I know most people hate Gamestop and it's not hard to see why. But I, for one, have no ill will towards them, despite the occasional hard sell on "scratch protection" or the "AND HOW ABOUT SOME PREORDERS AND STRATEGY GUIDES?" add-ons.
Reason being is they had a really positive impact on the Canadian videogame marketplace IMO that was beneficial to consumers. I think they've been around since the mid-90s... more broadly since the latter part of the decade, though. Before they came on the scene, I was relatively well served by a couple of mom-and-pop shops, but the two I frequented shut down before Electronics Boutique ever hit the scene here. After they died, it was chain stores -- with their incomplete selection of titles -- or the big local indy store, which still exists and still has pricing that would suggest they include small packets of illegal drugs with games for customers who know a special password.
The positives of EB's existence here:
- Getting pretty much every game that comes out
- Marking down older games -- a practice on which they seemed to really lead the way
- Being better tended-to than its big box rivals... nothing worse than a games department lacking the care and attention of staff.
I think physical stores are going to face more and more pressure. I don't think they'll go away, but they're not exactly an area for growth, either. I hope Gamestop is capable of weathering the storm.