The decline of GameStop

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Yikes.

Only a matter of time before they go the way of Blockbuster. I've grown to appreciate the convenience of buying digital, but the impending loss of physical ownership of software leaves a sour mark on the industry as a whole. Charging the same $60 for digital is kinda sad, but it's a way to offset ever-increasing development costs. When I think of spending $80 on Turok 2 back in the mid 90's for example it doesn't seem like that big of a travesty.

Also it's not unreasonable to think even a digital game can have a resale market. It's still considered a good, where transfer of "ownership" would remain the same regardless if it's a physical copy or not. It essentially seems to be a strong arm tactic of the digital storefronts to disregard the possibility. Just offer enough sales and hopefully no one will really care.

My local Gamestop closed down about a month ago, but there are still a couple open a short distance from me.

I also wouldn't look at this as indicating an "impending loss" of physical ownership. I remember an article announcing the closing of a bunch of Gamestop stores (which included my local one, as I said), but what stood out for me was what Gamestop blamed the underperformance of their sales on.

Apparently, they said they performed below expectations because no one was buying games/consoles last year...because they were hanging onto their money for the upcoming release of the PS5/Xbox Series X. Even if that were true for console sales, even believing that gamers would stop buying games an entire year+ in advance of a console release and wait for that instead shows a lack of understanding about gamers.

hanselthecaretaker:
Yikes.

Only a matter of time before they go the way of Blockbuster. I?ve grown to appreciate the convenience of buying digital, but the impending loss of physical ownership of software leaves a sour mark on the industry as a whole. Charging the same $60 for digital is kinda sad, but it?s a way to offset ever-increasing development costs. When I think of spending $80 on Turok 2 back in the mid 90?s for example it doesn?t seem like that big of a travesty.

Also it?s not unreasonable to think even a digital game can have a resale market. It?s still considered a good, where transfer of ?ownership? would remain the same regardless if it?s a physical copy or not. It essentially seems to be a strong arm tactic of the digital storefronts to disregard the possibility. Just offer enough sales and hopefully no one will really care.

Do you know how many doom and gloom articles are made when some GameStops close down? This is nothing new, and atricles like that have been going one since 2008. They usually bounce back. There were some that closed down (10 out of 70) in Michigan, but a majority are still open. There was a Gamestop in my neighborhood that had been around since the Funcoland days, and they closed it due to moving to another location. Which is sad, as that was the one I had the most connection to, and was largest game store in my area. Before 2013, there were 3 GameStops within barely a mile of each other. Now there's only 2 now, but most GS I can go to aren't that far away. Worst to worst, if GS ever does close down, I got plenty of retro/used game stores close to me. Disc Replay usually delivers on the goods. There is also Game Play too. So it is not the end of the world or as doomed as many articles make them out to be.

hanselthecaretaker:
Charging the same $60 for digital is kinda sad, but it?s a way to offset ever-increasing development costs. When I think of spending $80 on Turok 2 back in the mid 90?s for example it doesn?t seem like that big of a travesty.

I wish people would quit peddling that fairy tale. Digital games did use to be cheaper. Around 2011 or 2012 it was standard for console releases that were $60 to be on Steam for $50. Didn't seem to put anybody out of business. The price hike to $60 came when publishers realized just how big the PC market was and that they didn't need to cut the savings from a physical release to entice people to buy their games, so at some point when we weren't looking they managed to tack on the extra $10 which is nothing but pure profit for them. They can get fucked.

GameStop never made it to my neck of the woods, but I do exclusively buy and own physical copies (bar PS+ freebies) and it's too bad they're not doing that great. I do think they're going to last longer than Blockbuster did though.

hanselthecaretaker:
Yikes.

Only a matter of time before they go the way of Blockbuster. I?ve grown to appreciate the convenience of buying digital, but the impending loss of physical ownership of software leaves a sour mark on the industry as a whole. Charging the same $60 for digital is kinda sad, but it?s a way to offset ever-increasing development costs. When I think of spending $80 on Turok 2 back in the mid 90?s for example it doesn?t seem like that big of a travesty.

Also it?s not unreasonable to think even a digital game can have a resale market. It?s still considered a good, where transfer of ?ownership? would remain the same regardless if it?s a physical copy or not. It essentially seems to be a strong arm tactic of the digital storefronts to disregard the possibility. Just offer enough sales and hopefully no one will really care.

The answer to rectify this is simple. STOP BUYING DIGITAL! Or at least don't let it dominate your buying habits.

Let there still be job opportunities for game stores and movie stores.

if EB games ever dies then i'm still buying physical copies online

fuck digital.

Samtemdo8:

hanselthecaretaker:
Yikes.

Only a matter of time before they go the way of Blockbuster. I?ve grown to appreciate the convenience of buying digital, but the impending loss of physical ownership of software leaves a sour mark on the industry as a whole. Charging the same $60 for digital is kinda sad, but it?s a way to offset ever-increasing development costs. When I think of spending $80 on Turok 2 back in the mid 90?s for example it doesn?t seem like that big of a travesty.

Also it?s not unreasonable to think even a digital game can have a resale market. It?s still considered a good, where transfer of ?ownership? would remain the same regardless if it?s a physical copy or not. It essentially seems to be a strong arm tactic of the digital storefronts to disregard the possibility. Just offer enough sales and hopefully no one will really care.

The answer to rectify this is simple. STOP BUYING DIGITAL! Or at least don't let it dominate your buying habits.

Let there still be job opportunities for game stores and movie stores.

Game Stop is simply suffering the same fate as many brick and mortar establishments in industries where more convenient online/digital options exists; they'll right-size and soldier on. I doubt (read: "I hope") games will (n)ever go 100% digital, and as long as they exist in a physical format, there will be a place for specialty retailers and a secondhand market.

That said, yes, people need to stop being suckered in by the convenience of digital purchases. Yes, on it's face, it sounds great to mitigate having to leave your house to purchase games, but I've always said, I'll gratefully "inconvenience" myself with a trip to the store if it means I actually OWN my games, and all I'll ever need is a working console, television and electricity to play any one of them.

I know more and more people are buying digital but I don't feel like physical is close to going away yet. I wonder if the main reason GameStop is doing bad is because GameStop has always sucked. I still remember the very very last straw for me with GameStop was when I went to buy TLOU Remastered the day it came out and my GameStop had no copies (unless you pre-ordered) so I went 2 blocks down to Target and they had tons of copies. I never went back since then. If your specialty is fucking GAMES, shouldn't you be better at that than a big box store like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.? Then, of course, GameStop has always been a huge fucking ripoff for buying or selling used games, they give you a few bucks for a used game and sell the thing for $55. I don't even buy NEW games on release for that, I pay $48 at Best Buy for them.

Phoenixmgs:
I know more and more people are buying digital but I don't feel like physical is close to going away yet. I wonder if the main reason GameStop is doing bad is because GameStop has always sucked. I still remember the very very last straw for me with GameStop was when I went to buy TLOU Remastered the day it came out and my GameStop had no copies (unless you pre-ordered) so I went 2 blocks down to Target and they had tons of copies. I never went back since then. If your specialty is fucking GAMES, shouldn't you be better at that than a big box store like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.? Then, of course, GameStop has always been a huge fucking ripoff for buying or selling used games, they give you a few bucks for a used game and sell the thing for $55. I don't even buy NEW games on release for that, I pay $48 at Best Buy for them.

^This. For years, Game Stop got away with essentially a stranglehold on the games market, the industry standard $60 price tag a gateway to the sleazy underbelly of their resale market. They left a bad taste in a lot of our mouths throughout the years, and as other/better options opened up, the glowing orange spot on their underbelly was exposed.

Phoenixmgs:
I know more and more people are buying digital but I don't feel like physical is close to going away yet. I wonder if the main reason GameStop is doing bad is because GameStop has always sucked. I still remember the very very last straw for me with GameStop was when I went to buy TLOU Remastered the day it came out and my GameStop had no copies (unless you pre-ordered) so I went 2 blocks down to Target and they had tons of copies. I never went back since then. If your specialty is fucking GAMES, shouldn't you be better at that than a big box store like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.? Then, of course, GameStop has always been a huge fucking ripoff for buying or selling used games, they give you a few bucks for a used game and sell the thing for $55. I don't even buy NEW games on release for that, I pay $48 at Best Buy for them.

I've always skipped EB (Gamestop in my country). We have this thing called JB HiFi, like a Target but just for entertainment. It's usually cheaper there, they are willing to haggle on big items and they have generally good customer service if you can find someone. I don't torch EB with a ten foot pole

JB's got great price's but EB usually gets the better pre order bonus's i find

It's hard to believe this is the same company that once had four locations in a small city, all within two miles of each other. The last time I went into a GameStop though was to get a code for Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon. Literally haven't been in since and that was 2018. I don't even think I bought anything.

Haven't bought anything there in years. I buy my games at target or walmart, so I wouldn't hear about stupid promo stuff.

Preventing the resale of previously owned games was the entire point digital sales and the services that provide them were introduced in the first place.

Well I'm of two minds with this. Once online activation became a thing, and even to a degree before that, PC games (and indeed most software) tended to be single use anyway. So for my money the PC market, who's second hand sales are rubbish anyway and physical sales reduced to boxes with a card in them, isn't missing much with physical being phased out. And any event bad enough to render every major online distribution platform's authentication systems inoperable is probably going to have fucked up even more important things and we won't care.

However, the console market is not the same: by design it currently enjoys an extremely robust physical first and second hand market. Its players should make every effort to keep it and should adopt from the NRA its slogan of 'From my cold, dead hands'.

We don't have Gamestop. Instead we have Game Mania. They offer pretty much the same services. Considering what I've heard of Gamestop, they're nowhere near as exploitative. In fact, some of the deals they offer are IMO kinda good. Like the ones where you trade in games from a specific list of titles to get a discount on a pre-order. Especially for Nintendo exclusives. For example, I traded in Octopath Traveller, a game I disliked and regretted buying, and got Three Houses for €15 (or 75% off). I'm quite happy with that trade.

I only shop there for Switch games, but I'd miss it if they were to go bust. It's on my commute home from work, so it's easy to quickly stop by. I also know the manager and several of the staff, and we regularly chat when I drop by, so there's also that. And I simply also like the idea of an actual place dedicated to my favorite hobby. There's just something enjoyable about perusing the racks and bins that I don't get from buying digital. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

Squilookle:
Preventing the resale of previously owned games was the entire point digital sales and the services that provide them were introduced in the first place.

That and cutting out middlemen like manufacturing, shipping and retail from wanting their piece of the pie. That still leaves platform owners (MS, Sony, Ninty) and digital distributors like Valve/Epic/GOG/etc..., but having to pay their cut is apparently acceptable considering the general push towards all digital. Tho you might also be a big enough publisher to have your own digital distro platform, of course, in which case all the monies for you.

Phoenixmgs:
I know more and more people are buying digital but I don't feel like physical is close to going away yet. I wonder if the main reason GameStop is doing bad is because GameStop has always sucked. I still remember the very very last straw for me with GameStop was when I went to buy TLOU Remastered the day it came out and my GameStop had no copies (unless you pre-ordered) so I went 2 blocks down to Target and they had tons of copies. I never went back since then. If your specialty is fucking GAMES, shouldn't you be better at that than a big box store like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.? Then, of course, GameStop has always been a huge fucking ripoff for buying or selling used games, they give you a few bucks for a used game and sell the thing for $55. I don't even buy NEW games on release for that, I pay $48 at Best Buy for them.

I've only had two cases of bad customer service from GameStop. One was back in 2008 with a lady that was rude. She was known for being impatient and trying to rush customers out the door. It took a threat for my older brother, and the store manager telling her to leave us alone to get her to stop. She eventually got fired.

Another one that's a bit more recent, happened in the summer. One of my favorite GSs I go to, store manager refused to take one of my pre orders, because I quote "screwed one of his sales." All I said to the other customer was that PS plus was no longer free and that's Sony charges for it. The customer was buying OverWatch and the guy still bought the game regardless. If anything I helped the store manager out. Because had that guy not known he would have been upset that he couldn't play online. I got into an argument with the manager, but he eventually let me pre-order. But not without consequence. I told customer service and since in a huge complaint. The next time I came back he had a really good attitude adjustment. They later transferred him to a different GS store that's like 20 miles away from me. Good riddance. I hope he learned from doing dumb shit like that. For a good month, I have to go to a different GameStop when he was still at my favorite location. As it turns out, none of the other managers or employees even like the guy.

Other than those two, I've never had poor customer service from a GameStop.

Yeah, physical games and game stores are going the way of the dodo. I actually forgot they even still exist. Haven't bought a physical game in ages and haven't stepped into a game store in probably 2 decades.

I remember game stores in the late 80s and 90s were awesome. You never knew exactly which date a game would come out or even which game with so many surprise releases so it was always exciting. Then mid to late 90s I loved going to this local import store that had all the new JRPG's from the U.S. and the original Japanese titles(very little was still localized in Europe then). Or having games like months and months earlier.

Game stores kind of lost their charm somewhere in the PS2 days. When games were starting to have worldwide releases and gaming got so popular it became this like really corporate enterprise with a more mainstream appeal.

Game stop really seems like a loathsome business with people in charge who only care about money. Nothing like the enthusiasts of old. I believe there are some similar chains here stacked with nothing but second hand garbage. Why even visit such a dump in the first place? Every era has it's own charm. Current generation of games might be all digital(if you don't count the incomplete code on discs and the totally shite 'game stores') they provide experiences I could only dream of 3 - 4 decades ago.

Short-term profits at the expense of their own future? GameStop? Nah...

CoCage:
Other than those two, I've never had poor customer service from a GameStop.

I never had any customer service issues at my GameStop, I don't think I ever got asked if I want to pre-order such-and-such game when buying another game. My problem with GameStop was I could always get better prices elsewhere and only ever went there out of convenience because it's the closest game store to my house. Also, I always sell my games on eBay for way more than GameStop will offer. There was always very little point in going to GameStop over other stores IMO; I'm guessing Disc Replay is better for buying and selling used games.

Phoenixmgs:

CoCage:
Other than those two, I've never had poor customer service from a GameStop.

I never had any customer service issues at my GameStop, I don't think I ever got asked if I want to pre-order such-and-such game when buying another game. My problem with GameStop was I could always get better prices elsewhere and only ever went there out of convenience because it's the closest game store to my house. Also, I always sell my games on eBay for way more than GameStop will offer. There was always very little point in going to GameStop over other stores IMO; I'm guessing Disc Replay is better for buying and selling used games.

This pretty much matches my experience. Never had any real problems shopping there, but the prices were just not that great. Why buy a game used for $55, when I can get it on Amazon for $40, or wait for it to go on sale and buy it digitally?

Squilookle:
Preventing the resale of previously owned games was the entire point digital sales and the services that provide them were introduced in the first place.

Pretty sure the fact that online functionality was becoming a huge thing anyways, and eliminating manufacturing costs of discs, boxes and game inserts along with the middle man logistics were the high points of it, but yeah that might've been an added bonus for them.

Phoenixmgs:
I'm guessing Disc Replay is better for buying and selling used games.

A majority of the time. The only flaw is that they don't sell new games. The only thing they sell new are video game accessories, after market controllers for older consoles, and hdmi converters. They sell used games going as far as back as the original Atari 2600. So they have way more variety than GS by default. DR also sales used dvd and blu-rays. Though that area is not as good as their game deals. I got Sega Genesis Mini from Disc Replay for free (it was $40.00 used), because I traded in a bunch mediocre licensed Genesis games. They were paying extra bang for anything Sega. One of the best deals ever made. Game Play is cool too, but they actually sell games at their new price and used. They're nothing, but games and all game accessories. I going to try to see them more often, as I've only visited the closest store to me once.

hanselthecaretaker:

Squilookle:
Preventing the resale of previously owned games was the entire point digital sales and the services that provide them were introduced in the first place.

Pretty sure the fact that online functionality was becoming a huge thing anyways, and eliminating manufacturing costs of discs, boxes and game inserts along with the middle man logistics were the high points of it, but yeah that might?ve been an added bonus for them.

No- that was the plan from day zero. You've got the two the wrong way around.

These are relevant:

Marik2:
snip

This GameStop rant is just as relevant, yet more carthatic and sad. The guy doing the rant used to work at one before 2012. This video was posted 8 years ago.

As long as EB keeps giving me cool pre-order promo stuff AND continues to let me price match other stores then i will keep buying from them

I hope the one near me doesn't close down.
It's literally the only place in town to ask about new games and merch

I guess it sucks for people living out in rural areas that gamestop is closing down. But I never liked the place, and found Target to be way better for games and electronics. If you want community, then just use the internet.

I just buy my games on amazon. Why would i go to gamestop?

Lufia Erim:
I just buy my games on amazon. Why would i go to gamestop?

Because on its face, ignoring questionable business practices, Game Stops are a good way to browse and gain exposure to what's available to you. In my younger, more naive days, a trip to Game Stop was like a trip an adult toy store... I mean, a trip to a store for adult toys... no, wait, as a young adult with my own, discretionary income, it was like taking a trip to a place that filled me with an excitement not unlike that I experienced as a child going to a toy store. I might have left the house with the intent of buying a specific game, but I'd invariably wander the used aisles or check out games I might not have heard of, hadn't given more than a cursory glance elsewhere or find an older game I'd forgotten I was interested in at a steep discount. Game Stops were good places for community, to immerse oneself in a hub of a hobby beyond the clinical exchange of money for a specific good. They were fun. One can scroll through an Amazon interface to "browse," but so much goes into the algorithm that dictates what you see without specific searches, it's hard to gauge if what you're seeing is actually representative of the breadth of what you're potentially interested in. Game Stops (and stores like them) have a legitimate place in the overall market; they just need to right-size and back off some of the grimier practices that makes everyone look at them with the side-eye and question their viability. Will that happen? Who knows.

I never really liked gamestop or blockbuster back in the day, due to the stupid practices they both had. It was inevitable they would start to dwindle.

Xprimentyl:

Lufia Erim:
I just buy my games on amazon. Why would i go to gamestop?

Because on its face, ignoring questionable business practices, Game Stops are a good way to browse and gain exposure to what?s available to you.

Even in the old days i found other stores better for browsing games. Pretty much every store that sold PCs would sell games as well. And there were several electronics ot household appliance stores that had PCs or at least laptops and consoles and games for both. And there were games in toy stores as well.

And then GS stopped stocking a wide selection of PCs because there was no resale money to get and it became utterly useless for me.

Satinavian:

Xprimentyl:

Lufia Erim:
I just buy my games on amazon. Why would i go to gamestop?

Because on its face, ignoring questionable business practices, Game Stops are a good way to browse and gain exposure to what?s available to you.

Even in the old days i found other stores better for browsing games. Pretty much every store that sold PCs would sell games as well. And there were several electronics ot household appliance stores that had PCs or at least laptops and consoles and games for both. And there were games in toy stores as well.

And then GS stopped stocking a wide selection of PCs because there was no resale money to get and it became utterly useless for me.

I remember the last time I went to a GameStop to buy a PC game. Clerk asked what I was looking for, and I said Far Cry 2 which was just released.

"Xbox 360 or PS3?", he asked

"PC", I replied

"...PeeeCeeee...", he said creepily, like I had just committed a sex crime.

hanselthecaretaker:

Satinavian:

Xprimentyl:

Because on its face, ignoring questionable business practices, Game Stops are a good way to browse and gain exposure to what?s available to you.

Even in the old days i found other stores better for browsing games. Pretty much every store that sold PCs would sell games as well. And there were several electronics ot household appliance stores that had PCs or at least laptops and consoles and games for both. And there were games in toy stores as well.

And then GS stopped stocking a wide selection of PCs because there was no resale money to get and it became utterly useless for me.

I remember the last time I went to a GameStop to buy a PC game. Clerk asked what I was looking for, and I said Far Cry 2 which was just released.

?Xbox 360 or PS3??, he asked

?PC?, I replied

?...PeeeCeeee...?, he said creepily, like I had just committed a sex crime.

Sounds like an asshole. I rarely had those type of guys at the GameStop's I went to anyway. But I've met only about two of them. this one employee hated all things Raiden from metal gear. He refused to touch metal gear rising, because kojima gave the development to platinum. Another was a guy that seemed to hate almost anything Japanese. He seemed to have an inferiority superiority complex. Both didn't last that long at the GameStops I went to anyway.

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