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GameStop To Close At Least 150 Stores Due To Poor Q4 Sales (nintendowire.com) 119

GameStop announced last week that it will be closing more than 150 of its stores globally due to "weak sales of certain AAA titles and aggressive console promotions by other retailers." The chain also mentioned it "anticipates that it will close between two percent to three percent of its global store footprint" in 2017. Nintendo Wire reports: The Q4 window is often the high point of video game sales, yet despite the launch of new hardware in the PlayStation 4 Pro and a few major releases, it wasn't enough in the company's eyes. Despite this, GameStop still plans on opening 100 stores in 2017 which will likely focus more on non-gaming business, such as the Spring Mobile brand and vinyl collectibles. GameStop CEO Paul Raines said in a statement: "The video game category was weak, particularly in the back half of 2016, as the console cycle ages. Looking at 2017, Technology Brands and Collectibles are expected to generate another year of strong growth, and new hardware innovation in the video game category looks promising." You can view GameStop's 2016 earnings report here.
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GameStop To Close At Least 150 Stores Due To Poor Q4 Sales

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  • Just the start (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quakeulf ( 2650167 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:05AM (#54125533)
    Even if they manage to move into other areas of commerce successfully they will still have to close a lot more stores over the next years or else face a full bankruptcy.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I went to buy a pre-owned game there and it was 29.99 and brand new it was 9.99 on Amazon. (Shadows of Mordor PS4)

      • by Desler ( 1608317 )

        I just looked on Gamestop's and you are comparing a used GoTY edition to the older, non-GoTY edition. Hardly apples to apples.

        • Doesn't matter because you can get a NEW GOTY edition for $20 at Amazon, which is still cheaper than the used one at Gamestop.

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
        You're paying for the privilege of them stocking it on their shelf after they paid the seller $2 for it.
    • just 2 days ago i went out to find a used PS3 (brother in law gave me a few dozen games but his system broke) went to the 2 game stops in my area (only about 1 mile apart, one in the mall other in a strip mall) they wanted 180 bucks for a 160 gig slim model. went to this place called CEX in my mall which seems pretty much like what funcoland used to be, and got the 250 gig slim model for 90 bucks.

      gamestop will never survive on its model, they give you pennies on a trade in and keep the resale way to high
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        GameStop rely on people constantly trading. You never pay cash for stuff, you always trade something in whole or trade+cash. So yeah, their used stuff is overpriced, but they also give you over the odds for your trade-ins too, and in the end as long as you keep trading it's not too bad.

        Obviously doesn't work for people who want to occasionally buy something with cash and don't sell their old games, but the kids prefer to just keep trading.

        • I found my CEX paid more out than gamestop (and charged less for the used games)

          also i am more of a collector than a gamer. I play but im not the target demographic for the gamestop type. I buy a game, generally i keep the game and i want it new not used (or at least if i buy used i want the original case not just a sleeve)
      • by mlts ( 1038732 )

        GameStop used to survive when one paid $50 for a game, sold the game for $5, and the used game had the same content as the original. However, with the combination of DLC, having to have the CD and have the game registered under your account, and so on, a game might cost $250, all said and done. There isn't any real point for a used buyer to buy it, since the used media will be at $45.00, the new game will be $50, and there is still $150 of DLC that has to be purchased before the game is anywhere usable, m

    • We can only hope the company dies in a fire, including all the executives.
  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:08AM (#54125537)
    had a bad 2016 and are closing significant locations or liquidating. link: http://dealnews.com/features/W... [dealnews.com]
  • Should have stocked more Wii-U editions of the new Zelda, idiots. That's why BestBuy ate your lunch.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. My Gamestop got TWO copies of Zelda. What kind of genius do they have ordering this stuff?

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        The same kind that decided a decade ago that PC games were no longer worth carrying. That having peripherals on site for sale was a bad idea. This isn't rocket surgery by any stretch, but no one there understands the market movements at all. It's pretty bad when walmart has a more in-depth PC gaming section(hardware and software) then a supposed game store.

        • The same kind that decided a decade ago that PC games were no longer worth carrying.

          That was decided for GameStop when Valve introduced Steam. Before Steam was a download store for PC games, it was the Internet activation method for Half-Life 2. Once more PC game publishers adopted Internet activation, GameStop could no longer accept used PC games.

          • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

            That was decided for GameStop when Valve introduced Steam. Before Steam was a download store for PC games, it was the Internet activation method for Half-Life 2. Once more PC game publishers adopted Internet activation, GameStop could no longer accept used PC games.

            You mean instead of leveraging their position with Valve, they decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And in turn, other companies filled the niche that gamestop left behind. Now those places that sell hardware and software are successful in doing so, while they're looking at the complete collapse of their business.

      • They probably got more than that. Gamestop sold bundles [bgr.com] to try and stop scalping. They've removed a few from their site, but they basically had a switch + zelda, or + splatoon, or + whateverothergame, or +2 games, or you could shell out $640 for the ultimate bundle [gamestop.com].

        The thinking was that you have a sought-after $50-$60 game, if you force buyers to pay $300 for a system too, they are much less likely to dive in for the quick-and-easy profits off of a single game. Who knows if it worked, since the Switch was g

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:42AM (#54125631)
    I'm sure it had nothing to do with Gamestop's terrible customer service, poor staff morale, product upselling, or the ripoff markup applied to everything in-store. It's so bad that you can frequently buy a brand new video game elsewhere for less than they're trying to palm off some second hand copy. I'm surprised they're even still in business. Same goes for CeX for that matter.
    • Or having new copies of games cheaper than used with staff pleading with you to buy the used copy, for the points.

      That, and the "new" copy is opened.

    • by CODiNE ( 27417 )

      Oh yeah, ancient used players choice versions of popular Nintendo games selling for $20 gets on my nerves.

      • Oh yeah, ancient used players choice versions of popular Nintendo games selling for $20 gets on my nerves.

        If you're referring to used copies of the Player's Choice version of Super Smash Bros. Melee for Nintendo GameCube, it's probably demand from tourney[cigarettes]. A quick Google search shows it going for $60-$70 across multiple sellers.

    • It might not actually: all that has been true of gamestop for years.

      When I worked there a decade ago, it was clear who their customer base was: idiot teens with no impulse control.

      me: "I can give you only $3 for this game, that's not even a tenth of the price of the game you're-"
      Kid: "gimmie!"
    • There just aren't a lot of games coming out if you don't count download only indies. Gamestop's built off used games. But if there's only 3-5 new games a month and more than half are shovelware with low resale values you're gonna hurt. Add to that most of the big releases are multi-player focused (Overwatch, Battlefield One, For Honor, Star Wars Battlefront) and that DLC is driving the industry (EA makes more off DLC than the original game sales). Also people play the same games a _lot_. For Honor is design
      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        There just aren't a lot of games coming out if you don't count download only indies. Gamestop's built off used games.

        Which has been a ridiculous model ever since eBay came about. Why sell a used game to GameStop for a pittance when you can sell it on the marketplace and get fair value? I remember when I sold some PS3 games years back and getting like half-price for them.

        Also sold the PS3 and got a good price as well, which was ridiculous because for a few bucks more the buyer could have gotten a newer model. I actually felt bad for the buyer on that one, but oh well.

    • DrXym, you and I have had very different experiences at GameStop. The GameStop I use is staffed by very friendly people, and has reasonable prices for the used games I buy for my kids (most are $10 or less). I really hope that location doesn't close.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @05:52AM (#54125673)

    ... when the sales of Quake 4 makes or breaks your company.

    • I wish I had the mod points now because this deserves to be voted up.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Quake 4 was developed by Raven Software, not Id.

  • Can someone please explain this term "Triple-A" i see this term being tossed around in games like a hot potato, however goggling it i find no real concrete definition. Is this just marketroid speech?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AAA_(video_game_industry)

    • Triple ayy just means that a lot of money was invested in the production of the game, and it also has a sufficient marketing effort.
    • It just means large budget games by the large development houses. typically with budgets in the 10's of millions of dollars and large promotional/advertising budgets as well
    • If you see it advertised on TV its more than likely AAA. If the game is concerned with being good more than looking good it's probably not.
  • Honestly, I've always thought it crazy just how many Game Stop stores there are. I live in a medium size town and could name 6 or 7 locations (many aren't even that far apart). I'm sure there are other locations here I'm not familiar with on the side of town I don't visit.

    Here at least, I don't think anyone would blink an eye if a couple of Game Stop stores went out of business, at worst you'd have to drive an extra mile to get to one.

    I almost never go to Game Stop though for two reasons:
    1) They've abandoned the PC. Even as more and more people turn to PC gaming- their PC selection becomes more and more laughable (not even sure if they still have one).
    2) They're ridiculously overpriced. Everything is so much more expensive than just buying from Steam, GOG or Greenman gaming. ... and that probably is the problem. Places like Steam allow you to browse that much easier, and Xbox has their own version, so does Playstation and Wii. It's just easier to shop online, and the demographic game-stop caters to probably don't like being in stores with people as much.

    It is so much nicer to have a box, and browse the wares than do it online, especially if you're just there anyway. It's a hassle to travel to if you're not going there anyway. Fix the price issue though and maybe I, and other customers might return.

  • Gamestop was dead to me when they stopped carrying vintage games. They took over that market and then just left it suddenly. I hope they close all their stores so they stop fucking with our games.

    • Gamestop was dead to me when they stopped carrying vintage games.

      Gods below, can you imagine what a nightmare it would be trying to support vintage games? I've never been in a Gamestop store before, so I don't know what their support policy is, but imagine trying to explain to someone why the copy of Quake I they bought won't run under Windows 10.

      Vintage games? that's what GoG is for.

      • Gods below, can you imagine what a nightmare it would be trying to support vintage games? I've never been in a Gamestop store before, so I don't know what their support policy is, but imagine trying to explain to someone why the copy of Quake I they bought won't run under Windows 10.

        Sigh. You might think of Gamestop as a PC game retailer today, but that's because you are a child. When I started going to Gamestop, the PC game section didn't even merit a wall. It was just a little bit of free-standing display. In fact, I was going to Funcoland before they were bought out by Gamestop.

      • I think he's talking about PS1, N64, etc. To the best of my knowledge, Gamestop never carried used PC games.

        Of course, carrying those vintage cartridge/disc games would be difficult in its own way. All the Gamestop stories I've been in were fairly small and just didn't have the room to stock all those vintage games.

        • Of course, carrying those vintage cartridge/disc games would be difficult in its own way. All the Gamestop stories I've been in were fairly small and just didn't have the room to stock all those vintage games.

          Bollocks. They just don't take up that much space, because they simply ditched the cases for the oldest games and used only envelopes. They didn't put the cases on the wall, you'd just have to ask about stock. That was what got me to come in the door, the saturn games. Then I'd wind up buying other stuff. Now, I don't go in the door.

  • Yeah, I did it. Best Buy had a better PS4 deal than GameStop this holiday season. I did pick up a number of used games from them, so it didn't end completely badly for them. Gamers Club Unlocked means I'll keep coming back to Best Buy, since I'm not an Amazon prime member.
    • Gamers Club Unlocked beats Prime's only get the 20% off discount within the first two weeks of release.

      Amazon does occasionally have a Prime exclusive sale price now and then. But wait a week or two and it will be that price at Best Buy and GCU will make it even lower.

  • by netsavior ( 627338 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @08:21AM (#54126319)
    It is ironic that a program called circle of life [kotaku.com] is what is accelerating the natural death of the brick and mortar game store. Since used games are nearly 100% profit, and new games are closer to 20% profit, stores were given quotas in terms of the percentage of total sales dollars that needed to be from used merchandise. These quotas all but forced employees to lie about stock, and to discourage sales of lower margin items.

    When you put your employees in a position where a 0 dollar customer transaction is less likely to put their job in jeopardy than a 500 dollar transaction, you dun fucked up your business model.
    • They put their EVERYTHING into selling you a new car, but the real profit comes 2-3 years in when you start needing wear parts replaced and again a few years later for more serious service.

      Gamestop didn't learn that lesson. You HAVE to push the new stuff to keep the used stuff happening. They decided to be parasitic instead of symbiotic and the host (the console companies) adapted by switching to online rentals.

      It's a shame, because it could have been a very profitable model for building a customer base b

      • WTF are you even talking about? New car dealers have agreements on inventory cost with manufacturers (or those mfgr's intermediaries), and make profit based on the difference between the floor cost and the sale price (if they do their own financing) or the price of the loan sold to a 3rd party. It's an incredibly convoluted system that involves insurance on floor inventory, cash incentives to the dealer to move product, and upsells (think undercoating, but more modern wording.) If the dealer also moves preo
  • Retailers who do not have an online strategy for delivering media to the masses will be out of business.
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      An online strategy works only where Internet connections support a high enough traffic volume. A store like GameStop might do better in an Internet desert where the home ISP choice is between 10 GB/mo satellite and 10 GB/mo fixed cellular.

  • I went to a GameStop to buy Super Smash Brothers Brawl. I waited in a midnight release line of about 20 people, for an hour. Once I got to the front and said I would like a copy, the guy asked 'Did you preorder?'. I said of course not -- else why would I be waiting in a line for the store to open if I had a guaranteed copy. He said 'Sorry we only give out pre orders for new releases'. I asked him to clarify that they did not order any copies for regular customers, and he said they did not, and I could come
  • First with music stores (e.g. Tower Records), then with video stores (mostly rental - e.g Blockbuster), then bookstores (B Dalton, Crown Books, Walenbooks). Frankly I'm surprised a brick and mortar video game store managed to hold out this long, given that that media was acknowledged as software to begin with. Music, movie, and book publishers mistakenly thought they were selling a physical product, and it took Internet piracy to make them realize they were selling software - a virtual product. There was
    • I actually like how things are playing out. When I was growing up the only used game stores were mom and pop type places, that usually had a handful of other things like anime posters, comics, and cards (pokemon, magic, etc...).

      Then Gamestop and EB came in and tried to take that model corporate. Which was kinda nice in the beginning because they actually had reasonable prices and trade-in values for used games. Then those guys started competing with the likes of eBay and Amazon (hell, even Best Buy). So the

  • A combination of two major factors. First off is the major pre-order backlash that's growing, which was further fueled this year by disappointing releases like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, No Man's Sky, Street Fighter V, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting. The other factor is the Amazon Prime 20% discount for pre-orders AND newly released (within 2 weeks) games. Yes, that's right -- I can NOT pre-order, wait for the reviews to come out, then decide a week later, and STILL pay 20% than someone who ordered from
    • by Teckla ( 630646 )

      First off is the major pre-order backlash that's growing, which was further fueled this year by disappointing releases like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided ...

      What didn't you like about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided? I played it and enjoyed it, and thought it was worthwhile even at $60. Steam tells me I played it for 49 hours; I consider a mere $1.22 per hour a good deal.

  • Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jason777 ( 557591 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @09:58AM (#54127089)
    Of course we all know their stores mostly sell used games. Recently I built a gaming PC and wanted GTA V for it. Searching online Gamestop.com had it cheapest at like $30 and said brand new on their website. Foolishly, I ordered it. It came a few days later, and the box for the game was so battered and ripped, and the game was clearly used. The discs were scratched. I was surprised it actually installed. I was pissed, but at least I was about to play the game. Until the game asked for the activation code. Looking in the box--- no code, actually not even any manuals or anything but the discs. Now I was pissed! So I initiated a return, and the customer service person said that I will be refunded, but MINUS THE SHIPPING!! Can you believe that? They sell me worthless discs, and I'm out money? The game + shipping was $38. Well, after they refused to refund shipping, I did a chargeback and the credit card handled the refund. Turns out, walmart had it in store for $39.99 fully brand new perfect, unopened, and most importantly had the activation code. F you gamestop.
  • People don't want to mess around with disks any more... and you end up having to download the whole thing anyway. People are just downloading games from PSN or the MS equivalent.
  • I wonder how many GameStop's 150 store closures are in decaying malls, and the 100 new openings are just part of a relocation - despite the change in emphasis on their primary business model.
  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @11:36AM (#54127991)

    I was out at some shopping center recently and I walked into the Gamestop. About a third of the floorspace was dedicated to Funko Pop! vinyl figures and other such novelties that weren't video games. They also had a small, odd selection of movies. The whole thing puzzled me. If I want games I will buy them at Best Buy or Amazon where I get 20% off new titles. (Preferably Best Buy so I can walk into the store and pick it up on launch day instead of waiting for DHL or whoever the fuck to toss it at my door after 8 PM the day after launch despite Amazon's promised launch day delivery.)

    I still prefer physical titles because they can often be had for much less money, even at launch, and you have the ability to resell them. Any sort of physical goodies / collectibles are almost always tied to physical releases as well. Yes, it's slightly less convenient to switch discs/cartridges, but I only typically only play one game at a time unless people are over for multiplayer. Among 4 or more of us, I think someone will manage to switch between Mario Kart and Smash.

  • This has been long overdue for Gamestop. Too many stores, too many crappy policies and prices and too much hassle and upsell.

    But on the other hand, my ex girlfriend now works in a Gamestop and it's the first "real" job she's ever had and she is happy working there. It's the sort of happy she needs in her life at this point and I'd hate to see it taken away. No clue if her store will close or not. But even if not now, the writing is on the wall for the company.

  • Sucks that they are losing money on their brands. Whatever, I'm not an accountant or shareholder. What I would like, and can't find, is a list of locations that will be closing. Even on the official press release page, it just lists a bunch of the money figures and percentages of the quarter. Anyone have any sort of ETA on when that list will be available?
  • I remember when there were three of their stores within a mile of each other (not long after they bought out Electronic Boutique/EB Games). Two of those are closed now; ironically, the one furthest from the mall in the area survived... right by the "local" Wal-Mart. Anyhow, a big part of that I think was the opening of a local chain of stores that sold videogames.... and movies, and all sorts of electronics, along with miscellaneous goodies and the occasional import piece. Not just the latest and greatest,

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