A new report alleges that EB Games (part of retailer GameStop) in Canada may be partaking in a particularly shady practice.
This particular item doesnt necessarily relate to MMOG news but is still worth a mention for our readers. A report from Kotaku hints at a bit of a shady practice that tipsters claiming to be EB Games employees allege the retail giant is adopting at its stores in Canada. Mind you, this falls under the rumor category for now but heres the skinny.
The tipsters have sent Kotaku what they claim to be an internal document alleging that the store is adopting a policy of mixing its used games with the old and eliminating the color tags that differentiate the two. From what I can gather from the report, there is still a used/new branding but the color labels will be the same under the change and the games would be put together in the same shelf space. This would make it harder for some customers, especially those that don't game regularly or know any better, to distinguish between the two as they would be in the same spot and if the report is accurate, the new games would be hidden behind the used. Apparently they're treating it like store bought milk.
I can confirm this 100% we were given instructions last week to start this. We were told that we were to merge all used games with the new games and have them sectioned off by one of four specific genres they gave us. They told us that the new copy must be on the very bottom of the pile and the used ones stacked on top and that we were to change all price stickers to the white ones. They also instructed us to discard all materials advertising used games. Now the stickers do have the words NEW or USED on them but no one looks at that.
While it may not sound like too big a deal, it can be a confusing and maybe even deceptive way to sell items, especially given the timing this close to the holiday season where people that dont normally game themselves and arent familiar with the practice may be picking up gifts for others and being cleverly deceived into buying a used game rather than a new one. This becomes more of a problem when you take into account that publishers are starting to include one-time use codes for certain game content to combat the sale of used games. This would in turn impact players, who may purchase what they believe to be a new game and then find out that they have to pay an additional $10-$15 to purchase DLC or in some cases to even play the game online that would have otherwise been included in a new version game, making the player actually have to pay even more money for the used game than the new.
Kotaku has received two emails from people claiming to be EB Games Canadian employees confirming the news and a third from a person claiming to be an employee stating that the news is false. Kotaku has contacted GameStop for a comment but as of the writing of this story there has been no official response. So for now, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Stay tuned and well update you with any further news.