June 12, 2007
Location: Stratford Square Mall – Bloomingdale, IL
Employee Description: Pasty Kid and Nerd Girl
Submitted By: Dan
Shortly after the PSP launched in the US I was walking through a nearby mall with a friend of mine and passed through the GameStop. Shortly after walking into the store I got a spiel “Welcome to GameStop where we have PSPs in stock” as if the employee behind the counter was answering the phone. Since the PSP had only launched a week or so prior I asked how it was selling at this particular location. The employee said “Great, it’s killing that kiddie DS” and I responded very politely “Well, so far in its first week or two in the US.” The employee’s reaction was rather frustrated and said “No everywhere, it’s crushing it in Japan too.”
At that point it was the last straw, I’ve worked for video game magazines (both print and paper) in the past and I still keep up with the industry. I knew exactly how well the DS and PSP were doing in Japan since Famitsu’s sales numbers are extremely easy to locate and are updated weekly. At this point I corrected the employee with the appropriate differences in sales figures based on the most recent numbers I had heard.
The pasty employee (and then the nerd girl employee who came from the back of the store overheard) then said “No, you’re wrong. The Sony rep came in and told me they’re killing Nintendo.” I then said “He’s the Sony rep, he’s probably no better informed than that lady siting on the bench by the mall fountain” at which point he became more irritated. The female employee then came up to me and said “Like we’re going to believe you over the Sony rep.”
I decided to settle this dispute, my friend had a phone with web, though the resolution was low, reception was lousy in the mall (since it’s using a cell phone), I was able to bring up the numbers on the phone to show the GameStop employees I was correct. Their reply “Those numbers could be fake, anyone can make a website.” I then showed them several other sources, they remained quite unconvinced and eventually said “Maybe if I saw it in a magazine I’d believe it.”
Since Famitsu is the source of Japanese sales statistics a week or two later I picked up an issue at an overpriced Japanese bookstore in a Japanese mall nearby. While the magazine is Japanese I was very fortunate in the sense that this particular issue had a visual chart of sales numbers for the PSP and DS up to that point. Just for fun I decided to return to the mall (with a different friend and copy of the magazine in hand) a few days later.
To my luck one of the two employees (the pasty kid) was working. After he finished with some customers I brought up my earlier discussion and showed him the chart, at first he tried to deny what he saw since he couldn’t read it, but when you look at pictures of the two systems and numbers attached directly below it, the truth became inevitable. He then said “It doesn’t matter anyway. The Microsoft rep told me they are coming out with a portable soon, and it will kill the DS.”
June 11, 2007
Store: EB Games
Location: Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, CT
Employee Description: Too much turnover to remember
Submitted By: Nick Utter
This was right about the time that GTA was finally announced for the Xbox. I was browsing the store looking for God knows what and a mother and her small child entered the store. The boy couldn’t have been more than 10. Anyhow, mom noted that she wanted a videogame system for her boy and that he wanted two games. She looked down at him and he noted that he wanted Grand Theft Auto and Halo.
After the parent of the year ceremony ended, the clerk let her know that she’d want a PS2 for her boy. He noted that GTA was a Sony franchise and that those games weren’t going anywhere. As for Halo? Microsoft was going under and Sony was already in position to buy the rights to the Halo franchise…
June 8, 2007
Store: EB Games
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC on 10748 Kings Road
Employee Description: Mary Katherine Gallagher, ’nuff said
Submitted By: YuSaKu
2005 was a pretty good year for my wife and I, and she really wanted to get
me something special for Christmas. So while we were out shopping, she
decided that we should go over to EB Games.
We went to the one I usually visited, located in Colonial Mall. The first
thing I noticed was all these signs up saying that this store would not be
taking any orders for the Xbox 360. Suddenly my wife changed her mind, and
we left. We went across the street, and saw signs up advertising the ‘Grand
Opening’ of a NEW EB Games store. We went there.
Once we were inside, my wife announced to me that she was going to pre-order
a 360 for me. The employee who ended up taking the pre-order was the store
manager, who bore a striking resemblance to the woman from Saturday Night
Live who does the “Superstar!” routine.
We asked all the right questions: How many units will you receive on LAUNCH
DAY (Not Launch WEEK, or Launch MONTH), What comes in the Premium bundle,
How much do we have to put down, etc.
After some debating, my wife decides to pay the bill in full, even though
she was only required to pay $10. Why? Because the store manager told her,
right in front of me, that if she paid in full, she was GUARANTEED a Premium
system on LAUNCH DAY. I was skeptical, but it was my wife’s decision, so I
let it pass. We were given a number on the list (#4), and were told that
since the store had only been open a few hours, we were the FIRST CUSTOMERS
to place a pre-order for a 360. Who were the first three? The employees.
Fast forward to launch day. I called the store at noon to see when we could
pick up the 360. The manager answered, and I could tell by the tone of her
voice that something was wrong. She told me that they only got in ONE
SYSTEM, and to call back NEXT WEEK.
I did the sensible thing: I called every day for the rest of that week, and
then called the district manager. He informed me that what the manager did
was not only unethical business practice, it was a lie; he was standing in
the warehouse, and there were plenty of 360 units. So as soon as I got off
the phone with him, I called the store again. This time I got another
employee, who told me that Microsoft wasn’t making anymore 360 units until
after February, and I would have to wait until then to get one.
That was the last straw. I went down to the store the next day, determined
to leave with either the 360 my wife paid for, or a refund. The manager was
there, and after some discussion, she REFUSED to issue us a refund. I was
about to commit an act of murder when another employee came out of the stock
room with a Premium 360 bundle.
Well, she very well couldn’t refuse to give it to me when it was out in
plain sight, so I went over and took it from him. A week later, I was in the
neighborhood, so I went back to the store to see if I could get more
information about what was going on. The manager was not there, and the
other employees did not recognize me, so I was able to eavesdrop on their
conversation. Apparantly, the manager had been selling the 360’s that came
in to her employees and friends so that they could all sell them together on
Ebay and split the profit.
I tried to get back in touch with that district manager, but always got an
automated voice mail. About a month later, I was told over the phone that he
no longer worked for the company. The manager in question is, as far as I
know, still there.
Store: Game Crazy
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Submitted By: Ryu
Was in Game Crazy, picking up my copy of Oblivion, and got to talking to the manager about Halo 3 and PS3. I mentioned that the reasons why I wasn’t getting a PS3 and was sticking with the Xbox 360 was because Hi-def was useless to me, as I dont have an HD TV, and because Halo 3 was only on 360. He responded with something along these lines: “Oh yeah? Well too bad for you, cause Halo 3 is only coming on out HD DVD, Microsoft said so, so guess what sucker? You gotta buy one anyways. Sucks to be you.”
I stared at him for a few moments, and then laughed in his face and walked out. I told all my friends and family, and Game Crazy has since then lost all of our business. Never in my life have I been treated so rudely at any store before.
June 7, 2007
Location: Champs-Elysées, Paris, France
Employee Description: Marty McFly
Submitted By: Pomme
I was wandering in the store, checking some new games. It was about 5 months before the Xbox 360 launch, pre-orders were open and the clerk and I started a conversation on the abilities of the next Microsoft console. We talked about achievements and all, and then he told me that he went to a Microsoft conference the day before where Microsoft officials announced that we would be able to install any PC game in the 360 (especially the new Age of Empire 3), and that on top of it, it would boost graphics with no loading times, etc…
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota at Mall of America, 3rd floor.
Employee Description: ahh….too old to be working at the mall?
Submitted By: Jackie Steege
Allow me to preface this with this is a bad GameStop: Mall Rats +
Gaming store = mediocrity.
Anyway, a woman comes into the store looking to buy an Xbox 360 for
her son I think. The guy tells her that the Xbox 360 is hard to find
(this is after the release of the Ps3, and after the warranty on the
Xbox 360s were extended), which is a dirty lie. He also tells her that
he happens to have one in the backroom, just for her! The sales clerk
then begins to tell her that the Xbox 360 has been having some
problems, and he thinks it’s best for her investment to not only buy a
cooling unit for it, but also one of those great service plans (which
are good only when the manufacturer’s warranty runs out) , since “the
Xbox 360 has a very very very limited warranty, and Microsoft hardly
honors it at all. If it lights on fire, I doubt Microsoft would even
The woman gets really concerned about the Xbox 360 burning down her
house and the man attempts to sell the cooling unit (a bunch of fans
strapped to an xbox), as a preventative anti fire device. He told her
“They made these coolers so that your Xbox 360 can’t start on fire.
Yeah, people are having a lot of problems with these consoles and
fire, and this works super well. I have like 5 attached to my xbox at
home.” The woman, who is still concerned about her Xbox 360 starting
the entire place on fire asks, “so this (the cooling thing for an
Xbox 360) will stop a fire?” To which GameStop employee replies, “Absolutely.”
She ends up leaving because she’s so concerned about the fire risk
and doesn’t want to buy one at all.