Most opinions on blogs, about Gamestop™ aren’t very positive. This made me look into ‘How GameStop™ started’. It all began, with a small software retailer by the name of Babbage’s. I’m staying totally neutral in this, only researching how a small beloved game retailer could transform into the biggest/most hated video game retailer around…in under twenty years.
GameStop™’s roots can be traced all the way back to the year 1984 in Dallas, Texas. Back then GameStop™ was simply known as Babbage’s. After only ten years of service, Babbage’s was already showing signs of what it would become, merging with various chains in 1994 like Software Etc. The merged company was named NeoStar Retail; even though the two companies were merged they still operated as two separate businesses…guess they believed in the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” methodology. As it turns out, methodology didn’t hold true for NeoStar. Corporate confusion and bad communication led to NeoStar filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy only two years after the merge. With over 800 retail outlets available, many buyers of the company began to emerge. On one of the last few days of the manager’s conference, the head buyer of the company emerged, head of Barnes & Noble Leonard Riggio. Mr. Riggio, along with a few other investors made an offer that was accepted by the judge, and with that money, a new management team (mostly comprised of previous Software Etc. executives) was put into place to run Babbage’s.
It was on November 12, 2004 that GameStop™ got its name (Mr. Riggio hated the name, ‘NeoStar Retail). That change came with a spinoff company of Barnes & Noble ~ guess what the name of this company?…GameStop™! After a few years of having all these individual companies run as separate entities, it was on February 1st, 2006 that the beginning of the merging of operational activities took place. After a few years of combining business practices, the names of Electronics Boutique and Electronics Etc. were removed from stores and replaced with the company’s flagship name: GameStop™. So that’s how this store got started ~ Now for the ‘good’ part about this company:
- Trade-ins ~ One of the most prevalent complaints against GameStop™ is its trade in business. Buying games at a very low price and marking them up to near retail prices has not sit well with fellow gamers and even employees.
- Pre-orders: ~ Almost all media out there does not require a pre-order of any type to acquire a copy first day. How many of you guys had trouble getting Dark Knight the night of the DVD release? Exactly. It’s hard to believe that any big title does not have the factory backing to keep up supply with the demand. ‘Consoles? ~YES! But ‘Games? ~ NO.
- Gutting Games: ~ Yes. Gamestop™ is guilty of ‘opening a New Game to use it’s box as a display, but when quantities become low…they grab the self-display and Sell it for Full Price. Full price, on an ‘opened’ game??
Gamestop™ is a member of the Better Business Bureau. Many of you are Happy with their service and practices and many are not. But the only way to show that you do not agree with a certain company’s business practices is to no longer give them business. GameStop™ definitely has some glaring business problems, especially on the employee’s side. But to sit around and complain on a message board, blog, or even to the lowly Game Advisor working the register is not going to change anything. Only by taking away your business and supporting their competitors will you start seeing a change in a Company. ‘Again’, I am purely neutral in this article and am only pointing out a “few” facts.