After the GameStop stock price rose by 4 percent during trading on Thursday, the U.S. federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said that April was the most profitable month since the recession for the stores where gamers trade in their used video games.
But who was on this March payday. And what was the company that makes GameStop’s profits doing to cheer up Wall Street? Come on!
It seems to be an extremely polarized Reddit page entitled GameStop Rant, a sentiment-driven mob created by a collection of gamers who blame the company for their problems.
One poster wrote, “Is GameStop a bank where you get paid in shares of hate? I don’t feel any love for the company. On May 1st 2019, they say the next chapter of my gamer universe was supposed to be released.”
Another wrote, “I was going to buy a new phone, PS4, and Xbox, but with all the crap you posted, I don’t feel safe, my new gaming console is in my house right now and has more value on eBay than it does on GameStop!”
On that Reddit page, several companies are referred to as “Naughty Guys” – Apple, Facebook, and Uber all make appearances as being engaged in shady business practices. As such, GameStop stock seems to be a rallying point for hate.
On Thursday, GameStop closed at $51.33, a 5.22 percent increase from its close on Tuesday.
New tactics are afoot
GameStop is working on its trading game image. The company has been trying to recruit new gamers since 2015, hiring hundreds of former gamers at trade shows, calling them “trophy hunters,” as well as sending them to national conventions.
The best result of that attempt to recruit? More people are using its pre-owned video game offerings. The company revealed that used sales now make up $4 billion of its business.
Video game show engagement is also another move in the right direction, with the company signing deals with YouTubers like Karmin and PewDiePie to help promote game shows and related products. GameStop says its chosen YouTube personalities have more than 100 million followers.
But there has been pushback. Shareholders are reportedly upset that the company has been not revealing profits from Netflix and Pandora. The company reported negative cash flow in 2017 and has struggled to sell inventory.
The company’s executive vice president of merchandising operations, Steven G. Grubb, resigned earlier this year.
As if all that weren’t enough, GameStop posted a negative January and February earnings, despite releasing two popular game releases: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Persona 5.
After more than 100 negative comments, GameStop tweeted that the Reddit page in question has been created by a retail “partner.”
“The page is misleading to our customers and in violation of our Terms of Service,” GameStop tweeted. “We take steps to remove the content from our platform.”
Some of the complaints appear to have a little shade. A GameStop fan page for Toy Story, a tie-in series for the Toy Story movie, was also created by a group on Reddit called “Toy Story Rant.”
Still, even after hearing the hard truth about GameStop’s financial situation, the company’s stock is still up this year, so the support of this angry gamer community seems unlikely to fade away anytime soon. But, if the disgruntled gamers are looking for any advice, it seems like keeping your online opinions to yourself isn’t always going to be a good idea.
Read the full story at USA Today.
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