THE UK's biggest independent video games chain is reported to have closed four stores in the region.

Grainger Games has told staff in a third of its stores not to open today while the company's website is also down, instead displaying a 'game over' sign. It was later changed for the company's logo.

The Northern Echo:

Among the stores which are understood to have been closed today are ones in Durham, Washington, Billingham and Thornaby.

The company's Darlington store was open today but closed earlier than expected at around 3.30pm. One worker said he couldn't confirm what the future holds for the Darlington store.

An email obtained by Eurogamer tells employees that: "We regret to inform you that we require you to close your store imminently due to the ongoing issues surrounding the business’s critical financial situation".

The Newcastle-based company has 68 stores and employs 400 people.