I know I am not the only person who has noticed this. I’m almost certain that other people have talked about this before. (I haven’t gone looking), but I noticed some things about EB Games that I need to rant about.
First, I want to say that I have absolutely no hatred towards EB Games. The locations that I frequent have some very friendly staff, and the rare times that I pre-order a game, It’s easy and efficient. I do feel their pain when they deal with difficult customers, as they don’t deserve that type of treatment any more than any other sales profession.
That said, my issues here stem from the layout and product lines in the stores. The first thing that comes up is the fact that Nintendo has almost no presence whatsoever. The rack for the Wii U has shrunk down to include only newer and more popular titles (Not that they have a lot, but there’s a lot missing on that shelf). The 3DS section is reduced to Pokemon, and whatever new titles have come out, maybe taking up 2 or 3 small shelves, not even a foot in length. Lots of Amiibos though. Wii titles are sent off to some shelf in the middle of the store that’s easily missed.
Next, the Vita section. in several stores I have been in, the Vita section is ABOVE THE DEMO TV. It’s one tiny shelf with not even five games on it, and is almost inaccessible unless you are 5’9″ or so and have to stretch around people playing games on the demo TV. While I get that the Vita is a “dying system”, there are way more than 5 games for it, and from an RPG perspective, way more than 5 good RPGs for it.
While the PS3 and Xbox 360 sections are relatively decent in size, it’s also obvious that they are slowly being decreased in order to make room for the current generation systems.
Now with all this downsizing, what have they done with the excess space that they have? Well, they have done several things. First is including board games. This does not bother me that much, as the place is still called EB Games. Sure, I wouldn’t think to go there for a board game, but it’s a nice touch and still somewhat fitting. They have also started to include T-shirts, toys, TCG products, and the like. Again, not the worst thing, but still starting to push it.
My biggest problem is what they have done to prominent wallspace that was once used for Nintendo product. Instead of a better selection, they have added Funko Pop Vinyl figures. Not just a few from video games. I would estimate that there are over two hundred of these figures on this wall, from every genre of culture out there. An example is finding the figure of the Diva Plavalaguna from The Fifth Element, along with many other characters from dozens of franchises. This, to me, is a waste of space for a store that deals primarily in video games. Sure, if they want a Colonel Shepherd figure for sale, that’s awesome! This, however, is kind of pushing it.
Now, I’ve identified the issue, so what’s the solution? Well, this blog is about one thing; Old games. This is what the wall space should be used for. I’m not saying that they should take in every single old game from older generations, but we all know that there are big favorites out there from the PSOne, PS2, GameCube, and even older Xbox machines that would merit some great titles that can be either recycled, or as a corporate bigwig, they could look into obtaining some new sealed product. Obviously the prices would be really high on these, but there are some titles I would, and already have, pay big money to own. The Used market is not dead, and will never die. Retro games are still being played and enjoyed by millions of people. This should be a focus.
I am thankful that there are several retro game stores where I live, but I still think that EB games is missing out on a great opportunity.
Once again, I have no ill will towards the company, and while this rant has identified many things that bother me about the changes that have been made, I still look forward to continued business with them.