Store: EB Games
Location: Houston, TX in West Oaks Mall
Employee Description: Bald Dork, Mr. Mag Pusher
Submitted By: MidnightScott

So just last year in June 2006, I called around the stores because I had garnered interest in a game called Trauma Center: Under the Knife for the DS. The guy on the phone at the store in the mall said he had it, so we went down there, and he sold me it used for $22 exactly if I signed up for Game Informer Magazine. You know honestly I didn’t want another magazine since I had Nintendo Power, and the guy seemed really pushy.

My mom asked me if I wanted it so I just rolled my eyes and said go ahead. So we wasted that extra $14.99 or whatever it cost on some crappy Game Informer magazine. I read the first issue and already knew it was worthless, they were a bunch of Sony fanboys. And I just NOW discovered that the magazine is owned by GameStop Corp…which just really ticked me off.

Guaranteed to work!

June 7, 2007

Store: EB Games
Location: Downtown, Seattle, WA
Employee Description: Clerky McHateshisjob
Submitted By: JBourrie

I’m a firm believer that a game purchased within the launch window should be purchased new. Saving $5 by not paying the developers is counterproductive to gaming as an industry. Yet it never surprises me the lengths some sales vultures will go to convince me that buying used is good for the consumer. From saving an extra quarter by spending $15 on a magazine, to ironic lectures about greedy publishers, I’ve heard every “buy used” pitch imaginable… or so I thought, until I went to EB looking for Metroid Prime.

When I asked for the game, the first thing Clerky did was grab a used copy and ring it up. When I noticed what he had done, I politely asked for a new copy instead. An awkward silence followed, as if he were somehow confused by my request. Then the pitch started, and having deflected this onslaught many times before I didn’t even have to think before answering “no” to each of the standard arguments. I could tell Clerky was getting frustrated, and in one final desperate strike he told me:

“We check all used games for scratches and defects before we sell them. We don’t do that with new games, so we can’t guarantee the game will work unless you buy it used!”

I walked out with a NEW copy of Metroid Prime, and a USED copy of Worms: Armageddon. The next day I returned that copy of Worms because a scratch on the disc froze up my Dreamcast during the loading screen. Years later, Metroid Prime still works perfectly.

Evil EB

June 7, 2007

Store: EB Games
Location: Macedonia, OH + Solon, OH
Employee Description: Fat Nerd + Surfer Dude
Submitted By: Ghaleon

I’ve harbored hatred for EB since Gamestop bought them. Price fixing + no competition + no old games = totally awesome.

When Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence came out, I actually pre-ordered to get the exclusive bonus disc. I learned my friend from high school was the main dude at the Solon EB, so I patronized his location instead of the one five minutes from my house.

Lo and behold, on MGS3:S launch day, he wasn’t at the store, and the other clerk said my “friend” had given away all the bonus discs to completely random people coming in and out of the store weeks before the game released. “Oh hey, we got these Metal Gear things, who wants one,” I guess was his sentiment. Naturally they didn’t call the pre-order people to let them know the discs had come in. I had to call myself because the clerk would only try the one by my house, literally every GS/EB in Cleveland to find a store that miraculously had a few extra copies. Never went back to my friend’s.

Also, everyone knows they sell used copies as “new,” but this was a shock to me first time I saw it. Dude at my Macedonia branch takes Trauma Center DS off the shelf (disfigured by their stupid “NEW” sticker), puts in the game in, and won’t sell it as used though it clearly had been around. When I went home and it had a game save, yeeeah, boycott.

The only time I attempted to buy anything there since was trying to get Super Paper Mario on my lunch hour. Seeing SIX Marios new and in prominent display on shelf, I wait in line for A) A kid trying to build “Elder Scrolls FIVE,” B) Some brainiac’s trying to return opened games for full money back with no receipt, and C) Some random event in which the clerk had to extricate himself to the back of the store and help idiots shop for PSP titles.

Finally I get up there and request Mario, but I get the Question: “DID YOU PRE-ORDER?” “No.” “Sold out.” “WTF are those displayed on the shelf like they’re actually FOR SALE then?” and walked out, because I’d kind of expected that. I went to Circuit City after work, where they had about 25 copies.

I have no idea why people bother bitching about Wal-Mart when Gamestop is 10 times the customer-unfriendly monopoly of an organization.