I don’t pre-order games. I don’t see the benefit of it. In fact, I’ve been burned several times in the past by pre-ordering hiccups, mainly caused by unscrupulous game store employees. All that aside, though, I am a simple man who likes simple monetary transactions. Like the one I had at Best Buy last night:
“Hi. I want Portal 2.”
“That costs $60.”
“Here you go.”
Now, I had to go to Best Buy because Gamestop was sold out — sold out! — of the item I wanted. How on earth a store that sells nothing but video games could possibly run out of what is probably the biggest blockbuster game of the season is beyond me, but here we are. That is the reality we live in.
(It’s actually not beyond me. Gamestop was out of Portal 2 because they only ordered enough copies to cover their reservations. They did this so they could tell anyone who didn’t pre-order “sorry, we’re out; next time you should pre-order!” They did this to try and goad me into pre-ordering whatever the next game is that I’m going to buy. But no rational person can follow that train of insane anti-logic, so let’s just pretend we don’t know what’s going on here, and get on with the story.)
I solved the problem like any mature adult: I cried myself blind. After fifteen or twenty minutes of this I remembered that I live in a city with about forty different retail chains which sell games, then drove up the road to Best Buy. Upon arrival, the aforementioned exchange took place.
With one catch: they gave me $10.
For some reason, perhaps the bounty of Christ, Best Buy was giving away $10 gift cards with the purchase of various new releases — one of which was Portal 2.
My plan is to keep that gift card in my wallet and bring it back up there with me next month when I go to purchase L.A. Noire. Which, I should point out, would be really stupid of me if I had pre-ordered it at Gamestop when they asked me about it. Phew! Dodged a bullet there!
I realize Gamestop doesn’t make their money selling new games, and I realize that I’m nowhere near their ideal customer. Still, though, I have to wonder. I mean, their scummy, irritating business practices just lost them $120 in sales. How is that a win for them?
“Hey Brick, doesn’t your friend Lys have a blog that he began quietly last month and then didn’t tell anyone about, not even you?”
Why yes, hypothetical reader. Yes he does.