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.
Same. At least during my gaming peak (360/PS3 gen,) I rarely if ever had a significantly bad Game Stop experience. I tended to frequent the same two or three, and even became familiar with a lot of the staff. I rarely sold them games back, so never really had to deal with their "buy low/re-sell high" tactics that grind so many other's gears, and I bought new or used (provided the disc, case AND booklets where in an acceptable condition) at my discretion without an urging from the employees one way or the other.
Then they got on the aggressive push to sell used over new, Game Stop exclusive offers, shoving preorders down our throats, etc.; it just became a place much unlike I'd known. I still opted to shop there because I like physical copies and because, imho, Games Stops are still more convenient than shopping online, i.e.: if I want a game right now, I can get to a Game Stop and back within 15 minutes versus order "now," and waiting a day or two for delivery. But my transactions became focused, not fun and passionless: "here's my money for THAT game and leave me alone with anything else."
Now? Haven't bought a game for myself from ANYWHERE in almost 3 years; couldn't be more disaffected. I've been to a Game Stop twice in the past 3 years, both time to buy something for my gf's son, an when I say "no nonsense," I mean I'm in and out within 2 minutes; the amount of time it takes my debit card to go through taking up 80% of the time I spend in the store.
My experiences at EB Games have always been fairly positive ones. They do ask about pre-orders and the like but most of them are friendly and casual about it and having worked a variation of retail sales before I understand they're doing because they have to so I don't hold it against them.
Don't get me wrong, I'll got the JB Hi-Fi if their price is better, but since I rarely buy my games physical these days unless that's the only option - Hey there, Pokemon - because I'm 99% a PC gamer, its rather moot. Although sometimes they'll both beat Steam/Origin/uPlay if the sales are on and by a significant margin.
I get the feeling the difference in service quality has more to do with the differences in sales culture between the US and most other countries. Or maybe its something utterly different that can't be pinned down.
Not too many GameStops here in Finland, but I think they had a bit of a surge in the 00's. There was a tax-loophole that made buying games online rather cheap up until 2012 when it was shut up, and so small game shops with their online stores cruised past actual on-the-spot shopping. Physical copies became useless in the PC world anyway. I'm rather detached from the core console gamer demographic GameStop tries to cater to (I guess).