Ben Kuchera over at Opposable Thumbs has an article about how many add-ons retailers try to push on gamers. Discount cards, pre-orders, and extended warranties are the norm, but six pitches for one game that is annoying.
At Gamestop it’s even more ridiculous. At my last visit I didn’t want to pre-order anything, I didn’t want to sign up for the Madden tournament, I didn’t want to subscribe to their magazines, I didn’t want to look through the prerelease binder while I waited just in case I changed my mind about the pre-order thing, I didn’t want the used copy, and I didn’t want to hear the pitch about how the card and the used copy worked together to save me even more money. That’s six pitches I had to sit through. Even better? I was buying a memory card. At that point, I would have been willing to just give the guy five bucks just to shut up, and I think the customer behind me was getting freaked out knowing that he was going to hear each and every one of those pitches again. You never know who might be a secret shopper, so the hands of the clerk really are tied. It’s either annoy every customer that comes in the door or risk a write up.
It is true that video game profit margins are slim, but is there a better way to raise cash than pushing strategy guides? Maybe before each pitch customers can challenge the staff to a match of Soul Calibur III. If they win they can buy a game pitch free.