Cryptozoic/Diamond Deal: Death Of The FLGS?

CryptozoidYesterday, I read the following news and got very worried:

“Cryptozoic Entertainment will sell games and trading cards to GameStop, the company announced.  The video game retailer operates over 6,600 retail stores and a web store.  Cryptozoic Products in GameStop include Spyfall, The Big Bang Theory: The Party Game, The Walking Dead:  Don’t Look Back Dice Game, Adventure Time Card Wars, DC Comics Deck-Building Games and Bravest Warriors Dice Game; and on the trading card front, Walking Dead Season 3, DC Comics Super Villains, and Supernatural Seasons 1-3.

Cryptozoic has made a number of distribution changes in recent months, expanding its merch relationship with Diamond and its game relationship with PSI, ending its exclusive hobby distribution relationship with Diamond/Alliance for games, and ending direct consumer sales of trading cards on its website.  Adding a 6,600-store chain brings an important new channel to Cryptozoic’s distribution options.”

If this is the beginning of a new trend, could this also be the beginning of the death of your friendly local game store as more retail giants join then game? Think about the deep discount Game Stop will get when buying Spyfall to stock 6,600 stores. Now think about passing part of that discount to the consumer. Why would I buy Spyfall from my FLGS when I can buy it at 15-20% discount from Game Stop?

There are many reasons people come to a FLGS, such as meeting new people, play games they can’t play at home, learn about new products through demos, friendly competition, etc. Many also go to their FLGS to see if they like a game, and then buy it on Amazon at a discounted price. They will now have a new alternative for Cryptozoic games: Game Stop.

The economy is tight and gets tighter every day. You can’t really blame a customer for looking for the best deal around. However, you can’t be surprised when FLGS start closing again because most of their customers bought their boardgame/card game/miniatures somewhere else and visit the FLGS only to find someone to play with.

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