2012 annual sales figures were recently released, and according to Business Insider, the used game juggernaut is downsizing across the country. At least 500 GameStop stores are potentially closing their doors.
In the wake of subpar sales, smear campaigns by rental companies like GameFly, and a general loss of respect by frequent customers, GameStop has been slowly losing business for a while. Many major retailers like Best Buy and Target are already carrying previously owned games. Meanwhile, digital gaming is taking control, and despite the efforts to start selling prepaid Steam gift cards, most gamers are staying away from GameStop.
GameStop’s future becomes bleaker when considering the next Microsoft and Sony consoles may or may not support used games. On top of that uncertainty, Game Stop also has to compete with the rise of online phone games, indie games, and a potential wave of microconsoles set to release over the next year.
This would leave GameStop to the hardcore gamer wolves. The only product they would be able to move would be the Wii U, new games, and outdated titles. When is the last time anyone walked into a GameStop and they made a retro gamer feel welcome? Odds are pretty decent that 500 closed doors will mark the beginning of the death of a long line of absorbed game store outlets (including the once great EB Games).
GameStop isn’t evaporating overnight, but this is definitely a huge ‘I told you so’ in the eyes of many gamers who have become increasingly fed up with poor customer service, overpriced titles, and the general lack of industry knowledge by many GameStop employees.
I have never come across knowledgeable, polite, or helpful GameStop employees. I’m sure there are a few out there, but the ones I have come across like to run their mouth, are trying to get a date instead of doing their job, don’t pay attention when a customer is wanting to buy something, and know nothing about video games. I can’t say I’m exactly sad to see them go, but I do feel for the good people who will be losing their jobs.