GameStop pre-orders are a big mess right now, staff says
“Is there anything you’d like to pre-order?” Almost nobody entering and exiting GameStop without hearing those words. Employees are judged on how many pre-orders they can muster, while GameStop gets paid months before the game’s actual release. But more recently, that strategy has been sabotaged by a system overhaul, with copies arriving late or not at all, and some employees worry they’ll be the ones to pay the price.
Over the past few days, the GameStop subreddit has been flooded current staff complaints about computer problems ranging from broken inventory searches to pre-order histories that were completely erased before stores received their shipments. “How do I promote pre-orders when we can’t get shit?” is reading one post. “Customers are understandably frustrated and our loyal customers are now even just ordering offline because we can’t do niche stuff…”
Three GameStop employees Kotaku spoke with repeated similar questions. They trace the problem to SAP software conversion it started in the summer. Obviously, it was supposed to combine several databases, including sales, customer service, logistics, and more. GameStop did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The directories on our systems are currently unreliable,” one employee wrote in an email. “We get shipments from the warehouse that aren’t even on our receiving lists, so they force us to open the boxes, keep inventory records, and email them back to inventory management. It took me most of my day today to process just four boxes this way.”
Which games have fallen victim to the current pre-order crisis? NBA 2K23one of the biggest sports games of the year. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R Another. But some of the most popular games are niche games like Made in the Abyss: Binary Star Fall Into the darkness, as well as Legend of Heroes: Footprints from Zero. They have a small but passionate fan base and stores often only get a few copies especially for dedicated players who pre-order.
“Pre-orders have been hell lately,” said another employee at another store. “We were missing a few copies of NBA 2K and collectible pre-orders never arrive on time. We can only refund canceled pre-orders as store credit if more than a month has passed and it doesn’t matter if you paid in cash or not.”
While employees have to try to explain to frustrated customers why a copy of a game they’ve already spent money on never materialized, back-end issues also appear to be messing up the way stores keep records. sales targets themselves employees are evaluated. “Unfortunately, pre-orders have also become [a] stores are ranked on key metrics and when you cancel a pre-order it actually puts stores in the red [count]”, – said one of the employees. They had a negative result of 22. “People do get problems because of this.”
“I had 6 customers who canceled their pre-orders because they didn’t receive theirs,” one person said. published on the subreddit yesterday. “Boss [is] bothers me about pre-orders, but I can’t help myself [if] people are starting to lose confidence in us. What’s the point of pre-ordering a game if you can’t get it anyway.” According to one employee, some stores were instructed to deal with the cancellation by offering to re-order the game and ship it straight to the customer’s home. But they haven’t heard of any long-term fix other than this one.
The pre-order fiasco couldn’t have happened at a worse time either. September – start busy holiday release calendar, and while 2022 is less diverse than previous years, GameStop needs all the help it can get. The meme foundation was on a brutal rollercoaster ride since its separation in Julyand it is not clear how widely advertised move to NFTs and cryptocurrencies will really benefit the company.
More importantly, this is another burden that burnt staff who work more for less money. GameStop recently announced share bonuses for store managers who won’t start vesting until next year, and a measly $0.50 for everyone else. At the same time, however, the company is tightening the screws by having managers run multiple stores while others actually do the job of an assistant store manager at no extra charge.
“I told my manager the other day that I was going to quit right before he took over his second store because without our assistant manager, I would pretty much have to work as an assistant manager with no pay and stress. “, – said one of the current employees. “I don’t even have a queue for a new job yet, I just don’t want to mess with it.”