Earlier in the year we reported that the UK and Ireland retail firm HMV had gone into administration, the latest embattled high-street chain to do so. Although best known in the past for selling music, its stock has diversified to other areas such as video games, making it one of the most prominent high street sellers for the game industry that remains in the region.

Since moving into administration, HMV has been continually seeking buyers and, in the process, shutting down a number of stores nationwide. The search for new owners is now becoming critical, as rent is due for the company's remaining 120 stores at the end of March, and it's believed that a buyer must be found before those bills arrive.

Retail group Hilco has been the front-runner to date, but supermarket behemoth Asda — owned by Walmart — is reportedly entering the race to buy the famous retailer. According to The Sun, a city insider claims that Asda is interested in continuing the brand as a presence on the high street.

Asda has been looking at HMV and it’s not about taking on a few stores to convert into supermarkets. They’ve been looking at taking on the brand — the business.

As one of an increasingly small number of high-street retailers that still has a sizable video game section in stores, HMV's survival would be welcome for gamers that buy there and, of course, could help to save a lot of jobs. We imagine that Asda — if the reported interest is true — and Hilco will run it tight to finalise any deals, so we'll have to wait and see what fate befalls the company in the coming weeks.

As always, we wish the best of luck to any staff affected.

[via gamesindustry.biz, thesun.co.uk]