I've had a problem with Gamestop for a while now.
Mostly this stems from a couple of issues. The biggest issue I have with them in how horribly they treat their employees (which is a topic to talk about at a later date). Coming in just behind that is how their primary business practice is to sell games in a fashion that screws over the developer.
The big issue with this for me is the same with the old USED CD business, when a company sells a used game/movie/CD, the company selling it gets to keep all the money from the sale. When you sell a new copy of a game, a large chunk of the sale goes to the publisher/developer. Really the way this works is that companies like Gamestop pay the publisher like $40 for the game, and then sell it for $60. These are just example numbers, but the principle is there. When a company like Gamestop sells a used game, they paid a customer $7 for it, and sell it for $55. None of that money goes to the Publisher/Developer, so the store stands to make a lot more money off of a used game than a new one.
This wouldn't be such a huge issue if it was just an occasional part of their business model, but as probably the largest Game retailer in North America, they go out of their way to focus on these kinds of sales. And it's getting worse.
It started off innocently enough for the customer: Hey, why not save a couple bucks and buy this new game for $55 instead of $60? Or better yet, a month or so later, why not $40-45 instead of $60? That sounds like a great deal for the gamer looking to save some money. And here at Loaded Cart, we're all about saving money. But what happens when the business gets in the way with the customer experience? What happens when the employees are literally being told to talk you out of buying a new game because they need to get their used sales numbers up?
That's crazy-talk, right?
Not according to this recent article from Kotaku.
Gamestop corporate incentivizes their employees and stores to lie to their customers to meet sales quotas on Used Games. They hide stock in the back and tell customers they are out of stock so that customers will pre-order the game/system to get their pre-order numbers up. They will even lie about having new copies of games in stock when they're on sale and the "new" copy is cheaper than the used copy they do have in stock. Just take a look at this quote from a Gamestop employee:
That is nuts. But it gets worse. Have you ever gone into a Gamestop the day a game came out and they told you they didn't have a new game? Or that they only had enough games to cover the pre-orders for the store (usually blaming the publisher for only sending them a few copies)? I know I have, several times... well there just might be a reason for that:
Ugh. Yeah. When you're basically forced by your bosses to lie to customers because of the unrealistic quotas and other crazy stuff your company is trying to push, there's a problem. It makes me even more glad that I don't shop at Gamestop unless absolutely necessary.
The People who work at Gamestop are the greatest asset the company has. It's literally the only reason to go there now that you can get the games magically on your doorstep on launch day at a discount from Amazon. Midnight launches are literally the only thing setting them apart any more, which is a massive pain in the ass for their employees. I feel for them, I know they just want to work in an industry they love, and being around games every day sounds really awesome. I just wish Corporate would wake up and stop treating them like shit like this, because it's starting to show how badly their treatment and policies effect the customer.
**CHOP'S LCS MATCHUP OF THE WEEK**
A new segment I want to do here, because I love the LCS. I'm going to point out just one matchup you might want to check out this weekend.
This week I'm going to recommend EL CLASSICO. When it comes to North American eSports I'm not sure there is a bigger rivalry than Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) versus Team SoloMid (TSM). Both teams got off to a rocky start so far. TSM has done a better job turning it around, but both of these teams are going to be top contenders at the end of the split.