Does GameStop Promote Microsoft Over Sony?
Microsoft is into giving gifts. Just ask anyone who goes to any trade shows or anyone who has worked for a GameStop or EB in the past decade or so. I was working at an EB when the first Xbox launched and to help promote it, Microsoft reps handed a ton of goodies to EB managers and assistant managers at the annual company meeting. Just recently, when I was down to GameStop, the employees were talking about their upcoming meeting in July, and they all fully expect to get preferential treatment from the big M$.
Now, I also distinctly recall our assistant manager at the time being all psyched about the PS2, and about how much he liked it, and about all his reservations and skepticism concerning Microsoft's new game console. ...then, that meeting happened, he came home with a bag full of free stuff, and his tune changed considerably. That tune also changed in regards to customers, even though that stance switched back again during/after 2001, when certain PS2 gems like Final Fantasy X, Gran Turismo 3, Twisted Metal: Black, Grand Theft Auto III and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty hit. Oh, and if you didn't know, this year at E3, Microsoft was handing out free Xbox 360 Slims to the press...and all this time, Sony never really did much for GameStop/EB employees. They freely admit they get a ton of stuff from MS but they know they can't expect much from Sony.
Look, free stuff is cool. But has anyone noticed that many GameStops do seem to hold more of a Microsoft slant, both in the placement of their products and the attitude of employees? Granted, I would hope most stores aren't like this one, and in fact, I do go to a GameStop location that hires some pretty cool guys. They're really not biased one way or the other; if the game is great, they'll tell you. If it's a personal preference and doesn't jive with the critical reception, they'll tell you that, too. I'm not implying that all GameStops are all about loving Microsoft, but I am suggesting that Microsoft's business tactics have resulted in some artificially created love on the part of the retailer and its employees. Not that there's anything wrong with that in the realm of business, I suppose.
It could just be me. But in terms of how Microsoft and Sony treat GameStop employees, there is indeed a distinct difference based on personal experience. Take from that what you will.
6/27/2010 10:29:41 PM Ben Dutka