GameStop: Publishers fight piracy, not secondhand sales

In part two of a GameSpot interview, GameStop VP Tony Bartel discusses free DLC, the Wii Speak Channel, and pesky preorder pitches.

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The brick-and-mortar business of specialty retailer GameStop is apparently under siege. Digital distribution has been growing in popularity and significance for years. Competing retailers are increasingly devoting shelf space and promotional efforts to games. The pool of competitors is deeper than ever. And to top things off, after years of grumbling about used game sales cutting into their bottom lines, publishers appear to be combating the practice by including one-time-use codes for downloadable content with new games.

Gamers who bought Rock Band 2 new received a code to download a selection of 20 new songs for free. Gears of War 2 came with a code to download a map pack of levels from the original Gears. New copies of Nintendo's Wii Speak peripheral include a code to download the Wii Speak Channel for free (although Nintendo customer service will give out new codes to those who buy it used as well).

But that's not the way GameStop sees it. In the second part of his GameSpot interview, the retail chain's executive vice president of merchandising and marketing Tony Bartel gives his take on such efforts. In addition, Bartel discusses how the company is changing its preorder pitches to avoid alienating hardcore gamers, and how it views the prospect of big-box retailers getting into used games.

GameSpot: One recent trend has seen some publishers trying to counteract used game sales by including these one-time-use codes for downloadable content in games like Gears of War 2 or Rock Band 2. Have you seen that tactic working with those titles, and how are you trying to fight it?

Tony Bartel: Well, first of all I see it not so much as an issue of coming against the used games [business] as much as it is I think more about piracy and ensuring that piracy isn't widespread. I mean, I think that it's been well reported when Spore was launched, the piracy that took place on that was just incredible. So I actually think what people are doing is looking for alternative ways to find ways to either add some additional content to the game through microtransactions to actually ensure that there's a lower level of piracy that takes place.

So in terms of fighting it, I would say that we're really doing nothing to fight it. What I would say is that we are being very specific with the publishers and letting them know that our customers really believe that it's an incredible value to be able to transfer the game at any level. So anything that really begins to impair the transferability of games from one person to another, we think that that's not a real appealing thing for the customer. So what we're trying to do is to ensure that the publishers have the ability--which we strongly support--to be able to ensure that their games are not pirated, that our customers continue to have the ability to transfer those games, and that you'll have the full value of that game when it goes to, say, a second owner.

It's important to note that in every situation where transferability of games has been impacted by single-use codes, we have worked on behalf of our customers with the publishers to insure that transferability is not impeded, and these dealings have been very cooperative and effective.

GS: So you don't even view this as an effort to undermine used game sales at all?

TB: I don't see it as much. I don't think that that's the primary issue that they are attacking. And definitely as we've talked to them, what we are hearing is that this is really an attempt to ensure that they're able to actually not have their games pirated.

GS: One of the big stories in games over the last few years has been the emerging casual market, or just the expansion of the gaming audience. Nintendo's been chasing that market pretty hard, leaving some of the core gamers feeling left out, or ignored by them. How does GameStop, which is the big core gaming retailer, cater to those casual people without ticking off the core customer?

TB: Absolutely. It's a great question, and it's a question that I think all of us have to deal with because you are seeing this burgeoning new customer coming into our stores. You're seeing young children come in. You're seeing women come in. You're seeing older people come in than what we're typically used to seeing.

What we find is when the core gamer comes in, they pretty well know what they want, and they require a different level of service than what the expanded audience does. So we've actually just generated some training programs that we've rolled out this fall that actually split these customers into [groups]. Here's how we deal with the core gamer, here's how we deal with the expanded audience. And it definitely takes a different approach, but what we are seeing is that our associates--who are extremely knowledgeable about all games actually--are great guides for people when they come into our store to get them to the right game.

Based on third-party research that's been done industrywide, what we found is that GameStop is actually the preferred place not only for core gamers to go, which you would expect, but when they asked the gift-givers, they actually showed GameStop as the most favorable place to actually go and shop. So we have a great shopping experience when people get in. I think our opportunity is to let people know first that we exist. Even though we have over 4,300 sites throughout the US, people still wonder, "Where is there a GameStop?" And the second opportunity that we have is once people know that we exist, to let them know that there's a reason to come in.

GS: One complaint about GameStop I've heard from core gamers for years is that they don't like being pestered about preorders when they walk in the door. Will that change with the segmenting of the audience? With the core gamers--who like you said, know what they want--will you be leaving them alone a bit?

TB: Sure. I think definitely what we want to do is give each customer exactly what they want. And you're exactly right. What we have found is that the core gamer knows what they want and they know about the reservation program. I think what we want to do is continue to add value to the reservation program. Rather than it being something that we press on a customer, what we'd like to do is have it be more of a draw. And so that's why you're seeing a lot of the exclusive content that we're talking about like you saw in Call of Duty, like you saw in Guitar Hero or World Tour. Those types of things are what we would like to do, to really make it a differentiated element to make sure that you get that game at GameStop.

So absolutely the last thing that we want to do is try to press on customers something that they don't want. So obviously what we're going to do is really work that value. The best thing that could happen is that people would be asking us for those reservations as opposed to us having to chase those.

GS: So you'll still be pitching them, but you'll be pitching them with a focus on the exclusive stuff that they might not already know about?

TB: Absolutely. What we'd like to do again is make sure that there's real value in that reservation. That if you come to GameStop and you reserve it at GameStop, then there's real value. You actually gain something by it. And so you'll see a lot more of that in the future.

GS: Now, the value used to be that you'd get the game on launch day, and there are a lot more non-specialty retailers that are getting better about having games out on launch day. But the coverage is still a bit spotty. Why is it so hard to get a game out on launch day when we can go into any bookstore or music store and be reasonably assured of picking up a CD or a book on day one?

TB: I think part of it is the developmental cycle is pretty well just in time on a lot of these games. And it is a massive effort, just given the size and the scope of getting these out is a sizable effort. Books and music pretty well have a fairly consistent launch date. With games, it could launch on a Friday, it could launch on a Tuesday, it could launch on a Saturday. And so you have a lot of logistical issues to get it out there.

GS: Is there a reason for that variety of launch days, even?

TB: Part of it is marketing around events. Part of it is the fact that some people want to launch on a weekend, some people want to launch on a weekday, some people want to launch with a movie title. It all depends. Some people want to launch on Halloween.

The other thing that I think differs in our industry is that many times we're capacity constrained, which you really don't see in those other two industries that you talked about. When you talk about music, when you talk about books, you don't have the huge licensing fees that third parties have when they actually distribute a product. So oftentimes what you're faced with, and especially in cartridge-based systems or when you have peripherals like Guitar Hero, you literally have demand that far outpaces supply.

It's just the investment that they have to make whether or not they sell the product requires them to be very tight in their allocation process. Which frankly is another reason why reservations are so important to us because it gives us a very strong indication of the launch that we expect from certain games.

GS: When I used to shop at Funco Land, they'd have flyers with all their buyback prices on them.

TB: Yes.

GS: Why isn't there an online database of all GameStop's buyback prices? Because I know myself and a lot of other gamers would like to know what we can expect to get before we drive out to the store.

TB: Sure. Well, part of that is that it does vary from time to time. So we think that there would be some customer confusion that would be generated at that point if you were to go in and say online you actually saw this price. You bring it in and we may give you a different price. We definitely want to avoid that confusion.

Also I think at that point there were fewer competitors who were actually in the used business at that point, and at this point we'd basically be using a price list as the leader in the used business, which is something that at this point we've chosen not to do.

GS: Just don't want to make it too easy for Game Crazy or Game Rush or whoever they are?

TB: I think there's a lot of competition that would be there, and so that's one of the reasons that we haven't put it on the Web.

GS: There were some big-box retailers--I think Best Buy and Circuit City--who tested used games in their stores last year. They haven't rolled anything out, but does it concern you at all? Do you guys expect there to be more competition from established names like Best Buy, Target, or whomever?

TB: I think what they found is something that we've known for a long time, that there are huge barriers to entry to get into that market. The largest barrier to entry is that you have to have a refurbishment department that's actually able to do this. Your inventory management system has to be extremely nimble. You have to be able to move that product to the places where it sells because you literally don't know what's [going to be] coming in where, and you know exactly where it will sell, but you have to get it there. So it requires an extremely nimble and very flexible inventory system, which we have.

Second, it does require a large investment, and we have made a large investment in our refurbishment center because it's really difficult to test. I mean, if you've had systems that they're fine one day and then they don't work 24 hours later and then you come back and they'll work again... You can't test everything 100 percent, so in order to be in that business you have to be able to fix a lot of the product that comes in.

And I think people realize when you come into that business, all of a sudden you get two things. First of all, you get inventory in a place where you really don't want it, and you have to figure out what to do with it at that point. And second, you get a lot of inventory that just doesn't work. And if you don't have some sort of a system that will quickly get that back into production, you're really not going to be able to be in the used business.

So I guess I'd be foolish to say that we wouldn't be concerned if we had a large, big-box enter in a big way into the used business, but I think what they have found is that there are huge barriers to entry that may be hidden at first glance.

GS: OK. Now, earlier this year I had to order Williams' Pinball Hall of Fame from Amazon.com because GameStop didn't carry it new, not even on the Web site. Now, why can't gamers rely on the world's largest gaming retailer to carry pretty much all new releases, even on their online store?

TB: Well, a couple reasons. First of all we have more SKUs as you know than anyone out there, and so to a certain extent we just have to limit the SKUs. We can't buy every single product that comes out. We are literally bombarded with thousands of SKUs each year that we have to basically take a look at and say, "Is this something that we can actually carry in our stores?" And we have to look at it and say, "What is the volume of sales that that's going to generate?" And then we have to say, "OK, now, is that a cost-effective decision for us to move forward with that?"

And we do have a limited amount of space in our stores. That's pretty obvious to anybody who goes into our stores. We have tremendous amount of variety. I wouldn't even try and put a multiplier on how many more SKUs we have than our closest competitor, but it's a large amount. It's a huge magnitude. And so we have to make some decisions on certain games that we just are not going to carry those.

Now, your point on the Web is an interesting one. At that point we just have to look at minimum quantities that we could bring in, and in some cases it would be such a low quantity that we could do that. I'm assuming from Amazon it's just when they get an order they go direct to the warehouse and get it shipped out as opposed to going through a retailer that fulfills that. So I would anticipate that we probably go deeper into titles than any other mainstream retailer, brick-and-mortar retailer, but there are just certain games that we choose not to carry.

GS: What percentage of the games released do you think that GameStop does carry?

TB: I do not know. I'll have to get back to you on that question.

[Bartel did follow up on this question, saying the company reviews between 8,000-10,000 SKUs each year, and the average store carries 6,300 SKUs].

Discussion

64 comments
Austin907
Austin907

Buying used is all about timing, if you buy it within the month it came out you're getting ripped off, but if you wait maybe 6 months or even a year the price difference between new and used is much different, I picked up assassins creed yesterday for 15 dollars at gamestop, although I paid 27 for gears of war (1). Just remember, quality games won't drop below 30 since they're hoping for the Platinum Choice or whatever.

PrinceofSarcasm
PrinceofSarcasm

i think selling and buying used games is fine, after all you by it its yours. Just like cars it may not have been made by you but once you buy it its yours. However I also think gamestop rips people when it comes to used games.

poetsoul
poetsoul

I don't have a problem with activating a game on my first play through or at the counter of the store. If they can figure out how to minimize the inconvenience to the legitimate consumer, absolutely they should seek to defend their hard-earned product.

nappan
nappan

Cry me a river Gamestop... all I can say is that this is a bit like watching a lawyer and a politician fight it out... is it wrong? Yeah... do I have one iota of sympathy? Hell no.

Evenios
Evenios

the problem with piracy is that its so easy to download pirated stuff. if the game companies really wanted to stop it theyd spend money and effort in shutting down sites that link to torrents or host such things. and all.

pseudoshadow11
pseudoshadow11

@CharlieFubar: Im not so much defending Gamestop but rather trying to combat the ignorance that people such as yourself have come to believe about businesses such as them. @Aurolycus: Generally a used system already has surpased its' warranty period with Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo by the time it was sold to Gamestop so they, typically, arent voiding any warranties when they refurbish a system.

GetafixOz
GetafixOz

I think as per usual the only thing they are trying to fight is reality.

ocdog45
ocdog45

i think its true that they are trying to fight piracy and not the used games industry.

Autolycus
Autolycus

Ha, gamestop's refurbishing department isn't even certified or verified with the console makers. If you picked up a refurbished system that was done so by Gamespot, you warranty is automatically void through the OEM. However, gamestop does cover the system for 90 days as long as you hold onto your receipt... But trust me, they are still cracking cases on XB360 to refurbish them. If you want a refurbished system, get it throught he manufacturer, not gamestop. Sometimes MS, SCEA, and NINTENDO do send their remanufactured systems to us. But you are better asking who did the refurbishing on it, before you purchase it. Most employees will be honest with you and tell you because they don't like selling inferior products to consumers, because then it just comes back to the seller and buyer in the bum later.

Autolycus
Autolycus

coming from someone that has worked in this company for 10 years now. Trust me, gamestop cares about one thing and one thing only... THE PROFITS OF USED GAMES. They arent all about the hardcore gamer. They say they are, to get more sales, so which will eventually get more customers to trade in their used titles so gamestop can get profit on them. If the company believed the trickle UP theory, it would be much more profitable, just like every other business that would believe in teh TRICKLE UP theory. Without the money makers of your company, you have no company. Start showing them they are worth it. Certainly more the management.

kensen83
kensen83

A few of you guys have posted about being in a Play N Trade. And The gamespot interviewer at one point mentions game crazy. I was a manager for game crazy for 2 years and now i Manage a Play N trade store. Half or our staff has worked for either game crazy or gamestop. The truth of the matter is game stop and game crazy train their managers and their staff to push preorders, discount cards, and service plans simply to make higher margins, and in turn will punish any employee who does not reach certain goals in these areas. The benefit of Play N trade stores is they are not company stores but are instead privately owned franchises. This is not a lets bash gamespot or game crazy post. Im just informing everyone to try and not really single out the staff of these stores as the enemy. These people are forced to ask you for these items or they will lose their jobs. So please do not get mad at the staff of these places, get mad at the companies that force them to do it! Also thanks to the people who said that play n trade blows them out of the water!! :)

ihma
ihma

"id like a game" "sure heres your game" thanks" "you wanna trade it in?"

StillWingless
StillWingless

Oh god, the SKUs... so many, it burns. And it feels like 10,000, I promise.

KnightAngelX
KnightAngelX

Last, but not least, used games will forever sell anywhere and they DON'T count as piracy. Piracy is when you steal someone's idea, make it your own, MASS PRODUCE IT, and make a profit out of it. GS, what they do, is make money of the used, since they DON'T get a big cut form the new. Do you think if they made money off the new, would they care about the used? NO!!! Think things straight. It's honestly the developers fault some games are crap. I picked up Need for Speed:undercover and thought Midnight club was better. come on EA, I know you are losing money to used games, but don't slide from that fact that some of the games you make are crap!!!! I just think, in a better world, this wouldn't be an issue, but it is. I support GS, to an extent, because I don't trade my games there, but I do buy used games since if I don't like it, I can return it. That and I have that card that give me a 10% discount on the used. works for me....

KnightAngelX
KnightAngelX

The online data thing, that could REALLY be a plus, but I could see how that would be a competition ploy from the other companies that sell games used. Think about it, it's like 2 honda used dealerships that sell a car. To best one lot, they keep their prices in the cut, to make sure the other dealership don't know squat. Smart move, but in the end, it slides out the customers, cause times are getting colder and I don't want to walk in the snow just for $25.

KnightAngelX
KnightAngelX

3rd, the employees don't know everything, but know enough. I went to a GS 2 days ago, I asked them bout the new Kingdom hearts for the ps2, and the chick at the register reminded me it's really a remake of Chain of memories, supped up for the PS2. I was trying to test her, especially since she was a chick, but she knew her stuff. NICE, and she was hot, didn't turn out to be that dumb blonde syndrome I'm used to at target.

KnightAngelX
KnightAngelX

As far as the pre-order specials, keep them coming...another way to get my money, go for it...and you know GS does give out cool things from time to time. Besides, I like knowing I can come and pick up my game where I put money down for it, and if I don't get it form there, I can get my money back. Big whoop. For all those that make a big deal out of it, come on, get out from that squeaky computer chair, go get your money back, and stop bashing the pre-order program. You don't like it, then stop complaining like someone stole your milk money.WAHHH!!! Just don't do it anymore.

KnightAngelX
KnightAngelX

See, here's the funny thing about this post....for a lot of people, it's another GAMESTOP BASHING COLUMN!!!!! Then there's the other half, the half that sits down and actually takes time to listen to everything this corporate rep has to say. Let's see..... As far as the piracy issue, that is true AND false. I do believe the developers will make a big difference in sales from new to used, but after a while, they will see it's a losing battle. Used sales outweigh new sales. You know why? someone wants to try a game and have the right to return it and get their money back. Can you do that with New games? NO, but used, you have 7 days to try it out. You can't beat that. If you do like that game, you can return it, pay the extra 5 or whatever the difference is between the new and used, and that would be the end of that. See how you get a new and a used sale? They go hand in hand, especially for those people who either don't have the extra 5 bucks, don't read reviews online, or don't want to get suckered into a craptacular EA game....come on, how many times has THAT happened?

Norgavue
Norgavue

The only thing Gamestop has really going for it is used games. Then again sometimes you can still find it new and for less on the web.

JJfutbol
JJfutbol

"go to newegg.com for games. games are at least 3 dollars cheaper, and without tax (usually 56.99), Gears 2 is currently 49.99, you can get a year of xbox live for 38.99 as opposed to 50, and save for an occasional huge game during launch week, you get FREE 3 day shipping. I'm never buying a game in a store again." What KingKevo said! Since I've discovered in the past few months that www.newegg.com has been doing this I buy all my games there. I check there first, if they have it I buy it, but I don't consider anywhere else till then. Well said KingKevo!

CharlieFubar
CharlieFubar

Pseudoshadow... you should get a printout of all the ways you defend GS and mail it to corporate... maybe the'll give you a free game for brown nosing =)

pseudoshadow11
pseudoshadow11

@imprezawrx500: With console games, which is the majority of the used games market, there is no EULA, typically. From my experience, an EULA is required for games that have online content or can be modded. The EULA is basically there to say that while you control your character or that you made whatever content, it is not yours as the software is licenced to you which is why selling in-game items and accounts is illegal. If selling used games was illegal then there would not be a business for it as the publishers would have sued them from the getgo.

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

that's actually wrong, the eula of any game says you are not allowed to rent, lend or resell or public performance of the game without permission.

pseudoshadow11
pseudoshadow11

The only reason the publishers care about the used games market is because someone is publically making money off of their games and it is 100% legal to do so. EA, or any other publisher for that matter, wouldnt care if I had hundreds of their games and sold them privately to someone because they wouldnt know it happened.

explosivo57
explosivo57

When im at work, I tell the people how i really feel about a game. This mom was getting M and M racing and jenga for the wii, I saw her grab the games and as soon as my manager was out of hearing range, I flat out told her, listen ma'am, I gotta say this, those are probably the two worst games for the wii, i honestly would feel bad If i sold you those games. I ended up talking her into Cooking Momma and Boom Blox, and she came back a couple of days later to thank me. I know we are told to sell everything, but I couldn't do it, I couldn't sell her those games.

stuffgamer1
stuffgamer1

@hunter8man: Boy, I wish we could do that! But we only have two computers, so that's not usually an option, even if we're NOT totally swamped. @OorahDevil: You're right about the pay, that's for sure. Reading about the company's massive profits when I'm not even making $7 an hour really pisses me off. But what can I do? Gamestop has so many schmucks lining up to work for them, they have no real need to raise wages! If someone quits because of low pay, there's always somebody else ready to move in on the job. The only thing that makes the pay bearable for me is the fact that I spend most of my money there anyway, and the employee discount helps a good bit. And yes, I admit I'm a long-time Gamestop customer. As much as some of their business practices might anger me, there's still something about the store that's more appealing than the alternate options near me... I just don't like shopping in big stores, really. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, whatever. Not my thing. I don't like anything about it, really. And I seem to have better luck with knowledgeable employees than a lot of people. I dunno...

GetafixOz
GetafixOz

Lelio316 you are spot on. Increased trading of 2nd hand games between people is direct evidence of game sales in the first place. In fact the more used copies of a title that change hands (once), the greater the evidence of the original sales. You would think that any sane retailer would want a booming 2nd hand games market. There are also a dozen other reasons why 2nd hand games are good news for retailers, but like any interest group you will only hear their version of the truth. For starters you cant download 2nd hand games, so maybe there is a little clue there for the stupid about where the future of your business may lie. Ironic no ? Technology is marching away from another industry and just like Kodak spent so much time canning digital photography, they missed the boat. The bricks and mortar game retailers will sit on their hands and whine themselves into insolvency while companies like Valve and Direct2 create a new market. Pathetic... blaming 14 year olds who just want to play a game they can afford for your lack of business accumen and entrapenurial skills.... typical corporate spineless losers.

OorahDevil
OorahDevil

God I'm glad I don't work for this schmuck anymore. Gamestop makes EB Games look like saints. Gamestop continues to rake in tons of money every quarter but go talk to your local GS employee and ask them how they think all that money is spent. It sure as hell isn't going to pay the employees (how do you expect someone to take charge of hundred and thousands of dollars of software and hardware when you literally pay them less than they would make working at In - N - Out Burger?) This guy is reading a PR sheet the whole time. Oh and I love how he just blows of the annoying pre-order crap and trys to tell us that these publishers aren't mad that Gamestop is reselling their game for a killing, no it's the freaking pirates that are pissing off everyone! HAH! This guy sounds like the slimiest salesman you can find. I'm glad to actually be working IN the industry now at a big publisher because try working at GS for more than a week or two and not hating yourself.Honestly I would not be surprised if you saw the publishers and developers come together as an industry and form some sort of other distribution channel for their games so that they don't have to worry about these bastards taking their money then demanding everything in return.

bgres077
bgres077

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

lelio
lelio

The reason there are used games available is because people bought them. If used games sales are successfully killed off, do you really think all of those people who formerly traded in games will continue to buy them and then just hang on to them? Nope. Their buying will drop dramatically. Sure, those who were formerly buying those used games will buy new...but they'll buy less of them. So you've got one set of people (formerly trading them in) buying much less, and the 2nd set (former buyers of used games) buying "some". If you think this will mark an increase in game sales you're dreaming.

Binarynova
Binarynova

I seriously think that game companies don't take secondhand sales numbers seriously enough, and then they turn around and blame lost sales on piracy. You're telling me that people selling, re-buying, selling, and re-buying the same copy of a game isn't lost sales? Please. I for one have stopped buying used games (and CDs and movies for that matter) because those sales are no different than piracy as far as publisher and developer support are concerned. And as far as pre-ordering is concerned... Fable II was the last game I'll ever pre-order. For a number of reasons. First of all, pre-ordering is an impulse decision based on previews of games that aren't out yet that frankly, might disappoint me days after release. Secondly, I fail to see the point anymore of pre-ordering a game at Gamespot when Wal-mart is less than a block away from GS and always has abundant copies on release day.

mnmguy94
mnmguy94

I miss EB games. I bought a "new" game at Gamestop that turned out to be old. It wasn't wrapped and had a few scratches. Just buy used games from now on and wait for the "Buy 2 used games and get 1 used game for free" sale.

hunter8man
hunter8man

"@hunter8man: I have no idea what that's all about. I'll try to tell you the value of a game on the phone when I can. But you do need to realize that we have to look that stuff up on the same computer as our registers use, so if we have a line, we really can't help you. I think what Bartel said about a web site with value listings was BS, though. It could be done, relatively easily. And the pros outweigh the cons, no question." No, I agree. And I know that they can't have time to do that for every call especially during the holidays. But they could do the website addition quite easily. I had to go through the same thing working at EB Games. Thing is, we set aside one of the computers to be only for looking up games and giving values over the phone. But I think GS doesn't give out values over the phone in order to get people to come into the store in hopes that they will buy something. It's wrong, and shows that they put customer service behind getting profits.

azadiscool
azadiscool

I hate it when my preorders do not arrive launch day. i went to my local gamespot and preordered MGS4. It came a day late, while my friends bought it launch day at Wal Mart

stuffgamer1
stuffgamer1

@Generic_Dude: It's not that simple (first paragraph). I work at Gamestop, and we get in too many scratched-to-heck games to fix them all, even if we DID have machine for that in-store. But we DEFINITELY couldn't fix broken SYSTEMS in-store, which Bartel did mention in the interview. @hunter8man: I have no idea what that's all about. I'll try to tell you the value of a game on the phone when I can. But you do need to realize that we have to look that stuff up on the same computer as our registers use, so if we have a line, we really can't help you. I think what Bartel said about a web site with value listings was BS, though. It could be done, relatively easily. And the pros outweigh the cons, no question. @teknicz: Well, some games that should be fairly easy to get are hard BECAUSE nobody reserves. Truth is, Gamestop ships us copies of games based on reserve numbers. NHL 2009 on Xbox 360 was bigger than what we got, for example. We got three lousy copies, which sold fast. Had to turn people away the rest of the day. Reserve bonuses to help a lot, though. But I hate it when a reserve is the ONLY way to net some in-game content, a la Lost Odyssey or Infinite Undiscovery. I agree that Bartel's statement about the war on used games is BS. Really, the guy's lying through his teeth for pretty much the entire interview. Not that anybody with a brain wouldn't have already known that... It's true that not all Gamestop employees are as knowledgeable as he claims, but some of us are. I'm in complete agreement with GatCloudX on that point. Please don't insult me just because you've had some bad experiences. I'm good for a decent amount of relatively obscure stuff, too (keep an eye on Atlus and NIS, and watch for good stuff from random developers). Sorry this was so long, anybody who bothers to read it. I just have a lot to say about this topic, because it's a large part of my life (for better or for worse).

Gooper_Blooper
Gooper_Blooper

I dunno, maybe the GameStop in Williston, Vermont, is just out of the ordinary, but I love that place. I've bought video games from Ames, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Toys R Us, and Circuit City, but none of them could match GameStop's selection. And I love buying used because I missed out on a lot of good GBA, GameCube, and PS2 games from last gen and was able to grab them at GS for an excellent price (Alien Hominid! Phoenix Wright! Skies of Arcadia! Final Fantasy V!). Uh... what does SKU stand for, exactly?

nintendokid
nintendokid

Maxor127: Once I purchase a game, I own the physical game. I can trash it, give it away, or sell it. All GameStop does is provides a marketplace for used games to exchange hands. They make money by selling used games. They do not tamper with the games or artificially manipulate the market. Is GameStop repackaging refurbed games as "new" and secretly selling to Best Buy distribution centers at a discount? No. Are they ripping open code source and adding extra content not intended by publishers? No. Is GameStop hoarding all the copies to induce demand and inflate their prices? No.

KingKevo71789
KingKevo71789

go to newegg.com for games. games are at least 3 dollars cheaper, and without tax (usually 56.99), Gears 2 is currently 49.99, you can get a year of xbox live for 38.99 as opposed to 50, and save for an occasional huge game during launch week, you get FREE 3 day shipping. I'm never buying a game in a store again.

teknicz
teknicz

Preorders are a waste of time. I've never had to preorder anything, I just head on over in the morning to pick whatever it is that I want on launch day. Gone are the days when a big name game wouldn't have good enough distribution on launch day. Now, if stores were to offer bonus stuff like t-shirts or other merchandise with their preorders, then I'd be interested.

Lo1zeke
Lo1zeke

I preordered Soul Calibur 4 because the moron behind the counter told me I would get a t-shirt, a BIG art book, 5 new charachters, new costumes, darth Vader (I got the 360 Version) and weapons no one else could get. I got a fancy box, a crappy looking shirt, a poster, a crappy comic and a 8 page art book. And my Cod5 code came in six days late. And I didn't save twenty dollars from preordering MArio Kart Wii, like they said. Thoroughly depressing.

Hekynn
Hekynn

yup same here I always go for my Local Target or Wal-mart they always have the games :)

Toro_Nev
Toro_Nev

sucks for them..... I dont really like gamestop anyways...........

Gamesterpheonix
Gamesterpheonix

Let Gamestop burn. They cheat. They steal. They overprice. Burn in hell and let them finish you. We need quality back. We need to stop piracy. Let them burn.

gamer082009
gamer082009

Heck the Gears of War 2 mappack code got me to buy the game new, so it may actually be working. 2.1Million sales on day one, sounds like it may have actually did more good for everyone.

Maxor127
Maxor127

Well, used game sales are just as much of a threat as pirated copies, so I can see why a publisher would want to put a stop to used game sales. I think it's wrong and greedy, just like I think using piracy as an excuse to justify low sales is wrong. But used game sales are something publishers have easily control and put a stop to. Personally, I think publishers should stop chasing the mythological pirate ghost and focus on making quality games with content and customer service that justifies the price. Nowadays, they just try to nickel and dime people and make things more difficult for legit owners of a game while pirates aren't affected at all. The game industry needs to be torn down and rebuilt so that gamers have more reasonable freedom with how to use the games they bought and own.

Daeman_Uhr
Daeman_Uhr

As George Carlin(RIP) would say: This guy is full of ****.

Kit_Sakurazuka
Kit_Sakurazuka

V AS much as I hate Gamestop, Persona isn't their fault. Atlus is notorious for REALLY small print-runs of their games. Actually, though, If Gamestop started kicking back a percentage of used sales to the developers of the used game in question, I'd probably be happy to start shopping there again, and might even consider purchasing a used game from them, as long as it was in reasonable condition with the original case and manual

Media_Mind
Media_Mind

Ouch, Gamestop is getting beat up. O, well, I go to the local Target or Walmart for my games. The store is actually too small for me! I tend to knock things over and run into people all the time.

paullywog
paullywog

spore was pirated because of its horrible drm system, there's no other explanation. @hunter8man Posted Dec 1, 2008 3:12 pm MT "I still think it's complete BS that a store demands you bring the game into the store instead of telling you over the phone how much the game is worth. I'm not driving 20 minutes to trade in a game I spent $60 for only to get there and they give me $12 for it. I went to a store called Play and Trade that blows Gamestop out of the water. They give good value for games, their staff actually knows something about video games, and they sell used games dating all the way back to the NES. But Gamestop cares only about it's profit margins, so you probably won't see them make changes that actually benefits gamers." i never understood why people go to gamestop anyways. i can go to a local department store and get a new release, where people FLOCK to gamestop to get a game they had to preorder. it's just not logical to go to gamestop for new games, and thats' where most people end up looking for them. smaller game stores like play n trade are all around better, you're right. i don't get how gamestop continues to pull a profit.