Full Disclosure: Owning a game store seems fun, but I’ve never actually owned a game store, nor do I have any intentions of owning a game store.
That being said, I have an opinion and I’m looking forward to reading the comments. Popcorn.
What’s the deal with manufactures not supporting local game stores. Local Game stores are hubs of people and the center of nerd communities. Sure, lots of us also interact on the internet, but the opinions of my friends at the local game store tend to carry more weight than that of the internet. It is literally their job to sell stuff.
Unless you’re vertically integrated, no company does business alone. There’s a host of individuals, up and down the supply chain, who all have an important and necessary job. However, with the advent of the internet, companies seem all too eager to want to skip the middleman.
Sure, the individual who is already committed to your product line will keep coming back, but that’s not the local game store concern. Their main goals are reaching an audience on a personal level and building communities.
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. In the age of the internet why not offer a local game store a timed exclusive? Want it first? Not by one of our flagship stores? Well hey, no worries, your local game store has you covered! Provide them with products in the $5-$20 impulse buy range and offer special products only available in stores.
Want to know something that will turn me off of a game? A bad review from someone I trust, a friend I play with regularly who says this new game is junk. However, it’s not always about the product, it’s actually usually about the positioning.
Maybe a game stumbled out of the blocks but has made changes, the local game store is plugged in. They’re your evangelists, why not interact with them and provide them with the tools they need to sell your product?
What do you guys think? Are local game stores leeches or a valuable part of the gaming community?
Editor’s note: If you live in the DC/ Baltimorearea you owe it to yourself to visit Games & Stuff in Glen Burnie Maryland. It is hands down the best gaming store I have even been in in all my years of gaming. – Rob
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