Reeling video game retailer Game Group has suddenly closed 277 of its GAME and GameStation shops -- nearly half of its brick and mortar operations -- across the UK and Ireland.
By shuttering those operations, Game Group has terminated more than 2,000 employees, 40 percent of its 5,000-person workforce, according to
the BBC. The company is in danger of closing more shops and losing more workers if it fails to find an investor soon.
This news comes just as Game Group CEO Ian Shepherd reportedly resigned from the company
, and just days after the retailer filed for administration
, the UK's equivalent of the U.S.'s Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
"Our priority is to continue trading the business as normal while we continue to pursue a sale," said Mike Jervis, an administrator for Game Group. "The recent job losses are regrettable but will place the company in a stronger position while we explore opportunities to conclude a sale."
Game Group has previously said it suffered
"an incredibly tough 2011," and the beginning of this year has been just as difficult for the company, as the company failed to raise enough funds to pay for its rent and wage bills.
It's also faced credit issues that prevented it from working with big publishers like Electronic Arts to stock their high-profile releases. And last Wednesday, Game Group suspended its trading shares on the London Stock Exchange, admitting "there is no equity value left in the Group."
Even before these latest troubles, Game Group had intended to eliminate around 60 of its more than 600 shops in the UK and Ireland by the end of the year. In 2011, the company closed 39 locations.