Hey there! By now, I hope you've seen my earlier article concerning an overview of Gamestop's experimental revitalization and rebranding project in Tulsa, Oklahoma, known there as "Gamestop 2.0". If not, this can be found here. I'd highly recommend you give it a look if you want an overview of what marvelous things await the gaming and game merchandise company, and through their unveiling, the consumers.
This article, in particular, will be looking at the first store I traveled to with Gamestop's corporate team in charge of the project in Tulsa: Michael Delgado, of Gamestop Public Relations, Zach Shor, Head of Innovation, and Frank Hamlin, Chief Customer Officer for Gamestop. Frank was with us only for the second day of this experience but had much to say about how this project really managed to take off (I will get more into that discussion in a later article).
So, as mentioned in the earlier article, Gamestop 2.0's biggest store is a massive one, with the following amenities added to the traditional Gamestop bill of fare:
- two "co-op" couches, which are, in essence, couches situated near massive displays, encouraging gameplay and demonstrations of games of any available console.
- 36 gaming monitors, each with a keyboard, mouse, and headset, as well as comfortable, gaming-focused swiveling chairs – this is perfect for any esports enthusiast, from that alone, but they also have the capability of playing games any modern console, including PC games
- "Mission Control", a huge storage unit of 36 of each console (again including PCs), showcased safely behind glass, and cooled securely to prevent overheating systems
- A large, 8-seated table for tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons, or really any role-playing game, any tabletop game, or, quite frankly, any purpose that a mere table and chairs serve.
- Concessions! The food and drinks served at Gamestop 2.0 is limited, but it's there.
So offhand, some things I had noticed from being at Gamestop 2.0's largest location, and some food for thought for the team:
- I love this entire idea, at first glance. And I'm definitely not alone in that first impression. A friend of mine, Ly Broussard, got to see a couple of the photos I took in advance of this being published (don't worry, Gamestop 2.0 is open to the public, so I'm not in trouble!), and they said to me upon learning what they're about: "[This makes] me actually want to enter a Gamestop".
- I was a bit hesitant to play at the monitors at first, as well. Seeing this new technology at an established location maybe was a little jarring, but I did acclimate. Albeit, when I got a chance to muster up the courage to ask someone if I could play a Switch on the monitors, we were already off to the next location, but at least I got there, right?
- The tabletop table here felt a bit out-of-place too. I am always up for a good D&D campaign and would love it in an establishment like this, but the table didn't feel properly-placed. This feeling isn't as bad at other stores, as you'll find in future articles, however, and I'm sure that if I got to visit the big Gamestop 2.0 for a while I'd get used to this.
- There was talk of ESRB ratings as well, with regards to the monitors. To this end, we were informed that there are some possible solutions in that more mature games would be played towards the rear of the store, parents would be advised about this information and asked if they'd like their kid to be relocated farther from the player playing something like DOOM, et al., or, failing all of these fixes, possibly blinders for the game with the mature content.
- Cleanliness was a concern, too. Needless to say, Gamestop needs to adhere to code if they're selling food and drinks to be consumed in-store. Furthermore, we were assured that the gaming equipment was wiped down and cleaned thoroughly every night at closing to ensure that the obvious chip dust and spillage didn't linger on to the next day.
I am absolutely amazed at how much thought was put into this store (and the other stores as well, you'll come to find in later articles). Looking at it yourself, what do you think? Has Gamestop been redeemed in your eyes? Are they going above and beyond all expectations? Let us know!
If you'd like to visit this store for yourself, it is located at: 10914 S. Memorial Dr., Tulsa, OK 74133
You can also find the third part of this feature here.