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September 2022 Retro Gaming Article


September 3, 2022 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

GameStop ceased being an asset to gamers many years ago

Gamestop has ceased being an asset to gamers
These days GameStop, as a dedicated video game store, does nothing for gamers that box-stores and online retailers don't do better.
I used to love GameStop. The idea of a retail store dedicated to one of my favorite passions seemed too good to be true. In my opinion, this retailer has changed from being gaming experts in both knowledge and the business of selling games to a struggling chain desperate to take your money. The problem is their quest to stay afloat in a world of digital downloads and online shopping straight to your doorstep, has led them to cut corners, install bizarre rules & practices, and slowly become a generic reseller with little credibility in the gaming industry.

Instead of doing gaming better than anyone else, they chose to alienate their customer base by pivoting to generic retail. They employ tactics used to trick and confuse customers, lure them into stores, and hold profit above excellence. Today, GameStop does not sell any product I can't purchase from several other retailers. They're a game store with no benefits to gamers. Why does anyone shop there?

I find their inventory to be quite odd. Whenever a AAA game is released, they only have enough copies to cover pre-orders. I've gone to GameStop many times on release day only to find out they have no stock. On several occasions, the clerk wasn't even familiar with the title and looked it up... in order to tell me they didn't have any stock. I pre-ordered Splatoon 3 from Amazon. I probably won't have it on release day, but I also won't have to deal with GameStop's ridiculous policies.

Most Policies Are detrimental To Customers

They've gutted their rewards program. They support return policies that punish gamers for shopping in their stores. They sell "new" games that have already been opened and are visibly damaged. They automatically add their Replacement Plan to every sale and tell you the price hoping you won't pay attention to them saying they've added stuff you didn't ask for. It's like going grocery shopping and having the clerk add a can of tuna fish for no apparent reason. I wouldn't purchase any type of warranty from GameStop. By the time I need it, they'll probably be out of business.

Want to buy a new PS5? Great, it's wildly over-priced and part of a bundle of games no one wants to buy/own. Most of their recent console sales have involved over priced bundles that do nothing but drive up prices for items consumers are not interested in.

Their Gaming Niche Replaced With Generic Retail Practices

Remember the shutdown during the COVID pandemic when GameStop tried to position themselves as a "necessary business" in order to stay open? They were told to shut down, but disregarded the warnings until they'd passed a large release date. They care about money and it shows every time I visit one of their stores. Most of them sell more unrelated fluff products items than video games or consoles.

Most of my visits to GameStop result in poor experiences that make me not want to do business with them. When I ask myself why I went there in the first place, I don't have any good reasons. I can research my purchases online and have them shipped to my house for free. If I could come up with one compelling reason to shop at GameStop - I would. There are many retailers that sell video games and game consoles as well as pop-culture fluff. GameStop does not give gamers any reason to spend money with them either in-store of online. I'm done with them and I feel happier already!

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