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Took 4 Years for GameStop to Destroy ThinkGeek.com

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nerdy

#1

The way they were chipping/changing the merchandise I thought it would happen sooner…truth be told. :sob::cry:


Re: Your Geek Points

"The Geek Points program will be ending when the site moves. You will be able to redeem your Geek Points on ThinkGeek.com until June 30th, 2019.

In July 2019, any unused points in your account will be converted and sent to you in an email coupon that will be valid for use at GameStop."


#2

But where will you find a gamestop nowadays?


#3

There are still plenty of GameStops where I live. They are usually in shopping malls, etc…


#4

Just logged on to post about this. Sad to see it go, especially to the likes of GameStop. Already missed out on a few items I wanted to buy, but I’ll try to snag some stuff before it all goes.


#5

I’ve bought $100s of silly things on ThinkGeek over the years, glad they got a good purchase price from GameStop in 2015 (they were paid $140,000,000 - that’s a wildly optimistic price for a merchandise website with low margins). As far as mergers and acquisitions go, they left the site and leadership at ThinkGeek untouched for 4 years. That is rare and surprisingly lenient. But now the main company (GameStop itself) is bleeding. It’s been bleeding, but now it’s bleeding so hard they can’t even afford to pay investors a dividend (they just cancelled it this year, look at their stock price over the past 12 months and guess which day they announced the cancellation). They tried to merge or get acquired by a bigger company but that failed also. Everything is falling apart so they are stuck trying to “squeeze blood from stones” as the proverb goes.

To be fair, it sounds like legacy items from ThinkGeek that have sold well over the years will continue to be sold by them in-store and on a ThinkGeek portion of GameStop’s main website. But yes, it is mostly going to die in the sense that they probably won’t make it a focus to make available new, weird items. They just cannot afford to. There is too much competition nowadays in online merchandising, even nerd-specific like ThinkGeek has become a crowded niche. It’s 2 starving businesses that combined at the peak of their power (2015) and have been slowly looking forward to cannibalizing each other as they die together.

I will miss ThinkGeek, but we still have LootCrate, ThisIsWhyImBroke (P is for Pterodactyl - best troll children’s first book, I buy it for every baby shower), lots of niche Etsy and even Amazon resellers, and even UncommonGoods. Just because ThinkGeek was the first, does not mean it should guarantee its survival and I’m not exactly weeping for the founders that walked away with a $140mil check. :poop:


#6

I am not either…I cry for the Idea they had.:cry:

I have never questioned their motive. It was. All. About. The. Money.

I do wonder about… if things had gone differently… Hot Topic anyone???:thinking:


#7

I was wondering why I was seeing the bell end of thinkgeek merchandise at Gamestop for a while now. This makes sense. I have to peruse the website and see if there is anything actually worthwhile still there (I haven’t found many interesting things in ages).

IMO it’s because of their shoddy business practices at a store level. Really I only ever buy from gamestop when I need a rare item that only THEY have in stock (ref Smash Ultimate Gamecube Controllers) at normal price. I actually recently came across Bravely Default and considered buying it.

Otherwise all new games are best bought (retail) at Target or Ebay/Amazon.

Then there’s the whole thing that Mobile gaming is becoming more of the norm (IMO) so consoles are kinda on the way out. Since Gamestop deals heavily in mostly console games… yeah, they’re hurting.


#8

Retail* in general is hurting, and gaming retail is even more specialized, so of course GameStop has become a strugglebunny :tm:. However, gaming as a whole is growing so $GME could have found ways of stemming the tide but they failed to innovate in the “games delivery” under the false assumption that Steam and it’s ilk (cloud-based distribution systems) would never encroach on their primary console territory. In fact, they openly mocked Valve in it’s early years, “deigning” to carry Steam cards because they didn’t consider them a threat.

Then when Sony and Microsoft started announcing Xbox 360 and PS3 would allow updates, DLC, and offer their own digital storefront, GameStop again said not to worry. Nobody would download “a full game from the internet”, saying it would be “too expensive” to monopolize phone lines for gigabytes at a time…again making the assumption that gamers would prefer to do the initial install with physical, in-box media. And assuming that digital transmission speeds and costs would remain the same, despite vast advances since the 1990s when internet became mainstream.

Finally, even when they realized they were the next Blockbuster, what did GME focus their cash on? Buying questionably connected businesses with little-to-no synergy (no overlap to save money after merging) like ThinkGeek website, Sprint Mobile stores, or AT&T stores…or they bought liquidated retail space like 163 RadioShack locations with the hopes to commercially flip them (wait, what is GameStop good at?). Not to mention they bought back all shares Barnes & Noble still owned after their initial spinoff, even though they definitely should have considered keeping B&N as a major stakeholder instead of handing them $37mil in cash and $74mil in 5.5% promissory notes which further weakened their financials at a time when they needed to be expanding in the right directions.

Not that they completely mismanaged their cash hoard during the glory years. Some good acquisitions that made some sense: they own Kongregate, an indie digital distribution platform with some really good games and decent engagement that works as both a publisher AND a decent developer; Micromania $700mil purchase gave them 332 stores in France; also, Impulse which could have been used to compete against Steam. These all helped them expand digitally, but it was too little too late. Now they are losing $643mil/year (highest loss on record) with declining revenues and severe lack of cash as they sell off their good assets (those that other companies want) just to keep doors open.

I don’t consider GameStop (or it’s leadership, or it’s employees) evil though. It’s just a dinosaur. And it was pretty fair during it’s existence (overall), despite having a few obvious blunders and missteps. Every once in a while I would buy a game from them growing up, if it had a good deal. They also brought Red Dead Redemption to my attention, for which I thank them because that game flew under a lot of gamers’ radars. And they quite often accidentally leaked future release dates, which I appreciate even if they were tentative and prone to getting pushed back. More information is usually good, allows us to make better informed decisions.


#9

I’ve been at ThinkGeek quite a few times over the course of its existence, but all the stuff I wanted was always out of stock, so I never actually bought anything from there… So I’m kinda fine with them getting acquired by Gamestop. At least they have stores with decent merch in stock, even here in Germany, so I’m hoping they will carry some good ThinkGeek stuff in the future as well, and actually make sure the items that are most sought-after are getting restocked ever.


#10

I took a look through the remnants of Thinkgeek’s in stock items… they are mostly meh items.