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Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Game over for GameStop, for better or worse

Gaming stores are seeing a sharp decline in sales in the digital age. Online marketplaces seem like the inevitable future of gaming. Photo credit: flickr

The days of people walking into retail stores and coming out of them with physical copies of video games are numbered. In an era where console manufacturers are offering digital-only versions of their new consoles (both the PS5 and Xbox Series S), brick and mortar stores like GameStop have started to lose relevance and value.

It’s a very real possibility that we might see GameStop sizzle out by the end of the PS5’s and Xbox Series X/S’s lifetime.

GameStop has been closing more stores as of late, with anywhere between 400 to 450 stores being set to close this year.

Their business model of selling new and pre-owned games is no longer sustainable. This has been happening not only due in part to the changing landscape of gaming itself but also due to COVID-19 affecting their sales.

This isn’t even mentioning the fractured relationship that GameStop has developed with its customer base that contributed to this.

It’s become a long-running joke that the companies’ trade-in prices when selling used games to them is absolutely atrocious.

In the current day and age where most consumers can download any movie or video game from the comfort of their home, it’s no surprise this is happening. There is no longer a need for retail game stores. At least, not dedicated ones.

Big retail chains like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target will continue to prosper when selling copies of video games as that is not their only source of revenue. Amazon even offers release day delivery for physical copies of games as well. Going into your car, driving down to your local GameStop, and preordering just seems like a hassle now.

The loss of retail games stores will hurt those that enjoy the experience of walking into a store and picking out a game. The new generation of gamers will not be able to experience a midnight release of a hotly anticipated game, or anything of the sort.

The convenience of buying a game digitally is something that many gamers are not willing to give up, yet many also do not want to lose the experience of being able to walk in and see advertisements and merchandise for the hobby that they love. The business model for these retail stores may not be perfect, but the experience that they provide cannot be easily replicated.

It’s sad to think that in the very near future, this experience may be gone.

GameStop has quickly been going down the same path that Blockbuster went down before it too went out of business. It’s troubling to think about. Even though a retail game store is not profitable in this day and age, the experiences that are provided at them are timeless and will be missed by many.

Gamers should begin to prepare for a digital future without dedicated retail game stores, whether they like it or not.

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About the Contributor
Rafael Magana
Rafael Magana, Co-Arts and Entertainment Editor
Rafael Magana is one of the co-editors for the Arts and Entertainment section for Talon Marks this semester. He plans to transfer to Cal State Long Beach, Cal State LA, or UC Santa Barbara in the Fall of 2021. He’s an avid lover of all things arts and entertainment, yet holds a special place in his heart for video games and music.
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  • L

    Luis LemusSep 28, 2020 at 8:21 am

    It could not come at a better time to be honest

    With the employees hogging all of the next generation system pre-orders to themselves, I don’t feel any loss regarding their brick and mortar stores going down.

    It’s as if your money is not needed from us to them anymore so it’s “good riddance“ to of them out.

  • E

    EisendahlSep 25, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Well, this article is written very poorly. It doesn´t meet the objectivity and accuracy I would expect from someone who is completing his AA in Journalism.

    It presents a very one-sided view of the situation and there are 0 numbers presented in the article. It seems like the author is somehow biased. I believe he is invested as a short seller, because there is no disclaimer at all.

    1. This article is completely leaving out the information about Ryan Cohen, who has a completely different vision of what Gamestop is right now, but there are no words at all about this issue. If there´s an investor who might invests into the company or even buys it, you should at least mention this. “Ryan Cohen, the entrepreneur who built Chewy.com into a pet-supply giant and sold it for more than $3 billion, is now pitching GameStop Corp. on a lofty goal: becoming a true competitor to Amazon.com Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter.” Wether this is do-able or not, you are missing out important facts.

    2. In my opinion you just can´t compare Gamestop to Blockbuster, because they are different in some ways at least : “GameStop has avoided Blockbusters fate by changing its Business and Operating models.” https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/gamestop-learning-from-blockbuster/

    Overall this is article is just not professional. The economics behind this are clearly not understood enough and the accuracy is awful.

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Game over for GameStop, for better or worse