Gaming store chain Grainger Games is to close all 67 stores with a loss of about 390 jobs.
Kotaku UK reported that an email had been sent instructing staff "not to open your store" and to begin packaging up stock.
The business began as a stall in Newcastle's Grainger Market in 1997, mainly selling second-hand video games.
Richard Stanton, editor of Kotaku UK, said the chain was "of an era that is now slowly disappearing".
The BBC has contacted Grainger Games' solicitors DWF LLP for a response.
In the company's latest financial report in March 2017, it employed 390 people and made an operating loss of £1.3m.
Last week managing director Stephen Bowyer told Chronicle Live that the company's credit limits had been cut or removed by some suppliers.
He said: "This has come as shock to us all and presents a significant operating challenge driven by factors outside our control."
Mr Stanton said Grainger Games "had a huge over-reliance" on second-hand games, which became big in the early 2000s.
The advent of digital downloads meant fewer people were buying physical games, Mr Stanton said.
"It's a little bit sad for me because I think if you're from a certain generation it meant a lot," he said.
"I would buy second-hand games and the great thing from a consumer point of view is you could trade them in again. The wheeler-dealing they let you do was wonderful."
Customers lamented the loss of the chain on social media.
Farewell #GraingerGames. It was a good 21 years.— Steve-NETheatreGuide (@Panic_c_button) March 29, 2018
I hope all of your staff find employment soon. They were a brilliant asset and always made a trip to the store worthwhile.
I feel sorry for all the #graingergames employees who lost their jobs. Grainger Games were some of the best places to pick up good deals and some of the best ways to find some rare games. :(— Robyn Lister (@TanookiPlayer) March 29, 2018
So sad that #graingergames is now closed. They always stocked the games that other retailers didn't bother with, and at good prices. I wouldn't have half my vita games if not for them.— miss yaiko (@miss_yaiko) March 29, 2018
The decision to axe Grainger Games in Dewsbury and Huddersfield is beyond idiotic. They were my local stores, so where the hell do I go now? Ideally, Dewsbury should have been left open, the staff there were top class, and didn't deserve to lose their jobs #graingergames— Andy (@Youssarian) March 28, 2018