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Gamestop Cuts Hundreds of Jobs

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the other-shoe dept.

Businesses 55

1up.com is reporting that in the wake of the Gamestop/EB Games merger, hundreds of employees are getting the boot. From the article: "In addition, GameStop will also be shutting down the EB Games corporate headquarters in West Chester and distribution site in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Layoffs aren't immediate, however, and will be staggered throughout early next year and into the summer, with some employees having the option of relocating to Dallas, Texas."

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This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (5, Interesting)

Elite Xizer (915457) | about 9 years ago | (#13769190)

Have an EB Games and GameStop in your town? Soon you'll only have one. And no, it won't be a bigger store, either. This will make it harder to find used games, or certain things you're looking for without looking online. For example, last week I needed Hori screen protectors for my Nintendo DS. The GameStop in my town only had the Pelican ones - they leave sticky residue. So I made a trip to EB Games and discovered they indeed had Hori protectors. Eliminating one store will also eliminate selection.

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (1)

black mariah (654971) | about 9 years ago | (#13769276)

If you believe that, you're fucking stupid. Why would it be harder to find used games if people are bringing them to just one store? So Gamestop doesn't sell one particular product you were looking for. Big fucking deal. The inventory of Gamestops aren't based on some corporate mandate, with a few exceptions for major games and systems. They are determined mostly by the store manager who knows what will sell best in his store. Move a lot of used games? You carry a lot of them. Sell a shitload of DVD's? Request more.

You make the stupid assumption that Gamestop is suddenly going to start forcing former EB Games outlets to carry the exact same shit. You obviously know absolutely nothing about Gamestop. Out by the mall here we have three Gamestops in about a quarter mile radius. One specializes in PC games, one in new console games, and one in used console games and DVD's. There's MORE choice because each store is allowed to handle specific items instead of having to cater to everyone and everything in the same amount of space.

"I'm sorry, we don't carry those screen protectors. Try our other store down the street."

Yeah, that's a lack of choice... isn't it?

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (4, Informative)

damiangerous (218679) | about 9 years ago | (#13769677)

Yeah, that's a lack of choice... isn't it?

Choice doesn't matter much, you can get whatever you want online. It's going to make used games more expensive if Gamestop.com swallows ebgames.com. For years now you've been able to get 25% off and free shipping at EB Games with the combination of two coupon codes (15% off and free shipping) and your EB Edge card (another 10%). Gamestop only allows one coupon per order (either 15% or free shipping), and their discount card is not usable online. The price of used games just went up 25% for me.

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13783153)

That EB Edge card if I remember correctly you really only begin to save once you spend $600 in the year. Before that, you are wasting your money and not really saving. EB was run like crap in 96 when I worked there They were so "competitive" among their own stores:
Typical Call every other hours....
(idiot manager from a store in another mall in NJ calls)
Idiot: Hi, it's Freehold, what are you at?
Clerk: Hold on i'll check (yes the store might be busy)
Clerk: We're at $x.xx
Idiot: Hahahaha we are doubling you.

Me: Dont we work for the same team?

The morons were privately held, management went on frequent "business trips" to Vegas, Hawaii all in the name of games, but that was bullshit.

I for one am glad EB is being merged and hopefully these scumbag managers and district managers will get a real job and a fucking life.

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (3, Interesting)

OneFix at Work (684397) | about 9 years ago | (#13769477)

If you want something that specific it will probably be cheaper online anyhow...and that's the problem...what the internet sites like ebay and amazon hasn't done to kill the brick & mortar gaming stores, discount stores (like walmart and target) and more generalized electronics stores (like best buy and circuit city) have done.

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (1)

Aeron65432 (805385) | about 9 years ago | (#13769905)

Well yeah, that's why I'm a believer in capitalism. Less choice is bad for the consumer. Too bad. :(

I guess we'll hope for another spring-up?

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13769988)

Hey brightboy, THIS IS CAPITALISM! Not our fault that you are naive as all hell.

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (4, Insightful)

macrom (537566) | about 9 years ago | (#13770195)

If you know the history for Gamestop (Babbage's Etc. in a previous life), then you'll retract your statement that closing down stores is a bad thing. When Babbage's and Software Etc. merged back in 1990-something, they left open competing stores in malls, leading to internal competition. This was a huge contributing factor to the Neostar Retail Group filing for bankruptcy and emerging as Babbage's Etc. with massive funding from Len Riggio, then CEO of Barnes & Noble. The current Gamestop leadership (which I think is relatively the same) is going to learn from their past mistakes, and closing stores is a part of that. I have met and spent time with the C-level of Gamestop and they are all sharp business people who know this industry inside and out. They want to see things succeed as much as you and I. Personally, I would rather see Gamestop stay intact and thriving than crumbling to bits due to bad management. I think the shareholders would agree!

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13773331)

It may be a bad thing for the merged company to keep the stores open, but for the consumer... I was annoyed when "Babbages etc." finally closed down the Babbages store in my mall, as it had a larger booth, far better selection, and much more interesting demos than the software etc. in the same mall did. I could even buy commodore 64 games there!

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (1)

mrseigen (518390) | about 9 years ago | (#13770970)

In my experience, the PC game section of Gamestop is usually nonexistent. While this isn't much worse than EB's anemic PC offerings, it is still awful and will more likely than not hurt PC game sales further.

slightly OT, but you don't need chain stores... (1)

Turken (139591) | about 9 years ago | (#13772545)

... to get your DS screen protectors. Thanks to the internet and talking with other electronics owners, I was clued in to the fact that going to a fabric store (or walmart's fabric dept.) and buying some clear vinyl to cut to size is far superior to any screen protector offered at any retail store. The vinyl is significantly cheaper (covering a DS screen will only cost you ~ $0.03), leaves no residue, can be cut to fit more than just one system (PDA's PSP's and so on), and works as well as any commercial product.

So even if you had twenty different game shops in town to shop from, I highly doubt that any one of them would tell you that there is a cheaper and better alternative to the products that they sell. And the internet in this case wins out, not because you can buy something cheaper, but because you can be informed of something better.

Re:This merger is a BAD thing, folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13778509)

I'm sorry but I don't think you realize the difference. In your example it was 2 stores and 2 seperate suppliers.
In this example it is 1 store and 1 supplier, which is a combination of 2 stores and 2 suppliers. It is not like the second supplier is going to dissappear, they need to make money too. . .

OT- the importance of Dallas to the merged company (2, Interesting)

artifex2004 (766107) | about 9 years ago | (#13769218)

I'm just surprised that after all this time, Dallas still figures so prominently in the consolidation. That's where the old Babbage's Inc., headquarters was, and also Babbage's Store #1 in Northpark Center, where I worked as a seasonal employee one Christmas back in the early 1990s :)

I remember saving up my money and getting my employee discount, to buy the first Stereo SoundBlaster at that store for something like $186.11.

Re:OT- the importance of Dallas to the merged comp (1)

black mariah (654971) | about 9 years ago | (#13769414)

Gamestop's corporate HQ is in Grapevine.

Re:OT- the importance of Dallas to the merged comp (2, Informative)

macrom (537566) | about 9 years ago | (#13770151)

Dallas is good because it is centrally located in the United States. There are a few other companies that I know of that located in Dallas for this reason. In addition, the main Gamestop office is right on the western edge of DFW International Airport, making shipping via FedEx, UPS, DHL and other carriers relatively easy. From working there over a period of a few years, I can think of a few instances where that worked to their advantage (Dreamcast launch for one).

Re:OT- the importance of Dallas to the merged comp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13782288)

I drive by their Corporate offices every day on my way home. Lately (since this September) the large Gamestop sign that used to be on the building is gone. I don't know if they have moved offices, or are just redoing the sign as a part of the merger...

Re:OT- the importance of Dallas to the merged comp (1)

HungWeiLo (250320) | about 9 years ago | (#13787375)

Offering Dallas as a relocation alternative will increase the attrition flow quite nicely...

Just Terrific (1)

dbhankins (688931) | about 9 years ago | (#13769219)

My area (Phoenix, AZ) has quite a few stores from both chains.

The EBGames store that's near me is quite a good gamer resource; I patronize it regularly. The GameStops are only so-so.

After reading the article, I suppose that despite the EBGames store having the best sales performance in the region, it will be closed and its staff laid off in order to protect the turf of the mediocre GameStops.

Sigh.

Wow... (2, Insightful)

SteevR (612047) | about 9 years ago | (#13769240)

...so besides Walmart, Best Buy, and Comp USA, there is now only one other chain to buy a new game in my locality (Wichita, KS, 400,000 lost souls). Now many places in the US now have one choice of specialty digital gaming shop.

I'm sure that this will do simply wonderful things to competition... and I'm sure that the bustling market in used titles will begin to slow down as the prices rise, and the sellback payouts drop.

Although on the console side, if I was interested in more than 10 console games across all three of this generation's consoles, I would just start up a Gamefly account.

Its getting harder and harder to buy a PC game these days.

So, slashdotters, what other specialty shop chains are around these days to pick up the slack and restore sanity to the retail PC market?

Re:Wow... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13769590)

So, slashdotters, what other specialty shop chains are around these days to pick up the slack and restore sanity to the retail PC market?

The Internet. B&M for easily shipped commodity products is for suckers.

You're not the only one (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 9 years ago | (#13779438)

heading to the internet, which in turn drives up prices. A lot of times you're competing for goods with people that have a higher cost of living. To me in Arizona $15 bucks for used Greatest Hits title is too much, someone in California might see it different. Add a couple million more people just makes this worse.

Competition's a dual edge sword.

Re:Wow... (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | about 9 years ago | (#13769691)

GoGamer.com is where I shop for my PC games, unless there's a really, really kick-ass exclusive on the pre-order, like the big chains had for Civ IV.

Re:Wow... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 9 years ago | (#13776352)

Don't complain. My city doesn't even have a CompUSA.

-Eric

Another reason to finish high school (1)

Eric Zed (907907) | about 9 years ago | (#13769402)

And not get a job for a videogame store?

Sooo... (0)

vertinox (846076) | about 9 years ago | (#13769887)

Wasn't the point of the Merger to increase revenue of both companies rather than to shut one down.

Of course mergers are never a benefit to the consumer, buying companies shareholders, or the employees of both companies (one gets laid off while the other picks up the slack with no pay raise).

The only people that benefit are the shareholders of the company being bought and maybe some insiders of the buying company who gain by their purchase or CEO bonus.

Personally, I think business mergers should be outlawed... It decreases competition and actually hurts capitalism (the economy) in general. Only indviduals should only be allowed to own stock in corporations and corporations should be forbidden in owning stock in other corporations. Of course if it was put into law, corporations would just get around this buy some proxy method.

Then again, the stockmarket is a good way to ruin a good company with a good business model, but shitty investors who are out to suck the comapny dry of all its venture capital.

Re:Sooo... (4, Informative)

servognome (738846) | about 9 years ago | (#13770812)

Wasn't the point of the Merger to increase revenue of both companies rather than to shut one down

No the point of a merger is to increase profitability of both companies.

Of course mergers are never a benefit to the consumer, buying companies shareholders, or the employees of both companies (one gets laid off while the other picks up the slack with no pay raise).

What a short-sighted attitude, mergers != less competition. Sometimes it's better for consumers to get savings from economies of scale at the sacrifice of some competition. As long as an industry continues to have healthy competition (in this case Gamestop goes against Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Amazon.com, etc.), when two companies merge the new company can be more aggressive relative to the others in the industry, and actually increase competition.
The buying company shareholders can benefit long term by holding a bigger, more profitable company. As for the employees, yes it sucks they lose their jobs, but it's because their jobs are redundant. Jobs exist not to employ people, but to fill a need.

Personally, I think business mergers should be outlawed... It decreases competition and actually hurts capitalism (the economy) in general. Only indviduals should only be allowed to own stock in corporations and corporations should be forbidden in owning stock in other corporations.

As I mentioned before, sometimes it hurts competition, sometimes it helps competition. Forbidding corporations from making investments in other companies hurts capitalism too. Sometimes there are startups with great ideas that need to raise capital, sometimes larger companies need to acquire specific technology to move forward. Many times the big guy, the little guy, and even the consumer wins.

Then again, the stockmarket is a good way to ruin a good company with a good business model, but shitty investors who are out to suck the comapny dry of all its venture capital.

Then again the stockmarket is a good way to make a good company with a good business model even better, and reduce risk to investors. Venture capitalists are typically much more money hungry than stock investors. They are looking for much greater rates of return because they are taking more risk.

Re:Sooo... (1)

Grave (8234) | about 9 years ago | (#13771041)

Two companies with less than 15% of the market each can't get the sort of economy of scale that a company like Walmart (with nearly 50% of the market) can. However, with a combined 25%+ of the market, it's much easier to say to Microsoft (for example), "We need 300,000 Xbox 360's at launch," and have them deliver.

If you truly believe that mergers are no good for anyone, you should take a basic economics course. Gamestop still has plenty of competition from Walmart, Best Buy, and the other big box retailers.

As far as store closings go, those who are anticipating immediate closures need to consider that most of those stores are already quite profitable and as long as each is turning a profit, there's no reason to shut one of them down. Also, especially in mall locations, there are long-term leases on those locations that would be very costly to bail out on. Expect store closures to happen over time as things settle down, but realistically there's not going to be any haphazard store closings.

Re:Sooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13772169)

You know absolutely nothing about business, do you?

Cool! (3, Funny)

fujiman (912957) | about 9 years ago | (#13769901)

E3 will be less crowded next year!

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13773013)

Yeah, at least it'll make that 19yr old kid happy from a few stories ago. Maybe it'll shut him up!

Anyone Remember? (3, Interesting)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 9 years ago | (#13770095)

Anyone remember the early days of EB when the sales clerk wore shirt and ties to sell you the rarest video games? And there was 4-5 people servicing the store. Super service, and treat the customers like a million bucks.

I am sorry, but both EB and Gamestop today is a mess. The management folks have done nothing to improve the store image. Besides buying old games, nothing separate it from some Bestbuy video games shelf.

And why does every guy behind the counter have to be so biased toward some system. Can I buy a PS2 game in peace without some guy shoving Xbox-is-better at me.

Re:Anyone Remember? (1)

Krashed (264119) | about 9 years ago | (#13770777)

I agree, I work at a major retailer and seriously think that management needs to step in and ask employees to be less biased. I was shopping for a PS2 to replace my old broken one and on the way to the cash register, I took shit from two employees telling me that Xbox is better because it has a faster processor... Let's not get into that right now but all I did was say thanks and walked away. And to think, I work with these morons.

Re:Anyone Remember? (2, Informative)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | about 9 years ago | (#13775075)

I really confused Gamestop the other day... I bought (at the same time) a PS1 memory card, a used copy of Gradius III/IV (PS2), and an Xbox controller. The clerk gave me a really bizarre incredulous look, so I just acted dumb and swiped my credit card backwards a few times before finally getting it right, and then wandered out.

Re:Anyone Remember? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 9 years ago | (#13776319)

management needs to step in and ask employees to be less biased.

I always get the "I don't play console FPS's, *I* only use a keyboard and mouse" prick. I swear you can literally see him turn up his nose at you when he says it. One of these days he's going to catch me in a foul mood and that nose is going to end up broken.

-Eric

Re:Am I the only person who has had good times (1)

technoextreme (885694) | about 9 years ago | (#13786194)

I have never had anyone try and sell me anything I didn't want or get annoyed at me. In fact on two seperate occasions I have had people try and stop me from trading in used games for a dollar becaus it wasn't worth it. Twice I have had people deal with my incessant,"No I want this. Nah. I changed my mind. Ill take this. No. Maybe this." All the workers said were,"Buying a video game system is a major investment so take your time."

I agree (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13772228)

Last time I was in gamestop I was having a great conversation with the girl behind the counter.

I ended up getting her number and went home happy.

Called, talked for a bit and set up a date.

SHE STOOD ME UP.

stupid gamestop and their horrible customer service.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13786597)

She probably ditched you for some other guy with a faster processor, if you know what I mean.

Re:Anyone Remember? (1)

Jagasian (129329) | about 9 years ago | (#13789700)

The level of bias is really funny. I saw a kid getting pressured to buy a PSP as opposed to a GBASP. I myself got heat for buying an N-Gage QD for just $99. If a customer asks for a specific product by name, then sell them what they asked for.

Oh noes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13770107)

Oh noes! Now all the EBgames will close and leave us Canadians with only gamestops! All the 0 of them!

Re:Oh noes! (1)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | about 9 years ago | (#13775063)

I know you're joking, but...no, that's not going to happen.

Part of the reason that GameStop bought EB was because of their giant international presence, something the GameStop chain couldn't boast. There is zero reason for the Canadian/European EB stores to close, and I've heard absolutely nothing about GameStop closing them.

Bad option (2, Funny)

drewmca (611245) | about 9 years ago | (#13771115)

So they're offering Philadelphia area locals (West Chester) the option of relocating to Dallas? To anyone who knows anything about football rivalries, that's a pretty poor option for those folks.

This just in: Dead Sea Technologies is closing their Jerusalem office and relocating employees to their Egyptian offices.

Re:Bad option (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | about 9 years ago | (#13779962)

I recently moved to PA, and know that you're probably only half-joking. God damn, it's a fucking GAME. I hate how people around here revolve their lives around football in general and the Eagles in particular. Unreal.

Re:Bad option (1)

drewmca (611245) | about 9 years ago | (#13782311)

yeah, it's scary. Check out 610 WIP. You get some real winners calling in to that show.

Though as a disclaimer, I'm a pretty insane Eagles fan myself. Partly because I live in CA and it's one of the few connections I have to back home. People are afraid to watch the games with me.

Re:Bad option (1)

Reignking (832642) | about 9 years ago | (#13789377)

God damn, it's a fucking GAME.

Funny how we're wasting our time writing about games and a game seller cutting jobs, then.

Re:Bad option (1)

hal2814 (725639) | about 9 years ago | (#13783044)

Get over yourself Philly. Dallas is rivals with EVERYONE in the NFC East. They all hate Dallas. Dallas doesn't care nearly as much about hating Philly as Philly cares about hating Dallas. If you ask a Cowboys fan who their big rival is, most of them will answer the Redskins.

Re:Bad option (1)

drewmca (611245) | about 9 years ago | (#13783725)

Oh, I'm over myself, hardball. Dallas is also rivals with other teams, like SF. Read the original fucking post to see my point before getting up on your high fucking horse.

Re:Bad option (1)

hal2814 (725639) | about 9 years ago | (#13784375)

Calm down on the language, dude. I read your post. Your point is that Dallas is the seen as the center of some eighth level of hades for most Eagles fan. My point is that you hate them a lot more than they hate you. It'd be best to take the job and get over it (assuming that's your only job option).

High horse nothing. I live in Atlanta. I keep up with the Falcons and the rest of the NFC South. While I do like the rivalry in the NFC East, I rarely keep up with it. (I do know that Dallas spanked the Eagles over the weekend, but it seems like the Eagles fall asleep at the wheel every now and then during the regular season so I don't put much stock in that.)

PHuk them... (1)

cttforsale (803028) | about 9 years ago | (#13772653)

And the choke hold they have on the used games market. I'll always sell & buy my games on newsgroups/privately

Closing the Wrong Distribution Chain (1)

p_conrad (118670) | about 9 years ago | (#13774362)

It looks like they are going to shut down the EB distribution chain and keep the Gamestop one. It's a bummer because in my mall the EB almost always gets the games a day earlier than the Gamestop. Also, the staff seems a little better in general. I wonder if the pay scales are comparable.

I'm noticing a huge gap developing in games selection at the mall stores vs. say Best Buy and other Big Box stores. Lots of games never appear on the shelves of the big box stores. The PS2 version of Psychonauts comes to mind first - no sign of it on any shelves outside of the mall. We're not just looking at a monopoly on mall game stores, but single-company monopoly on the retail sales of the more obscure titles.

I never really was too much of a fan of on-line shopping. I have a hard time getting around the delayed gratification. Slowly, I'm changing my buying habits. I hate it when the day I decided to poke around the mall store turns out to be the release date for some hot game and the tiny stores get mobbed with people claiming their pre-orders.

Enough of my complaining though, I'm going to go read a book.

Re:Closing the Wrong Distribution Chain (1)

Detritus (11846) | about 9 years ago | (#13778782)

I often wonder how the big stores select which titles to stock. A new game will be released, with excellent reviews, and it never appears on the shelves of the local stores. At the same time, they keep a lot of shelf space occupied with really bad and/or ancient games. I assume that they do want to sell games, not provide a museum for 2nd-rate games.

EB lately has been...well... (4, Funny)

bluemeep (669505) | about 9 years ago | (#13776293)

I've been having the absolute WORST luck with EB lately. In my little nook of Orlando, I'm ringed by about six of them. Honestly, I don't know if they're all just terminally depressed from the merger notification or if they all just hire out of the same gene pool, but it was a nightmare just trying to get a stinkin' preorder done a month or two ago. The following is a direct quotation:

[I walk into the store, currently draped in Madden '06 flags, standees and posters]
Me: Hi, I can I preorder--
Clerk: Madden, right?
Me: Uh, n--
Clerk: Because it's coming out soon. It's gonna be the best one yet!
Me: Actually, I wanted Sigma Star Saga.
[Clerk stares vacantly for a second before cocking his head towards the GBA rack]
Clerk: Oh. Yeah. Well... Mario Superstar Saga's been out forever.
Me: No, Sigma Star Saga. It's a new one.
Clerk: They're not making a sequal to that one.
Me: It's a different franchise. Done by Wayforward? Namco's the publisher?
Clerk: ...
Me: ...
Clerk: Yeah... We don't do preorders here... You'll have to go to our Longwood location.
[I turn the PREORDER MADDEN 06!!!! standee on the desk to face him. He glances at it.]
Clerk: Excuse me, but I have to check our inventory for another customer.
[Clerk walks into the back room. I wait another 10 minutes before giving up and leaving. During this time, several college fratboys take the opportunity to shoplift several copies of Doom 3 and Half Life 2 while the counter is unmanned.]

And this is why I only preorder at Gamestop now. They not only let me do the preorder, but they also had copies of Riviera (which EB never even got) and a used Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis. Gotta slog through hell before reaching heaven, I guess.

Well... (2, Interesting)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | about 9 years ago | (#13776313)

In reference to the comment saying this will be a BAD merger for second hand selection could be slightly inaccurate. If there is only one shop in each town then surely that shop will be the main place that people will go to to sell on their old games, whereas people may see both as competition in the town and think they both pay old.

This could also symbolise the slowing in growth and decline of video game sales nowdays, although I can see overall profits going up in the next few months with the Xbox360, christmas and more.

I635 From Mesquite (1)

Buddy_DoQ (922706) | about 9 years ago | (#13784736)

"...with some employees having the option of relocating to Dallas, Texas."

Great! Just what we need, more traffic to downtown!

I had a friend apply as used console repair man at their main office about a year back. Said employees would just pick up games out of the warehouse and walk home with them, sounds like a nice place to work if your a gamer! I guess everyone else gets the raw deal with less direct competition and all.

Locally owned stores? (1)

Otonotachibana (826415) | about 9 years ago | (#13792332)

The part of New England I reside in only has large chain stores that sell video games. How many people have locally owned stores (ie not Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.) in their area?

EBGames and Gamestop aren't worth it anymore (1)

Vandil X (636030) | about 9 years ago | (#13798883)

I have fond memories of purchasing video games for my PC, NES, SNES, Game Boy, Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, and PSOne at Software Etc. and Babbages. At the time, there was no consumer Internet mechanism to buy online and outside of Toys R Us, my big-chain department store selection was limited to the mediocre selection of games at the local Zayre/Ames.

Used games could be mail-ordered through Funcoland. Also briefly in their local shops. Live was decent.

Fast forward a few years and all those games-only stores were absorbed into EBGames and Gamestop. PC games & hardware, once maintays of the front of the store, are all consolidated into a single bookshelf of shopworn boxes. Only the current crop of MMORPGs & their expansions live in the front.

Prices for new games were higher than the prices for those same games at Walmart, sometimes by as much as $10-$15. Buyback prices for trade-in games are at all-time lows. Prices for used games are retardedly high, especially for ancient games that are members of still-thriving franchises (example: A scuffed up, magic-marker'd Mega Man I cartidge for the monochrome gameboy can still be found for sale in Gamestop or EB Games for $17.99.

These days, if you want a deal on new games, it's just better to hit Walmart or Target. If you want a deal on used games or specialty items, the plethora of online shops and eBay are the only way to go.

Still, whenever I go to the local mall to watch a movie, I still instinctively wander into the mall's Gamestop/EBGames and lament changed times.
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