My previous last gen Zero caused quite a bit of division amongst the populace. People love Square-Enix. I do too; I was just disappointed this past gen. Anyway, I thought about it for a bit and came up with another Last Gen Zero that just about everyone can agree with (Unless you’re J. Paul Raines, Current CEO).
I could end the article here and let you populate the comments with assorted tales of woe, but I’ll go into a bit of detail.
I worked at GameStop from 2001 to 2003. I started as a register jockey. In about 6 months I moved from Keyholder to Assistant Manager to Manager. I left it 2003 to go back to school (there was no upward progression beyond store management). For a kid right out of high school it was a great place to work. I loved my job, but I couldn’t see myself staying in retail for my entire career. If this was 2003 I’d talk up GameStop to the ends of the earth. When I left the PS2 reigned supreme. Xbox tried their best but scored a solid second place, and the GameCube was everyone’s second system. GameStop was making a killing in trade-ins and used game sales on all three systems. You could buy different game related toys, strategy guides, and sometimes dvds depending on the store. New games were shrink wrapped before price stickers were applied. Staff was instructed to ask if customers wanted a subscription to Game Informer or to reserve something, but there wasn’t much pressure. It was a good place to go and talk about games while picking them up.
Jump forward 10 years and GameStop has fallen far. If you walk into your local GameStop you aren’t greeted by the geek that loves his job. You’re greeted by just another person who hates their job and wants nothing more than to burn the store to the ground. You can usually find whatever mainstream game you’re looking for, but if you’re looking for rare or obscure games you’ll likely have to go elsewhere. If your local GameStop sells toys at all they’re right by the register, but it’s not as interesting as the section once was. New games are desecrated…The case is thrown on a wall with an assortment of stickers directly on the case. (There is very little that bothers me more as a consumer than buying a ‘new’ game that has already been opened and messed with). You cannot have a conversation with a register jockey without them falling all over themselves to shove reservations, warranties, or magazine subscriptions down your throat. If you’re lucky to get a few words out of said register jockey above and beyond the berating tirade of sales pitches you’re left with a waste of a person who hates their job.
OH! And did you hear that they buy and sell apple products now too? Don’t worry… they’ll tell you 16 times before your transaction is complete.
When this last gen of games came to be direct downloads came to be. Fewer used games were bought and sold. GameStop’s profit margins decreased and instead of realizing that the market has changed and adapt accordingly they have taken their previous efforts to terrible, new heights. The last gen took GameStop and transformed them from decent retail store/fun place to work and into an abysmal zero.
I have countless good and bad stories about working at GameStop. Maybe I’ll start a series of articles detailing my adventures in retail, but for now share your GameStop stores (good and bad) with the rest of the class in the comments