Rory Rhoads, GameStop’s Regional Vice President of Stores, quickly took up a defensive position on behalf of the gaming retail chain. “GameStop takes this situation quite seriously,” he told the Memphis online magazine. “We are pleased to partner with the ALERT Unit and have taken very deliberate steps to improve our operations. Specifically, we have suspended our cash-for-trade transactions in Shelby County and DeSoto County, Mississippi until February 2009.”
After reports that several GameStop stores were knowingly purchasing the stolen games, an undercover sting operation revealed that eight out of eighteen stores participated in the illegal trade between April and May. Rhodes claims that employees undergo strict training, especially when stolen gamers come into play. GameStop employees will even freely admit to the strict security measures the chain goes through on a daily basis, making sure employees do not walk out the front door with games and other related items.
Last year GameStop faced a different fiasco. As reported by Joystiq (story), a GameStop employee sold Aeropause’s James Munn a "new" game by inserting the game disk into a display box and then offered to shrink-wrap the package. Of course, games are de-classified as new once consumers/retailers break open the package. But many gamers reject the company’s policies on hardware warranty, and there’s even a gaudy page online requesting to boycott GameStop altogether.
As for the Memphis, Tennessee incident, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg in regards to a nationwide problem. After all, the purchase of stolen games transpired in eight Memphis locations alone. Consumers who regularly purchase used (or so-called "new") games from GameStop might want to reconsider additional purchases before shelling out hard earned cash for something that may or may not be legal to own.