News Article

Talking Point: The Future Role of High Street Games Retailers

Posted by Andy Green

Tough times ahead?

The past twelve months have shown just how volatile the current market is for retailers. With the global recession taking its toll, several high street businesses are finding it difficult to compete. This week alone saw both HMV and Blockbuster slip into administration in the UK, putting thousands of jobs at risk. Video game retailers have certainly not been immune from these issues; GameStop failed to meet expectations over the holiday season and not so long ago UK video game retailer GAME was hanging precariously over the abyss.

Consumers just seem to be buying from elsewhere these days. Whereas in the past they would always buy their games from video game retailers, now they are offered much more choice from places like supermarkets and larger chains such as Walmart. GameStop took half a million 'pre-orders' for Wii U that really meant registering interest, and it only managed to actually sell 320,000, the remaining 180,000 either decided against the new system or went and picked one up elsewhere. Considering all of this, what does the future hold for video game retailers on the high street?

The first big threat comes from the supermarkets, juggernauts that wield significant power over many different sectors of the high street. You’ll no longer find just food down the aisles of these stores; you’ll also see books, DVDs, CDs, clothing and video games. Supermarkets tend to have a habit of undercutting video game retailers such as GameStop and GAME - after all, money knocked off a copy of New Super Mario Bros. U can be added to something else in store if necessary. It’s also heavily convenient for the consumer who can now shop for music and games while picking up necessities – no need to make a special trip to the high street.

Speaking of convenience, can you possibly get more convenient than buying your goods online? With just a few clicks you can pre-order the latest upcoming game and have it posted through your letterbox on the day of release. Online retailers such as Amazon have started to pick up a lot of market share in recent years and have done so by offering its customers a quick, easy and more affordable way to buy games and other entertainment products. They can save money on overheads seeing as there’s no reason to lease stores and pay staff to run them – this saving can be passed on to the customer, undercutting the high street.

The one trump card — arguably — that the high street does hold against the online realm is the fact that you have to wait for online retailers to post goods out to you; not so with high street retailers where you can head down to the store, buy a game and be playing it in the same afternoon – but is this enough to keep customers passing through their doors?

Naturally, video game retailers have plenty of schemes in place in an attempt to keep customers coming back. Pre-order bonuses such as GameStop’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate 3DS cover are becoming more and more relevant as high street retailers attempt to offer the customer something they can’t get elsewhere. Then there are loyalty schemes allowing customers to rack up points every time they purchase something in-store. These points can obviously then be put towards another game enabling the customer to save money – or at least give them the feeling that they are.

Are consumers saving money on the high street anymore, however? The loyalty points they’re racking up are received after buying products that are often priced extortionately; GAME in the UK was selling ZombiU for £54.99 at Wii U launch, a price that was easily undercut by supermarkets and online retailers; even with the loyalty points more savings can arguably be made by consistently buying from elsewhere. Loyalty cards can only do so much and if customers feel they’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes they will invariably stop trusting the company, and will take their money elsewhere.

There is of course the pre-owned market. The deal is simple; you bring in your old games and put them in part-exchange for a new game – saving you money. It’s been the lifeblood of many video game retailers, allowing them to make a profit on used games without giving the publishers a penny.

It is debatable, however, whether this business model can last. For starters online retailers are already on this band-wagon, with Amazon in particular starting to push its Trade-In service where customers can credit their account with items they send away to a depot. Then there are the games’ publishers themselves, which understandably aren’t too keen on the pre-owned market and have devised ways to combat it. This is where online codes come in, games such as FIFA 13, Batman: Arkham City and Tekken Tag Tournament all come packaged with codes that need to be entered to open up the whole game (at least on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions) – all of a sudden pre-owned games start to look a lot less appealing. When you see share prices of game retailers plummet after news of Sony’s anti-used game technology patent, you realise just how much pre-owned games mean to them.

Publishers are also moving closer and closer towards the ultimate severing of the middleman: digital downloads. Downloadable games have been growing at a staggering rate in recent years with small developers finding their footing in online stores such as the 3DS eShop, Xbox Live Arcade, PSN Store and of course the Wii U eShop. However it’s not just small games finding themselves in virtual stores, now fully fledged retail titles are offering themselves to you digitally as well as offering physical copies from the high street.

Naturally many see the next step already: download-only retail games. Unchained Blades became the first download-only retail title on a Nintendo system a few weeks back in the U.S., and Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2 will only be available in Europe and North America via the Wii U eShop - retailers will not see a penny.

This is something Nintendo of America's Dan Adelman brought up in our recent interview, an area he knows well as a driving force in the company's download strategies:

Now that even big budget AAA retail games are starting to go the digital distribution route, there’s less cost and therefore less risk built into the process.

Companies of any kind tend to like things that offer lower costs and less risk, digital distribution is something that offers just that, not only for small developers but also for the big boys.

High street retailers, meanwhile, have been scrambling to combat this by offering download codes in store. It’s not uncommon to find DLC codes in shops as the retailers attempt to get a cut of the action. It's a time when we find that fully fledged downloadable game codes could be just around the corner on Nintendo systems, it’s already happening in Japan and could soon become commonplace in the West. But, in the same way some book stores are selling eBook devices, are games retailers dooming themselves by getting more people into downloading games?

With all of this in mind, it’s understandable why many retailers are finding themselves in dangerous financial situations. We may well get sentimental about long-standing high street retailers but in the end it is us, the consumers, who decide who lives and breathes in the marketplace. If fewer people are buying from retailers like GameStop and GAME, then their futures will always be in doubt.

Where are you buying your games from? Let us know in the poll below.

Where do you buy most of your games? (217 votes)

Specialist game store brand (eg GameStop / GAME)


An independent specialist game store


Supermarkets / large chain stores


Online retailers


Retail downloads


Please login to vote in this poll.

From the web

User Comments (77)



Gamesake said:

It would be a shame to see all retail gaming stores close down. Buying used games online has become too unreliable.



Knux said:

Over here in America anyway, I highly doubt GameStop is going anywhere anytime soon. It has the best variety for games if you are looking for a retail store that you can go to. Places like Walmart have a very small selection of games compared to GameStop. I mainly buy my games from either GameStop or Amazon.



Lan said:

Try to either shop on Amazon or Ebay. Gamestop jacks up their prices too high and their cashiers are so annoying with their "would you like a preowned copy instead, subscribe to Game Informer.." etc crap. I work at Walmart so I could buy games there and get a discount but I hate supporting that horrible company, and most of the time Amazon is cheaper, even considering my discount



CazTheGamerGuy said:

I'd say their days aren't numbered so much as their size is. They will exist so long as games exist, but they won't be in such a quantity like they've had in the past or even now.



Dogpigfish said:

Technically used game sales don't belong to retailers. In many aspects they've stolen from developers. I like buying used games, but now that I'm older you see how this fundamental piracy has caused great concerns for unemployed developers who put their heart and soul into a title. You say "they've got plenty of money, bla bla bla" but you'll see downloadable games at much cheaper prices than retail. Retail games will stay high to offset the expected piracy each year. Factually speaking, download only games will get much cheaper and have to compete on a much broader scale if we all move to digital. Additionally, it's only seasonal underpaid checkers that are impacted, that would do much better working somewhere else. Their wages are unresponsible considering their companies' profits. I have moved to all digital for this reason.



edcomics said:

It's a tricky situation, but my local GameStop is always busy. I do buy games from Walmart on occasion, and even BestBuy. The problem is just that you can buy video games almost anywhere. Heck, you can order some games directly from the distributor.



2-D said:

One of the big problems is that these stores undercut themselves. I'll rarely buy anything from HMV or GAME simply because I know, even without amazon or any of the other onlines, that their own websites will be priced lower. If they can't even compete with themselves, what chance do they have against amazon?



MarioIdent said:

I've bought 90% of my games from GAME, about 10% from Amazon. I think high street retailers still have a future yet.



Ryno said:

I buy my games from whomever has a sale. I don't discriminate



cornishlee said:

Well, what a coincidence after my recent forum post! I'd happily download if it wasn't for the prices.

That does annoy me and there's no excuse for it. I can order online then walk into town and collect my order. Paying less than I would otherwise do by paying online first AND getting cashback from a third party. It somewhat undermines their "we have to pay overheads on the store" argument.



Hokori said:

Up until 6 months ago I bought from retailers, but now it's all eShop, but since I get a discount on cards at my work I buy from there, which is hand for WiiU titles since I get not 10% off but 20% off WiiU games



ultraraichu said:

Most of the time I would buy my games at a large chain store like toysrus, target, bestbuy, etc for the reason that they normally have sales on new games. about 7 of the 9 Wii U games I own not counting nintendoland was brought from a large chain (1 brought from nintendo world and the other digital). I'm work on my digital collection.

The only way I go to gamestop over the others is for the pre-order bonus. I very rarely see they have a good sale on new game (not counting that spring sale). I still remember when they charge $35 for Pokemon Conquest where everywhere else had it for $30. Toysrus even had a weekly sale a month later it was released that you can receive a $10 gift card with purchase.



kdognumba1 said:

I'm normally buying games online as I can get new games for cheaper usually HOWEVER in this past year especially, I got a ton of games from local game stores, a ton of games from normal stores, and a ton of games digitally through XBLA, PSN, the 3DS & Wii U eShop's, Humble Bundle, Indie Royale, and Steam.

It really comes down to the prices, normally the regular stores that sell games but aren't game stores have worse prices on games then everywhere else, however this summer I found myself rushing to Best Buy to take part in an incredible sale where I got a good 10, maybe 15 games for $100, which if I were to go to a game store, an online retailer, or attempt to get those games digitally, I would of payed much more. Same thing also happened with Kmart, as before Turkey day and even before the Wii U launch, they started selling games for pretty cheap and I snagged Super Paper Mario, De Blob 2, and Aliens Infestation for much better prices then I found anywhere else. Even really early in the year, Toys R Us had Skyward Sword for $30 when everywhere else had it for $50 which needless to say, I jumped on that too.

Of course, I still got a lot more at game stores, online and digitally but again, it's all about taking advantage of those deals.



Smitherenez said:

#7 Since when do we have those advertising bots over here on Nlife?

In the netherlands, we have just a few big game retailers. The strange thing is that these companies are growing really fast over here! There was not even one game store in the city where I live last year. Now there are 2 of them and I know that there are lot's of new stores opening all around the netherlands atm.



Jaz007 said:

@Dogpigfish How is it stealing? I it was stealing wouldn't it be illegal. Once you buy a game the developer/publisher have no ownership over that copy of the game and you have the right to sell it if you please. They made it, but you bought what they made and can do what you please with it. While it doesn't help the developers when you buy used you are in no way stealing from them.



Onett said:

First I'd like to point out that this is an extremely well written article and an excellent read.

I believe used game sales truely are the last hope for brick and mortar businesses. Game Dude, my local independent video game store has the largest collection of used video games I've ever seen in my entire life; which seems to be doing quite well. It is extremely convenient to take a roughly twelve minute drive down the road to pick up a used copy of a game released over a decade ago and have it tested in store to show it works. I stopped buying used games online after receiving a bad copy of Starfox Assault and Mario Kart Double Dash.



scotty30717 said:

I prefer going into a store and knowing what I'm buying. Then it means nothing can go wrong such as incorrect packaging. It doesn't happen often but remember when Wii U launched and Amazon didn't put Nintendo Land in the Premium pack. Luckily they sent them out a download code. I'd be well annoyed if I unboxed my brand new Wii U on launch day and relised it had no game with it. I got my Wii U from good old Game. Also I feel a lot safer paying in store than entering details online. You never know what could happen.



SilverLightning said:

i never buy from GAME now i went into my local one over christmas they were selling bit trip saga for £40!!!!!!!!! what a rip off, i got it for £10 online



MasterGraveheart said:

Eventually this'll all be a moot point once cloud gaming becomes a rule rather than an exception. Companies have to be sick of selling their game to a couple people new, but seeing so many more people buy it used, which nets ZERO profit to them. It kinda sucks for them, to be honest. I mean, imagine you put months of work into your game and see it sell 100,000 copies that first day... hen you learn GameStop has sold it used 400,000 more times. You only get payment for that 100,000 times. Yeah, I'd be pretty sore about that.

This is why I never buy games used if I can help it (obviously new N64 or SNES games don't exist, but I digress). Yes, this leads to a lot of blind buys and a couple regrettable purchases in my library, but that also comes down to the lack of a reliable rental market outside of the GameFly model.

I encourage everyone to check out The Game OverThinker's thoughts on GameStop, the future of cloud gaming, and more. He's given me as a gamer a lot to think about and I hope can help give gamers in general a lot to think about.



Dogpigfish said:

I'm not saying consumers buying used games are stealing. I'm saying companies that sell used games are stealing from developers because they don't pay them royalties and this further drives the price of retail. It's a matter of perspective, but not intended to offend anyone, just my opinion that companies like THQ are directly impacted.



belmont said:

I have moved to almost digital. I am 100% digital with my Vita and PSP and I prefer digital releases on PS3 too. In Wii I have a lot of VC games.

As for 3DS I want to go digital but (for some strange reason) there are no prepaid cards in local shops.

I like the convenience of holding lots of games in the memory of my portable gaming devices.

Something I gained from digital is that some games are impossible to find in my country (Greece) or are way overpriced. There is no way to find here PSP games from Ghostlight for example. And I won't order online from other countries since the little money I am able to spend I want them to stay in Greece

Even though I went digital local specialized shops gain money from me since I buy my prepaid psn cards from them.



Jaz007 said:

So do you believe it's scale effect from companys do that make it wrong? Plus older games can be hard to find new but easy to find used. Oh and no offense taken, I can understand why you might think its wrong. One more question, do you think the its wrong for company's to buy and sell used games that are 8 months old?



WarioPower said:

I don't usually buy my games from any one source. Sometimes I buy from Gamestop, sometimes from ebay/amazon, sometimes from Walmart, and sometimes from Craigslist.



ivanmata said:

I buy all my games at Gamestop, I don't think they will be running out of business any time soon, let's remember they not only focus on gaming, they also sell phones, tablets and its accessories, I even know a Gamestop that besides selling games sells just tablets and its accessories. So I guess they'll stick around a lot more than we think.



SkywardLink98 said:

I tend to buy my games wherever I can get the best deal. If amazon is offering me $5 off a pre-order, and gamestop doesn't have any bonuses I'll take amazon, but if it's the other way around I'll go with gamestop. If it's equal though, I'm more likely to go with my local gamestop, mainly because I don't have to pay shipping or wait for it to arrive, I can just go get it.



Dizzard said:

Since I'm mostly a PC/Nintendo gamer the majority of the time I buy game downloads online. (steam/

The odd time I will buy a physical Nintendo game in Gamestop though. I've grown a lot less fond of Gamestop recently though...they just can't compare with the variety the internet offers.



cornishlee said:

You really think a purchasing a download title is more likely to keep your money in Greece than using an online retailer?



Mr_3DS said:

So nice to see that the "retail downloads" is only at 7%, I hope game devs see that and keep releasing games in stores.



KingMike said:

I don't know what kind of fancy supermarkets you people go to, but when mine was selling video games in the early 2000s, the selection was more like what you'd find in a clearance bin at another store. (if that isn't just what happened. It wouldn't surprise me if there are resale dealers that buy out clearance bins.)



alLabouTandroiD said:

If the high street was the only place to give me official boxes with a download code for expensive download only games they'd be my first choice. And yeah, exclusive preorder bonuses are sometimes also worth it.
I don't enjoy hanging around places that rarely got any offers on games though so most of my retail games are bought online atm.



Dogpigfish said:

If used companies pay royalties, then developers can keep their people working. Much like music, it needs to have some sort of digital reference so the author can get paid for their creativity. Places like gamestop are stealing from these authors. You're always going to have these big corporate money making developers like Activision, but how do Indies survive on a brick & mortar shelf? The simple answer is they don't, they have to rely on digital because they can't survive in retail. At some point retail games will enter a collectors period where they simply aren't earning money and can be sold used, like a second hand shop. But this is much different than an enterprise based on used sales. Even so, if all games switch to digital you'll see more creative games and new ip's rather than rehashes. Don't confuse indie with corporate, I'm not talking some 30+ person band that builds mutant mudds, I'm talking any creative person or persons who has taken it upon themselves to build a new game like mechcraft on IOS or cave story on PC.



BakaKnight said:

I buy my games in the old way: I hunt them down everywhere I go!!!

Whenever I see a shop that could sell games I charge in and see if I can find some special prices.
Actually... finding games at good prices in supermarkets, retailers and such has become like a hobby itself for me XD

For keep in topic anyway, I would quite feel sad if street shop will dissappears, as much as the online buying is faster and more comfortable, there is nothing comparable to the feeling of checking the games in a store, make them pass one after the other and then hold in the hands that precius copy of a game you wished at a special price!
Sorry for the bad joke, but that feeling is priceless ^O^



Peach64 said:

I've been buying games online only for the last 10 years.

Everywhere offers free delivery.
In 9/10 cases it's with you the day after you order.
For a new release, you'll get it 2-3 days before street date by ordering online.
It's cheaper. A little cheaper for new releases, and a lot cheaper for older games.

I don't lose any sleep over the thought of high street video game retailers disappearing.



Chomposaur said:

buying games brand new at supermarkets has become so cheaper over the years for example NSMBU was 42 pounds in Asda and 55 in GAME so why pay more ??



Gridatttack said:

Online retailers like amazon and sometimes ebay for me.
The problem is that retailers here are a rip off. Im not going to pay 90$ for a wii U game.
The only "retailers" I go is the flea market, where I buy used or sometimes new games at a cheaper price,



paburrows said:

I buy at Target unless Gamestop has a pre-order promo that I like or a game that I want. Like I bought the Lego games at Gamestop because of the free minifigures and Xenoblade there both because of the free concept art book and because I could only get it there.



carlocunanan said:

I don`t buy at Amazon or at eBay due to the fact that I may get a bad copy or product... I trust high-street retailer's online products...



Zemus-DJ said:

I've always bought retail with the DS mainly toys r us or bestbuy when they have the BOGO 50% off or buy 2get 1free deals, Hates used games and GameStop is a ripoff!! But on the 3DS I used to buy retail but I traded them all in and have gone full DL, love the idea of having them all with me at all times! I'm at 28.5GB of 128GB bring it on like donkey kong!! ( no my 3DS won't get stolen I'm 35 and look like a effing freak at 6'2, and no my 3DS won't break its my baby, my DS-Fat still works along with all my handhelds )



RR529 said:

I mostly buy my games from GameStop, but I'll buy at Wal-Mart or K-Mart occasionally as well.

Still (while I falter every once in a great while), I try to buy my games new when I can. I've bought all my 3DS games new. The last used games I've bought were Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: the Crystal Bearers & NSMBWii, back in 2010, through GameFly.



KnightRider666 said:

I love Gamestop for pre-owned savings. But I hate to say it, if we go to an all digital market, you can kiss gaming stores goodbye. Unless it's a retro game store of coarse. Anybody ever been to Digital Press in Clifton, NJ? I have, and it the most clean & organized retro game store I've ever been to.



Zombie_Barioth said:

I go where the best deals are when I can but most of the time I buy my games from Amazon since they're normally cheaper and more convenient. I usually only buy used if its an old game but even then I still shop around if its available elsewhere (like virtual console or PSN games), and try to stick to "like new" or "very good" quality for disk based games (and preferably fulfilled by Amazon).



Capt_N said:

Generally, where/e it's cheaper, & has the best return policy, so if my copy is damaged, I may have the option to get my money back.

Generally, GameStop has too high a price, for my tastes. That, & they don't sell retro systems, & games anymore. I actually have contemplated, & mentioned to people the possibility that there is an existing deal, between GS, & certain co.(s) to no longer sell physical copies of retro games for the sake of legal online emulation. Of course, that's just a semi-blanket theory, but whatever.

I don't show favoritism. I do not however, support d/l only for games I can get @ retail. I don't like anything that cloud gaming, or d/l only entails.

@KnightRider666: Yes, I have heard of the name.



Lalivero said:

@KnightRider666 Luckily for me I live near a gamer store called Press Start, which has a TON of retro games in stock, along with retro accessories and systems.(usually varies what you see with systems but they still have a fair amount of them).



Squiggle55 said:

I usually shop at gamestop. I like putting in pre-orders for the big ones and typically new games are the same price everywhere so might as well choose the place with the rewards points.

I think the DLC cards are ridiculous but I guess there are people out there that don't want to use their credit card on the eshop or whatever.

Nice of Dan Adelman to admit that publishers are saving money by distributing digitally. Obviously it would be nice for them to pass some savings on to the consumer for choosing the digital option that is really sticking it to them and not letting them actually own it. Don't get me wrong, if a digital future means a thriving game industry, I'm all for it. Cut out the middleman completely for all I care. I'll miss the collector's aspect of the physical games, but it's looking inevitable. But I'm hoping the digital future comes with a much more flexible pricing structure.



Senate_Guard said:

I wish Game Crazy was still around, they had better pricing and allowed you to try before you buy. I mostly get my stuff from Gamestop and occasionally Walmart; Amazon if its something hard to find anywhere near where I live.

Ugh, Gamestop has ripped me off for so long when I trade in games. I recently gave them 2 Wii games, a Wii remote, a Wii motion plus, and 2 3DS games (all in great condition) and it totaled to just 47 bucks. I don't know why I still go there to trade in stuff; I guess because its the most convieniant.



mikeyman64 said:

I'm sure this has been commented on somewhere up there ^^^, but one aspect of gaming that game stores can still profit on is classic/retro gaming. Around here, there are Play'n'Trades, which have new releases, but specialize in the rare and old. Apart from taking in trades for ALL games/systems, the employees are sent out to thrift stores and the like to find old games, as well as scan eBay and Amazon, etc. to find good deals.

This makes it more convenient to the customers that already know of ebay buying, by not having to wait for shipping or for auction times, and those who don't, by giving them a place to buy the games they remembered playing back in the day.

Heck, I constantly scan online auctions for games to add to my collection, but a I also am willing to pay a possible extra buck or two to pick up a copy and play today.



mikeyman64 said:

@Austroid I'll grab a game every so often at GameStop when there's an enticing pre-order bonus, but for nothing else. Also, I have MUCH better luck reselling gaming stuff online than with trade-ins. You can usually get very close to what GS SELLS the stuff for when you sell on eBay.



Zombie_Barioth said:

@Austroid Me too, it was such a great store and usually had some pretty good deals. The people working there actually acted friendly, I even got to know one girl that was usually working when I went in (only to run into her at a local GS after GC closed). Never heard the kind of complaints GS gets either, and the one time someone tried to sell me the used copy of the game I was buying it was actually $10-$15 cheaper, not $5.



Windy said:

I got 2 copies of Cave Story 3d for christmas as gifts. I Call Gamestop 3 days after Christmas and this guy at gamestop says my New copy of Cave Story which hasnt been opened is worth 7.99 as a used trade in since I dont have a receipt for my christmas gift. All im wanting is new trade in value store credit. But this guy at the Charleston and Rainbow store had decided there was noway he is giving me full trade in for a new game. So to shorten this story, I will never shop at Gamestop again. When I make these kinds of threats because of horrible customer service I hold true to those words. I havent bought anything at best buy in over 10 years. Target took back my extra copy of Cave Story and I ended up getting store credit at the retail price of the game. So long Gamestop.........hello Amazon



Windy said:

Letters were sent too Gamestop general and district Managers both sent me back identical copy and paste letters on the procedures of trading in used games. No good. Why would target take it back? Cause they wanted me shopping there. Plus I know that Gamestop would have taken my Cave Story and sold it as new. Sad



Rerun said:

I go where I can value for money (I don't buy used games unless they're ultra rare)
Amazon doesn't charge tax which saves me a couple of bucks
GameStop has nice Pre-order stuff
Other retailers would go on sale and you can get new games cheap!
Unless Nintendo moves to a cloud set-up like Apple, I'm not going digital



Capt_N said:

^Not to mention, when/if servers go down, no one can get a hold of their game saves, or the games themselves, if they are stored on servers. I'm for physical copies, especially for the price(s) most games are.

I will d/l virtual games, & their dlc sometimes(I'll use Mega Man 9 as an example), but I really would just prefer physical copies. & b/c of physical vs. digital copy debate, I don't d/l a whole lot, & what/when I do d/l, it's something I can't get in physical hard copy form. Rytmik Retrobits as another example.



Ducutzu said:

I buy from because I am disgusted by GameStop. The employees that I met are not knowledgeable about simple things such as release dates. Moreover, they are big Sony fans that actively try to steer buyers away from Nintendo products. Even now, if you ask the GameStop employees in my local store about the Nintendo 3DS, they will tell you to keep your money for the upcoming hardware revision (?!)



crumpledpapyrus said:

Some really interesting comments here! Personally I've found I tend to buy most of my games online now. Price is the major factor for me; I really wanted to buy my 3DS XL from the high street but found I could buy a brand new one online for the same price as a pre-owned one in the shops. I'm a fan of physical copies and I think many others are so I don't see them going any time soon.

@Onett Thanks for the kind words

@mudjo I used to live in Joondalup a few years back, not too far from Claremont - small world.



Jaz007 said:

To the people who say GameStop trade in prices are a ripoff. It's like a pawn shop, you easily sell your products and get cash/store credit. They have to buy things at low prices in order to make a profit on them.



Jaz007 said:

The customer service varies with the employees at the store. My local GameStop has great customer service and very knowledgeable about . Fact one of them remembers who I am even when I am on the phone and don't say my name.



Windy said:

I am going to miss Gamestop I loved picking up used games there. The issue of not taking back a new Christmas gift doesnt sit well with me where either Walmart and Target would have taken the game back at store credit with no problems. I called both stores. Gamestop lost a 500.00 per year customer, I guess that doesn't matter to them



SyFyTy said:

@Jaz007 I agree, you can't steal from someone who doesn't own it either.If I sing 'Help' by the beatles and don't sell my performance, they don't earn or deserve a penny. Like-wise if I make a car in my own garage with my own parts and it looks like a Mercedes, it doesn't mean I owe them a damd dime.I made it. You can't steal what you can't hold. period. end of discussion with ANY media IMO



Shiromikio said:

Good discussion article.

For Nintendo games, I mostly go retail and cartridges partly because I like the extra content (accessories, art booklets, etc.) that comes with some games. Occasionally I order online if there's a cool pre-order bonus or if I can't find a title in-store, e.g. older DS games like Tetris DS. As long as they keep the prepaid eShop cards I don't mind whether a game is retail or downloadable, just glad that it's released. However, if I see a box set with bonus content and a downloadable version with no bonus content, both at the same price, guess which one I'd pick?

On used games: sometimes I find a gem in the used section (Rhythm Thief was surprisingly elusive here in Canada, unless you order online from a US store.) As for used games somehow hurting publishers because of lack of royalties paid back, admittedly it's a bit sad. That said, I see used games as somewhat like used books. There are lots of bookstores specialising in used books, I don't know if publishers get a chunk of the sales either, but these bookstores help make books more affordable and accessible. Some books go out of print fast, just like some games only get 1-2 runs. Retailers might make profit from used games, but the pre-owned system also keeps a lot of good games from going into game heaven/landfill, and gives people who have just started their collection another chance to pick up the older games. Usually, I try to get new when it's at hand, since for recently released games (providing they put out enough) I don't need to hunt in the used corner.

The other thing about retail vs online, it's down to the user experience. Some people like to hold a physical copy in their hands, and being able to talk to other gamers or the guy running the shop. I see parents taking their children to the games store on weekends, even if just to look at what's new. Some people prefer the space-saving/portable downloadable version, like having the games delivered straight to their door. No lineups to pay, no jostling crowds.



arrmixer said:

Personally I love physical copies but if the price is right I'll go digital... I agree with others commenting on how gamestop is making a killing off used games and paying no royalties to developers/publishers/consoles... etc..

Everyone talks about pirating but gamestop are the thugging it legal... that's crazy... if I buy a used game because I can find it new I'd rather get it from ebay...

New games I get it where ever there is a deal ...



GreenDream said:

I have always only bought used games which are older, not new. Typically, the "new" games I buy are from over the internet. Rather the developer get a bigger cut for their own work than the retailers.

It's interesting how legalities can twist something that's not necessarily good into something that is perceived as good, just because it is a law, and the cultural conditioning of "all rules must be followed" controls many people's brains... Not all laws are good.



Schprocket said:

It's not a poll I can help with because rather than use one methodology over others, I may use any of them depending factors such as how desperate I am for the game, what's the offer, and at a price that I am prepared to justify to myself as acceptable.

That said, the least likely is the supermarket/variety chain but I will use their catalogs to get a price-match in a specialist game store.



GreenDream said:

For physical copies, I prefer to shop at independent stores... Unfortunately, they are very prone to being closed down, because of the monopolistic gouging the distributors levy upon retail stores. There used to be several independent game stores in my area, but almost all of them are gone due to the distributors taxing them too highly, expecting them to compete with Gamestop...

The only independent store left deals almost exclusively in retro and used titles... So if Gamestop goes under one day, then they had it coming, for participating in the monopolistic practices towards smaller independent stores! I don't shop at Gamestop at all anymore.



Yanni said:

I gave up on physical copies for PC games. Steam is the way to go for me.
Nintendo games I buy on disc/cartridge, the only exceptions are Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land, which I got the codes for from some promotions.



kaboart said:

Every experience I had buying or selling on amazon have been 5 star. I cannot say the same on eBay, or much less in Gamestop. It's just ridiculous how a used game devalue so fast for them. I'm sorry to confess I'm not going to miss that store chain if its closes down.

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