As most people know, I'm a GameStop Store Manager so I'll share my thoughts on this:
1. We WANT to do midnight launches for everything. Seriously, they're fun, and good for business. But most stores probably have 3-5 copies pre-ordered, and less than 50% of orders show up to a midnight launch on average, so justifying a launch for 1-4 people is hard when you have to get clearance from a district manager, ESPECIALLY on a non-standard release day (tuesday and fridays are big release days, not wednesdays).
2. Payroll is non-existent right now. Blame the economy, blame politics, blame your uncle Jim, bottom line is GameStop is being VERY conservative with payroll; the current theory is that it is being save for 4th quarter holiday sales.
3. Profitability on new games is slim. That 59.99 new game? Yeah, we make less than 5-10$ per copy. That's why there's a markup on used games, to make enough profitability to pay rent, electricity, trash, and payroll. GameStop would be out of business as a specialty retailer if it weren't for used games because of the low margin on new games and literally no margin on hardware.
So yes, justifying a midnight launch for this title is almost impossible. Believe me, there are 2 staff members (no one more than myself!) who want this game ASAP, plus 3-5 customers who have it ordered who want it bad. But from a business standpoint staying open 3 extra hours for 1-3 copies making a net profit of about 15-20$ barely pays payroll. It sucks, I don't like it, but its reality. Now, if this game takes off (which I'm hoping it will), expansion packs could easily have midnight launches. For example, The lich king launch had over 80 people there for the midnight release. Ideally, we want at least 20-30 orders to do a midnight launch, and that just didn't come close for this game.
Edit: One last note - most, if not all, GameStop's have their orders in. However, with CE's, we only get whats ordered. So yes, if you had it ordered, its there now. No, you can't get it early. In addition to fines and firings, there are prompts on the Registers that prevent us from accidentally selling a street dated title.
Edited, Sep 19th 2010 7:32pm by MerylStryfe
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