Gamestop may one day offer sales of long-gone classic videogames through its website.
The vast majority of modern gamers are more than happy to get their fix from the comfort of their living rooms, digitally, without having to worry about any shelf-gobbling paraphernalia. They pay, they play and then, satisfactorily entertained, they move on to whatever's next.
But there's another demographic, known very loosely as "collectors," and they take a completely opposite approach: They want the "feelies" and they don't mind throwing around inordinate amounts of money to get them. This type of gamer tends to haunt eBay and various obscure trading sites as much or more than conventional retail outlets, but that situation may soon be changing. After all, have you ever stopped to think about what Gamestop has kicking around in the dark, back corners of its warehouses?
"We've got them," Gamestop CEO Paul Raines told Polygon. "We think there's a vintage sales opportunity, so we're accumulating some inventory. It's a big idea, and there's a few problems with it. The first one is sourcing the product, the condition, the refurbishment, all that stuff. But there's a customer for it. And we're working on some stuff we haven't announced yet."
It's quite an idea, not just because the possibility of scoring a sealed copy of Ultima Underworld 2 is incredibly exciting, but also because it's an entirely unexpected and yet intriguing piece of Gamestop's "how to stay relevant" puzzle. The collecting community as a whole may not care for the involvement of the big, bad retail behemoth and the truly exotic stuff will always remain in the bailiwick of the specialists, but catering to the more casual collector who wants to scratch a nostalgic itch every now and then is a potentially brilliant maneuver, and one that Raines sounds pretty committed to.
"If you go to eBay and look at all of the gaming stuff that's on there, it's unbelievable. Collector's stuff. We've got to be in that business," he said. "We will be."