ABOUT 130 jobs hang in the balance after the buyout of York-based software retailer Gamestation in a £74 million deal.

The company, which has its headquarters at Clifton Moor, has been bought by rival operator Game.

Staff at the York HQ are now waiting to hear what the future holds for them.

A spokeswoman for Game said there was the possibility that staff may have to move 220 miles to Game's headquarters in Basingstoke, Hampshire, if they want to keep their job.

She said: "It's still very early days. What the company was saying today was that nothing would change at this stage.

"In the longer term, Game has a large headquarters in Basingstoke and, over time, the company may put the two together with a view to offering jobs there for people in York.

"It's not certain and it's not something they would do without full consultation.

"No decisions have been made yet. The first thing is to consult with all the staff, but nothing will happen this year."

Gamestation was set up in 1991 by University of York graduates Stephen Hall and Julian Gladwin who, as students, had difficulty getting software to feed their computer games hobby.

They decided to put the market to the test and the company took off. Their first store opened in Gillygate, York, and has since expanded to 217 shops.

Strangely this is not the first time the company has been bought out. In 2002, only months before they won The Press' Business of the Year Award, Gamestation was bought by Blockbuster.

But the video giant allowed Gamestation to keep its own identity and continue expanding.

Other accolades the company won included being named the best specialist games retailer in the UK at the MCV Industry Excellence Awards in 2005.

Mike Logue, the current managing director, joined the business in 2002 and was named Yorkshire and Humber Young Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors.