What Was Your Best Experience At A Video Game Store?

What Was Your Best Experience At A Video Game Store?

We’ve heard from the other side — and my god have we heard some things — but now it’s time for the bright and shiny stories. What were your particularly good experiences at any video game store? Did an employee suggest a life-changing game? Or maybe you just dropped your scoop of ice cream and they bought you another? There are no limits to bizarre but perhaps delightful human interactions. Let’s hear ’em!

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  • I went into the store, with the title I wanted in hand, and they found it straight away, the price was decent and they didn’t try to upsell me anything.
    I was in and out in 3 minutes. Bliss.

  • Went in to buy a ps4 and traded in some games from the pack I already had. Got talking about games with the sales person and they didn’t try to upsell me just had a normal human conversation while sorting out my purchase.

  • I walked into a store to buy Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops, chatted with the manager for awhile about the series, walked out with a new part time job.

  • Got a price match no questions asked, without getting grilled or given some bullshit that they can’t because it’s below their cost price or it’s not in stock within 100m of the store.

  • Was in EB back in 2006 and was given a free 7 day Trial disc to World of Warcraft because the Sales Rep didn’t like that I said it was stupid that a game had a monthly Sub and it didn’t make sense so he wanted me to try it….. Best freebie I was ever given and ended up playing on the same server as that Rep and became good mates.

    Gotta say though, it was a life-changing game suggestion alright, met a lot of great friends through it that I’ve known since Vanilla and BC days and still visit/hangout with even though I don’t play anymore and really helped me with the depression I suffered due to the loss of my Mum at the age of 17, this was a couple of months after her passing that I was given it.

    It really helped me to become more confident, open and social, not to mention that through these people I found a style of music I liked which got me into Dancing a couple of years later and lost 25kg because of that and managed to keep it off since.

    To this day it was the best suggestion I’d ever been given.

    TLDR: Was given WoW, it changed my life.

  • Nothing too exciting but I do kinda miss the days the Video Games Heaven stores were around. I used to go hunting around for second hand NES/SNES games there before the rise of ebay. Always seemed to be nicer game stores to walk into than EB.

  • I went to the Mass Effect 3 breakfast launch at the now-closed EB Games in George St, Sydney. It was really cool. From memory they had juice and muffins (or breakfast rolls or something) as well as free posters. Picked up my N7 edition, guidebook etc without any fuss or bother.

  • Just recently I wanted to purchase The Elder Scrolls Online on a whim but after looking around at local prices it wasn’t worth the $100. I looked online and saw Mighty Ape had it for $55 and then to my surprise Harvey Norman, via the live chat on their website, were happy to match it seeing as it was an Australian based online store.

    A 10 minute chat online followed by a quick drive to the local store and I had it in the Xbox within the hour. I think Harvey Norman are highly underrated as a games store and would recommend them to anyone.

  • I’m good friends with the regular staff at my local EB Games, so each time I go in i’m never pestered with preordering or pre-owned titles. We usually have a nice chat and talk about we are going to hang out next.
    The only time this is different is when there are new staff on and don’t know I’m a regular, or the district manager is in and is being pushy.

  • Midnight launch of the Xbox 360 at The gamesman store at Bayfair good vibe well organised some good swag to go along with purchase. Sadly the launch 360 I got that night went back to Msoft 3 times over the following 12months thanks RROD

  • Back when EB Games was Electronics Boutique and had a inkling of customer service, I went in on Christmas Eve 1998 to buy myself an N64 game. The dude behind the counter and I talked for a while about the best games for the N64, then he says “hold on a minute” before disappearing out the back and returning with a copy of Turok 2. “This hasn’t released yet, we’re not supposed to sell them but I’ll let you buy it now.” I paid, thanked him and had a pretty awesome Christmas that year.

    • I get revenge on people who do that to me by asking about obscure PS Vita games that I know full well they don’t have any intention of stocking. One of the sales assistants at EB Games said to me ‘What’s Genkai Tokki Monster Monpiece?’ I then gleefully explained the rubbing mechanic to her with a straight face. She looked it up in the system. ‘Um, sorry but I can’t seem to find that one.’ ‘That’s OK,’ I said, ‘Firstly, its digital only for the English version. Secondly, it hasn’t been submitted to the Classification Board by the publisher so I doubt it would be legal for you to sell it in Australia anyway.’ She looked nonplussed 🙂

  • Wanted a wireless adapter for my Xbox 360, and of course I had to have it immediately. Searched places online that sold them, called the local EB Games store. They had two left and the guy said he’d set one aside for me.

    Went there 30 mins later, spoke to the guy. He had it set aside with my name on it as promised and 30 mins later I was happily online on my Xbox.

    Good service is very simple.

  • An EB Employee who gave up his Collectors Edition for me after it had sold out. Insisting on it even though I told him it really wasn’t necessary. I hopefully repaid the favour in kind by calling Head Office and telling them about his overall exemplary customer service (and also did the same thing via their website). I also bought him some of his favourite energy drink. I will never forget that.

  • I like my local EB. They know me well enough to avoid certain questions they’re required to ask such as pre-orders and trade-ins, even though I’m not really a regular shopper. One time I found a second hand copy of Diablo 3 for 360 on the rack. They spent twenty minutes looking for the copy with no luck.
    They gave me a brand new copy for the second-hand price. No threats or being irate on my part required.

    • Oh, and there was an EB in the city that gave me a Season Pass coupon for Borderlands 2, even though I hadn’t participated in some kind of pre-order or promotion to earn it.

      I’m not an EB fanboy. I just know they get a TON of flack, and I have had some good experiences.

      • Seems it’s pretty much policy that people criticize. Way above average prices by default that you need to proactively price-match to bring back to sanity, plus the regular miscommunication between pre-owned and new release pricing divisions (yup, handled by two separate areas), and up-selling. I’m sure most of them would avoid that as much as possible if they could, but they get ‘secret shoppered’ (and it’s not just about whether YOU are rating them but whether the secret shopper is in earshot) so can’t really take the risk.

  • I bought The Order 1886 at EB games. After finishing it in 5 hours I was able to return it for my money back. The girl behind the counter didn’t even laugh at me for buying it in the first place.

    10/10 would buy and return shit games again.

    • I once saw an EB assistant talking some dude into buying Aliens Colonial Marines and it was all I could do to keep my mouth shut.

  • I go to my local game traders fairly regularly so I am starting to know the guy who owns the store there. the staff are always amazingly friendly to chat too and wont hesitate to hook you up with a good deal if you’re not afraid to ask.

    Went in last week to buy the Wooly Yoshi Amiibo for my Girlfriend and saw an oldschool Digimon device on the counter that was just traded in. I asked how much he wanted for it and said he hadnt had the chance to price it up yet.

    looked around for a little while longer and went up to pay for my stuff and after I paid and got my discount 🙂 he just popped the Digimon in the bag for me and said to have a nice day 🙂

    stuff like that keeps me coming back to the store 🙂

  • Walking into store to buy a game. Standard pleasantries ‘how you’re day going’ etc. Hand over money, get game, leave. Back to work. No upsells, no extra warranty/insurance, no delays. Lovely.

    • It’s the scratch protection up-sell that gets me. I always ask them – ‘What the hell do you think I do with my games? Use them as coasters?’

      • They don’t like it when you ask them to check the games you just traded in and tell you if they think you need it.

        • LOL, that’s fantastic. I’ll have to remember that if I ever trade my games. I’ve been thinking about it but just can’t bring myself to do it. They’re like my children…

          • On the pre orders my usual responce is if i wanted to pre order somthing i would have said so. When gtav was coming to ps4 they ask me to pre order so i asked them if they were really going to run out of copies of one of the biggest releases of the year.

  • Back when Toyworld sold games (Games Clearance center in Brisbane Queen st Mall) I purchased 10 Commodore 64 games for $5 and it took 6 months to play them all, partly due to tape drive.

    That time when we purchased BC two days before release date so we could get it installed early (before pre-patching was a thing with WoW). Due to timezone difference we where freaking out our American guildies because we where leveling ahead of them, stores where not open until tomorrow for them.

    EB selling me a sealed “used” copy of Halo MCC for XB1 for $30 when they where selling the new game on sale for $40. The employee knew I hated used games so when he told me it was sealed and traded in from XB1s sold recently. They made more money off the game, they gave me the game in the condition I wanted (Sealed) and they where polite about everything and never pressured me. Admittedly 90% of the new copies where open.

    • “Admittedly 90% of the new copies where open.”

      This is what I don’t get about EB Games! How can you differentiate between new and used when the DVD’s or BluRay’s all come from the same sleeved wallet in a draw?! As far as I’m concerned, unless the previous owner of a used game was obnoxiously careless, then they both get put inside an empty game case in a similar condition. Brand new to me is in shrink wrap. I don’t know what the situation is like now, but when I was buying console games back in the day, I can’t even remember a time when they gave me a shrink wrap copy of anything. I used to ask if they had shrink wrap copies of ‘new games’, but it was rare they even had one. It used to annoy me.

      • The practice has changed at least at my local EB so that only the ones they put on the shelf are opened. It’s a thing that most retail sites do these days.

      • I like opening a game case in store and checking that all the manuals/codes are there, and also checking the disc surface. Unless it’s all present and correct and the disc is unblemished, I don’t accept it. I’ve been stung before with missing DLC or a supposedly ‘new’ disc.

  • Playing guitar hero world tour with the staff of EB Launceston on the midnight launch night of Wrath of the Lich King

  • Every visit to Hi Tech World in Brisbane in the late 90’s before the franchises took hold and drove them out of business. We were always welcomed, the staff would always see if there was a game we wanted to try and would put it on for us. We never felt like we overstayed our welcome. They always had at least 6 consoles running with demos and ran their own regular competitions. Felt genuinely rewarding to be a loyal customer.

    • We may not make it to Kotaku US’s big post but we can all enjoy these stories ourselves here and now.

  • Met my fiancé while working in the games section at the previous JB Hi-Fi I worked at. She came in asking for a game. We didn’t have it, but I asked her about what it was like. Half an hour later she asked me for my number. We’re getting married in February.

  • Back in the days of Game Traders, one quiet morning I found a preowned copy of Serious Sam HD for x360 on the shelf. At the counter was a rather attractive young girl. By that I mean she was damn fine. And by young I mean younger than me and I’m an old bastard. I put Sam on the counter, she went to process the order when I heard her say “Oh fuck”. I asked what was wrong, she said “I was going to buy it at the end of the day”. This sparked a conversation that went on for about an hour, seems both of us had been long-time Sam fans ever since the original on PC. She wanted it for the same reason I did – TSE wasn’t available on the Aus Xbox marketplace (and it still isn’t!). Only way to get it was the HD collection disc (or use a foreign account). I said I’d get it another time, but she insisted I take it.

    That weekend I played and finished it with a mate, went back to Game Traders the following week to let her have the copy, when I found out she’d quit. Never to be seen again :'(

  • This was at my local EB last year around may and during that time i was down on my luck had very little cash however things were good at the start of the year and i got Dark Souls 2 collectors edition , you know the one that came with the soundtrack for the 360 , anyway since it had been a few months since i got it the price value had gone down to about $38 i think it was , so i came in to ask for a trade and i needed cash at that time , and the girl behind the counter said it was $38 trade value for cash , i explained my situation and said that $38 was not enough she looked around and then said to me ” look i know i am not supposed to do this but here is 50$ hopefully things will get better ” i still go to that EB too. tl:dr Got a cash trade in for more value then what the value was at the time.

    • Funny, I’ve ordered some things from JB’s online store and had them turn up way sooner than I expected. Even new releases arriving for launch.

  • The Xbox One midnight launch at EB Games was great. I was the first in town to own the console due to my sole Lv4 status, which was neat (due to work the next day, I was probably the last to actually play it). We also had a trivia competition in which anyone who answered a question got to pick an item from a box full of leftover preorder bonuses, and the manager was particularly impressed with my knowledge of Pokemon, Rock Band and Metacritic.

    Those stories I’ve heard about EB Games are terrible, but down here, the guys and gals in store are all down to earth, friendly people, and not trying to shove preorders and game guarantees down your throat at every given opportunity.

  • Earlier in the year, I picked up a second hand copy of Assassin’s Creed Rogue. About a month later when I actually get around to playing it, it wouldn’t install most likely due to some scratching that was not visible at first glance. I took it back to EB Games and the girl let me swap it for a new copy.

  • Walked into Harvey Norman one Christmas eve to pick up a new Xbox slim (RRoD hit my original 360 like it knew what day it was…. breathe in … breathe out). As I took a gander at the specials table, which had just been set up for the post Christmas sales, for a cheap game or 2 to play over the break I asked a nearby storeman (store-dude… a guy young enough to trust the opinion of) for any suggestions. I looked at me and said… ‘You need to try FarCry2’.. as he grabbed a special edition, now marked down a ridiculous amount.
    I’d never heard of FarCry at that point (I had just caught the CoD bug at that point), but being introduced to the African wilderness version of GTA (as I explained it to my brother) ranks in my top 5 gaming moments… I couldn’t wait for FarCry 3 to come out…. All thanks to that random employee at Harvey Norman.

  • Admittedly this is only a story told to me from my parents from when I was younger, but I’m pretty sure it’s real.

    Anyways, I was at EB with some older cousins around when I was about 6. I wanted to find out about this new magical system called a “refund”. I walked in with a game my older sisters had. I didn’t have a receipt on me, but I figured I could ask for money from the guy at the cashier. I asked if I could have some money for the game. When asked for a receipt, I was confused, and kept asking to trade; money for the game.

    Eventually, when I realised I didn’t just find a loophole and was going to get $60, I cried. I take no shame in it (reiterating I was 6); it was a way to gain victory over the adult, after all. The guy apparently laid it out really gently. Said something along the lines of “I’d love to give you money for this, but I’d lose my job.” The guy then offered to talk to me about what games I liked, probably pokemon. We talked until my cousins apologised and bought the games they came in for, and we left.

    It’s maybe not an immensely heartwarming story, but this guy could have been a lot more of an asshole.

  • My best video game purchasing experience was once when I was 12 or so, I had saved up a lot of change in my piggybank (yes, I had a piggybank) and I broke into it one day to go buy the first game I’ve ever bought with my own money. The game was Resident Evil for the Gamecube at my local Zellers. This was back when I lived in Canada.

    I still remember the sweet faced, middle aged guy with curly blonde/brown hair who popped open the display cabinet and grabbed the game case for me with its big black Rated M for Mature sticker on it. It helped that the picture on the front cover of the case was Jill grappling with a rotting, blank eyed zombie. He put it through the cash register before handing it to me and crouching down with his hands on his knees and smiling all sweet like and said, “Now go take your receipt to mommy.”

    Still can’t believe it haha, I wish I could remember his name. Times have changed a lot since then.

  • Used to chop it up with some of the folks at EB Albert St, a few years back… had good fun occasionally chatting in the late hours with one of the managers and her off-sider. Nothing special, just satisfying. Last time we chatted, she was hosting some training/presentation gig for management about how to get more women into EB. As customers, cashiers, managers… Hadn’t seen her around in years. Given what I’ve heard about EB corporate, that feels a little ominous, but hopefully she powered through, made good.

    Oh, I liked that the junior would sometimes stuff spare pre-order codes into stuff I was buying post-launch. She’d shrug and say, “We’d just chuck ’em out otherwise.”

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