Though GameStop is the primary game store in the United States, it often is one of the most undesirable. This is never more evident than when the 2014 holiday shopping season arrives. One only needs to glance at the GameStop Black Friday ad to see how pitiful the retailer is compared to other stores. It’s both disappointing and disheartening.
It starts from the very first page. Traditionally, that’s where a store will put it’s biggest draws. The GameStop Black Friday ad showcases a $329.99 Xbox One with Assassin’s Creed Unity and Black Flag , as well as a $399.99 PS4 with Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us Remastered . The thing is, neither are especially unique or impressive deals. Target is offering the former at the exact same price, only with a bonus $50 gift card. The latter is the standard deal for the PS4 this holiday season. Neither are striking or unique.
The trend continues throughout the GameStop Black Friday ad. Games are shown with striking $29.99, $39.99, and $49.99 price tags on them. Except many, if not all of them, are available at other stores for the same or lower prices. Destiny at $49.99 seems nice, until you realize Walmart has it for $35. Watch Dogs for $44.99? Target only wants $35. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor for $29.99? But isn’t it only $24.99 at Best Buy? A sale price isn’t even attached to the Skylanders Trap Team starter kit, which Walmart will have for $37. Unless you’re looking for something very specific, older, or rare, it seems like every other store out there will have better deals for you this holiday shopping season. And, since we still have no idea what Amazon will offer, it’s entirely possible the online retailer’s promotion will cover those smaller and more unique games.
My favorite part of the GameStop Black Friday ad is something that’s part of its standard ads as well. The store has a habit of showing off games that aren’t on sale. Instead of helping people see ways to save money by discounting things, there are constant reminders that other, full-priced games exist. Honestly, the GameStop Black Friday ad would probably be six pages instead of twelve this year, had the company stuck to things that were really on sale.
Really, the only thing the 2014 GameStop Black Friday ad, like any ad from the retailer released for the last few Black Fridays, is that it highlights the store’s diversity. All it’s really doing is presenting everything a GameStop has to offer and, again, reminding someone browsing that all of these games are available at this very moment. If anything, it’s almost helpful to look at the ad as a refresher, then hit the other ads and Amazon to see if any of them have the games you were reminded of for a really good price.
I suppose we shouldn’t expect anything better from GameStop. After all, this is a store that tried to make a disappointing credit card with a ridiculous interest rate appealing, routinely sells “new” copies that have been opened, and even forces its employees to shill its Power Up Rewards program and press pre-orders. Of course the GameStop Black Friday ad wasn’t going to be anything extraordinary. It’s just a shame that it in no way competes with any of the deals already offered by stores like Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us, Walmart, and even Meijer.