Endless History

Hijinks With Gamestop And How They Lost A Customer

Wow. Where do I begin with this? This is a small website. I understand that. And I’m focused, in particular, on Falcom’s games. I understand that as well. I shouldn’t be getting too much traffic, though I imagine that may change thanks to XSEED’s work with the Ys titles and Trails in the Sky. I hope it does, at least.

(There are a few images in this. Please click on them to enlarge and view the details.)

I’ve been thankful for a lot of the support I’ve had from the likes of Ishaan with Silicon Era and Macstorm with RPGamer. And Jess and Tom have both been amazing as well. I’ve found myself with contacts in more places than I can imagine, and even little moments when Falcom themselves would favorite or retweet something I posted on twitter.

Originally, this was going to be a case of ‘hey, this is happening. I should report on it.’ So I started to write this story. Especially as my previous entries have shown. All I needed to confirm is if there was an issue with a distributor in particular with Gamestop. As I said on twitter, why was it impossible to take 15-60 seconds out of their day to tweet to me to tell me just that when I was tweeting directly to them?

However, without the other half of the story, all I can do is work off of assumptions and opinions. I have been willing to give Gamestop the benefit of the doubt, but now, that benefit is gone. I have no more interest in it. This has been difficult and just… argh.

But it gets a little more indepth than that, now.

The Legend of Heroes – Trails in the Sky was released by XSEED Games on 3/29. The first person to actually obtain the game was Sony on PSN. This is a first. This is how my current copy of the game is held. This is because Gamestop, as of writing this article, has not received my copy.

I have contacted other stores to be sure on certain things. These include Best Buy, Frys Electronics, a mom-and-pop store called Gamechop. By the writing of this post… these stores havethe game. Gamestop still for some reason does not. As a result, I’ve been trying to find out information on why’s and when they can expect it. This is primarily because of the fact that stores keep changing their times.

The main issue that has set me off has been this:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for writing to us at GameStop.com

The current release date for The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is 3/31/11. Keep in mind release dates are set by the manufacturer and are subject to change at anytime without notification. We recommend keeping a watch out on our website for any updates to the product.

Currently we are awaiting shipment from the manufacture. Once the shipment arrives to our warehouse, the items will be shipped out to all the local Gamestop locations. We apologize for any delay.

We value your business and hope to see you soon.

Thanks to Tiael for the email text.

This is the email that their customer service has been sending out. In this case, I can’t say whether manufacturer means publisher or distributor. But when I called to Gamestop corporate, I spoke with someone who had told me that it was XSEED Games that had given them the 3/31 date.

Let me reiterate:

I spoke with someone who told me that it was XSEED Games that had given them the 3/31 date.

And that they were not permitted to move around the release date. That the release date stands at 3/31, according to their website.

Right.

Obviously, they didn’t see the mess that their website was over the past few days. And stores are currently saying that the release date is 4/1 instead of 3/31. It was on Tuesday when Gamestop changed their release date from 3/29 to 3/31. Then later on, the website, at one point, even had three /different/ dates posted for the game’s release. See the picture below. (thanks to mastermeow for the screenshot)

I have also seen something similar on gamestop.ca – this is where the site had shown 3/30/2011 for the release date. However, when performing a mouseover, it says this has not yet been released.

Gamestop stores in several location have also actually received the game and sold it. I have confirmed from two of them: one of which is located in Ohio, and another is located in Oregon. …of course, two other stores near the one in Oregon are also saying “we have a 4/1 release date.” But there are even stores where people are being told that XSEED hasn’t shipped the game yet.

This all feels a bit selfish, that I’ve been trying to find the answer to the single question of ‘what happened?’ I felt that it would be a good thing concerning this entire ordeal that XSEED Games has had to put up with for the release of a game that was such a huge task for them.

It’s not that Gamestop doesn’thave the game that has me so upset, though. It’s the way that they handled the situation. The fact that they promptly pointed fingers back to XSEED, as if it were easier than saying, “I’m sorry, we have a distributor issue.” They don’t want to tarnish their reputation so much (too late) that they’re willing to make someone- one of the ‘little people’ take the fall in their stead. Had this been EA or Activision, Gamestop would have been head over heels trying to fix the problem. But not with the little people. Since I learned this, I spoke with Jess, and she even confirmed on her end that their official release date is 3/29. This is even listed on their website, as seen here and on the screenshot below.

If they’re willing to do this for XSEED? Who’s to say that they won’t do it for another developer/publisher? NISA? Atlus? Perhaps they already have in the past, and we just don’t know about it. To me, this has become the principle of the matter. It’s no longer about getting the game I’ve been eagerly awaiting.

In my attempts to contact people to get a straight answer, I’ve left my website with PR people for Gamestop. Who knows. Maybe they’ll read this article. Maybe not. I doubt it. I’m one of the ‘little people’ too. If I were Kotaku or IGN, certainly they’d answer me in a heartbeat. But no. I go by, without contact. As such, all I can do is assume and make an opinionated guess.

Nevertheless, this ‘little person’ has one power, and that’s that I have a voice. I speak, to Gamestop, with my wallet, just like everyone else. The company, to me, has shown its true colors: this ‘little person’ has seen that they don’t care. At all.

I’ll miss talking with the awesometastic manager at the local store I’ve always been to. But if it’s to uphold a standard? So be it.

EDIT
I wrote this post, originally at 9am’ish this morning. Gamestop has since, not only, received our copies of the game, but they have also tweeted me in response. Of course, the tweet was absolutely no help and provided no information at all. I tweeted a question in return, but have not received an answer at all.

My opinion still stands.

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Kirsten Miller
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The webmaster, creator, and administrator of Endless History and all the sites located on esterior.net. Web developer and designer by day, translator, Kiseki crack theorist, and game streamer by night. Also, apparently a very floofy guy.

11 thoughts on “Hijinks With Gamestop And How They Lost A Customer

  1. MMarcano (Mastermeow)

    I still don’t have the game and I’m incredibly frustrated. When I went to my local gamestop (a store I used to work at , and to this day have ties to) I was greeted by an email saying that only some stores would have the game today while others would get it as late as 4/11.

    I can’t cancel the preorder because it would lower the numbers for the store and would be a pretty big factor in getting my friends fired, people who have kids and really need the minimum wage that gamestop is giving. So for now I’m sticking it out, but the district manager is going to get more then an earful.

    Its a sad day when a specialty shop can’t get us niche or low print releases.

    1. omgfloofyomgfloofy Post author

      4/11?? Are you *serious*? That is abso-friggin’ incredible and unacceptable. Especially when I could order a copy on Amazon and get it in a couple of days. That’s disheartening to see that Gamestop is willing to do this. A friend of mine had told me at one point- that they’re nothing more than a cheap pawn shop.

      I normally supported the one I was near just for the fact that they had a great staff and that store has amazing customer service… but even that can’t help me with my opinion now. :/

  2. NayrEx

    Gamestop does this all the time thus why i dont shop for new games with them anymore. They did it to Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks. it came out on whatever day it came out and since im a massive zelda fan i was there first thing that morning and they had the gall to tell me that it doesnt come out for another 2 days. needless to say i raged in my head until i got out until the car then it was explosive. if a more popular game is coming out around the same time as some niche games they will move dates around as they please and it quite annoying.

    1. omgfloofyomgfloofy Post author

      Now that’s mind boggling. That Gamestop is willing to pull this crap with Nintendo of all people. That really shows how much they’re willing to go with on this, and who they’re willing to dictate to. So perhaps not even the smaller companies are the only ones to be hit by this crap.

  3. Wyrdwad

    “If they’re willing to do this for XSEED? Who’s to say that they won’t do it for another developer/publisher? NISA? Atlus? Perhaps they already have in the past, and we just don’t know about it”

    Actually, some people on the GameFAQs board for Trails are claiming they HAVE done this in the past with Atlus’s “Hexyz Force” — apparently some Gamestops didn’t get that game in until a WEEK AND A HALF after the release date, under very similar circumstances to what’s occurring now.

    1. omgfloofyomgfloofy Post author

      “apparently some Gamestops didn’t get that game in until a WEEK AND A HALF after the release date”

      Stuff like that has pretty much helped open my eyes to the crap that is Gamestop. I can’t believe the fact that they’re pulling this sort of thing. :/

  4. Alyindar

    Yuck, I’m sorry to hear you got such a run around Floofy. Situations like this are why I’m an Amazon.com customer.

    1. omgfloofyomgfloofy Post author

      I’ve heard that Amazon is really good to companies going through them as well. I’ve pretty much decided that I won’t be doing the whole Gamestop mambo ever again. And I ♥ Amazon already.

  5. Josh

    I’m going to start out by saying that this game is an absolutely amazing piece of work, and all the people at XSEED deserve a standing ovation for this masterpiece. I’ve been playing it nearly nonstop since I got it and will do so until I beat it.

    That is why Gamestop’s treatment of this release is so frustrating! I have literally, in all my years of shopping with them and their predecessors, never once had an issue or a problem with Gamestop. They’ve been wonderful to me. Until this. I have been waiting for this game for years, and to have this happen to such a beloved title and franchise, one deserving of support and praise…Like floofy, I’ve pretty much decided I’m not using Gamestop ever again, either. LoH, Falcom, and XSEED rock!

    1. omgfloofyomgfloofy Post author

      Yeah. That’s the same thing I ran into myself. I’vehad a fantastic gamestop I’ve always gone to… but when I spoke with corporate and the lies they spewed about the situation. I decided that that’s it. The store that I love might suffer from it, but at this point, I’m not willing to give them a penny again.

  6. Pingback: EDITORIAL: Gamestop Once Again?? | Endless History

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