The Jimquisition: Circle Of Strife

http://www.patreon.com/jimquisition
http://sharkrobot.com/collections/jimquisition-merch

GameStop, it’s time to sit before The Jimquisition and listen to the charges brought before you. Lament, ye sinner, and may God have mercy ‘pon your rotten soul.

Also, your Circle of Life thing is broken bullshit, as is your whole working relationship with the game industry. Shove THAT in your circle.

(Kotaku’s coverage can be found here)

  • 09philj

    GAME isn’t the best game shop in the world, but the employees are actually encouraged to, you know, help customers.

    • galactix100

      It’s been a while since I’ve been in a branch of game but I’ve never had them try to pressure me into buying pre-orders, used games or fucking magazine subscriptions

      • diamond

        From what Total Biscuit said on Mailbox, that’s EXACTLY what the Game store he worked in pressured him into doing.

        • Chris Schwartz-Brown

          And remember folks, your anecdotal evidence is worthless and your opinions are wrong if a big name YouTuber disagrees or has ever said otherwise.

          • diamond

            Not really no, just saying it’s not a U.S. only thing like some people seem to believe it is. Are you doubting that TB’s story is true.

            I never your evidence was “worthless” or anything like that or that your “opinion was wrong”, not sure where on earth you got that from.

        • galactix100

          I’m not saying it’s not a thing at Game. It’s been years since I last went into a branch of Game and bought something. All I’m saying is in the numerous times I’ve bought something from Game before I just ordered stuff online I never once experienced any of the stuff Jim discussed in any way shape or form.

          • diamond

            Well it’s the same case for me with my local Gamestop, they’ve never aggresively tried to push pre-orders on me or anything like that.

    • Scott John Harrison

      We had gamestops up here in Newcastle but they went bankrupt like 75% of HMVs last decade.

      The reason Gamebis good is simple competition. Game competes with CEX and Grainger Games (Not sure how regional that is.) in used games and Grainger Games, Argos, toys r us and amazon on new games.

      • 09philj

        I always get the impression that Grainger Games and CEX’s stock might have been nicked out of the back of a truck. Not that I mind, it’s cheap and convenient.

    • GreenGarden x 5th DD Clone (:

      I remember before it closed down, the people who worked at the GAME near me were the nicest.

    • diamond

      Not from Total Biscuit’s own experience working at one, his manager bailed and left him to run the store all by himself on the day of the Wii launch.

      • MJC

        That doesn’t disprove the claim that GAME employees are encouraged to help customers. That just proves that TB’s manager was a prick.

        • diamond

          TB actually had a few funny stories involving customers at Game, one lady bought two really shitty games(Crazy Frog Racer and Smarties Meltdown) new, then she tried to return them saying they did not work, TB did not believe her since both games were sealed copies, but his manager insisted on giving her a refund. Another customer tossed a PSP case(one of those hard plastic ones) at his head after they were unable to buy it with a copy of Outrun, TB managed to duck in time and the PSP case ended up smashing the glass behind the desk.

  • MM

    Reminds me of that Disney’s song.. ‘it’s the Ciiiircle of Strife.” …

  • Miles Saintborough

    Gamestop should just become a used games store and/or digital download distributor.

    • Imp Emissary

      Why don’t they?

      Couldn’t they just keep taking in games from customers and selling them alongside the non-game merchandise?

      Or can they only do that with games they already sold?

      Anyway, Thanks for the great show, Jim!
      Bless you for also remembering the Bowling Green Massacre. I’m sure Kellyanne would appreciate it. ;D

      Thank God for you, Jim. =w= b

    • Gennadios

      From the sound of it they already are a used game store.

      I don’t know the situation in rural areas without access to broadband, but in my area Gamestop is primarily a pokemon game/console hardcopy distributor, everyone interested in digital distribution already has a preferred service.

      The digital distribution marketplace has enough established competition that even with name recognition, Gamestop would need to invest alot of money for it to take off, and I get the impression that they don’t have alot of money.

      • Miles Saintborough

        Yeah, but I’m saying enough with the pretenses and just go full pre owned.

  • Appretaur

    I remember in the past Jim had the perspective that people were wrong when they claimed that Gamestop was the root of a lot of the rest of the entire game industry’s woeful patterns and behavior. Or something like that (did I even get that right?)… I wonder how that relates to this story.

    • diamond

      Jim still believes that, they are certainly not the root of all evil in the industry.

  • Gennadios

    Is the Zombie Jar Jar Boglin an allegory for Gamestop?

  • MrInsecure

    I read the amended complaint by Mr. Romine, and all I can say is that I don’t see how this lawsuit can go forward, especially if his sole means of establishing personal jurisdiction is a token donation he made for the specific purpose of establishing jurisdiction.

  • Chris Schwartz-Brown

    Thank God for Jim on this one. This is one of the best episodes he’s done in a while.

    I’ve not shopped in a Gamestop for years because of this exact issue. I still remember the last time I went to one, I called in advance on launch day to see if they had any copies of a game that my local big box stores weren’t bothering to carry. I was told ‘yeah, we have it’ and so I drove in. The store was five minutes away, and it wasn’t a particularly busy day. But when I got there, a different person than who had answered the phone, this one I recognized as being one of the managers of this location, told me they only had their pre-order copies and didn’t have one for me.

    If this had been an isolated incident I might have chalked it up to miscommunication, but this was the reason I tended to look at my local Target and Walmart first, because I was tired of the push for pre-orders or used sales at Gamestop already, of walking in a week after a game launched and being told all they had were used copies (I will buy used copies some times, but I’ve had bad luck with discs being scratched or used copies not having manuals or other materials like that that I don’t do it for games I’m really looking forward to). Now I’m sure some commenters, I can think of one in particular, will rush to say /they’ve/ never had this problem, but this is so widely reported that it can’t just be my one shitty local store. My former roommate worked for a different location for a few months and told me that he was explicitly told he had to move pre-orders first and foremost and that walk in sales weren’t what they were looking or. It’s just not a company I want to support, and I’m glad to buy most of my games digitally now or through Amazon instead.

    • diamond

      I still prefer Gamestop because Target and Walmart’s game selection is pitiful and the employees are nowhere near as knowledgeable about games as Gamestop’s are.

      My store never tried to push pre-orders on me or anything like that and they’ve never lied to me about not having certain games in stock.

      I can’t afford to buy all my games digitally(otherwise i’d be broke ten times over) I save money by trading in my used games for new ones.

      There’s actually a Forbes article that suggests the Kotaku article was exaggerated:http://www(DOT)forbes(DOT)com/sites/erikkain/2017/02/02/rumors-of-gamestops-terrible-circle-of-life-program-may-be-overblown/#54a188fe3fb0

      I find it bitterly ironic when people say they prefer to shop at Walmart over Gamestop because of the latter’s treatment of employees, when Walmart(and Amazon) treats it’s own employees FAR FAR worse then Gamestop ever did.

      • MJC

        Forbes is wrong. It’s impossible to dispute the Reddit thread where GameStop employees are literally sharing tips with each other about how to keep their numbers up.

        • diamond

          Forbes is not wrong, because it has actual quotes from Gamestop employees(i’m guessing you didn’t read the whole thing).

          • Tolrag

            Forbes has one quote, from one store manager but claims that the Kotaku article (with nearly a hundred accounts from employees) is “complete nonsense”.

  • John Hagg

    I wonder what kind of profit a business like Amazon makes off the sale of game hard copies. I know I certainly prefer to shop there rather than a brick and mortar like Gamestop.. course being on a base overseas its that only place I can shop. Also Jim, chin up on the lawsuit.. can’t wait to see what real life Mysterio does to those pair.

    • diamond

      Not me, Amazon is sometimes late in shipping new releases and there’s always the risk of them getting damaged in the mail, plus they treat their employees FAR worse then Gamestop does.

      • Gendreavus

        This is exactly the reason I switched to Best Buy for online shopping. Shipping is free on orders over $50 (without having to pay for any subscription service), and they ship it so it arrives on launch day.

        I’ve had good experiences with preordering from Costco as well, though you need a membership and their selection isn’t great, so I’ve only been able to do it twice. They charge for shipping, but they actually sell the games so much cheaper than MSRP that it’s still under cost.

        GameStop has their market share because the word ‘Game’ is in their name. Once you look around a bit you’ll find that there are tons of better alternatives out there.

        • diamond

          I disagree on that, games are cheaper for me at Gamestop because i’ve always got older games to trade in and I have a Powerup Rewards Pro membership which gets me a discount, and I also redeem my points for the occasional coupon, so all of that combined saves me quite a bit of money, free shipping from Best Buy on orders for over 50 dollars sounds like a major rip-off to me in comparison.

          • Gendreavus

            I guess that might change things if you like to trade games in. I dont, I’ve regretted every trade-in I’ve ever done, so free shipping or under-MSRP preorders are as good as it gets for me. Even so, you’d be surprised to find how many places will take your used games at or above Game Stop’s prices.

            I’m not saying DON’T use Game Stop if it makes enough financial sense that you can ignore the uglier side of their business, I just want people to know their options.

  • RuRiK_87

    God, thank you for giving us this lovable teddy bear of a man.

  • SilentPony

    So that means Steam is Unicron huh? Harvesting publishers to serve as its new army, and one by one eating away at the Console market.

    • HelixShade

      With GOG as Optimus Prime?

      • SilentPony

        Actually I think GOG is the Junkions. Getting old rusted stuff up and running, jerryrigging things, and overall bring the old back to life.

        • HelixShade

          That works too I guess ^^

        • MJC

          Except GOG has new stuff as well if the publishers aren’t total dickheads that insist on DRM. Always check GOG before you buy, they might have it too and then you can get it DRM free and not support Valve and their bullshit.

          • Gaealiege

            Praise be in Jim’s name. May GOG sap all the *clears throat* Steam from the online gaming market.

  • Doublep

    All nice, but the day in which Gamestop will fail, die, or change business model, will be a very sad one, as when the corporations will have exclusive rights on the distribution of their games, we will all be pretty much fucked. No used games, no sales to compete with the used games market, entire libraries of games bought for 60 dollars that disapper as soon as the console we play them on is a bit old…

    …also, Hors d’oeuvre?

    • diamond

      Yeah, it’s because of that that I will continue to support my local Gamestop store for as long as I live(or as long as they live) as the employees have always treated me very well.

    • MJC

      Because GameStop is definitely both the only store where you can buy new physical copies AND the only way you can sell old games for money. Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Newegg, Kmart, local non-chain stores, eBay, Craigslist, Glyde, and more don’t exist. If GameStop goes under it’s all digital because there are literally no other stores to shop at.

      • Doublep

        Well, it’s not the fall of Gamestop in general (which at this point would be well deserved), but the fact that selling brand new physical copies of games is “bad business”.
        While the Gamestop politcs are still awful, and there are better distributors to go to, if the numbers are those told by Jim (2 dollars profit on a 60 dollars game), you can imagine physical copies disappearing very fast, no matter the shop, and without physical copies there are no used games…

        • diamond

          I don’t see physical games vanishing that quickly.

  • SilentPony

    I once stubbed my toe in Bowling Green. #GetRidOfEveryoneNotLikeME

    • Chris Schwartz-Brown

      I remember the tragedy of Bowling Green, all those people stampeding to get their copies of Battleborn. Such a senseless waste, didn’t they know that there would be plenty of copies and that it would have such a rich, long life as a game? There was no need to rush!

  • Salador

    Seems to me that a simple solution would be for Gamestop to offer a cut of preowned sales to publishers in exchange for a higher cut of new sales.

    Or to just go full pre-owned. In any case this is just a stupid policy which just makes going to their stores a horrible experience, and it shows that the big management guys are so disconnecte from both the consumers’ desires and the boots on the ground experience of their own workforce. Think about how much business has just walked out of Gamestop because of the forced pushiness of salespeople, and think about how much it hurts morale to try and try to sell something to someone that they clearly don’t want, only to watch yourself fail and then scramble to do the next thing as soon as someone else walks in. Even a sale of 2 dollars is still making money, and obviously the more new sales they make the more discs out there that can be traded back to Gamestop.

    • diamond

      I personally blame publishers for starting this whole thing, but I agree a compromise would be nice.

      • MJC

        Publishers started this? Citation needed.

        • diamond

          They started it when they took 95% of the revenue from sales of new games, it was only after that when used games started being pushed. Publishers have always had a boogeyman to blame, first it was game rentals, then piracy, and now used games.

  • HelixShade

    I’ve been keeping up on the DigiHom Lawsuit since I first heard about this. I’m still rooting for you to come out on top of this Jim…though I keep hoping each day the case simply gets thrown out because of the Romines wasting everyone’s time.

    However, this ought to make your day a bit brighter. A Reddit user found a very familiar stamp at the top of Page 1. I can’t link the post, but I can show you the image.

    Suck it, DigiHom.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/210c17cda3bbb41cd7d673933741f2295001bc9d05073430afe8273189947eb7.png

    • RedWolf

      Please, oh please let this be the nail in their coffin.

      • Dibella

        Naw, that’s just a procedural error, all it means is that some 70+ court clerk with a chip on her shoulder didn’t like how it was filed, so they’ll have to re-file it.

  • Alan Baxter

    One thing that makes me laugh about this lawsuit is that if it does ever go to trial (and I hope it doesn’t – wouldn’t wish that on anyone) is that there is going to be a courtroom full of people who are going to have to sit down, in all seriousness, and watch episodes of The Jimquisition. The idea of Jim having to explain the cornflake homunculus to an entire courtroom is somewhat amusing.

    • Mauricio

      Mister Sterling…one of your segments in your show seems to be called…the bogling watch? Care to elaborate in the matter?

      • drownedsummer

        Open his Youtube channel and go to playlists and well open the Boglinwatch videos.

      • Landy Alexander

        Would the defendant like to present their case?

        *Jim stands up, walks to the center of the courtroom. Erasure’s Chains of Love starts playing from somewhere… everywhere at once. Suddenly a dildo bat is in his hands. He starts dancing. Articles of clothing are flying off him. Women and children are gasping, shrieking. As the song comes to a close, Jim collapses, fully nude, sweaty and panting. With a gesture, hidden air cannons spray hundreds of near mint pogs on to his prone form. Jim’s lawyer clears his throat.*

        We rest our case.

        • 09philj

          “How do you find the defendant?”
          “Sexually irresistible, your honour.”

    • Benj

      Jim swearing in:

      “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth… thank God for me”

    • Fallen Prime

      He will be represented in the courtroom by Miniature Fantasy Willem Dafoe. And he will win him an innocent verdict. Not “not guilty,” INNOCENT. MFWD is that good.

    • MJC

      Don’t forget about the POG Fucker!

  • Richard Fleming

    Last time I step foot in a GameStop was to pickup my Guild Wars 2 CE. Had no choice in the matter, sadly.

  • Dallium

    If I need to buy a recent physical game, I go to Best Buy. I can spend the reward points on shit I actually care about (if not exactly need) and they keep sending my $10 gift cards every other month

    • diamond

      I get a good discount with my Power-Up Rewards Pro membership combined with all the used games I have to trade in(which Best Buy does not accept) and the occasional.

      I never buy games from Best Buy as their selection is not too good and the employees tend to not be very knowledgeable about games unlike the employees at my local Gamestop.

  • Nobody’s Fanboy

    That’s a pretty wild swing. About 10 years ago I had a friend in a different chain that showed me their distributor sheets and it had new games at pretty standard markup…$15-$18 for a $60 game, and then a couple years later…I want to say 2014 or so…a different friend with an independent store showed me one of his sheets, it’d jumped to $49.

    • Gennadios

      It sounds to me like development costs are out of control, then.

      That means that if digital distribution hadn’t come along and help hide the fact that the markup was non existent, the industry would have failed a long time ago.

      • Nobody’s Fanboy

        The “Hollywood Blockbuster” mentality certainly hasn’t helped, no.

        But I can’t help but wonder what the unit costs for for marketing, publisher overhead, and general management bloat are, even just as a fraction of dev costs.

  • SHODANbeta

    As a wise friend once said: Working at Gamestop is like handing out napkins at a masturbatorium.

    • diamond

      I don’t get it.

  • keironsmith123

    Don’t have Gamestop in England but we do have the lovely Game who are just assholes, a while back i was buying a game what was new (i never buy used anymore because i get OCD over used games) and it just so happend to be on offer what meant it was actually cheaper then the used version, the guy at the till still tried to sell me the used version and when i said the new one was cheaper he then tried to make out that was a mistake, what he didn’t know was i knew the manager at the time there so when i told him that and that i will see what she says he then quickly backtracked and made out he must have been “mistaken”. Other then PSN Cards or the odd 3DS game i rarely buy there now and now that they have dropped price-matching last week i have near enough no reason to shop there except for those two things now.

    • drownedsummer

      I only go into Game now as potential source for 3DS streetpass hits.

      • diamond

        Total Biscuit once worked at GAME and he had to work the Wii launch all by himself because his manager bailed on him.

        • drownedsummer

          And he had a 3DS on him in sleep mode at the time?

    • Chris

      You know game tried to enter the Australian market? I saw exactly one but it died out completely.

      • diamond

        From what Yahtzee said there were quite a few Game stores near him in Brisbane.

  • SaburoDaimando

    I wonder how many fans are going to cancel their pre-orders at GameStop because of this.

    Also, you’re not holding back when it comes to Kellyanne Conway or Sean Spicer. Who knows how long till you may have to do a Jimquisition about….UGGH, President Trump.

    • Gennadios

      The day that happens is the day I pull my Patreon funding.

      • Bloodycrow

        How much do you donate?

        Cause I’d pick up your slack if he ever felt things dropped that low or was important enough for him to.

        • Gennadios

          It’s not that I don’t feel Jim’s pain, it’s that I donate to him because there are no other gaming sources left that I feel are trustworthy.

          Political opinions aren’t an issue as long as there’s still a weekly Jimquisition. If the channel reaches the point where JQs are delayed due to scheduling conflicts with political content, or God forbid, a JQ that *is* a political video, it’ll cease to be a gaming channel.

          I’ll drop a PM when it’s time to add $1 to your pledge:)

          • drownedsummer

            But he isn’t a political pundit it’s never going to happen. The one time Jim did cover something along those lines it was within the spectrum of gaming.

          • Gennadios

            I never implied he was, I was merely elaborating on why I dislike the idea of a Jimquisition about Trump. Well, unless he does something that affects gaming.

          • CaitSeith

            Knowing Trump, sooner or later he’ll do something that will affect gaming.

          • diamond

            I don’t seem him wasting time on that.

          • CaitSeith

            I see a 50% that he’ll do (he has wasted time in even more meaningless stuff), and 50% that it will be just part of the collateral damage (like import taxes increasing the price of new games).

          • diamond

            Trump cares more about trying to please the GOP then anything else, and video games are pretty fucking low on the list of priorities for both dems and repubs.

          • CaitSeith

            Surely all those tweets are GOP approved, aren’t they?

          • diamond

            I heard some members of congress are actually afraid of getting mentioned in his tweets.

          • drownedsummer

            You didn’t but isn’t really much logic to why you’re suggesting Jim is likely to start making vids on the subject.

          • Gennadios

            I’m suggesting no such thing. Read the OP, and a few follow up remarks.

            There is a subset of the audience that wouldn’t mind a political pundit Jim. I was merely stating that I’m a backer, and that I’m in it purely for a weekly, game related Jimquisition.

          • Salador

            Doesn’t a ‘Trump’s actions are negatively affecting video games’ episode, if it were to be the case (and the case has already been made that protectionism and travel bans have done/will do so, by Colin Moriarty of all people) meet the criteria of games related?

            I despise Trump, but I kinda agree that I wouldn’t like to see Jim delay his current content schedule and abandon his area of expertise, video games, just to join the legion of Trump bashers. But, if he can bash Trump while still making the Jimquisitions we all know and love, then I’m all for it.

          • > God forbid, a JQ that *is* a political video,

            Uh, well, y’see…

          • MJC

            PM me too, if two of us pick up your slack that means Jim will make MORE money than he was before you pulled your funding. πŸ™‚

    • drownedsummer

      I suspect the day will be never.

    • diamond

      Not too many i’d wager, this news could actually make people want to pre-order more if they happen to like the employees at their local store because they feel compelled to help them out.

    • Mitchell

      People who follow the industry closely enough to read/hear this story should have enough sense to never pre-order anything in the first place.

  • GreenGarden x 5th DD Clone (:

    Gamestop’s tactics are disgusting and I hate how many are saying used games should be banned because of crap like this. Like I get used games for older system, from the Xbox 360 and PS1 that I can’t get from the stores or if it’s the only option for me if it’s to expensive.

    Questions, I’ve been hearing about a Xenoblade Chronicle incident with Gamestop, what was it?

    • THT

      Basically, GameStop would open new copies of Xenoblade Chronicles in order to sell them as used copies for jacked up prices.

      • BAH!

        More than that, they actually had what amounted to a monopoly on the re-print market, so they were able to manipulate the availability and price.

  • Arella Jardin

    This policy is absolute lunacy, I agree to that. But when Jim says the pushing of preorders, insurance, and subscriptions is “overwhelming”, I have wonder if there is an entirely different GameStop out there than the chain of stores I visit. Because seriously, it’s not that bad. Unless maybe the very act of someone speaking to you sends you into a panic attack.

    Clerk: “Will this be all?”
    Me: “Yep.”
    Clerk: “Are there any preorders you’d be interested in today?”
    Me: “Nope.”
    Clerk: “Ok, your total is…”

    Is the correct response to being asked about preorders, to start tearing off your clothes while howling in rage and self flagellating right there at the counter? Because maybe I’ve been doing it wrong.

    • Jiryn

      You’re supposed to punch the clerk square in the nose, or spritz them with water and tell them bad, no harassing the customers.

      • diamond

        Nah the clerks at my store are real nice and non-pushy.

        • Jiryn

          I do hope you realize I am just being silly

          • diamond

            I do

    • diamond

      Yeah that’s definitely not true for my local Gamestop at all, the employees have NEVER shoved pre-orders or season passes down my throat. I choose to pre-order games because it’s convenient for me.

      Learning about this policy just makes me want to keep on trading my used games into Gamestop to help out the employees since they always treated me really well(they gave me a full refund for that piece of shit Federation Force and the clerks even admitted they thought the game was shit as well).

    • Jerome Handy

      I think it has to do with the local competition. I’ve got three Gamestops I use, depending on where I’ll be when I want the game. None of them go overboard with this kind of thing. But they’re all strip mall stores, near a supermarket. All of them are near either a major mall, or a Walmart, and they do fine.

      But two others that are IN the malls, are borderline rabid. Maybe it’s cause they know the customer isn’t gonna go through the mall to come back in, but they’re dedicated to that kind of high pressure tactic. And while the regular Gamestops do have their little add ons for purchase, you can barely MOVE in the mall-based ones without knocking some card pack, pokemon thing, or minecraft knick knack over.

      • diamond

        Yeah the one I go to is at a strip mall that also has several clothing stores attached to it, so they’re never really short on business.

      • Kev’ Bryant

        You know what? I hadn’t thought about this. I always preferred going into the Game store before it moved inside our new mall but never figured out why. Thanks!

        (I had assumed it was because it was the PS2 era and that was more fun.)

        • diamond

          I think this is the best generation yet.

    • Chris

      We’ve got Eb Games in Australia (i believe is owned by Gamestop), and your service experience changes store to store. I’ve gotten simple transactions, then I’ve gotten what you described (Want a preorder? No? Okay! Your total is…).
      BUT THEN… I’ve also received the “Any thing you want to pre order? How about signing up to the eb world card? Subscription to game informer? How about the disc warranty? Only 5 dollars!”
      It’s possible Jim experienced the latter I described

    • MJC

      And if that’s how these transactions actually played out, nobody would be complaining. But they don’t. Don’t be stupid. Part of this video was how some employees are literally lying to customers about not having a new copy in stock so they can sell a used copy instead.

      • Arella Jardin

        I didn’t disagree with the overall video, and I didn’t disbelieve the part where the Circle of Life policy is leading some employees to be dishonest. The only thing I did say about the policy, was that it was lunacy. Don’t call me stupid.

        All I was pointing out was, in terms of “aggressive pushing” of preorders and such, I’ve never experienced that over many, many years at several different stores. They ask, I say No, and that’s the end of it. I know Jim is prone to exaggeration, but their sales pitch is not “overwhelming”.

        • Miles Saintborough

          Milage may vary of course. Your store might not be aggressive, but no one can say the same for other stores.

  • drownedsummer

    While almost entirely unrelated to this Jim’s point about CEO’s made me remember something. A few years back I used to work for the company that provided the IT support for the New York Stock Exchange. I remember seeing a post once on their intranet from their current CEO stating that year he had to take a million dollar pay decrease. This was presented in a way that implied we should feel sorry for him because this is occurring.

    • Mauricio

      Poor sob, how he will buy the lamborguini coated on gold now?

      • Jiryn

        South Park Quote:
        “This month he was hoping to have a gold-plated shark tank bar installed right next to the pool, but thanks to people downloading his music for free, he must now wait a few months before he can afford it. Come. There’s more. Here’s Britney Spears’ private jet. Notice anything? Britney used to have a Gulfstream IV. Now she’s had to sell it and get a Gulfstream III because people like you chose to download her music for free. The Gulfstream III doesn’t even have a remote control for its surround-sound DVD system.”

  • Sperium3000

    Holy shit, Kingdoms of Amalur. It’s been a hot minute, huh?

    • Jiryn

      I keep trying to get into that game, I want to love it but I can’t.

      • Sperium3000

        Same. But it just sucks that the devs never had the chance to make a better sequel. That game had a lot of potential, even if it wasn’t great by itself.

  • AnGer

    Well, this Circle of Life sure as hell ain’t the Wheel of Fortune…

  • Malidictus

    The circle of life, huh? So basically, everything the light touches, don’t sell that! Sell that shadow over there!

  • Jiryn

    While I’ve never worked for Gamestop, I have had many close and personal friends who have over the years. I’ve seen and almost heard everything they’ve done at the store.

    It used to be that the hours you were awarded by the store/corporation were based entirely by your pre-order percentage, and the more pre-orders you made the more hours you were allowed to work. Managers and Key-holders were given a base of a certain amount of hours, but everyone else had to fight for them.

    Then there were other times, before the circle of life. I went to the store to pick up a few items, and after I checked out, I realized I had forgotten a couple things I wanted. My friend who was working that day joked about how all my transactions were hurting him. See, at the time and much like today, Gamestop judged an employees’ worth by how many pre-orders, used, and PUR subscriptions they sold with their transactions, and since I made multiple purchases in a single visit, I lowered my friends percentage.

    Then there is the whole “renting” games debacle. For those who don’t remember, or don’t know. Gamestop employees are allowed to check out any game from the store to play and test so that they are more knowedgable. Many stores will deny it now a days, but it is still allowed to this day, the extent of which they can check out is determined on a store to store basis. Some will allowed the worker to check out new games if they have multiple GUTTED copies in stock (NEVER BUY A GUTTED GS “NEW COPY”) while others claim they don’t let new releases out at all (I claim bs). I remember one time I went into the store to find someone who I spoke to regularly pissed off because he had “tired” a brand new DS RPG, and now had to buy it because there was no delete save file function, effectively proving the “new” game was used and by the companies’ rules he had to now purchase it….

    A few years back, a rather attractive woman was hired at my local Gamestop. She’d dress in a professional, but at the same time rather revealing manner. To get pre-orders and sales, she’d flirt with eveyr customer, even doing cute pouts and whines whenever a guy she was flirting with didn’t make a pre-order, or a large sale after a big trade in. If you had the cancel a pre-order, she would throw a literal temper tantrum and at times even refuse to do it…

    Hell, this weekend I had to deal with some weird ass shit from Gamestop. I went in to pre-order an item that is being advertised for pre-ordered at a discounted price. When the employee asked how much I wanted to put down, I said the full amount… so they put down the standard base price. When I asked what’s up, they employee (the store manager) explained that if the item comes out after the sale has ended, OR I pick up said item after the sale is ended, I will have to pay the base standard price… but if I pick it up while the sale is still going, then I will pay the sale price. That.. just seems weird, considering every other store on the planet if you pre-order or purchase something before release and it’s on sale or even the price lowers.. you get the lower price and don’t have to worry about the price going up.. unless it was a severely absurd missprint. I put the sale price, plus tax, down and went home.

    So yea, I fully and completely can see this “Circle of Life” BS even before it was even more of a mandated company police. I brought it up with a few workers, who laughed it off but then in the same breath complained about how around the holidays their numbers and percentage quotas are absurdly low, then just after new years, BAM, they become almost insurmountable to reach. They found the practice rather back asswards. Hell all my friends who I used in the above examples, except the most recent events, have since quite Gamestop in the last couple of years, some had been working there for over 10yrs as a store manager.

    • diamond

      Sorry you had to deal with that, thankfully the employees at my store seem really happy and have always treated me well and never tried to shove pre-orders down my throat or anything like that, so i’m more then happy to continue rewarding them with my business.

      • Jiryn

        This is across multiple stores.
        Paragraphs 1-4 were in my college town, where I went to class with some of the employees, which is why I considered them friends since we’d hang out now and then. Said store had the highest business turn around in the region (according to the manager)

        The person in the 3rd paragraph who had to buy the game was from my home town, 90 miles away from my college town.

        The last two paragraphs are at my current local Gamestop, and all my friends who quite were from my college town store. They had been working there for years but couldn’t deal with the new policies and new district manager.

        • diamond

          I know that, but it’s not true for ALL Gamestop stores, you can see even see people saying that in the comments section for that Kotaku article.

          • Jiryn

            Oh I know, I didn’t say anything bad…. save for the one thing about the pre-order (which is a true company police), the rest are events that happened to employees or I witnessed an employee doing.

            Most of the recounts were by/from/of friends. I don’t mind the store, but it can be a pain at times depending who is working.

            As for the flirty woman, I had to hold my ex back from decking her.

          • diamond

            My sister actually used to work at Gamestop, and according to her she was hired because the manager was tired of hiring guys, she never complained about that job like she did about her bank job(which she got fired from because her boss was a total dickhead) and I got a discount. I’ll have to ask her sometime about what it was like working there.

            I wouldn’t mind a female employee flirting with me one bit LOL

          • Jiryn

            Flirting is one thing, using sexual advances to get pre-orders is another.

          • diamond

            I still would not object, though i’m more then willing to pre-order of my own free will, nobody has to flirt with me to get me to do that.

  • Polishfury5000

    Got nothing of real substance, or anything that hasn’t been said to add to discussions. Just wanted to agree with Jim that I think this was one of his better made JQs. Really enjoyed the editing and goofs.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go scrub this brown stuff from my nose.

  • Nathan Stapleton

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHEHHUHHOOHAHAAH! Oh. My. God. I’m pretty sure when Mr. Romine shows up to court its going to turn out that he’s, like, nine. He has to be. Making videos showing good Greenlight games is libel against HIM?! HOW?!?!?!?! This person can’t possibly be an actual adult…!

    • Jiryn

      They already called Jim in and interviewed him privately and Jim shut them down without breaking a sweat.

      • CaitSeith

        Oh, that Skype call recording that he uploaded to SoundCloud, right? It was hilarious and saddening at the same time. I still wonder if he was serious when he played the audio from that Jimquisition in that pseudo-gotcha moment that fell short.

        • Jiryn

          I thought they met in person.

          • CaitSeith

            Yeah, I think they did that too later.

      • Andrzej Sugier

        I absolutely love that call, couldn’t have written a script half as funny, all it needs is a laugh track

  • George

    Great episode!

  • Ah US capitalism at its best and yes US capitalism is bat shit loco. Can’t balance things with intensives/discounts to buy regulatory to keep the cogs greased have to make a convoluted system in order to get the company executives covered in grease and they sure as hell are not going to let a bit of that grease into the system to keep it functional………

    • diamond

      It’s not just the U.S., Game in the U.K. does largely the same thing.

      • I dunno half the time globalism seems more sane than AmeiKan capitalism. but at the end of the day if you do not center things around ethics and balancing public consumer needs with consumerism, mob tactics are just as good a method as any to make a buck.

    • Jiryn

      Let’s not forget the .99!!!

      • Fallen Prime

        Gotta keep pennies in circulation somehow.

      • A shame the 99cent(99 percent) can’t stay focused enough to care….all it takes is a shallow trend to follow and the 99cent act like its the end of the world…..

        • Jiryn

          I was referring more to the fact all American prices are .99 like $4.99 instead of $5

          • I like to assume it makes me an ass..or I am an ass and like to assume….mmmmm

          • Jiryn

            Meh, doesn’t matter.

          • I also have a bad habit of replying to anything and talking to myself aloud. ><

          • Jiryn

            Now i am trying to figure out if mean me or yourself.. hehe.

          • Damn son, we must be bored! LOL

  • diamond

    I don’t think Jim laughing at Battleborn’s lack of sales was very funny, I think that game is FAR better then Overwatch and IMO it really deserved to do better.

    • In the overcrowded market it takes more than great game balance, map design, story etc etc. Word of mouth, advertising, previews (where possible) and rarer than it should be in the age of patches and free updates; re-reviews.

      It’s unfair of course but if you like a game you should be shouting about it from the roof tops and hope it makes a difference to the shelf life.

    • CaitSeith

      I think Jim already covered that in a previous Jimquisition, where he explained why Battleborn didn’t get the success that matched its quality.

      • diamond

        I know why, it’s still not funny.

    • Jack Trevor

      Yea but Overwatch has players, continued dev support and a (mostly) positive community backing it up.

      Versus a game that has the company that made Aliens: Colonial Marines and Duke Nukem Forever.

      I still say anybody that said the two were the same is wrong but Battleborn had a lot stacked against it. Including a bad viewing experience.

      • diamond

        Somehow I don’t think Gearbox being the developer had much to do with it’s failure, anyone else could’ve been the developer and it wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference.

  • diamond

    Wow David Braben is a fucking tool with all his incessant whining about used games, same with David Jaffe(I lost so much respect for him after listening to the Podtoid episode featuring him and Jim) and David Cage.

    What is it with people named David having such an irrational hatred for used games?

    • Jiryn

      Cliff Blazinsky is just as bad.

      • diamond

        I haven’t heard him complain about used games for several years now.

        • Jiryn

          He was quite adamant about it for a while.
          Though he’s kinda fallen out of the limelight.

    • MJC

      Used games are fine.

      Just don’t sell or buy them from GameStop. GameStop takes a used game for $5 and sells it for $55. Fuck that, both the buyer and the seller can do better outside of GameStop’s “fuck you give me money” economy.

      • diamond

        The vast majority of the used games I trade in are years old anyways(I generally don’t trade in new releases for months because I want to wait until the DLC is out first) so that’s not really an issue, also please do not tell me what to do with my games. I can’t really do better, it takes forever for me to sell anything on Ebay or Amazon and they charge fucking listing fees, and Walmart, Best Buy and Target do not accept trade ins, so Gamestop truly is my best option.

  • Kimarous

    I find the situation tragic for the ground-level employees of Gamestop. I didn’t know that EB Games was Canada’s branch of Gamestop for many years, and I’ve gone to EB many times. I’ve had many good experiences with the staff, minus the one time my aunt got screwed over because the clerk lied to her (and subsequently got fired after my aunt complained because I clarified the situation). It pains me to think of what goes behind the scenes when I’ve received almost nothing but good service for over a decade.

    • diamond

      If anything this makes me want to support my local store even more, as i’ll feel incredibly guilty if I don’t keep on trading in my used games for new ones, who knows? I might be the person that prevents an employee from being fired, and knowing that I potentially saved someone’s job makes me happy.

  • Jiryn

    OH YES I FORGOT ABOUT THIS
    According to Part 2 (II. ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY), Section A (A. Consumer Protection) of the FTC laws
    “It’s illegal to make false claims about a product, such as ‘It’s out of
    stock’ when it’s not or that a clearance product has a certain markup.”

    Basically, when an Gamestop employee lies about a game not being in stock when it is.. it’s illegal according the the U.S. FTC. A similar case happened in 2009 at Office Depot where they would lie about stock to push other products, much like how Gamestop is pushing used and other items. The FTC stepped in and that was their ruling.

    Look up “A Brief Overview of the Federal Trade Commission’s Investigative and Law Enforcement Authority”

    • Fallen Prime

      Not gonna stick. Not in Trump’s corporation-fellating America.

  • diamond

    I personally think Gamestop still do deserve to be in business as a lot of people still do enjoy going there.

    • Fallen Prime

      “This restaurant has rat poison in all their food, but people should go there because they’re just so nice there!”

      • diamond

        Not the same thing at all, Gamestop does not endanger people’s health. So really bad choice for an analogy.

        • Fallen Prime

          No business in the game industry employs Decepticon hybrids. Is the Megascream analogy bad too?

          • Jiryn

            … *covers Decepticon log on his shirt*

          • diamond

            That at least makes some kind of sense. In general i’ve found that food metaphors really don’t work when talking about games(I.E. those idiots that compare buying COD games to buying nothing by fast food).

          • Fallen Prime

            So it’s only a bad analogy if you don’t like or understand it.

            Cool. I’ll remember that.

          • diamond

            Not really no you moron.

          • Fallen Prime

            Oh, good, back to name-calling to cover a lack of a substantial rebuttal.

            I remember asking you once where you went wrong, that you weren’t always like this. But I was looking through my old Disqus comments recently and learned you were ALWAYS this dense. I was wrong, I admit that.

          • Kev’ Bryant

            Wait? You get a free toy with every COD game?+

        • MJC

          I dunno, I think the GameStop employees living in constant fear of being fired if they don’t meet quotas would disagree about their health not being endangered. Remember, mental health is health too. Stress endangers your health.

          • diamond

            Not really comparable to poisoning food though.

        • How is it not a danger to anybody’s health? The effects of stress over prolonged periods on the human body are pretty well-documented: Heart problems, diabetes, muscular pain, infertility, can trigger diabetes in people predisposed to the condition, weakens the immune system making them more susceptible to infection…

          And I can tell you from experience that a stress induced panic attack feel like a heart attack.

          • diamond

            You know what I mean, stress from work ain’t the same thing as trying to poison someone.

          • I didn’t know that was what you meant – because that’s not how what you say comes across to others. You said comparing a work environment that potentially endangers health to another work environment that potentially endangers health wasn’t applicable because the first example isn’t harmful.

            You didn’t say “not as harmful’. You flat-out stated it’s a situation that doesn’t endanger anyone’s health. Maybe you meant “yeah, but it’s not as immediately harmful” or “it’s not harmful to the customers, unlike the rat poison restaurant” – but that’s not how it reads to the rest of us. The drawbacks of nonverbal communication.

            But I’ll agree Prime didn’t have the perfect analogy for your original post. A better one might be:

            “Well, I know this suit was produced through sweatshop labour, but the people who sold it to me were just so nice, I don’t think we can fault them for it”.

          • diamond

            That’s a better analogy, though still a bit flawed since the people making the clothes in sweatshops do not get any benefit from people buying the clothes, whereas employees jobs at Gamestop are dependent on customers buying products, so since their lives are essentially in my hands and they’ve always treated me well, I feel as though it’s my responsibility to help them out by continuing to give them my business, that might sound ridiculous to some people, but I don’t care. I love going there too much and I don’t see the point in me punishing the employees by not buying from the store just because a few district managers happen to be major dickheads.

          • I can see the merits to that argument – I don’t agree entirely, but I’m not you and it’s definitely not my place to demand you act differently to how your conscience dictates.

            My point of view is that a boycott is useful if people make it known *why* they’re doing it. The focus then shifts from punishing a business for a shitty practice to putting pressure on them to improve the conditions for their employees. Which I hope ends up being the case as more stories pour in from people who’ve had to work under the scheme. I don’t want them to lose their jobs, but it’d be great if they didn’t have to fear for their positions week to week.

          • diamond

            The problem is like Jim stated in previous JQ episodes, boycotts like that are rarely effective, it does not work to say boycott a game cause of microtransactions, cause publishers will just assume that people don’t want any more games for that particular franchise, so all that does is hurt the developers. Likewise boycotting Gamestop will likely just end up hurting the employees in the long run.

            Also the thing is there are plenty of Gamestop stores that treat their employees quite well, hopefully this story leads to the really shitty managers getting fired.

  • Fallen Prime

    May I ask what made you willing at last to openly and directly address the Romine case, Jim?

    • prh99

      I don’t know but judging by what I’ve seen of the last few filings in the case I’d guess cause it’s almost over. The judge gave Romine a chance to refill an amended complaint that had to meet specific conditions (since Digi Hom is an LLC he has to file on behalf of the company not personally etc etc), and he doesn’t appear to have done it, I can’t imagine the judge will be amused . He just goes on confusing negative opinion with defamation this regarding Micro Strategic Game Designs.

      • BAH!

        From what I saw, he may have amended the complaint enough to comply with the request. I don’t think the suit will get much further either way, but I think he’s managed that much, at least.

        • galactix100

          Having watched the Leonard French video, which admittedly is just snippets, it seems like he just replaced DH with Micro Strategic Designs. A lot of it seems like he’s attempting to demonstrate that the company and person are one and the same since most of the supposed defamatory acts/statements are directed at the companies rather than the people themselves. It’s still going nowhere though.

          • InfamousDS

            At best he bought himself some time, since the judge now has to review this new change for validity. I really don’t see how the changes are in compliance, since he is still saying Jim said mean things about my company.

    • ENAY

      Search Leonard French on youtube. He goes through all of Jim Sterling’s case.

  • prh99

    Happy to say I’ve never set foot in a GameStop, and don’t intend to start. Especially in a world where Amazon, Newegg etc are things.

    • diamond

      Happy to say that I have and will continue to do so.

      • prh99

        Be my guest. I just don’t want to do business with what I have for awhile considered to be a shady retailer, and when I can conduct the same transactions else with any hassle.

        • diamond

          The clerks at my never give me any hassle, quite the opposite in fact, they were then willing to give me a refund for that piece of shit Federation Force.

    • Bork Lazer

      You say that proudly as if Amazon isn’t a shitty monolithic entity.

      • InfamousDS

        You only know the half of it…

    • Jack Trevor

      Your soul is safe by stepping in a GameStop.

      It’s just a boring shopping experience.

  • Oh everything about this is so true. I used to work at Gamestop before college, and when I worked there I was pretty much told constantly that I needed to have certain numbers of subscriptions, pre-orders, and sales of traded-in titles. We didn’t keep track of money at the time, it was exact numbers. (As a side-note, my assistant manager and I had the record for the most pre-orders and subscriptions in a single day – which held for the entirety of that store’s life.)

    But yea, everything he said, about the backhandedness of the district / regional managers, the being chewed out for not performing up to standard, and so forth. It sucked.

    Oh, and yes, your new games are likely not new, either, cause Gamestop employees are allowed to bring them home to play.

    • diamond

      As long as the games work properly, I honestly don’t really give a shit if they are “new” or not.

    • Bashtarle

      That last bit always irritated me about GS. Going to buy a “new game” and having them hand me an opened box.

      • diamond

        Strange, every time i’ve bought a new game there it’s always been sealed.

        • Bashtarle

          To some degree of fairness I tend not to buy games that they would be receiving decent sized shipments of with anticipation of generous walk in sales. Most of what I’m interested in are rather niche titles that the store likely only received one or two copies of.

          I want to say the last one was like Disgaea 1 for the PSP. Which also gives you a fairly decent idea of the last time I was in a Gamestop πŸ˜›

          • Moon1337

            The niche titles are the best to go in for. When I bought Agarest War 1 the employee took the case, which was a sealed special edition, and had no idea what it was. Not one of the employees had heard of it and took like 5 minutes to check out since they were reading everything on the box seeing if they would want to pick up a copy themselves. That and they all wanted me to open it to see the mousepad with boobs that was part of the SE bundle πŸ˜›

      • Unfortunately since floor space is at a premium in most Gamestop locations, they can’t really provide the locked cabinets and theft detection systems that other stores can, so any floor copies need to be empty or people will up and take them. It sucks that if you buy a niche title with one or two copies, you’d likely have to get a copy where they had to take the disc out of the jacket.

        More popular games, however, usually we got enough that most people got an unsealed copy.

  • twigcollins

    The Gamestops I’ve been to have always been full of really nice employees, so I’m sad to hear they’re being treated this way by corporate.

    • diamond

      Same here, this story actually had the opposite effect on me-it makes me want to support my local GS store even more, because who knows what could happen if I stopped going to the store? I have no idea if that would result in an employee getting fired or not, so because of that I want to continue doing business there. Besides the employees always treat me well, so I see no sense in punishing them just because a few district managers are being huge cockheads.

      • George

        You make a very interesting point. In Canada we have EB which is the same company as gamestop, if I’m not mistaken. But over the last few years I’ve noticed an increase in the number of times they push preorders. Not rudely or anything but it’s been an upswing.

        • diamond

          Funny, it’s actually been the opposite for me, my local GS used to try and occasionally ask me about pre-orders, but for the past six years or so they don’t really do that much anymore.

      • Jack Trevor

        Yep. Reward good behavior.

    • Bashtarle

      You can pretty much assume that anyone working retail is getting shafted one way or the other. You would be surprised how many situations are a lose-lose for retail workers.

    • Jack Trevor

      Keep in mind, what is true in one area is not true in another. Something you have to keep in mind when you consider globalization.

      I’m happy to report that the few GameStops in my area are fine. I just don’t go there because I dislike the browsing experience they offer. Even when I get physical copies of games, I get them via Amazon.

  • Bashtarle

    Greed is after all what kept MP3s from being a thing you could buy for a very long time. Simply because every party involved wanted 100% of the money and to hell with anyone else involved. It was pretty much gridlock that pushed that market back by half a decade or so.

  • Antigonius

    In my country we don’t have GameStop…I don’t think that my town has a legal gamestore at all, come to think of, it…it wouldn’t survive here.

    • diamond

      What country do you live in?

      • Nitrium

        I think Ukraine, if memory serves.

      • Antigonius

        Ukraine

  • Well, shit. I just got hired at GameStop a month ago, and I’ve visited a couple of times since then to begin my training. It’s my first job. Honestly feeling kind of worried now.

    • diamond

      Don’t be too worried, not every store is evil incarnate. Good luck to you and hopefully your District Manager is not a total douchebag. I’ll say that i’d much rather work at Gamestop then work at Jewel-Osco(local midwest supermarket chain), now there’s a job I would not wish on anyone.

    • Miles Saintborough

      Just do your best and get a feel for the place. Not everyone’s first job is going to be a good one, but you gotta build up that experience yo.

      • diamond

        Yeah my first job was as a bagger at Jewel-Osco(local supermarket chain) and let me tell you if worked there, you’d be begging to work at Gamestop instead, some of the managers were so fucking incompetent at times that I felt like I knew more then they did, and some of my co-workers were racist assholes who thought all Muslims were terrorists(and they said those things out loud while working and some of our customers happened to be Muslim, those idiots were lucky they were not overheard saying that shit), needless to say I was very happy to leave that horrible place and never come back.

        • Miles Saintborough

          My first job was a supermarket chain as well. We gone through at least 5 different store managers in the span of 2 years. One of them I hated so much I was on the verge of quitting. Luckily I toughed it out and he left. The next manager was really awesome and was helpful to me when I needed assistance. Too bad the chain went under. The new supermarket chain that took over got rid of all the unionized workers and they got rid of vacation time. Luckily I had quit before the switch.

          • diamond

            I actually was part of a union at Jewel-Osco, but they had so little power it barely evenmattered, I heard many older workers complaining on their lunch break about how the union leaders caved so easily and lost a lot of power, and I heard one employee tell a horror story about she was threatened to be fired unless she agreed to do certain things, and the union was unable to do a damn thing to help her. That was one of the major turning points that led to me quitting that job, that and one of the managers bitching at me because I didn’t feel like trying to drive to work during a bad snowstorm(my parents told me not to drive in that weather, and my dad had nearly gotten stuck in a ditch earlier, so I didn’t argue with them) she acted all high and mighty and told me how she wouldn’t stay home in such weather, and I wanted to say to her “bitch I don’t fucking care! i’m not suicidal like you are, no job is worth risking my life driving in a snowstorm!”

          • Miles Saintborough

            Geez, what shit you gone through. You’re quite the trooper. I worked in the bakery department at my store and other than some bullshit here and there, it wasn’t too bad and I was friends with the guys at the dairy and deli departments. I actually kind of miss the place since those guys made it tolerable.

            If I couldn’t come in, I’d call out and they’d understand at least.

          • diamond

            Yeah I really regretted ever applying for that job, only good thing about was that it helped me save up enough money to buy a PS3, PS4 and Xbox One(since I was and still am living with my parents, bills were not really an issue). I got that job through an employment agency in my state, for my training I worked eight weeks at a Marshalls/Homegoods store, that job was a lot better(only thing about that sucked was having to work at 8 in the morning, I am absolutely not a morning person so I always dreaded having to start work at 9am at Jewel. For my current job when they asked me if I could work from midnight to 7 one day, I told them I was busy that day, cause I knew there was no way in a million years I could possibly have the willpower to work the graveyard shift and then also work my normal shift afterwards, it just wasn’t going to happen, I would probably collapse from stress) after my paid job training was over, the people at the agency were supposed to take me to job sites and see which one was the best fit for me, but Jewel called me back far faster then any of us anticipated and I accepted it and went for the interview, Jewel was just one of the many random places I applied to during my break at work alongside the person at the agency, had I not applied for that store I think I would’ve ended up in a better job. Still i’m mostly OK with my current job, it’s a lot less stressful then my job at Jewel(I work at Travel Centers of America, it’s a chain of truck stops basically) and it’s really close to home, plus I don’t have to work 6-8 hour days like I did at Jewel(the most grueling day was Christmas eve 2015, I totally understood what TotalBiscuit was talking about working in retail on that day) which is definitely a plus for me.

          • diamond

            To be entirely fair not all of the people at Jewel were bad, some of the managers were OK(there were a few young female managers who I got along with really well, they never really gave me shit and they were always nice and helpful to me, they really kept me sane during my time there) and most of my co-workers were decent people, and I actually didn’t have too many bad customers experiences, most of them were totally fine and reasonable(aside from occasionally getting asked to re-bag something, customers never really got difficult with me), but some of my other co-workers definitely had bad experiences with customers, including one manager who I sort of had a love/hate relationship with, sometimes she could act like a bitch, but I did feel bad for her after hearing her talk about a particularly difficult customer, and she was mostly OK with me, it was mainly the older managers I had problems with, I just felt like they looked down on me and acted all arrogant because of how long they had been there, and I was far from the only person to think that, many times at my break I would hear me other co-workers complain about the bosses, the worst one of the lot being this older lady who tried to give me a bagging lesson while I was helping a customer, and it’s not like I was doing a bad job either(I was putting all the frozen items in one bag, the customers was not complaining or anything and the bag was in no danger of falling apart, but it just wasn’t “neat” enough for that stupid cunt), it wasn’t even the fact that she was giving me a lesson that annoyed me, it was the fact she was doing it while I was helping someone else, it was horribly unprofessional on her part and very inconsiderate for the customer I was actually helping, I lost all respect for her that day and since then I tried my damndest to avoid being on the same register as her or any of the other older managers(save for one older manager who I was cool with).

          • diamond

            I do occasionally go to that Jewel if I want to buy something for myself and usually the managers who I got along with will greet me and i’ll greet them back.

            Going through everything I did is part of the reason why i’m very hesitant about talking shit about Gamestop as a whole, because I can’t imagine it being a worse retail experience then what I went through.

        • Gaealiege

          Jewel-Osco. Now you’re telling me that you’re from the Midwest too, Diamond?! Indiana perhaps?

          • diamond

            Illinois actually. I’m really glad I don’t live in Indiana because of Mike Pence’s stupid religious freedom bill(though it would be fun to troll those homophobic morons at Diesel-tech and Memories Pizza)

          • Gaealiege

            I lived the majority of my life in Indiana and it is indeed an embarrassment. Mike Pence brings shame to the entire state.

          • diamond

            I went on vacation there with my parents once as a kid and it was OK then. Have you ever been to Illinois?

          • Gaealiege

            Absolutely. I lived right on the state border of Indiana and Illinois, so going into Illinois was a typical weekend screwaround for me and my friends.

            I grew up in Warren County, so we’d typically go into Danville or Champaign-Urbana to screw about. I have many fond memories of Illinois. It’s where I first got into Magic: The Gathering and where my first experiences with arcades took place.

          • diamond

            I live in Lake County myself(Zion to be more precise) I used to play Magic myself in high school(and Yu-Gi-Oh) but haven’t played it in years, though I am tempted to buy one of the Magic video games.

          • Gaealiege

            Ah, you’re way up there. When I attended undergraduate school, I was kind of nearby. I went o Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. I spent a decent chunk of time in Chicago during those years.

            The area I grew up in was mostly rural. It would be a 40 minute drive to get to anything resembling a city.

    • Kev’ Bryant

      Good luck!

    • It really all depends on your immediate management. My Assistant Manager was a great guy who was very easy-going about the whole thing and very easy to work with. My Manager and District Manager were both assholes who I’m certain were sleeping with each other, but they largely stayed out of our business. It was a good time, I would’ve liked to have stayed on, but I had to go to college.

  • Wolfie

    May I try my hand at an analogy? *ahem*

    Imagine a tribe of half-orcs. They all need to work together to survive as a tribe in their harsh, cruel world. However! One side of the tribe wants to kill those who are “too human.” The other side of the tribe wants to kill those who are “too orc.”

    And what happens is intra-tribe political strife that threatens to destroy it all because the two sides have to demonstrate through power who has the bigger fucking dick, because “reasons.”

    • diamond

      That’s a very interesting analogy.

  • On another note, the more I see of that Skylight Freerange game in Jim’s videos, the more familiar it feels to me. The weirdly spaced maps with huge spaces, the dialogue, even the character design… I kept feeling like I’d seen or played it before.

    Turns out, it’s the same developer behind The Demon Rush – “so bad it’s good” LP staple since 2008.

  • Wolfie

    Also, off-topic, for Jim if you read this (or anyone else who knows).

    The Fidget Cube, I just watched the video on it. How durable does it feel? Like does it feel like it’s pretty tough? I’m thinking of getting one myself now.

    • Kinda interested in the answers to that question myself. Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Kev’ Bryant

      Yeah – pretty sturdy. You probably couldn’t run over it, but anything short of that’d fine.

    • galactix100

      I ordered one the other day. Figure it’ll help me avoid getting distracted and procrastinating which I have a real problem with.

  • Will113

    Well business is evil and stupid, nothing new there. Mostly I go to these shops to buy secondhand games.

  • Jack Trevor

    As for the Digital Homicide lawsuit, I’ll echo what TB said during the Arbitrary Awards:

    “Good riddance.”

  • Nico

    Damn , I remember thinking there was something fishy about the fact that my local GS did not carry new games stock on release date. Truth of the matter is I have not purchased a game on a brick and mortar store in more than 4 years just because of the convenience of buying digital or trough Amazon. This is coming from someone who used to visit GS just for the gamery ambience (GS was the ONLY place in my country were you could find fellow gamers), sadly GS closed down here last year. Hope this shit gets sorted out.

  • Feo Takahari

    I work at a shoe store that does this kind of stuff, naming and shaming you in a company-wide email if you don’t sell enough orthotics. My boss claims he saw the same sort of thing at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, with punishments for not selling enough body lotion. He thinks this kind of stuff is normal and to be expected. I think it’s freaking nuts.

    • BiG_bEn523

      As someone who has worked in retail, I can attest to that. Unfortunately, retail, like politics, the AAA game industry in general, ect. is extremely cut throat. Some of today’s biggest brick and mortar retail stores, serving such stuff as furniture, clothing, automobiles, and a few others I can’t put my finger on at the moment, make some of the most unrealistic demands from their sales associates, to the point where bullying, back stabbing and, from my last gig from 15 years ago, workplace violence reared it’s ugly head. In all honestly, it takes a certain type of individual to make a career out of it. I couldn’t do it after my supervisor at a clothing store wanted me to bold face lie to people. I just quit the next day.

      When it comes down to it, the games industry is seriously in a bind. On one hand developers need to make money in order to continue producing the great titles we all love and play. But as long as games get more and more expensive (thanks to the bloated costs of advertising, not to mention blowing massive budgets on game features that are not even necessary to begin with). people will continue to gravitate toward used games as a cheaper alternative.

      All I can say is, I’m happy I jumped on the bandwagon with digital. That way, I know for a fact that when I do purchase a game, it will go to the developers and publishers who brought out the title to begin with. Not that 10th circle of hell we here in the states call GameStop.

      • George

        I switched over to digital as well but the main reason I did was because I”m no longer interested in the AAA space. I found that most of the interesting stuff seems to be happening in the indi space.

        • diamond

          I still love me some AAA games, not really big on indie stuff to be honest.

          • George

            I wasn’t either for longest time. But over the last 2 years I just find that more experimental things are in the indi space. Some are horrible failures but others are intriguing.

          • diamond

            Most indie games just don’t do much for me(with the occasional rare exception like Dex), they don’t satisfy me the same way that modest or big-budget titles do.

      • diamond

        Personally I don’t buy into the whole “used games are EEEEEVIL” bullshit, plus not everyone is rich enough to buy every single game digitally like you are.

        • supercrotchinator

          Uh, games are cheaper when bought digitally, dude. Have you never heard of Steam sales? When you don’t have to produce a physical product or maintain a brick and mortar storefront, you dramatically reduce overhead. It’s just common sense.

          • Gaealiege

            Let’s say there’s a rare demographic that aren’t wealthy enough to buy all games new AND …get this…don’t live in a city, so they don’t have an internet connection worth a shit.

            Let’s go even crazier. Let’s say they’re not wealthy enough to afford them, do live in a city, but don’t support Digital Rights Management software.

            Where do those people get their cheap games?

            (Also, most digital games are the exact same price as a physical copy at release and for several months afterward.)

          • diamond

            Digital games may be the same price, but I can’t exactly trade in used games towards digital games now can I? I have not paid full price for a new release for as long as I can remember, as i’ve always had used games to trade in for store credit.

            Those people generally get their cheap games either online or at stores.

          • supercrotchinator

            So you’re saying any digital purchase equals Digital Rights Management? That’s a pretty broad definition.
            Also, though I do accept that lots of people don’t have good internet connections, you need to accept that lots of people who don’t live in cities have excellent Internet connections. Myself, for one.
            And, since I’m poor myself, yes I wait til games get cheaper before buying them. Unlike physical copies, you can pick up games for 5% of their original cost if you wait long enough. I’ve saved enough on games to make back my original investment on my gaming PC.

          • Gaealiege

            Steam uses DRM software. I’m not saying that any digital purchase uses such draconic and uselessly overbearing “security”, but Steam most definitely does.

            If by “I don’t live in a city” you mean “I live in a suburb 15 minutes outside of a city” then, sure. The overwhelming majority of rural areas (where poverty is prevalent) do not have access to anything like a good connection. The area I grew up in was the wealthiest farming county in Indiana. There is no town within that county where you can get anything above very bad satellite internet. It’s simply not an option. This is a standard situation across the entire Midwest.

            Waiting works in a situation where you just want to play a singleplayer experience. In anything with competitive multiplayer, waiting for a price drop would be idiocy. By the time that CoD 75 is reasonably priced, no one is playing it because the CoD 76 is out.

          • supercrotchinator

            I would say that Steam is DRM done *right*, but I understand that that some people are against it in any form.

            If you’re playing a lot of multiplayer games, wouldn’t you need a good internet connection anyway?

          • Gaealiege

            Aye, I’m against DRM entirely, myself.

            Er, well, I meant what if their main interest was in multiplayer games. You’re right though, country people would be double fucked. No internet and basically no sales!

          • diamond

            I prefer to play my games on consoles(I don’t have a good enough graphics card to be able to run the latest AAA games on my PC, and I don’t have hundreds of dollars to blow on a new one) so Steam sales are not really an option for me(besides I can’t wait that long anyways).

            So no it’s not “common sense” fool, you can’t just assume that EVERY gamer prefers to buy games on Steam, that’s just not true, bit arrogant to assume that really.

          • 🌊Parasol Dimensions β˜”

            This isn’t necessarily true. If you keep up with the lot, you’d see that heavy sales exist with all forms.

            The good thing about physical products unlike digital is that they *must* sell.

            Games that are overstocked can easily be acquired in the $2- 8 range after a few years if you look in the right places and keep up with store clearance sales (not that different than waiting for a heavy flash sale)

            Nintendo, Atlus, and low stock games are almost always definitely cheaper digital, but some are cheaper directly from physical storefronts (sometimes physical games require weird free coupon combinations, but physical games are almost always cheaper than digital when acquired during the first few weeks of release when combined with the usual general retail coupons etc)

    • Simon

      That sort of bullshit is bullying and harassment and there are laws about it. If you feel particularly aggrieved, hurt or injured by such behaviour you should go to a compensation layer. They can represent you with minimal up-front payment and take payment from the payout, which is worth it just to fuck over the employer.

      I’ve been fucked over (seriously) many times before and wish I’d stood up for myself more in the past because I’m still out of work as a result.

    • HerbertGW

      Similar schemes exist in the UK in places like Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Homebase, Wickes, the list is almost endless. Any store that operates a store card, or that sells extended warranties will have the exact same bullshit going on.

      Having worked for ALL the above named companies, I can personally attest that every single person, from the manager of the store all the way up to the CEO’s is fully aware of, and in complete agreement with, any and all “Threats or incentives” levied against ordinary staff members.

  • diamond

    I want to see Jim do that Nintendo bashing episode he was hinting at, last time I was in Gamestop the clerks were talking about how they had already three people cancel their Switch pre-orders, so yeah things are not looking good for Nintendo so far, I swear it feels like they do stupid shit on purpose sometimes.

    • Space Blizzard

      I don’t think a personal anecdote about how three people cancelled their pre-orders means a whole lot. Reports from other retailers are that pre-orders are selling out very quickly, which could potentially be a good sign depending on how many pre-order units they actually have.

    • drownedsummer

      That really doesn’t mean much though as there are many reasons these people could have cancelled their pre-orders. Gamestop itself being a very probable factor.

      • diamond

        Nah I think it’s far more likely people were wary about the Switch after hearing all the stupid decisions Nintendo made with it. Or it’s because Nintendo once again fucked up with their shipment(Jim tweeted about that yesterday)

        plus I don’t recall this ever happening with any other consoles at Gamestop.

    • CaitSeith

      Honestly I didn’t see any hinting from Jim.

  • BAH!

    So here’s a question:

    Is the paltry markup unique to Gamestop, or are all retailers affected by it? My local Wal-Mart Supercenter, for example, doesn’t deal heavily in used software or hardware, meaning they expect to make profit from new sales. But if the profit they make is so small, I can’t imagine why they’d bother.

    • guy smiley

      If I had to guess, I’d say their games section has a low enough percentage of their total shelf/floorspace and operating costs, that they can eat the low profit margin. This may possibly be an accurate reflection of their situation, who knows really?

      Gamestop and other purely games based retailers, however, have that low profit margin for 100% of their wares, so it’s more serious a problem for their business overall.

    • Kev’ Bryant

      It’s pretty much the same in Game in the UK.

    • GloatingSwine

      Big supermarkets don’t care that their margin is pretty low on games because stuff like games is gravy to them, you’re in the shop to buy your weekly load of bogroll and oven chips or whatever and a stand of games is relatively light on floor and warehouse space for that margin compared to things like toilet roll. (Price per square foot of space given to stock is a big thing for big box stores. I work in support for a major electricals retailer, and our best profit mover for ages was batteries because the markup per foot of warehouse space on batteries was great, and everyone needed them when they bought eg. a camera.)

      They don’t have to squeeze the used market because games are only one iron in their fire

      Likewise Amazon don’t care about second hand (even if they get a cut through Marketplace) because they don’t even have to have a storefront and games pack in tight in warehouses, and in Europe they have favourable tax arrangements, which is why there’s no point ever going to Game, because the same thing is five quid cheaper on Amazon with free delivery (and an extra two quid off if you’ve got Prime)

  • alextulu

    Gamestop does make more money from used games, but not as much as people think.

    They can’t make all the money from used games, because used games come from trade-ins, which have to be paid.

    Also, $2 per new game is the profit for Gamestop, not the revenue.

    The revenue is about $12. $10 goes to expenses and $2 is the profit.

    • Yea, but a trade-in value of $4 is then turned around into a purchase price of $30 or so.

      • alextulu

        I did, say that they make more money.

        It’s just that, that most people think, that Gamespot makes 100% revenue, which is not possible.

        • HerbertGW

          I’m pretty sure no-one thinks that. People understand that wages need paying, rent, bills, etc etc. What people think, and correctly so, is that Gamestop keeps 100% of the money it gets from the sale of a second hand game.

          • alextulu

            Jim Sterling said in the video, that Gamestop keeps all of the money from used games.

          • alextulu

            “What people think, and correctly so, is that Gamestop keeps 100% of the money it gets from the sale of a second hand game.”

            Did you actually read, what I said in my comment:

            “Just open their website, look at the price of a trade-in, and then look at the price of a used copy of the same game.

            The difference is the revenue for that used game.”

          • alextulu

            New games are bought from the publisher at $48 per game, and are sold for $60

            Used games are bought with trade-ins at the prices listed on their website, and are sold at the prices listed on their website.

            I don’t understand what you’re talking about, when you say 100%

          • CaitSeith

            Different publishers arrange different deals with different shops for different games. For example, when does the publisher gets paid? Before or after sales? Lots of developers don’t see any revenue until 90 days after release.

          • Kev’ Bryant

            What sort of deal does DigiHom get at Game Stop?

          • CaitSeith

            They get payed for keeping their games out of their stores. That’s how they raised the funds for the lawsuit.

          • HerbertGW

            I’ll make it simple.

            None. of. the. money. goes. to. the. developers/publishers.

            Gamestop keep 100% of the money of used game sales. Which is what Jim said in the video. You just don’t seem to grasp what that means in context.

          • alextulu

            “None. of. the. money. goes. to. the. developers/publishers.”

            But some money goes to the previous owner, who sold it to Gamestop as a trade-in.

            Used games don’t come out of thin air. They have to be bought from trade-ins.

            It’s not 100%

  • alextulu

    People blame used games for the existence of online passes.

    But what if cutting the game and selling the pieces as DLC also happened because of used games.

    Because DLCs are not on physcal media, so you can’t buy them used.

  • alextulu

    The people, who made the Circle of Life, thought that the only thing that it can do, is incentivize employees to sell more used games.

    Those people are so disconnected from reality, that they never thought about what happens, if the customers just don’t want used games.(like when a new game has just launched on that day, and it’s only available as new)

    What happens, is that employees will try to sell fewer new games in order to keep their score, meaning that fewer sales are done in general, meaning that Gamespot makes less profit.

    They thought, that the Circle of Life only hurts employees, but it ends up hurting profits as well.

    Corporate idiocy at it’s best.

    • Bilateralrope

      It might not be idiocy. In the long run, Gamestop’s business model of selling games is doomed. Digital distribution will keep growing until physical distribution of games ceases.

      The only question is how much money Gamestop can squeeze out of that consumers before that happens.

      • alextulu

        “The only question is how much money Gamestop can squeeze out of that consumers before that happens.”

        Did you read what I said:

        “What happens, is that employees will try to sell fewer new games in
        order to keep their score, meaning that fewer sales are done in general,
        meaning that Gamespot makes less profit.”

        • Bilateralrope

          Fewer new sales from Gamestop, yes. How many other places that sell physical copies do second hand sales ?

          Might Gamestop be relying on people buying a new game elsewhere, then selling it to Gamestop ?

          A lot comes down to numbers. If Gamestop think that acting honestly will keep them selling new games for 5 years, while this scheme will cut that down to 3 while doubling profits for that time, then it’s a win.

          Finally there is the depressing level of awareness consumers seem to have. How many high profile games have failed to live up to their hype since Aliens: Colonial Marines ?

          People are still preordering in massive numbers. People are still defending preorders. I’m not convinced that we are going to see much of a behaviour change from consumers from this scheme.

          • alextulu

            “Might Gamestop be relying on people buying a new game elsewhere, then selling it to Gamestop ?”

            I don’t see how that’s possible.

            “If Gamestop think that acting honestly will keep them selling new games
            for 5 years, while this scheme will cut that down to 3 while doubling
            profits for that time, then it’s a win.”

            This only works, if the number of used game sales increases to a point where in compensates for the loss in new game sales.

            Bu this doesn’t happen, because some people just don’t want used games.

            What happens instead, is that sales of new games drop by a lot, while the sales of used games have a very very small increase, which is not enough to compensate, even though they have a higher profit margin.

            Overall profits go down.

  • Hork

    I’m sure I’m not the first to say it, but lots of non-game-related stores are suffering just like Gamestop. They all try and push their credit cards, reward programs, etc in order to keep profits up in the face of Amazon and Walmart. Sears, for example, tries so hard, they do pretty much everything described in the COL program, except without the used games part.

    • Gaealiege

      If a Sears rep can suck a golfball through a garden hose, I’ll consider the rewards card.

  • Landy Alexander

    Fun gamestop story I have. Like 6 years ago I went to my local gamestop to buy a used copy of assassin’s creed 2. As I was leaving the store I looked at my receipt and saw a 2 dollar charge for a warranty. I did not ask for a warranty, nor was I asked if I wanted one. I go back in, ask what’s going on, he says there has been a mistake and gives me 3 bucks out of the till. Didn’t ring up a refund, just pulled out of the till.

    • diamond

      That was nice, one time when I went to my local GS the clerk gave me an extra 5 dollars in store credit just to be nice.

    • Chris Schwartz-Brown

      That sounds like they were trying to pull something to pad their warranty numbers, and not refunding you means they still get credit for the sale while a couple bucks short on their till will get written up to a mistake in making change.

      I say that as a long time retail employee and current manager, cashiers almost never just accidentally add things that require extra buttons, especially something that they get rewarded for selling more of.

      • Landy Alexander

        Yeah that’s what I presumed.

  • Aotrs Commander

    Well. After rading comments and seeing Game UK is no better, I feel zero sympathy that I get all my (very rare now) physical games from Amazon and have done for years and years.

    (Basically, since Game decided it apparently didn’t want my custom anyway, when it stopped selling PC games.)

  • RedWolf

    Fuck me, remind me never to get a job in retail.

    • BAH!

      Retail in general isn’t great, but some are definitely worse than others.

    • Miles Saintborough

      Retail and customer service should be a punishment for criminals.

  • Hiroshi_Mishima

    I don’t particularly feel like reading back over 250 comments, especially given what I’m about to bring up doesn’t seem to be common.

    I’ve been going to GameStop off and on for over 15 years, possibly from the day they opened; it’s hard to remember that far back. I’ve been to numerous stores both in my state and a couple elsewhere, mainly Michigan and California. By and large, I didn’t see anywhere near this visceral level of shenanigans at some of the local ones. That doesn’t mean I haven’t encountered this period, just that in my personal experience it hasn’t been nearly so bad on the customer end of things.

    In fact, my local GameStop that I visited for those 15 or so years before I moved, they rarely asked me to preorder things or even badger me about used. It was not uncommon for me to bring up a used game and be told they did actually have a new copy if I was interested – keep in mind, however, that I almost never buy games at launch so that may well have been a factor.

    Although I’ve run into some rather dickish employees, most of the people who worked at these stores were friendly and nonthreatening. Hell, my cousin, aunt and I all had such rapport at our local store that casual banter was common even if we were just looking or pricing games. They even would suggest a different store to check if something we were looking for wasn’t currently available there.

    All that said, though, I haven’t been in to a GameStop nearly as often as I was in the 2000s due to having less money than ever before. It’s one of the reasons I’ve primarily switched over to PC gaming due to the huge pricing difference vs console games. Most of the time I buy for a console anymore, it’s either on Ebay or Amazon. Or a Black Friday purchase at someplace like Best Buy and Walmart.

    I just felt like I needed to bring up the fact that, much like in Final Fantasy VI, “the empire may be rotten to the core, but not all of its citizens are.”

    • arcaedian

      Ha, I’m sorry that this thought-out post has received no attention. I do feel, however, that your experience may be the anomaly.

  • Thanatos

    Thanks for reminding me why I shop at your store the least amount I possibly can, Gamestop.

    You are not a store that sells games. You literally are attempting to avoid selling games. I noticed years ago.