Author Topic: The downward spiral of GameStop  (Read 1081 times)

Warmsignal

The downward spiral of GameStop
« on: July 26, 2019, 05:56:11 pm »
Although I'm sure there will be some clamoring on over their demise, I hate to see it. I find it to be an unfortunate sign of the times, and not simply a matter of this one company. The writing really is on the walls for GS though, more so in the past year than ever. Aside from greater overall mismanagement, the acceptance of download one-time purchase only games is finally doing it's damage. Following in the footsteps of the now mostly defunct FYE, most GS stores now feature more gaming merchandise than actual physical media and the company is not going to survive on selling trinkets.

For some of us, it's the last brick and mortar store we can somewhat depend on to actually stock the modern games we want to buy physical copies of. However, that is more and more often not the case as of late. In terms of Nintendo Switch games, a lot of my close-by GS stores do not receive a single copy of a new release if nobody pre-ordered it. More baffling, most of the newer releases go quickly out of stock or were never available to order from their site to begin with. It's pretty bad sign when a video game store does not carry a lot of new video games. My local GS stores probably only have 1 or 2 of the past 10 Switch games to release.

A GS employee told me they're becoming really vigilant about not ordering copies of games that nobody is going to buy. I was told that many GS stores are still sitting on more than 50 unsold copies of Smash Ultimate, because so many people just downloaded it instead. If they can't depend on selling big name franchise games like that, then they're really in trouble. If they don't sell them, that means no pre-owned copies, which means their bread and butter is diminishing rapidly. That also means a lot less physical copies of these games will be floating around in the wild later on.

I've spent thousands at GS, picking up obscure and essential games to own when literally nobody else in town would even have them. With the loyalty card, I always got a decent deal on anything pre-owned. When GS is gone, I'll have to order most of my modern games online. There's just no fun, or satisfaction in doing that for me. But I'll continue to buy physical copies of games until they are no longer made. They will certainly become a lot more obscure once the major retailers that sell them, like GS, cease to be a thing. I honestly expect the first big wave of GS closures to begin after a "dismal" holiday 2019 season. Mark it on your calendars. Three to five years, they're all going to be gone.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 05:59:07 pm by Warmsignal »

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2019, 06:54:19 pm »
They were only good  sometimes  for collectors in my opinion, I once purchased a used copy of NHL Breakaway 99 for the Nintendo 64. But the circuit board was actually a NHL Breakaway 98  cartridge for the Nintendo 64 back when they used to sell retro games. Even someone in high school mention they used to have their own version of some of the used games they used to sell.

Do you want to know how I found out? About the NHL breakaway 98 circuit board being inside of a NHL Breakaway 99 shell? well it was not because I opened it. Turns out years later in 2015, I re-purchased NHL Breakaway 99 and NHL 98 Breakaway years later from somewhere else, and I noticed right away that the boot up screen was different from NHL Breakaway 98 than in 99.

The version of NHL breakaway 98 boot up screen was different from the NHL Breakaway 99 screen, turns out although those game play alike 99 was actually slightly different

Because of GameStop I once thought NHL Breakaway 98 and NHL Breakaway 99 were completly the same exact game but their not
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire, in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life.

shadowzero

PRO Supporter

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2019, 09:27:23 pm »
Phew, I'm glad you all started this since its fresh on my mind too.  Gamestop has been trading in the $4.00 range recently.  Thats not good.  While I have seen companies come back from that (some of those being juggernauts today) most fizzle out.  So their plan is to reformat their stores (again) in an attempt to minic the Mom and Pop stores by selling retro games and magic cards.  As all of you well know Mom and Pop shops have been struggling for years and closing up left and right.  In fact there are two left where I live.  Of course Gamestop recently tried this and FAILED since they did NOT properly train their employees to spot counterfeits and fake repo games (this issue was prolific). They also mentioned local gamer leagues and tournaments.  Wait, didn't GameCrazy do that before they locked up too ?

Now I feel you on the "cater to the collectors" mentality and truthfully you're not wrong.  Its a direct result of one of the recent past reformats' to draw in retail sales and generate revenue.  I just wait for stuff to go on clearance until it becomes reasonably priced.  So imagine, with Gamestop gone you will have one less nationwide avenue for USED games, one less decent gamer magazine, and one less physical place for games to congregate and talk shop.  I think that's what bothers me most.  It would be one less place for us to be. 

In the end its the same path that our beloved EB Games, Kay Bee Toys, ToyRus, and Radio Shack all went down.  Too little too late.  While Gamestop was never really my first choice I hate the idea of relying solely on the Walmarts, Targets, and Best Buys for retail experiences.  I close with this question to you...do you think the big three already see the writing on the wall and that's why there's such serious talk of digital distribution?  Now I question which came first, the demand for digital distribution or the need?

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2019, 10:23:40 pm »
Temporary digital distribution until the game companies take the games we bought away in the future and forcing us to pay for the same games over again is what it looks like to me. no more used games to buy or new, I hate how the modern gaming industry has turned out

I'm sure when the games become digital only all the physical copies will be either extremely high priced and people might pirate most of the new releases and then arresting copyright violators may become a full time job for someone in law enforcement

it makes me sick
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 10:25:50 pm by oldgamerz »
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire, in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life.

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2019, 11:54:56 pm »
The Gamestops in my area still carry a healthy amount of all your mainstream releases and also a lot of smaller releases too, which is nice. But yes, you are absolutely correct; Gamestop is operating on borrowed time that is quickly running out. I've said this numerous times, but I genuinely believe this next generation of consoles will be the last full gen that Gamestop is around for, and even then I can see half their stores being gone by 2025, if not way more. Physical media is essentially dead for music, it's almost there with movies and TV, and video games will soon follow suit. I have no doubt in my mind that Gamestop will be gone by 2030, and they'll likely not even make it that long I'm afraid.


I used to hate Gamestop with a passion and from probably 2007 until 2013 I refused to shop there as a result of a series of bad experiences, them buying out all their competition in the early 2000s, and my loyalty to local, independent game stores during this time. However, my opinion of them has improved more and more since then, and I'm at the point now where it is by far my favorite place to shop for games, even more than independent stores in my area. I go to two locations mainly and each one has really cool people working there, and both still have a good selection of titles. It will make me genuinely sad when neither are there anymore. But as you said, this has a lot to do with physical retail quickly dying out in favor of ecommerce.


I've had a pretty rough couple of years with many of my absolute favorite places to look for games going under, and the thought of Gamestop being gone in the coming years just makes me even more depressed about all of it. I'm starting to genuinely feel old despite being in my early 30s as someone who remembers how important physical media is, and how I absolutely prefer it over having something digital. I know that anyone born after 2005 or so probably has little to no idea what this feels like, and of course as they get older they'll never care about physical ownership, but rather the convenience of just being able to download or stream media immediately from their home. I feel like I've already adapted a little towards this change, but no matter what I still value actually having something I own and that I can touch. When Gamestop goes down I'm uncertain as to whether or not I'll continue to play new games, and if I do it will probably be done in an entirely different manner then how i currently purchase and consume new games.

aliensstudios

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2019, 12:31:22 am »
I don't buy from them and haven't for years. I'll never be nostalgic for them when they go under either. They drove my favorite game store out of business when they opened a location on the same street, but I may just go back when they clearance out to get some good deal$$$  8)

Honestly though, I understand why some are saddened by GameStop's loss of business. It was a good place to go check out new games and buy up older games at great prices. It was decent until maybe four or five years ago, but when they monopolized brick and mortar gaming and starting selling cell phones and having their underpaid employees push sales of crappy magazines and whatnot on the consumer, it drove me away.

I'm really hoping GameStop's death is not the death of physical games.
"I collect vidya games and vidya game accessories, I tell you what."
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mark1982

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2019, 09:30:27 am »
I read a article a few days ago that GameStop is happy that PS5 and Scarlett will have disc drives.

Read the full article here: https://www.gamespot.com/articles/gamestop-is-happy-ps5-and-scarlett-have-disc-drive/1100-6468378/

So it looks like another gen of physical games for major releases. But I just give it one more gen, then after that it's gonna be digital...

I pretty much get my Switch games these days through online stores, just because of the fact that retail stores don't even bother carrying the smaller titles anymore. And those are the Switch games that I am interested in, so shopping online is pretty much needed for Switch these days for a physical collection imo.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 09:56:43 am by mark1982 »
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tpugmire

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2019, 09:53:41 pm »
I mean I don’t really care either way, I will buy games from them, but rarely do.  I’ve thought for years that they need to close a LOT of stores. I literally have 4 stores within a 10 minute drive from home. It’s kind of ridiculous how many they have.
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armani

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2019, 11:05:31 pm »
honestly i stopped going to gamestop after 2014 because they stopped stocking physical PC games, that's what I live for

Warmsignal

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2019, 06:28:19 pm »
As further evidence of GameStop slipping, I was again unable to pick up my pre-order on release day due to them simply not receiving it. I pre-ordered over a week ago and no game for me...  :-[

I don't want to wait around for it to show up. Last time, it was almost a week later and my game still wasn't there. I don't think this would have happened several years ago. I believe they used to have a street date guarantee. Now it's like you might get your game now, you might get it later. Who knows? I think I'm just going to cancel. Makes me not want to pre-order from them anymore.

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2019, 05:43:16 pm »
As further evidence of GameStop slipping, I was again unable to pick up my pre-order on release day due to them simply not receiving it. I pre-ordered over a week ago and no game for me...  :-[

I don't want to wait around for it to show up. Last time, it was almost a week later and my game still wasn't there. I don't think this would have happened several years ago. I believe they used to have a street date guarantee. Now it's like you might get your game now, you might get it later. Who knows? I think I'm just going to cancel. Makes me not want to pre-order from them anymore.


I had a somewhat similar situation a few days ago. Horizon Chase Turbo came out on Tuesday and in the entire state of Colorado, there were 3 copies, I'm completely serious. And I found out that these were preorder only. Just a few months ago each Gamestop would have got at least two copies in on each console, but they barely ordered any. I had to get it at Best Buy, who also barely got any in.


To further add to this thread, it looks like Gamestop is laying off a ton of their store, district and regional managers in order to cut costs. Of course they're going after their salaried employees with benefits. I think the next step will be stores, and I can see a huge wave of stores going under. I see this happening next year.

Warmsignal

Re: The downward spiral of GameStop
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2019, 10:26:20 pm »
As further evidence of GameStop slipping, I was again unable to pick up my pre-order on release day due to them simply not receiving it. I pre-ordered over a week ago and no game for me...  :-[

I don't want to wait around for it to show up. Last time, it was almost a week later and my game still wasn't there. I don't think this would have happened several years ago. I believe they used to have a street date guarantee. Now it's like you might get your game now, you might get it later. Who knows? I think I'm just going to cancel. Makes me not want to pre-order from them anymore.


I had a somewhat similar situation a few days ago. Horizon Chase Turbo came out on Tuesday and in the entire state of Colorado, there were 3 copies, I'm completely serious. And I found out that these were preorder only. Just a few months ago each Gamestop would have got at least two copies in on each console, but they barely ordered any. I had to get it at Best Buy, who also barely got any in.


To further add to this thread, it looks like Gamestop is laying off a ton of their store, district and regional managers in order to cut costs. Of course they're going after their salaried employees with benefits. I think the next step will be stores, and I can see a huge wave of stores going under. I see this happening next year.

Same. I pre-ordered it and they still didn't get it. So I cancelled, and went to Best Buy lol. Last time they did this to me, the game started showing up in their stores several weeks later. They must have slacked off with some of their distribution connections. Small print run games they seem to get late, randomly, or not at all.