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Casual Gamers Forcing Gamestop to Rethink Store Layouts

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the pfff-newbies dept.

Games 93

The Guardian Gamesblog has up a post noting that Gamestop will be rearranging stores to meet casual gamer needs. For example, they'll be creating a section just for music games (karaoke, guitar games, etc). They'll also be putting together a 'family-friendly' area, with a focus on titles like Nintendogs, Lego Star Wars, and the like. The post is based off of an interview in The New York Times with Daniel A. DeMatteo, Gamestop's vice chairman and chief operating officer. In his mind casual games are now so important to sales that the company is having to do some 'radical retail re-thinking': "There is a real breadth of properties now appealing to a much broader audience than we've seen before. Honestly, we are having to retool the way we think of things in our stores in terms of merchandising, layout and also customer service because it is no longer only the hardcore gamer walking in who knows exactly what he wants."

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Hype. (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573589)

My local GameStop just got a new Plan-o-gram. What changed? They moved the used DVD movie rack closer to the front of the store. -yawn-

This isn't news, it's an advertisement.

Re:Hype. (1)

SeePage87 (923251) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575479)

My local GameStop just got a new Plan-o-gram. What changed? They moved the used DVD movie rack closer to the front of the store. -yawn-

This isn't news, it's an advertisement.

The article said they "will be" rearranging the store. Have you considered that they haven't made the changes yet?

I hope that means other changes (3, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573595)

Does that mean that I can actually buy a game or two there without them hounding me about reservations? If so, I might rescind my personal boycott.

Re:I hope that means other changes (4, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573655)

Just get a sticker that says:

Ask me about reserving a game and
              I WILL KILL YOU

and stick it to your shirt. Alternatively, you could have cards printed that say that and hand it to the person before you begin to speak to them. It'll make them think twice about asking other people, and they probably won't ever ask you again.

Re:I hope that means other changes (3, Funny)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574335)

The last time I was at a GameStop, they asked me if I wanted to get an extended warranty on the game for $3. Since I was third in line, I'd heard the "Do you want to buy an extended warranty for $3? It allows you to replace the game for free if it becomes scratched or anything. No? OK, do you want to reserve $RELATED_GAME{$PURCHASED_GAME} today?" twice already. I guess I was a little more forceful with my "NO!" than intended, because the clerk skipped the rest of the spiel.

So I'd add:

And if you ask me to buy a warranty on the game:
I WILL KILL YOUR FAMILY TOO

Re:I hope that means other changes (4, Interesting)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#20577089)

The warranty is the source of one of my favorite GameStop stories. There's a store near my office, and being basically the only place in downtown NY that sells anything game related (sidenote: MASSIVE untapped market there retail people!) I used to go there quite often at lunch to browse. So a couple of years ago they started this whole "Gameplay Guarantee" thing, but as usual with their offers there's really no descriptions written down anywhere of what you get for your $3. The first time I bought a game and they offered it to me, the clerk said that it was basically a 100% guarantee that allowed you to return it anytime in the first year for ANY reason. He said you could return it if you didn't like it, if you beat it, whatever - for a full refund. That seemed too good to miss, so I started adding the $3 on all my purchases (when they asked, half the time they added it without asking).

Roll forwards 6 months, and I have a bunch of old PSP games I no longer play. Of course I kept the receipts for the guarantee so in I go to get my refunds. I hadn't been in the store for a while but I noticed right away that all the staff were new, even the manager. I go up to the counter, explain that I'd like to return these games I'd finished playing, and the clerk starts telling me that the guarantee is only for DAMAGED games before the manager stops her, tells her to give me the refunds (over $200) and explains to me that the entire store were busted for mis-selling the guarantee (they were paid commission on each one) and were all fired. He says they were getting 2 or 3 people a day coming in with the same story and they were honouring the refunds as a sign of goodwill. It must have been costing them a fortune...

Downtown software blues (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578263)

After Egghead on Maiden Lane went out of business, so did most home software sales in downtown Manhattan. You have a choice, J&R, Staples or travel all the way up to Waverly.

Re:I hope that means other changes (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579085)

One of the checkout drones at Best Buy did the same thing to me the other day when I bought the Darkness for 360. Complete with finger quotes for "scratched".

I should have taken her up on it.

Re:I hope that means other changes (1)

scombs (1012701) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578813)

If you don't like this policy, please send a complaint to corporate. The employee isn't just doing it to be an annoying asshole, they're doing it to keep their job. Their continued employment depends on them asking everyone that enters the store if they want to preorder something. If their quota of preorders and warranties isn't up to snuff, they're fired. And don't complain to the person at the register, or even the manager, because they can't do anything about it. It's just their job. I still don't understand why people get mad at the sales associate when their trades aren't worth that much, or they ask them to preorder. It may be annoying, but they have no control over it. Please save your complaints about corporate wide policy for corporate. We (the register monkeys) aren't all bad people. We're just following bad (from the customer viewpoint) corporate policy. On the other hand, if an employee's being a fanboi, or just being a general unknowledgeable jerk, then feel free to complain to the manager. That's a local problem, with a local solution.

Re:I hope that means other changes (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20579811)

Hey buddy, what do you make? Seven, eight bucks an hour? Get another job if you're being made to do distasteful stuff for low prices. You have no claim to sympathy from customers, since you are the customer service. If you do shit that annoys me, I'm calling you out on it.

Re:I hope that means other changes (1)

bakana (918482) | more than 7 years ago | (#20583287)

This is the american attitude. I don't give a fuck it doesn't make sense. Since I'm paying you for something, it should make sense to you regardless. NO! Just because you pay someone for something doesn't make it okay to think anything goes. My absolute favorite is, I pay you guys for a service, hell yeah I expect to speak to the owner of the company, I don't give a fuck that it is 3 AM in the fucking morning. People behave as if logic and customer service don't go together. Yes, that kid takes low money to do a job that isn't in agreement with his life goals. Yes, he is forced to ask you annoying questions you do not like. Yes, you can say no, buy your shit, and get the fuck out. Funny how you don't hear too many people complaining about the McDonalds "would you like to supersize" question. it is the same concept, if someone wanted supersize, they'd ask for it. However, it is good business practice to ask because you get more revenue. Rather than complain to someone who can't do shit about it, you can do as the parent entry says and complain to corporate, who will take your complaint and toss it in the trash as they make too much money of that policy, or you can shop else where.

Re:I hope that means other changes (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20583835)

I shop elsewhere, after I give shit to the people who annoyed me. I don't care if it's their choice to do it. At some point, the decision was made by the person harassing me to harass me. I'm under no obligation to make the process pleasant for them.

Re:I hope that means other changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20575501)

Just get a sticker that says: ... I WILL KILL YOU
I thought that was assumed by just standing in line at a GameStop [penny-arcade.com] .

Re:I hope that means other changes (2, Insightful)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573899)

My personal boycott is due to their overly high prices on used games. I am not a big console gamer, but enjoy the occasional ps2 title. I go in and still find titles 3+ years old selling for more than $20 used. Seems a bit ridiculous to me, seeing that if one were to try to sell said games to gamestop they'd get about $5.00 for it.

Re:I hope that means other changes (5, Insightful)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574799)

I go in and still find titles 3+ years old selling for more than $20 used. Seems a bit ridiculous to me, seeing that if one were to try to sell said games to gamestop they'd get about $5.00 for it.

Supply/Demand and the business model.

Supply and Demand

I can walk into a Gamestop and buy a used PS2 game for $3 or for $80+. It depends on the game. No joke. Buy a copy of Madden Football [year-2] (aka it's 2008, get 2006) or a professional wrestling game and it'll probably be $3. Conversely, just the other day I found Marvel vs Capcom 2 for the PS2 for $79.99, no box slip, no manual, etc. Why? Because you cannot find MvC2 or games like some "Baulders Gate" or "Champions of Norrath", etc High Demand, Low Supply. It's economics, you cannot fault them for that.

Business Model

Used games is where stores like Gamestop make their money. It's not selling consoles or new games. The games industry has very tight control over the games price and the profit garnered from each game. Suffice it to say, the margins are small. Without used games, such speciality stores probably wouldn't be able to operate.

Use it to your advantage

Is it disappointing to see used games sell for $45 when the new game is $50? Sure. Then buy the new version (or save yourself $5, because, hey, it's $5. That's 1-2 beers at a bar.) Not happy that they'll only give you $0.50 or $3 for your 3 year old game? Then sell it on Ebay, in classified ads, or many other options. Reselling video games are not an exclusive right to Gamestop.

I understand how Everyone wants something for nothing, but I'm willing to see a service for what it's worth. It cleans to my house and I take full advantage of promotions that are always running that sometimes net me the same or more money for trade-ins than I paid for it. I can also maximize it to cost less than renting new games. At least, console games can be traded in, unlike PC games.

Sometimes we luck out and get a great game for real cheap, other times we're out of luck when you really want to get Marvel vs Capcom 2 but have to pay a premium for it, sometimes 2x or 3x what it cost (try looking up prices for Final Fantasy VII [amazon.com] for the original Playstation and see that it goes for $50-$300, which is much lower now that the hype died down after the movie and sequel game have come and gone)

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:I hope that means other changes (1)

Dewin (989206) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575713)

I can walk into a Gamestop and buy a used PS2 game for $3 or for $80+. It depends on the game. No joke. Buy a copy of Madden Football [year-2] (aka it's 2008, get 2006) or a professional wrestling game and it'll probably be $3. Conversely, just the other day I found Marvel vs Capcom 2 for the PS2 for $79.99, no box slip, no manual, etc. Why? Because you cannot find MvC2 or games like some "Baulders Gate" or "Champions of Norrath", etc High Demand, Low Supply. It's economics, you cannot fault them for that.


My wife used to work at Gamestop (it was her first job, and she's as much -- if not more -- into gaming than I am), so as a result I spent quite a lot of time in the store.

In all the time I've been there, I've never seen a used game for more than $60 -- with the sole exception of Steel Batallion, which comes with its own giant mech-like controller [wikipedia.org]

I always wanted to use the fact that employees can 'check out' used games for a couple days to play with that, but we never did. (Idea being that if you check out and play lots of games you'll better know what to recommend to people.)

Used games is where stores like Gamestop make their money. It's not selling consoles or new games. The games industry has very tight control over the games price and the profit garnered from each game. Suffice it to say, the margins are small. Without used games, such speciality stores probably wouldn't be able to operate.


This is very much true, and is why they offer so many incentives dealing with used games -- buy 2 get 1 free seems like it's happening every other month almost. Some Gamestops that receive very little trade-ins (like mall stores) actually receive shipments of used games from other stores.

Re:I hope that means other changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20574945)

I go through the same crap every time I go there. I second the boycott...

They open my games... (4, Interesting)

MasaMuneCyrus (779918) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576229)

My personal boycott is because they open my god-damn games. You can't go into Gamestop to buy anything without them having taken off the plastic wrap (or for PC games, cut or torn off the seal), opened the game up, and sloppily thrown the game disc(s) into crappy paper sleeves to store in a cabinet.

What if someone were to buy a game as a Christmas present, only to find out that someone else had already bought it? As soon as they walk out the Gamestop door, that game is now worth the $5 trade-in value, even if you've never opened it and still have the receipt; because the plastic-wrap is no longer on the game, you can't prove that you didn't open it.

It's bullshit policy. I want my "new" games, "new", not "mint" condition.

Re:They open my games... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#20577201)

Don't they have gift-wrap returnable-if-still-sealed plastic bags for that? I can usually get them for CD albums at least.

Re:They open my games... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20581099)

I'm not sure about gamestop, but EBGames, which does the same thing, puts a little sticker so once you break the seal, you can no longer bring it back.

Re:They open my games... (1)

Draconix (653959) | more than 7 years ago | (#20581609)

EBGames is Gamestop. As are Babbages and Funcoland. Gamestop owns all the big chain game stores.

Re:They open my games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20582529)

"My personal boycott is because they open my god-damn games. You can't go into Gamestop to buy anything without them having taken off the plastic wrap (or for PC games, cut or torn off the seal), opened the game up, and sloppily thrown the game disc(s) into crappy paper sleeves to store in a cabinet."

You have thieves to thank for that, and it's not just a problem for game stores either. They'll come in and while no one's looking, cut the box open and take the disc, and leave everything else. I'll guess some slashdotter will now blame the store for "punishing" the customer.

"What if someone were to buy a game as a Christmas present, only to find out that someone else had already bought it? As soon as they walk out the Gamestop door, that game is now worth the $5 trade-in value, even if you've never opened it and still have the receipt; because the plastic-wrap is no longer on the game, you can't prove that you didn't open it"

If they don't already have a system in place to deal with it? Then ask them to write the condition on the receipt.

"It's bullshit policy. I want my "new" games, "new", not "mint" condition."

Don't know what to tell you? But life's not fair. The important thing is that you place the blame appropriately, and not shoot wildly like some around here.

Re:They open my games... (1)

chee1a1a (948680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20583379)

"My personal boycott is because they open my god-damn games. You can't go into Gamestop to buy anything without them having taken off the plastic wrap (or for PC games, cut or torn off the seal), opened the game up, and sloppily thrown the game disc(s) into crappy paper sleeves to store in a cabinet."

You have thieves to thank for that, and it's not just a problem for game stores either. They'll come in and while no one's looking, cut the box open and take the disc, and leave everything else. I'll guess some slashdotter will now blame the store for "punishing" the customer.
I, personally, wish that all game stores did the lock-up-the-actual-merch thing. I got totally burned when, for one Valentine's day, I bought my friend a WoW Subscription Card. Well, actually, I bought him the box. We were on a Valentine's date when he opened my present.

Him (looking in the box quizzically):"Cool. A Blizzard catalog."
Me: "Keep looking."
Him (emptying out the box onto the table): "...There's nothing else in here."
Me: "What?!?!"
Him: "Well...that's alright. Blizzard catalogs are cool."

So, due to thievery, I got my date an empty box for Valentines day. A fracking empty box. A fracking empty box with a Night Elf on it, but still, not cool. At least the store let me return it.

Still. It would have been much more awesome if they'd just sold the cards at the register, and had you pick up the legitimately-empty box while browsing. I mean, would it be that hard?

Translation (5, Insightful)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573599)

Translation: "Now that non-geeks are playing games, we'll have to do actual customer service, instead of just throwing things onto the shelf as we had in the past."

Maybe they can also start firing the employees who tell clueless Mom's that "Mario is coming out on the Xbox, but it is going to be a cooler version than the Gamecube with better graphics. Don't buy a Gamecube, it's lame. Nintendo is going out of business soon." (System names can be rearranged based on employee biases...)

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20574123)

Or not helping the parents that buy thier kids that nice new XBox360 for christmas, and then a bunch of Wii games from every console but the Xbox to play on it...

Re:Translation (0, Flamebait)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574783)

I'd vouch on firing people from the society whose parents or schools didn't teach them something as simple as properly forming plural's^Wplurals.

Re:Translation (1, Offtopic)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575605)

Your sentence doesn't parse very well.

"I'd vouch on firing people from the society whose parents or schools didn't teach them something as simple as properly forming plural's^Wplurals."

You seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of grammar, or is English not your first language?

Maybe you meant "I'd vouch for," but that doesn't do much for your horrible run on sentence. The prepositional phrase "from the society" is a tad vague. Do you mean people from American Society, or from the Susquahanna Bad Plural Forming Society?

Still, good catch on "Mom's." Though obviously it shouldn't have been capitalized, "moms" would have been correct. I'll be sure to carefully spellcheck my next random, haphazardly dashed off Slashdot post so I don't get flamed by a Slashdot spelling troll.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20600911)

Hah, I would think the employee bias would be to sell product. Though I guess if you just get paid hourly it doesn't really matter much.

Gamestop Service? (1)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573601)

"There is a real breadth of properties now appealing to a much broader audience than we've seen before. Honestly, we are having to retool the way we think of things in our stores in terms of merchandising, layout and also customer service because it is no longer only the hardcore gamer walking in who knows exactly what he wants."

That's funny. Whenever I go into gamestop or EBX, I tend to stay away from customer service. I swear, they hire the most inept people who don't have a clue about games.

Me: I really like games like Katamri, WC3, and Rez
Gamestop Employee: Then let me recommend Madden 08
Me: I'm not big into sports games.
Gamestop Employee: Then you should buy the new ww2 first person shooter game that just came out!
Me: errr, I think I'll just look around, thanks.

Re:Gamestop Service? (1)

adona1 (1078711) | more than 7 years ago | (#20583967)

Agreed. The employees nowadays tend to have very little idea about anything except the moneymaking blockbusters. Case in point - I went to EB last week and saw they were starting to hype Hellgate: London [wikipedia.org] . I saw it had EA's logo down the bottom, which surprised me as I thought it was being done by Blizzard (before anyone jumps in to correct me, I'm aware of who's doing it [now] and how Blizzard is Associated). The employee's response? "Um...I don't really know anything about Hellgate....or Blizzard..."

Headdesk. Ironically enough, given the proportions of the market, I've found it's almost invariably the female employees who actually know their games.

Have multiple floors and more supervisors (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20573613)

Casual gamers can get their merchandise right up front. Place the hardcore games on the top floor.

Hardcore gamers should have to go through at least 3 levels and 2 bosses before being able to get to their goods.

Re:Have multiple floors and more supervisors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20574623)

Like hardcore gamers could even walk up one flight of stairs... How do you expect them to do three?

Re:Have multiple floors and more supervisors (1)

kturner (1154521) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576787)

Too bad someone will end up hacking their way to the top and calling everyone below them n00bs.

Not "hardcore vs. casual" (4, Insightful)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573707)

I hate those labels, but I'll save that rant for another time.

This has to do with "informed vs. clueless" gamers. Informed gamers, the people who've been playing games for years, know that GS is run by assholes, employs assholes, and overprices its games. Informed gamers know they can get better deals online or at other retailers.

GS is appealing to the soccer moms and new gamers who go there because of brand recognition. These people won't realize if the employee is pushing a shitty game on them or that they're paying more than they have to.

I apologize for the elitist tone, but anyone interested in saving money and preserving their dignity shouldn't shop at GS :P

Re:Not "hardcore vs. casual" (4, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574383)

You hate those labels but you are ready to provide your own? Good going.

Re:Not "hardcore vs. casual" (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574647)

It always impresses me. No matter how jaded or cynical I become, there is always someone on Slashdot that makes me look normal...even optimistic!

Re:Not "hardcore vs. casual" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20575187)

4chan will crush your spirits, n00b.

Re:Not "hardcore vs. casual" (1)

KrazeeEyezKilla (955150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575347)

gtfo

Not my experience! (1)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574921)

Informed gamers, the people who've been playing games for years, know that GS is run by assholes, employs assholes, and overprices its games. Informed gamers know they can get better deals online or at other retailers.
I don't want to get into a fight here, but I have to say that this was not my experience with GameStop at all. I am a casual gamer, and also a clueless gamer. A roommate and I had a Sega Saturn in 1995. He bought out my half and took the game with him when he left. After the Saturn, I did not own another video game until May of this year.
I live in Brazil, and I was in Maine for a high school reunion. I was at the Maine Mall in South Portland for other reasons, but I had a bit of time, and I had read a lot about the Wii on Slashdot, so when I passed a GameStop store, I stepped in to see if they had any Wiis in stock. They did, but I wasn't 100% sure I wanted one, so I didn't buy one. I asked about handheld systems, because those could be really useful to me when traveling. This was a busy Saturday (semi-crappy and surprisingly cold weather) at the mall. The GameStop store was really busy. I had already said I didn't intend to buy anything that day, but the guys were still very helpful and very patient. It quickly became clear that they really do play and enjoy the games, and they really seemed to want to help me choose the system that would be best for me. They did not push the most expensive products. They showed me the differences between the DS and the PSP. It became obvious that the two guys who helped me both personally preferred the DS, but since I was interested in sports games (I really wanted to play some baseball and soccer video games), I found myself drawn more by the PSP.
Back at the hotel that night, I checked prices online and found that GameStop's prices were quite reasonable, basically the same as everyone else's. I am not sure why the author of the parent post says GS overprices its games. I found that, at least for the PSP and DS, the prices were pretty much the same standard prices everyone else had, except for some eBay sellers.
I should mention that I didn't go to GS because of brand recognition. I went there because I saw a store selling video games. I had never heard of GameStop before that, and in fact, I didn't even remember the name of the store when I left.
I returned to the mall a few days later to buy a handheld video game system. I entered the mall through a different entrance and was surprised by how close the GameStop store ("so that's the name!") was to that entrance, having expected it to be further inside the mall. Once I got in the store and looked around, I realized I was in a different video game store in the same mall. That made me think the other one wasn't a GameStop, but when I asked about it, the employees told me the other one was in fact also a GS. Apparently, there had been stores from two competing chains, and GS bought its competitor (I dunno what its name was) and decided to maintain two stores at the Maine Mall, at least for a while.
I told them I was interested in buying a handheld video game system and a few games for it. They also showed me the differences between the two, and like their colleagues from the other store, did not try to push the most expensive stuff on me. I was almost sure I wanted a PSP, but I wanted to think about it for a few more minutes before buying. Since I had to pick up something at another store for my dad, I went to take care of that before buying my video game system. Since that took me past the GameStop store I had visited on the Saturday, I went back in there. The guys who had been there on Saturday were not there, but everyone at both stores had assured me that they did not work on commission, and that it really didn't matter who sold me my game, or even which store sold it to me. I had decided on the PSP by this time, so I asked for some game recommendations for it. The guy who helped me was awesome. He showed me some good games, told me the pros and cons of each. I went against one of his recommendations and took FIFA 07 over Winning Eleven, because of name recognition-- I had played the 1995 version of FIFA Soccer on the Saturn. Reviews I've read since then seem to support his position, but the FIFA game is pretty much what I expected.
Anyway, I've been very happy with my PSP, and the buying experience at the two GameStop stores at the Maine Mall was very pleasant. None of what I've seen since buying the games has led me to believe I paid high prices. I found the employees to be good at what they do, and not assholes at all. Every single employee with whom I interacted was not only helpful, but also nice to me. My impression of the ones who spent the most time talking to me was that they really wanted me to get a system and games I would enjoy.
YMMV, of course. The author of the parent post obviously either had or knows somebody who had a very different experience with GameStop. I can only say that I had a positive experience with the two GameStop stores at the Maine Mall in May of this year.

Re:Not my experience! (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575995)

Just as in any store run by humans, there are good store locations and bad store locations. I have two GameStops near my house. One is about a mile south of me, and seems to employ a lot of weenies who think you are taking up their valuable time that could be better spent goofing off behind the counter. One of them even fakes a British accent. I go there because it's convenient, and when I know what I'm looking for. I never ask those assholes for advice.

The other GameStop is about 3 miles north of me, and is generally filled with helpful people. I go there when I may need them to look up something in the computer for me ("you don't have ____ here, but does one of the other stores have it?") The last time I was there, the guy behind the counter commented on my games: "if you like this one, you'll love ___." I thought it was great he'd make recommendations like that. Probably helps out the soccer moms and such that buy games for their kids.

Re:Not "hardcore vs. casual" (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575665)

By your logic, only clueless (== casual?) gamers would shop and GameStop.

If so, the redesign is a good idea. They should also install rails around any sharp corner and use non-slip floor mats (since your clueless gamers will probably drool a lot). ;)

Re:Not "hardcore vs. casual" (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20577205)

I would argue that, yes, that seems to be the case. Gamestop doesn't offer the best prices, best selection or anything best at all, the games are often unwrapped and covered in stickers, stock is low, many boxes are preorders that you have to look at twice to actually identify as such, the stores are tiny and cramped and half the space is taken up by used games that really aren't a bargain. Their only real advantages is that they have "game" in the name which immediately makes it clear what they're selling and they're located in malls where people can reach them easily. Personally I hate these stores, the shelf layout makes it hard to see everything (on lower shelves the shelf above will cover the pricetag unless you bend over) and what you see isn't particularly interestng anyway since other stores have the same games but usually cheaper.

If you get some information you'll rarely find GS to be the best shop for your purpose. I usually see Media Markt stock games earlier (1-2 days before the official release date whereas GS sometimes even waits until the day after) and in larger quantities while selling them cheaper. MM has a larger selection (especially of budget PC titles) and more space to move around in. The drawback is that MM is often located further away from malls so it's not as convenient to go there.

So yes, I'd say GS caters to those who seek convenience instead of performance.

Re:Not "hardcore vs. casual" (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 7 years ago | (#20577727)

Those of us whose time is worth a lot like being able to stop by any mall, shopping center or such, see an identifiable logo, walk in, get the game we want with a reasonable amount of confidence it'll be there, and leave.

There's a lot more dignity in a GS than in the weird-smelling boutique game shop run by a guy who looks like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. Not that I don't go there, too, particularly if I'm looking for something no longer in print or for a vintage platform. But your elitism is easily reversed on itself, and probably will be by the growing number of professional people who game without being geeks.

Pre-order (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573731)

Does this mean I'll actually be able to walk into the store and buy a game without having pre-ordered it two months in advance?

That would be a major improvement for Gamestop.

Re:Pre-order (1)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575709)

That actually has to do with the central distribution. If the company gets, say, 2000 copies of Title X, and they have demonstrated intrest for 800 units at Store A, and interest for 500 units at Store B, and interest in 20 units at Store C, then stores A and B are getting all the extra and Store C is hosed. So managers and employees plug the pre-orders, because then not only do they get the available reserved copies of the game, but also they get a bigger slice of the non-reserved copies.

(And Store C's manager is also getting fewer allowed employee-hours for Store C, which means fewer people working less money to pay them with.)

Not all GameStops are awful. The one I worked in was excellent, actually. But I'll still make a point of going five miles out of my way to shop where I used to work, because the one nearest where I live and work now is a wretched hole staffed by teenage potheads.

Re:Pre-order (4, Interesting)

gknoy (899301) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576191)

Sounds like my Burning Crusade experience.

Went to Gamestop. The guy said, "Well, the UPS guy may get here today, or tomorrow. I think we'll have more then." So, I went nearly-next-door (in the same shopping center) to Best Buy, where there were multiple tables literally overflowing with the game. I walked up, grabbed a box, and checked out.

My game-buying experiences at Best Buy have been nearly-always been better than Gamestop. Not only do they have more PC games (local GameStops have practically all XBox/PS3 games), but I don't have to do the preorder BS. Heck, I saw DEFCON there... quite the shocker. :)

Re:Pre-order (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576539)

Does this mean I'll actually be able to walk into the store and buy a game without having pre-ordered it two months in advance?
I buy most of my games at Gamestop (I only purchase new so the prices don't bother me) and I rarely ever preorder (only ever preordered twice). Yet even without preordering I have no problem getting the games I am looking for, often on release day. Of course I have made it clear to my local shops that if they don't have it in stock I will go somewhere else. And believe it or not, this actually works.

And there is very little more satisfying than purchasing a product and going back to the store that was sold out and letting the see the $50 sale they missed out on (normally only works in a mall).

Re:Pre-order (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20577235)

I have the opposite experience. Whenever I go EB (owned by Gamestop of course) to buy a new game, they don't have any and I get snarky comments about how I should have pre-ordered.

So I walk down the street to the resident big-box store which somehow manages to have copies in stock.

Re:Pre-order (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582497)

So I walk down the street to the resident big-box store which somehow manages to have copies in stock.
Now you just need to walk back to the EB/Gamestop and show them how much you didn't spend at their store, and inform any in the store where they can find the game in stock. Do it enough, being sure to get the managers attention, and they will start stocking the games you are likely to buy. They may be pricks but they are still business owners/operators.

Kids section at my gamestop last night (4, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 7 years ago | (#20573751)

So my son and I (he is pre-school aged) went to the gamestop... he knows he can ask for games in the PS2, gamecube, Wii or gameboy sections and we will talk about it... Now they have a kid's section with games for all systems randomly strewn about the shelves. Which was particularly confusing to... KIDS. It just ended up Can I get this one? No that is PS3. Can I get this one? No that is Xbox.

I mean I am sure there are families out there with every single system, but I found it particularly annoying that the new layout basically assumes you have all systems.

you might have to show the kid how to read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20574161)

Sucks I know... or at least tell the difference between one logo and another. whaddayagonnado

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574285)

Either this AC doesn't know how to read either, or is just a frikkin moron. How many PRESCHOOLERS have you ever met that could read? Most kids don't learn that until they get to school.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20574447)

Most kids don't learn that until they get to school.
If you are letting your kids get to school without teaching them how to read you are failing them.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (4, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574513)

the kid in question is 2.5 years old

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20575299)

Your point? I was reading Little House on the Prairie books by then.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (1, Insightful)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574861)

If you are letting your kids get to school without teaching them how to read you are failing them.

Why don't you log in and say that, you AC Troll. When you do it, be sure and let us know how many children you've raised.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578439)

I'm not the original AC, but I learned how to read before I went to school, and it shocks me that not everyone does that. Heck, I even remember my dad trying to teach me long division (after I started school but before they got to long division). Too many kids are being screwed out of good parenting these days--I wasn't raised perfectly but at least they tried.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (1)

Kurt Wall (677000) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574835)

You're the moron for assuming that children only learn at school. I knew how to read and write before I got to school because, gasp!, my parents taught me. Likewise, my children knew how to read and write before they started school because, gasp!, we taught them.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575281)

I didn't assume that children only learn at school. I said that *most* children don't learn to read until they get to school. I was 4 when I started kindergarten. I could read words like "cat" and "dog", but not "Playstation". My son is 3. He knows his alphabet and he can read a couple of short words. But expecting him to be able to read the stylized labels on a video game box is a bit much. The OP's son is 2.5. How many two-year-olds can read the word "Nintendo" or "Playstation"?

I commend you on your dedication and talent as a parent.

As a parent, I take issue with people telling other people how to raise their kids. Thats why I made the harshly worded reply to the AC who seemed to be doing jsut that.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (1)

MageWyn (6983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575975)

As a parent, I take issue with people telling other people how to raise their kids.

So you think that you know how to raise a kid better than anyone else just because you couldn't read the instructions for a condom?

Sounds like your parents should have taught you to read before you went to school.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578323)

As a parent, I take issue with people telling other people how to raise their kids.

So you think that you know how to raise a kid better than anyone else just because you couldn't read the instructions for a condom?

1) Thats not what I said. I said I didn't like people telling other people how to raise their kids -- myself included.

2) I know how to raise MY kid best because my wife and I are the people who have dedicated the last 3 years of our lives to feeding, cleaning, teaching and otherwise caring for him. Noone else on the planet has spent more time observing and interacting with this person than we have.

3) My wife and I spent 3 years undergoing tests, visiting doctors, regulating our diets, monitoring our body-temperatures, trying various pharmaceuticals (legal) and adjusting our "techniques" in order to finally be blessed a single child. Hell, we even tried having sex. Your assertion that we did it by mistake is unspeakably offensive.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20576997)

I know plenty of two year olds who can read "Nintendo", "McDonalds", "Burger King", "Pokemon", "War on Iraq", "George W. Bush", and "global warming", among other "stylized words". I think you have too low expectations of children.

Re:you might have to show the kid how to read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20577967)

I wasn't reading War and Peace before I went to school, but I could read simple texts, and I was certainly well capable of discriminating between logos. (In my case it was more different ratings on videos than different console logos on games, but the principle is the same.)

Good (2, Interesting)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574143)

I was just at the local EB a few nights ago, and in walks a girl and her mother. They looked around for a bit, and then noticed that all of the casual girly games (Barbie Horse Adventures or Nancy Drew or whatever) are all... 8 feet above the ground, on the highest shelf possible. The actual reachable shelves were stocked with shooters and EA sports titles. They had to get a guy over to bring each interesting game down for them. So yes, retooling their layout is certainly necessary.

Re:Good (1)

kurokaze (221063) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575467)

No different than your local supermarket putting certain brands/products at eye level while others are on the top shelf or the bottom.

A) its marketing, they want to push those products because putting them at eye level gives them incredible visibility or
B) the company whose product is at eye level paid a premium to get it there.

Here's an idea for them (3, Insightful)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574167)

Maybe they should think about having more actual product on the shelves. Perhaps even games for PCs!

I understand that these guys have limited floor-space. You can double that if you count the nearby EBGames that's owned by the same corporation, resides in the same shopping center/mall and has the exact same crap in stock.

I am primarily a PC gamer, and I am frustrated every time I go into one of these stores by the three giant walls of empty game-boxes labeled "Coming Soon!", and the tiny half-rack 3-year-old PC games (still at full price). I take a short walk to the other store, and find that they have the exact same selection.

Re:Here's an idea for them (1)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574965)

Go to Best Buy, then.

Re:Here's an idea for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20575113)

> Maybe they should think about having more actual product on the shelves. Perhaps even games for PCs!

Lack of shelf space is not their problem, and clearing out the "coming soon" boxes won't help. The margins on PC games are atrocious, they can't sell 'em used, and the writing is clearly on the wall that online delivery will demolish the brick and mortar PC game distributers. You may not like it, but they have good business reasons to not carry PC games (actually most EB/GS's do, but it's literally one small shelf).

I often find myself wishing for online console game distribution (of real games, not XBLA or shovelware "classics"), but that would also kill the used market.

Re:Here's an idea for them (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575391)

I'm going to guess that like anything else, this varies by store. At my local Gamestop, PC games have 4 racks devoted to them, and are decently priced. Still much smaller than the console section, but c'est la vie, I guess. It's generally a better option than Best Buy, they tend to have games which BB long since stopped carrying.

Re:Here's an idea for them (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576107)

Short answer, its harder to sell used PC games. Used games is where they make their money.

Plus the PC game market is small compared to consoles. Which is why you still see all those 3-year-old games still unsold.

Re:Here's an idea for them (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20578733)

At one of those places, I found one of the big old-timey boxes of Duke Nukem 3D. Price? $45.95. And this was just this summer.

People actually shop at Gamestop/EBGames? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574309)

Everytime I go there, the place is always freaking crowded, and store layout is a random mess, and if it weren't for the fact that one can find an odd gem used game there, I really detest visiting the place. (I sometimes hear of games many moons after release, or it piques my interest later, and thus have to hunt for it).

It seems for new releases, I just bypass GS/EB and head to my local big-box electronics retailer, who may often be equally crowded, but at least manages to make it not appear so (at least, I don't keep bumping into people as you try to navigate the store). Prices are typically the same (or lower - bonus), but it generally appears to be a much saner place to shop at.

Heck, even service at these big-box retailers tends to be better as there's actual employees roaming the floor (and they know just as much as the clerks at GS/EB), who aren't busy handing the 12+ deep lineup of people to pay. Everytime I had a question at GS/EB, I had to wait in the SAME BLOODY LINEUP.

Re:People actually shop at Gamestop/EBGames? (0, Offtopic)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575511)

Further, why does every Gamestop & EB smell like someone peed on the floor?

Re:People actually shop at Gamestop/EBGames? (1)

d0rp (888607) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576193)

Maybe because someone did?

Re:People actually shop at Gamestop/EBGames? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20582599)

Hey, gimme some love, mods. This was clearly more trollish than off-topicish. I mean, the topic is what gamestop needs to do to increase sales, and in my case, changing whatever they use to clean the floor (or getting rid of that stupid carpet altogether) so it doesn't upset my olfactory sense would get me to browse more often.

After that, not cramming the PC games onto a few shelfs on an island so they get all crushed and dog-eared would be a good start. If I'm going to pay $50-$60 for a brand new game, I'd like to box to look like something I'm not afraid to touch. Although, again, losing the urine smell would do wonders for making those nappy boxes look less unappealing.

If you're going to put boutique in the name, be a little boutique-like. And a little less "dungeon for greasy-haired angsty goth-kids to hang out"-like.

Re:People actually shop at Gamestop/EBGames? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20576091)

No, nobody shops there any more - I think it's because the place is always freaking crowded.

Re:People actually shop at Gamestop/EBGames? (1)

Seculus (788503) | more than 7 years ago | (#20580287)

Nobody goes there anymore. The place is just too crowded, you know ?

being able to see the whole box would help (2, Interesting)

Astarica (986098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574435)

A lot of time I have no idea what I was going to get, and if the box art looks interesting and I've at least heard of people talking about the game I'd give it a shot. However in Gamestop you can usually only see the spine of the box, and I'm less likely to pull a game out of the shelf just because it has an interesting name. Not to mention Gamestop seems to have their games sorted alphabeticlaly up to the letter G, and after that you have no idea where the rest of the games are. I'd rather go to Best Buy to buy games because at least I won't miss something that catches my interest.

Obvious move... (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574443)

Since a large chunk of the gaming market is turning to "casual gaming" (thx Nintendo) Gamestop is sure to mndlessly follow whatever trend hits next. Now only if they can hire employees that are actually knowledgeable about games and not just a bunch of quota-meeting, nerdy fanboys.

Family videogame crash of the 2000's? (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574485)

It has been my long-held opinion that the cause of the videogame crash of 1983 was due to a lack of supply rather than a lack of demand. Warner bungled up Atari, the industry leader, and Atari stopped producing quality hardware and software. There was a vacuum in supply until Nintendo came along.

Ten years from now, will they be saying that family videogames experienced a crash between Tetris and the Wii?

Integrity and Honesty (1)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574507)

...are the biggest problems with Gamestop's stores. It seems they go out of their way to find the most crooked people to work there - and it shows. They push every game as if it's going to be the best selling game of all time, and when you find out that it stinks, suddenly - it's about the crack-head prices they will give you for your basically new game you just bought yesterday.

They need to hire people with some morales, and not be afriad to tell people that certain games just -suck-. Selling the wrong items to your customers tend to make them other people's customers.

Re:Integrity and Honesty (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#20574579)

Is this a problem with bad employees, or a problem with a cut-throat management style that will kick anyone to the curb for failing to make absurd sales numbers?

District Managers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20584065)

It's district managers that push aggressive sales tactics and underhanded methods

Re:Integrity and Honesty (1)

BunnehWyld (1091171) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576113)

You know, when I look at all of the negative opinions I see in this thread, I have to wonder if I shop at a Bizarro Gamestop. I hear people talking about how their employees are crooked, rude, and pushy, how the game selection is limited, and their prices are a ripoff. But my store just doesn't seem to work that way.

For me, the local Gamestop is the best place to pick up games instead of the worst. We've got a Best Buy close by, but their selection of non-PC games is mediocre, and their service is simply worthless. On the other hand, when I go into the Gamestop by my home, I find a better variety of games and employees who are more or less exactly who I want to talk to when I'm buying a game. They know me, they know my prefences (I never hear about sports titles, but if there's a new RPG/adventure game on the market, they make sure I know about it - AND whether it's any good), and they're not pushy salespeople. They're gamers who happen to work at a game store. And they give this kind of service to everyone, not just a few regulars.

When a gamer needs to know if a new title is worth playing, they have a review or opinion ready. When a kid comes in with their mom to pick up an M-rated game, they talk to the mom first, and make sure she knows exactly what she's buying and is okay with it. When they get abused used hardware in, they simply refuse to sell it. The store is as neat as possible, organized and alphabetized (well, mostly - what do you expect when kids move the cases all day?), and most stores' "going the extra mile" for customers is their way of going the first mile.

No store's going to be perfect, but they come fairly close. They make sure to get new PC games if there's any interest in them. If there are errors, they fix the problem fast and apologize for the mistake. And they're just plain nice to do business with.

Maybe most of their sibling stores aren't the same. Maybe it's true that most Gamestop stores are teh debil. I wouldn't know, though. I shop at the Bizarro Gamestop. If you happen to be on the north side of Houston, drop by store number 2243. I don't think you'll regret it.

-'Bunneh' Wyld

Re:Integrity and Honesty (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576585)

Good gamestops exist, it's just that they are in the minority.

There's about a dozen gamestops in my area. There was ONE that I enjoyed going to, and it had all the characteristics of the one you describe. Recently they changed their management: An awful manager that used to be the most unhelpful SOB from another store took over, and now their helpful employees are gone. Needless to say, after the 4th upsell in a row on the same freaking game I'm back to going to big box stores for anything other than low distribution Atlus titles that they won't stock.

So...what does this mean exactly? (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#20575239)

Will they start stocking more copies of things like Peggles, Diner Dash and other Popcap-like games in the PC section?

Will they finally organize their shelves so that games are arranged in - gasp - alphabetical order?

Or will they not do anything at all? I mean, think about it. Casual gamers are the folks who are going to be shopping in malls, where Gamestops exist mainly, or at places like Best Buy, Walmart, etc. So, the customers will already be there. What more do the stores have to do?

But no, it sounds like they're going to make things even MORE chaotic by lumping games together by genre, mixing games from different consoles into a large chaotic lump.

Yeah, that's going to work well for casual gamers, who still ask for "Nintendo Playstation" or the "Sony Xbox" version of a game, not realizing that there are other console out there, and yes, it makes a difference which version you buy.

Re:So...what does this mean exactly? (1)

Lord Kestrel (91395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20593455)

Your Gamestop has a PC section? The one near me hasn't for years, the entire thing is PS/Xbox/Wii only. The only PC game they carry is wow, locked up behind the counter. If you want anything else, you have to pre-order it.

How can they manage all that (1)

Farakin (1101889) | more than 7 years ago | (#20576803)

in the 100 sq ft storefronts they have? I call shenanigans.

Yeah, Right... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20581583)

So-called casual gamers don't go to GameStop to buy videogames, they go to Wal-Mart. Hell, I wouldn't really blame anyone for avoiding GameStop though, it's like the Radio Shack of videogaming. Wake up and order online instead.

Re:Yeah, Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20600973)

Yes online ordering is so much better. It seems like even some of the posters in this thread don't know the joys of buying video games online. When you buy a new game it comes delivered directly to your door.

Getting used games online is the best though. You can find any game that you want for any system, but also you know of the exact condition of the game before you get it. Sure the gamestop used games are guaranteed to work, but when you buy something off of ebay, you pay the true price for it. You can see the pictures and read the description of it.

I never understood why the hell anyone would ever trade in a game to gamestop. Even games that they supposedly give you a lot of money for, you could get way more selling it on ebay or amazon. Sure, it's a big hassle to write an address on an envelope and mail a game, but if you get $10 more for the game and it only takes an hour of your time to do, then you just made $10/hr by going that route.

I told them this years ago (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 7 years ago | (#20632147)

And, I created a solution. Called it ABSRG. or Alphabetize by section, rating, then Genre. Walmart currently uses it, and Target uses it on a limited basis.

Its nothing new! Been around for like 3 or 4 years.

It increases sales among games overall by upwards of 30 percent. I proved this in several Circuit City stores, a Gamestop, 3 Targets, and at least 2 Walmarts I have the pictures to prove it. I could have patented it. But I decided to just let it go open in order to increase game sales. Which have done wonders for my stock portfolio. :)

Alas, any store can now use it. Its been out on the market for over a year on its own( I think 3 years now) incremental sales increases based on placement of products is my specialty. If you are a manager, try it out in your game section.
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