DeKALB — Gamestop, a video game store chain, announced Sept. 10 that it will be closing 100-200 stores nationwide and abroad within the next six months. According to CBS Los Angeles, it was “revealed that the company’s total sales declined $315.4 million … compared to the second quarter of 2018.” However, the massive closures shouldn’t affect the Gamestop located in DeKalb, 2564 Sycamore Road.
The Northern Star tried to set up an interview with Gamestop’s manager and employees, but was denied an interview. The manager at the DeKalb location, did say that “This would not affect our location. The closing is normal for GameStop, they open and close locations all the time.”
A few students at NIU were surprised by the news. “I am kind of surprised because I thought a lot of people still went there,” Brian Heinrich, a senior English major, said. Alec Burgess, a junior accounting major, added “I’m not surprised about the shut down because I’ve heard about how their sales have been the last few years.”
This is not the first time Gamestop has announced closings and layoffs. According to the Dayton Daily News, Gamestop announced they would close at least 150 stores in March 2017. In 2016 the company closed all stores located in Puerto Rico, according to the Dallas Business Journal.
Gamestop has two major problems within their model. The first one is digital products taking over the physical market. According to Eurogame, 80% of video games sold in the U.K. were digital, compared to physical copies. Also in 2017, 74% of all games sold in the U.S. were digital games, according to VG247. VG247 is a video game blog that is located out of the United Kingdom.
Both Burgess and Heinrich expressed their opinions on digital vs. physical video games. “I usually get physical if the artwork is enticing to me. Otherwise, digital works just fine for me,” Burgess said. Heinrich did side with the physical side of the argument by saying he “prefers physical copies of games.”
The second major problem with Gamestop is their trade-in system. Gamestop’s trade-in values can seem like a rip off a lot of the time, “Let’s say for example that you bought five popular titles, and then got rid of them a few months later, for five years. If you went to Gamestop you’d end up “losing” about $125 compared to selling on Amazon,” according to a Makeuseof article.
Heinrich had a strong opinion about their trade-in values and called it “highway robbery.” Burgess also thought their trade-in system was “stingy with the amount they give back,” but also said that it is a “quick and easy way to make a few extra bucks.”
Opinions of physical video games compared to digital video games are still mixed in the DeKalb community and on the internet. While video game trade in value at Gamestop is overwhelming negative, Gamestop plans to benefit from focusing on the stores that they will keep open.