I’ll give you $3.99 for the whole thing.
If you ask most people how they bought their video games in 2018, almost everyone would say that they at least have a few games that they bought digitally. I myself have gone all digital since getting my PS4, it has been at least 2 years since getting the console and I still only own about 5 or 6 physical games. All of my other games are purchased digitally. That is a growing trend among gamers as Gamestop is a company that is sinking quickly. Losing about a quarter of their value with the most recent shift to digital gaming in the past few years.
Digital gaming has hit an all time high in recent years with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo’s online marketplaces becoming quicker and easier to get the game that you want when you want it. The convenience of being able to download and install multiple games at a time has only encouraged this style of purchase, all at the expense of Gamestop. The lack of justification for going out and getting a physical game have decreased with flash sales, early access perks, and more recently, pre-downloading so the game can be playable at midnight on the day that it’s released. Gamestop can’t offer these benefits like online marketplaces and their immediate gratification that they offer.
Gamestop and EB Games before it, were popular because they were a necessity, the most important part standing between you and video games was the actual store. They were the biggest and best choice compared to the other options at the time, but when a new entity came to challenge their title, the fight was lost pretty quickly. Online marketplaces had such greater benefits than what its predecessor had. Gamestop never had a solution or a way to draw people back in, how could they, in the age of immediate gratification they would never be able to compete with the Playstation Store, Xbox Marketplace, or even the Nintendo Eshop. Being able to browse videos, screenshots, and download a demo right from the comfort of your own home is doing more to sell the game than any employee could. Publishers realized this and decided to lean heavier into online commerce.
Gamestop certainly did nothing to help its part, though, trade in values are ridiculously low and Gamestop has been the butt of a joke for far too long to recover from it. They taut their low prices on used games but that comes at a very steep cost on the other side, meaning that they can’t afford to budget higher for used games. They also went from advertising like they were the king of games, being your one stop shop for all video games, and now they act like they’re there too. Such a weak message is unappealing and comes off as laughable once again,especially for people old enough to remember what Gamestop was like in their prime.
While it is sad to see a pillar of my childhood falling apart in front of me, I know that it has served its time. Gamestop won’t be around for much longer, soon it will be sold, and the brand will cease to exist. The closest thing someone will probably get in the future is being able to buy a Pokemon t-shirt from Hot-Topic. So, it’s with a heavy heart I say goodbye to one of the companies that made me love video games, gone the way of the dodo and blockbuster. Gamestop may not actually be closed yet, but they are more like Michael Jordan on the Wizards rather than the Bulls. Not nearly as relevant. Goodbye Gamestop, it’s been a good run.