 3. If you need any more info, please email [email protected]"
This stands in contrast to reports of GAME staff assuring customers that pre-orders will be fulfilled, as well as a statement on the retailer’s Facebook page, which states that “Customers who preordered [sic] online will be receive the game via the post in the usual way. Customers who preordered in-store will need to check with their local store regarding availability.”
In addition, some GAME retailers have managed to get their hands on the game.
As Polygon reports, under Australian law it is legal for a company in administration to not perform refunds.
Those who are owed money can become unsecured creditors if they register with the administrator, but they will only be paid after secured creditors such as banks, utility companies and employees and are paid, provided there is any money left over.
Should GAME enter into liquidation, a customer cannot commence or continue any legal action unless they get permission from The Supreme Court.
The administrator for GAME, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, said it is working on a solution for those with pre-orders, store credit, or gift vouchers.
At this stage it is unclear what the fate of GAME’s approximately 500 staff will be.
“We are still trading in all stores and will operate in a business as usual mode while the Administrators obtain a clearer understanding of the current state of the business and actively pursue options to secure its future,” said an official statement from GAME.