Monday, September 25, 2006

I H8 Preorders--And I Have Serious Problems With Gamestop, Too

I just spent 14 hours this weekend playing Okami. It was a beautiful little burst of gaming that reminded me of the marathon playing sessions of my youth. I started Friday evening, but I wish I could have started earlier because, from what I hear, I’m only halfway through this gorgeous game. According to Capcom, Okami was released on October 19th, and I was at the local Gamestop, ready to get it then. But Gamestop, really the only option in my area for day-of-release purchases, told me they wouldn’t have it until the 20th. No biggie, I thought. Shipping problems, maybe. So I returned on the 20th, and it was then that I faced the beast of Gamestop idiocy head-on.

“I’d like Okami, please,” I tell the clerk.
“Okay,” he says, and begins bending down to retrieve it from behind the counter.
“Did you preorder?” asks the manager, standing nearby.
“No,” I say.
“Then you can’t have it yet,” the manager says, making no eye contact.
“When can I get it?”
“Two days.”
“So you have it but I can’t get it because I didn’t preorder?”
“Can I preorder it now, then?”
“No, we’re not taking any orders, you have to wait until Friday.”

I walk out, surprisingly mad. Then I return on Friday, get the game, and hear a different Gamestop monkey pushing every kind of preorder on customers in line in front of me. Just bought Madden ’07, maybe you’d like to preorder Scarface? Or, how about rumors that Gamestops in Hawaii are asking for $50 in trade-ins (at least a few games) to preorder a PS3? This place is so fantastically committed to locking up customers, taking advantage of their excitement about games and forcing consumers into stupid arrangements. I’d love to purchase games somewhere else, but outside of Gamestop and EB Games, I don’t have many choices.

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