Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Where have all the game stores gone?

I have to admit I am a bit impatient for the arrival of Fourth Edition D&D.   In fact I have already pre-ordered the three book gift set from  I am probably going to pre-order Keep on the Shadowfell, the preview adventure from them as well.  I am that impatient for Fourth Edition to arrive.

Needless to say, when I read Wizards of the Coast's was going to be working with local games stores throughout the country to offer Fourth Edition demos, I was psyched!  I quickly checked the list of participating stores to find the nearest one.

It's in Carbondale.

In retrospect, this should not be all that surprising.  After all, I am not aware of any pure gaming store left in the area.  My Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS) is actually a comic book shop that has some game books in the back.  They are much more interested in hosting comic related events then they ever would be in a D&D demo.

We used to have several pure gaming stores in the area, but they have disappeared one by one over the years.  Probably due to the fact that it is a niche market and that local stores cannot compete with the price discounts offered by big online retailers like

Considering this, my first paragraph seems ironic.


Unknown said...

speaking as someone that was on the business end of a FLGS (I may not have been the owner, but I handled enough of the job to be fairly in the know) I know how hard it was to be one. Mainly because, as you mentioned, Brick & Mortars couldn't compete with online distribution.

And what made it worse is gamers, for the most part, can't keep their mouths shut about the awesome deal they got on some website for a book they had you order as they're telling you they're not picking it up from you. It became increasingly frustrating, especially when in responce to this, we curtailed ordering of the more off the wall books, only to have the same people complain that they couldn't find a copy of it on our shelves to read thru to see if they wanted it.

And then they wondered why I wanted to strangle some of them...

Ah well... the lesson we learn here is this; If you want nifty supergeek events to occur around you, support those most likely to hold such random insanity with well meaning if slightly more expensive purchases. Your Brick & Mortars will thank you for it.

P.S. for those of you who know me & actually bought from my store, I know you were the exception, not the rule... besides, I delivered, so I'm sure I had some merit there as well.

Bronz said...

I've honestly wanted to start a gaming store for a long time. I've come very close to it as well, but have talked myself out of the investment for these very reasons.

In all honesty it's a dream job for any geek like us, and I really wish it could be more of a good investment. The reasons stated about gamestores going extinct is only the tip of the iceberg in profitability potential. Web vs. brick and mortar is a big part of it, but not all of the equation by any means.