February 29, 2012 / 2:32 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Game tells punters shop elsewhere for Mass Effect 3

* Says can't fulfill orders for Mass Effect 3

* Says has issue with supplier Electronic Arts

* Shares fall 16 pct

LONDON, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Struggling British video games retailer Game told its customers to shop elsewhere for the eagerly awaited Mass Effect 3 game, due for release March 9, after a dispute with supplier Electronic Arts left it unable to fulfill orders.

Shares in loss-making Game fell 16 percent on Wednesday after it said it had "a supply issue" with regards to Mass Effect 3, a role-playing game which plunges gamesters into a galactic war to take Earth back from a nearly unstoppable foe.

The firm, which trades from over 1,270 stores in nine European markets and Australia, said sorry to its customers and directed them to EA's website for information on how to get hold of the title.

"We appreciate that this is disappointing for our customers, and we apologise sincerely for the inconvenience that this will cause," it said.

Game said customers who had pre-ordered or placed deposits would receive refunds as well as 5 pounds ($7.9) of loyalty card reward points.

Earlier this month Game boosted its chances of survival when it agreed revised lending terms with its bankers, led by state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland.

It has been talking to all its suppliers, seeking their support to keep it in business. The firm is facing intense competition from internet players and supermarkets, who often sell new blockbuster titles as loss leaders.

Game has been closing stores and moving into digital gaming, aiming to avoid the fate of other struggling specialist retailers, such as music group HMV.

EA was not immediately available for comment.

Shares in Game, which prior to Wednesday's update had lost 90 percent of their value over the last year, were down 0.93 pence at 4.895 pence at 1422 GMT, valuing the business at 17.1 million pounds.

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