Opinion: Your Local Game Store is Going Bust
The place where you buy your games is facing tough times. A block on used games will surely spell the end.
April 3, 2012
by Colin Campbell
Your local games retail store is going out of business.
It'll take a while to play out, but it's happening. It's just a matter of time before sad-faced staff members are given their slips, shelving is auctioned off, windows are whitewashed. Eventually, your beloved emporium of fun will be turned into a place to buy gruesomely-packaged cleaning products.
Whether you visit a cozy hobby store or a chain-outlet that's dedicated to gaming or some monolithic electronics warehouse, it makes no difference. All are headed for oblivion.
Even last week, Best Buy closed a bunch of stores and booted a gaggle of luckless staff out of its smoothly sliding electronic doors.
Best Buy staff have been laid off.
Sooner or later you and everyone else you know will cease to buy games in boxes, and will consume them, entirely, via downloads. Probably you have already begun to buy games as purely digital entities.
When retailers finally disappear, it will come at a price.
These games are elegantly and silently shipped to you down wires. They are delivered through blinking devices while you seek a slightly more comfortable position on your couch. There is no call for rumbling trucks, stacked pallets, shopping malls. You don't have to worry about parking or reserving a copy or dealing with that infinitely bored young woman as she offers up the unconvincing benefits of a rewards card.
But despite their many short-comings, retailers serve an essential role for we gamers and for the wider games industry. When they finally go, it will come at a price for everyone.
What's most disconcerting is that the games retail outlets aren't just going to be victims of history, not merely the collateral damage of progress. They are to be systematically wiped out by their closest friends and their most bitter rivals, the games publishers.
Why Retailers Are in Trouble
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