GameStop and the Business of ‘Brand New’ Video Games

In light of Alex's article about GameStop forcibly removing OnLive coupons from boxed units of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I just don't know if I can deal with GameStop opening up shrink-wrapped SKU's and then reselling them, and I still don't think the methods they took were exactly tactful or business ethical. It's easy for almost anyone to say "well that's kind of weird", but I thought I'd give a little more insight than what seems to be the blanket statement of "GameStop sucks".

Wait a second, what the hell is a 'SKU'?

If nobody knows what I’m talking about when I use the term ‘SKU’, SKU is an acronym that stands for ‘Stock Keeping Unit’, which is defined as a unique boxed product unit. For example, a 355mL can of Coke for the United States is a single unique SKU, and a 355mL can of Coke for Mexico is a completely different and unique single SKU. Another example of SKU’s in the context of video games would be an NTSC copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution with the Canadian bilingual language packaging, or the NTSC copy with only English for the rest of North America. PAL or the Augmented/Limited Edition designations would also all have their own unique SKU.

Even though the game on the inside might be exact same disc, a separate and unique SKU is given to every uniquely packaged product for items that may require any kind of variation. Whether it is a different language instruction manual, a different DVD case, or the inclusion of a promotional OnLive coupon, each unique packaging of a product is defined as a SKU.

What does this have to do with GameStop ripping out OnLive coupons?

In GameStop's defense, yes, it has every right to protect it's competitiveness in a retail market regardless of opinion about the archaic nature that video game sales in a physical retail box store. However, you might not have been aware of the fact that retailer chains actually get to participate in SKU compiling decisions, especially when it comes to things such as pre-order bonuses. In fact, this is not a new concept to Eidos Interactive at all.

Eidos Interactive also published Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, which when released, had a pre-order exclusive incentive from GameStop/EB Games to include an extra "challenge map", while other stores had differing bonuses, or none at all.

When the game was shipped to retailers, that SKU with the GameStop-exclusive content was shipped only for GameStop to sell because it had the pre-order bonuses packaged inside the packaging with the game disc. It's not always apparent on the box (unless you scanned the UPC), but in this case, those unique GameStop SKU's of Batman: Arkham Asylum had a unique GameStop/EB Games sticker on the front, whereas a retailer like Best Buy would have received a completely different SKU with different packaging.

Knowing this, if GameStop wanted to complain about the SKU of Deus Ex with the OnLive coupons inside because it infringed on their competitiveness, GameStop should have raised it's voice to Eidos long before when these decisions about the retail SKU's were being hammered out to begin with.

Defining and Understanding 'Brand New'

You may also be asking why other products get a pass when it comes to being sold as 'brand new' even though they've technically been 'opened' in some way, or could be used in some manner. Some examples can include cars, musical instruments like drums or guitars, clothing, or furniture. So why can't video games have the same sales policies and norms?

To be blunt, different products, different businesses, different policies, and different markets. Let me explain.

In the case of video games, GameStop is uniquely notorious for breaking open their shelved units of sealed video games, yet they will still sell the product at full retail price. There's two major barriers for video games that show a customer that without a benefit of a doubt, that the video game has not seen any use or tampering, which guarantees the customer that he/she is receiving what they expected:

  1. Shrink wrapping
  2. Official product seal sticker (eg. that official XBOX sticker that seals the DVD case closed that has an official watermark and UPC code on it) or other official packaging. Hell, with reference to GameStop, we should say the original box as a blanket.

If any of these things have been broken (especially the official product DVD case sticker), then it should be completely reasonable that the customer can fully question the product's authenticity, reliability, expected value, and actual value.

Yes, if you go to a store, and buy a TV or piece of clothing, you can inspect the product previous to purchase as to making sure it fulfills all their respective properties of a 'brand new' product. However, those products don't have the same norms and applications. Televisions and clothing don't suffer from the same kinds of market problems such piracy. Yes, there are 'knock-off' authenticity issues, but I'm not just saying that a product has to suffer from piracy to be uniquely different. What I'm trying to say is that the very definition of 'brand new' can be variably different across all products sold in a retail marketplace, and is defined by the product's market itself and the conditions surrounding it.

For instance, if I inspect a brand new television after buying it, I have the commercial freedom to bring it back to the retailer and either receive a full refund (usually within 30 days), full store credit, or full cost replacement. As dictated by the retailer's store policies, this is a normal practice among retailers that sell TV's, and well within the expectation of the consumer for all other retailers.

With video games however, I do not have the same level of consumer freedom, and the expectation is completely different. As soon as I open that shrink wrap and official product seal sticker after buying it brand new, I've already devalued my purchase. According to common store policy, I'm taking back a used product and my product purchase will only be reimbursed as a used product, even if I bought it and opened it only seconds later.

Knowing this about video game retail store policy, the fact GameStop as a business can open a brand new product (which according to their store policy should be a used game because of a broken seal) and then resell it and fully market it as a brand new sale, does not inspire confidence to consumers, let alone it being highly questionable and contradictory to their own store policy. But like I said previously, retailers dictate their own store policies, so take a term like "commercial freedom" with a grain of salt.

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it for Deus Ex PC customers, it shouldn't have even come to this, given the fact that GameStop is notorious for ripping open new copies of any game and sells it as brand new. This whole situation could have been completely preventable given some better planning and communication between the retailer and the publisher. While the process of opening brand new copies of Deus Ex and taking out the OnLive coupons wasn't illegal by any means, it definitely was ethically questionable.

When there are so many grey areas and variances in the marketplace regarding consumer rights as to what can be sold as 'brand new' for video games in retail, it's hard to take this situation as anything but negative from the perspective of a consumer, even when I completely understand from a business-standpoint why GameStop took the actions it did.

Sometimes a little tact and a little communication goes a long way.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

2011-08-25 Update: Just as I posted this and had it fully written, reports come out that Deus Ex: Human Revolution on PC is being pulled off the shelves from GameStop locations, and information has passed that Square-Enix did not inform GameStop that this coupon was going to be included at launch.

This doesn’t change my outlook on what I’ve written by that much, but I should be clear that it isn’t just GameStop that needs to communicate and plan better – but all parties involved, including Square-Enix/Eidos as well.

Buying used games is a dirty business, as in I’m pretty sure there is a lot of actual dirt on these used game boxes and discs. If your germophobia/mysophobia is keeping you from buying and enjoying used games, you should totally check out my personal blog over at http://thedevilshaircut.wordpress.com/, or follow me on Twitter.

30 Comments
31 Comments
Posted by heatDrive88

In light of Alex's article about GameStop forcibly removing OnLive coupons from boxed units of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I just don't know if I can deal with GameStop opening up shrink-wrapped SKU's and then reselling them, and I still don't think the methods they took were exactly tactful or business ethical. It's easy for almost anyone to say "well that's kind of weird", but I thought I'd give a little more insight than what seems to be the blanket statement of "GameStop sucks".

Wait a second, what the hell is a 'SKU'?

If nobody knows what I'm talking about when I use the term 'SKU', SKU is an acronym that stands for 'Stock Keeping Unit', which is defined as a unique boxed product unit.

For example, a 355mL can of Coke for North America is a single unique SKU, and a 355mL can of Coke for Mexico is a completely different and unique single SKU. Another example of SKU's in the context of video games would be an NTSC copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution with the Canadian bilingual language packaging, or the NTSC copy with only English for the rest of North America. PAL or the Augmented/Limited Edition designations would also all have their own unique SKU.

What does this have to do with GameStop ripping out OnLive coupons?

In GameStop's defense, yes, it has every right to protect it's competitiveness in a retail market regardless of opinion about the archaic nature that video game sales in a physical retail box store.

However, you might not know it, but retailer chains get to participate in SKU compiling decisions, especially when it comes to things such as pre-order bonuses or what not. In fact, this is not a new concept to Eidos Interactive either. When Batman: Arkham Asylum was released (published by Eidos Interactive) they had a completely separate SKU that was shipped only for GameStop to sell because it had the pre-order bonuses packaged inside with the game disc. It's not always apparent on the box (unless you scanned the UPC), but those unique SKU's of Batman had a big fat GameStop sticker on the front, where Best Buy obviously received a different unique SKU.

Knowing this, if Gamestop wanted to complain about the SKU of Deus Ex with the OnLive coupons inside because it infringed on their competitiveness, GameStop should have raised it's voice to Eidos long before when these decisions about the retail SKU's were being hammered out to begin with.

Defining and Understanding 'Brand New'

You may also be asking why do other products get a pass when it comes to being sold as 'brand new' even though they've technically been 'opened' in some way, or could be used in some manner. Some examples can include cars, musical instruments like drums or guitars, clothing, or furniture. So why can't video games have the same sales policies and norms?

To be blunt, different products, different businesses, different policies, and different markets. Let me explain.

In the case of video games, GameStop is uniquely notorious for breaking open their shelved units of sealed video games, yet they will still sell the product at full retail price. There's two major barriers for video games that show a customer that without a benefit of a doubt, the video game has not seen any use or been tampered with, which guarantees the customer that he/she is receiving what they expected:

  1. Shrink wrapping
  2. Official product seal sticker (eg. that official XBOX sticker that seals the DVD case closed that has an official watermark and UPC code on it) or other official packaging. Hell, with reference to GameStop, we should say the original box as a blanket.

If any of these things have been broken (especially the official product DVD case sticker), then it should be completely reasonable that the customer can infer any questionability regarding the product's authenticity, reliability, expected value, and actual value.

Yes, if you go to a store, and buy a TV or piece of clothing, you can inspect the product previous to purchase as to making sure it fulfills all their respective properties of a 'brand new' product. However, those products don't have the same norms and applications. TV's and clothing don't suffer from the same kinds of market problems such piracy. Yes, there are 'knock-off' authenticity issues, but I'm not just saying that a product has to suffer from piracy to be uniquely different. What I'm trying to say is that the very definition of 'brand new' can be variably different across all products sold in a retail marketplace, and is defined by the product's market itself and the conditions surrounding it.

For instance, if I inspect a brand new television after buying it, I have the commercial freedom to bring it back to the retailer and either receive a full refund (usually within 30 days), full store credit, or full cost replacement. As dictated by the retailer's store policies, this is a normal practice among retailers that sell TV's, and well within the expectation of the consumer for all other retailers.

With video games however, I do not have the same level of consumer freedom, and the expectation is completely different. As soon as I open that shrink wrap and official product seal sticker after buying it brand new, I've already devalued my purchase. According to common store policy, I'm taking back a used product and my product purchase will only be reimbursed as a used product, even if I bought it and opened it only seconds later.

Knowing this about video game retail store policy, the fact they can as a business, rip open a brand new product, which according to their store policy should be a used game because they broke the seal, and then resale it and fully market it as a brand new sale, is shifty at best and fundamentally contrary to their own store policy. But like I said previously, retailers dictate their own store policies, so take the term "commercial freedom" with a grain of salt.

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it for Deus Ex PC customers, it shouldn't have even come to this, even given the fact that GameStop is notorious for ripping open new copies of any game and sells it as brand new. This whole situation could have been completely preventable given some better planning and communication between the retailer and the publisher. While the process of opening brand new copies of Deus Ex and taking out the OnLive coupons wasn't illegal by any means, it definitely was ethically questionable.

When there are so many grey areas and variances in the marketplace regarding consumer rights as to what can be sold as 'brand new' for video games in retail, it's hard to take this situation as anything but negative as a consumer even when I completely understand from a business-standpoint why GameStop took the actions it did.

Sometimes a little tact and a little communication goes a long way.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments.

An update!

Update: Literally just as I posted this and had it fully written, we find out that Deus Ex on PC is being pulled off the shelves and information has passed that Square-Enix did not inform GameStop that this coupon was going to be included.

This doesn't change my outlook on what I've written by that much, but I should be more clear that it isn't just GameStop that needs to communicate and plan better, but all parties involves including Square-Enix/Eidos as well.

Posted by lockwoodx

I went digital back in 2008, and now the same scumbags who run companies like Gamestop are trying to ruin my online experience by forcing me only use their digital distribution platforms full of DRM and Spyware. Just let me enjoy the game thank you, and thank goodness for Steam.

Posted by heatDrive88

@Buzzkill said:

I went digital back in 2008, and now the same scumbags who run companies like Gamestop are trying to ruin my online experience by forcing me only use their digital distribution platforms full of DRM and Spyware. Just let me enjoy the game thank you, and thank goodness for Steam.

Wait what? Are you talking about EA's Origin platform?

Edited by lockwoodx

@heatDrive88: I'm talking about any company who tries to exert unwarranted/unwanted authority over the customer. Origin will be a good example after launches.

Posted by EuanDewar

You should post more on the forums.

And also prostitute out your blog title creation skills to famous bloggers. Get that Shameful Internet moneh.

Edited by heatDrive88

@EuanDewar: Trust me, I cringe everytime I use 'Heated Opinions' in the title as well.

BUT YO DAWG HIS USER HANDLE IS HEAT AS WELL THAT SHIT IS OFF DA HOOK.

All credibility assuming I had any, totally gone.

Posted by Azteck

I thought you were gonna talk about the band Brand New. I guess not.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@heatDrive88 said:

Knowing this, if Gamestop wanted to complain about the SKU of Deus Ex with the OnLive coupons inside because it infringed on their competitiveness, GameStop should have raised it's voice to Eidos long before when these decisions about the retail SKU's were being hammered out to begin with.

Agreed, but this was the major problem; Eidos and Square-Enix informed NO ONE of the OnLive coupons until the day before release. Square-Enix specifically released a press statement saying they should have informed GameStop before sending them out. This was specifically a lack of communication, and while they've handled it terribly and it's been a PR nightmare, they were not told what was going to be packaged in their SKU's until August 22nd.

Posted by Brodehouse

I like your blog because it makes people smarter and more knowledgeable rather than just pissy and feeling threatened.

Posted by crusader8463

It's going to get much much worse before it gets better.

Posted by heatDrive88

@Little_Socrates: Haha, those articles detailing that information just came up maybe minutes later after I finished writing this blog up and submitting it. I updated my writings on the bottom. TIMING!

Posted by Maluvin
@heatDrive88: Well written blog.  Thanks for info.
Posted by heatDrive88

@Brodehouse said:

I like your blog because it makes people smarter and more knowledgeable rather than just pissy and feeling threatened.

Thanks. It sounds funny, but I appreciate that someone can think something I wrote comes off as mildly reasonable.

Posted by Claude

This blog needs a rebuttal. Where's example when you need him?

Posted by heatDrive88

@Claude said:

This blog needs a rebuttal. Where's example when you need him?

We've both already debated back and forth about the issue, and I think we both mutually agree on a lot of points anyways.

The main point I tried to get across in our conversations (and hopefully to another extent in this blog) was that every different product has a different market and different practice in how you sell it. For instance, running a business selling apples is not the same way you'd run a business of selling oranges. Although both products are fruits and they can both be sold in a supermarket, there are differences in how you grow them, differences in how you store them, and differences in how you sell them and package them as a product. This exact same analogy can also be applied to video games in all it's various shapes, sizes, and forms.

Posted by Brodehouse

@heatDrive88 said:

@Brodehouse said:

I like your blog because it makes people smarter and more knowledgeable rather than just pissy and feeling threatened.

Thanks. It sounds funny, but I appreciate that someone can think something I wrote comes off as mildly reasonable.

The site (and the enthusiast press in general) is packed to the gills with people who are looking to achieve an objective; an emotional reaction. It's a politician's trick, use rhetoric designed to inflame emotions rather than elaborate upon reason. Alex's article headline says Gamestop removed the coupons because "they're Gamestop" with the implication "they did it because they are evil". This blog went into detail about the ethical standpoints behind their action, without excusing their other unethical business practices.

I always have a problem with writers who seek to make their readership angry and ignorant, rather than informed.

Posted by heatDrive88

@Brodehouse: I know what you mean, but I don't think Alex's article was that crazy. That's just Alex's writing style, which to be fair, is mostly read for his entertainingly snarky tone (and I still highly enjoy it). Given that, I like Giant Bomb's news content because it delivers a good balance of casual editorial entertainment value and informativeness. If we just wanted straight-up no-spin zone news, I think it's fairly obvious that this isn't what Giant Bomb is made to deliver.

I think the real example that gets on my nerves in the context of what you're saying are Kotaku news headlines. Those are far and away the worst perpetrators of that.

Posted by Branthog

It comes down to a simple issue. Are you selling a full product as designed and packed or aren't you? Think of any other product you might buy and how you would feel if the store you bought it from just quietly removed part of it because they felt like it, before selling it to you? Hell, what if gamestop were removing the "project ten dollar" codes that come with new games? What if they decided to split up that Diablo Warchest Collection pack of every Diablo game and sell it as three separate pieces?

How the developer or publisher feel about it is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. It's shady behavior practiced by a frightened company. I can't wait for the day Gamestop goes under. (Though, of course, the masses still shop there and always will).

Posted by bigsmoke77

Even if the game is totally sealed Gamestop considers it a used game.

Posted by spencer_twin

I really don't see what all  the hub bub is about.  Yes, Gamestop might have handled it differently, but how?  The day before the game is due on the shelf, they find out that their competition's coupons are loaded into games that would be on their shelf.  It's simple, a business will not market a product that will benefit their competition.   And on the principle of  unwrapping/re-wrapping the games,  in this day of pirating and electronic thievery,  once a game is taken out of the store who is to say that that game disk was not copied?  I have known people many years ago buy CD's and games, copy them, and then return them for the refund.  Same reason once a CD/DVD is bought from  WALMART and the plastic is broke, you cannot return it( unless it was defective, and then you can only get it exchanged for the same product).  As for them re-wrapping the games,  they know that the game has not been played.   When is anything not new?  When it enters the hands of the consumer, not the retailer.  At a local music store, they will buy back a used CD, re-wrap it, then sell it as used.  Once that wrap is off, then that disk is no longer worth what you payed for it.  And if a person already buys their game by download, then why does it matter?  I believe, and yes it's my opinion so please be gentle with me, that you're just mad that rights that you like to think you have, would've been violated if it pertained to you. A company, while it may say that their consumers are family and they only look out for them, they will not sale/do something without looking at their bottom line.  People forget, it's a cut-throat business world, and a company will not cut their own throat by promoting their rival.  Nobody said there wouldn't be side-effects.  All Gamestop is gonna learn from this escapade is to double check their supplies before it hits retailers. 

Posted by EgoCheck616

@Buzzkill said:

I went digital back in 2008, and now the same scumbags who run companies like Gamestop are trying to ruin my online experience by forcing me only use their digital distribution platforms full of DRM and Spyware. Just let me enjoy the game thank you, and thank goodness for Steam.

QFT

Posted by bcjohnnie

@eviltwin14 said:

And on the principle of unwrapping/re-wrapping the games, in this day of pirating and electronic thievery, once a game is taken out of the store who is to say that that game disk was not copied? I have known people many years ago buy CD's and games, copy them, and then return them for the refund. Same reason once a CD/DVD is bought from WALMART and the plastic is broke, you cannot return it( unless it was defective, and then you can only get it exchanged for the same product). As for them re-wrapping the games, they know that the game has not been played.

Isn't this part of the problem though? If I buy a copy of Deus Ex that has been clearly re-wrapped, take it out of the store, decide that I don't want it before I open it, and then bring it back to the store, I believe Gamestop is within their rights not to accept a completely valid return, because there is no way to distinguish the box that I have never opened from a box that someone could have opened and re-wrapped.

I have no problem with strict return policies on games that are easy to copy and bring back... but if a company is going to strictly enforce a policy like that, they can't sell "new" games that already violate their own return policies. I think they were right to be upset about the OnLive pack-in, but their initial reaction was poorly thought out, and I'm actually glad they fixed it by pulling the game off the shelves.

Where this gets extra shady is when you hear how much Gamestop employees open up "new" games and re-pack them just because they want to play them. That practice needs to stop right now.

Posted by heatDrive88

@bcjohnnie said:

I have no problem with strict return policies on games that are easy to copy and bring back... but if a company is going to strictly enforce a policy like that, they can't sell "new" games that already violate their own return policies. I think they were right to be upset about the OnLive pack-in, but their initial reaction was poorly thought out, and I'm actually glad they fixed it by pulling the game off the shelves.

Where this gets extra shady is when you hear how much Gamestop employees open up "new" games and re-pack them just because they want to play them. That practice needs to stop right now.

Exactly this, and what I exactly was trying to convey in my post.

Edited by YukoAsho

@ heatDrive88 - An absolutely lovely blog, and I hope to see more from you.  It's refreshing to see someone approach the issue with a cool head and use the reasoning brain he was given instead of falling in line with the rest of the lemmings and gurgling out "GAMESPOT IZ TEH SATANZ!" or what have you. 
 
For the record, while I certainly would rather they not open any copies at all, I have found them to be nothing less than friendly and accommodating when I ask to inspect the disc on a gutted copy, and they're nothing less than understanding if I decide that the disc is not up to standard.  Compare that to the crapshoot buying things in other stores is, from dirty, drool-covered toys at the Toys R' Us to music CD cases that are cracked open and have no disc inside them at many big-box stores because no one's checking the merchandise. 
 
I've said this before, and I'll say it again - I have never had a single issue shopping in a GameStop what wasn't handled professionally by the employees, and I'm glad to give them my business.  Perhaps that makes me less of a gamer in the eyes of many on this site, but honestly, the lot of them can go fuck themselves raw.  They've taken fanboyism to such a level that their blind loyalty to and hatred of fucking retailers would put the Tea Party/Nazis and the Communists to shame.  It is only by the grace of the Lord that these fuckers are a tiny minority. 
 
Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta figure out what I'm going to do with my gift card tomorrow.

Posted by tourgen

Customers have the absolute right to expect that their purchase has not been tamprered with in any way before they take it home.  Anyone suggesting otherwise is frankly insane.  It is the bare minimum for an honest transaction.
 
This issue is just one more shot at people who want to buy games.  You can't continuously abuse and mislead customers and expect them to stay customers for too long.  shady retail practices,  abusive EULAs, slimy marketing strategies, DRM issues, secondary logins and BS web marketing accounts - buying and playing games has become a minefield.  It's confusing and sad watching this industry slowly gut itself.

Posted by heatDrive88

@YukoAsho: Thanks, that's encouraging to hear, and helpful as motivation to write more often.

Posted by RagnarokRed
@YukoAsho said:
@ heatDrive88 - An absolutely lovely blog, and I hope to see more from you.  It's refreshing to see someone approach the issue with a cool head and use the reasoning brain he was given instead of falling in line with the rest of the lemmings and gurgling out "GAMESPOT IZ TEH SATANZ!" or what have you. 
 
For the record, while I certainly would rather they not open any copies at all, I have found them to be nothing less than friendly and accommodating when I ask to inspect the disc on a gutted copy, and they're nothing less than understanding if I decide that the disc is not up to standard.  Compare that to the crapshoot buying things in other stores is, from dirty, drool-covered toys at the Toys R' Us to music CD cases that are cracked open and have no disc inside them at many big-box stores because no one's checking the merchandise. 
 
I've said this before, and I'll say it again - I have never had a single issue shopping in a GameStop what wasn't handled professionally by the employees, and I'm glad to give them my business.  Perhaps that makes me less of a gamer in the eyes of many on this site, but honestly, the lot of them can go fuck themselves raw.  They've taken fanboyism to such a level that their blind loyalty to and hatred of fucking retailers would put the Tea Party/Nazis and the Communists to shame.  It is only by the grace of the Lord that these fuckers are a tiny minority.  Now if you'll excuse me, I gotta figure out what I'm going to do with my gift card tomorrow.
I have to agree with mostly all of this. Though I haven't really shopped there since the Amazon and Steam boom, I've not really ever had a bad experience at gamestop, other than an unprofessional employee every now and then. I can't help but hear the phrase "first world problems" scream through my head when people complain about GS, Origin, EA, Activision, etc and wish death on those companies because gamers don't like the way they're being sold a game, while things like the Team Bondi work problems have been pretty much all but forgotten within a week or two, with most people saying "get over it, work somewhere else". Way to pick your battles, gamers.

Also great post TC!
Posted by YukoAsho

@RagnarokRed - Yeah, I'm miffed that no one seemed to give a shit that Brendan McNamara was basically drilling his employees into the ground.  Me, I found that way more offensive, and was glad to see that Team Bondi was being sold off, and can only hope that McNamara never works on another game ever again. 
 
What people seem not to realize is that Gamestop is a chain, not unlike BK or Wendy's.  There's going to be the odd bad employee at the odd store.  You think I'm going to swear off all BKs because of one tool behind one counter.  Hell no, I love me some whoppers.

Posted by Luck3ySe7en

So is there any reasoning behind the "lets keep all the discs in some drawer behind the counter" practice? Is it so you have to ask for help in getting a game which sparks a sales pitch for some super rewards awesome blammy card or game informer mags? I always thought it was for shoplifting countermeasures and to keep all the shelves looking neat. I know GS isn't going to stop doing it, so maybe a definitive reason will bring me some closure as to why I never go there again.

Posted by heatDrive88

@Luck3ySe7en said:

So is there any reasoning behind the "lets keep all the discs in some drawer behind the counter" practice? Is it so you have to ask for help in getting a game which sparks a sales pitch for some super rewards awesome blammy card or game informer mags? I always thought it was for shoplifting countermeasures and to keep all the shelves looking neat. I know GS isn't going to stop doing it, so maybe a definitive reason will bring me some closure as to why I never go there again.

To be honest, I have no idea. At least I don't know the reasoning beyond what you've already detailed which I thought were the main reasons why.

However, I remember I was at a GameStop location a few months ago, and I had asked one of the guys working there that exact same question. He replied that he didn't have any idea why either, and I quote "it's just what we do here". If I wanted a concrete answer, I should have asked a store manager. But I honestly think the reasons that you have given are most likely.

Edited by QuistisTrepe

 While GS has every right to protect their fledgling online interests that likely won't ever really get off the ground, they couldn't have handled this situation any worse. This seems to have been a case of poor communication from Square Enix and a knee-jerk response from GS. They should have just worked something out with SE in order to come up with a practical workaround and they could have avoided this ugliness altogether.