Last week I posed the question, “Why do American gamers choose buying games in store, unlike the UK?” Many of the responses were that gamers like to have the game the same day they reach the store. They don’t want to order it online and wait for it. But I challenge that argument by highlighting the fact that many online retailers are not selling games, they are selling pre orders! A pre order almost guarantees you get the game the day it comes out (in some cases before).
If online game retailers can master the art of selling pre orders they have a long wealthy future in front of them. Why you think Gamestop go so hard on pre orders? Not just to create that bubble of free money before they have the product. It’s so they won’t end up like Game Crazy. They realize at some point Gamestop.com will be bigger than Gamestop in the mall.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Movie Gallery Inc.’s 2415 stores, over 600 of which are either Hollywood Video-GameCrazy hybrids or GameCrazy standalone locations, will be closed over the next few years and will soon start inventory liquidation. The company filed for bankruptcy in the U.S back in February to help alleviate woes largely brought on by the waning brick-and-mortar movie rental market, but it now seems as though all locations will be shut down, regardless of their focus.
Game Crazy was never a Gamestop. But this is still a sign the online market is killing the movie and game industry stores. So I ask you once again. Will American gamers ever make online game retailers (not rental services) a competitive player like in the UK?