An employee of Canada's EB Games (read: GameStop) has let us know that, in one of the company's shittier moves in recent years, the distinction between "new" and "used" games (at least in Canada) is apparently going to be all but removed.
Instead, according to internal documentation forwarded to Kotaku, all games will be lumped into the one section, and all games will be stickered with the same white price tags (pre-owned games previously had their own distinctive yellow stickers in Canada, something I understand US stores did away with a while back).
New games and used, living together, mass hysteria. It'll be chaos. And a major pain in the ass for shoppers.
Before you freak out, remember, this is a Canadian employee of Canada's EB Games. So, if it's even true, there's no guarantee it'll apply to GameStop stores in the US, or EB Games stores in Australia, etc.
While that's all that's mentioned in the official written notification, the employee tells us there's more. They've apparently been instructed to, in the case of games with both new and pre-owned versions available, hide the new copies behind the used ones.
Every time you start to worry about the demise of specialist games retail (surviving, pleasant indies aside), stuff like this comes along and reminds you the sooner it shuffles off this Earth, the better.
Since this has yet to be confirmed, we've contacted EB Games, and will update if we hear back. Or until helpful Canadian readers can pop into a store and verify!
UPDATE: Another tipster claiming to be a Canadian EB Games employee writes to tell us:
I can confirm this 100% we were given instructions last week to start this. We were told that we were to merge all used games with the new games and have them sectioned off by one of four specific genres they gave us. They told us that the new copy must be on the very bottom of the pile and the used ones stacked on top and that we were to change
all price stickers to the white ones. They also instructed us to discard all materials advertising used games. Now the stickers do have the words NEW or USED on them but no one looks at that.
HUGE problems with this will of course be with the online code games. Generic_Customer_01 will grab the top copy of NHL 12, go home, and not be able to play online. There are also MANY games where the new copy is as cheap as $19.99 but the used copies stacked on top of it are $34.99. It is also a nightmare to find anything anymore and the
opinion of what games fall in what categories was different even across staff members in the same store.
UPDATE 2: Another reader, who claims to work for EB, told Kotaku that this isn't true. As previously mentioned, Kotaku has contacted the company and will update this post should it comment.
UPDATE 3: Overnight I received dozens of emails from Canadian EB Games employees, from all over the country, all verifying the report, some saying it has been in effect in many stores for around a week now. GameStop, the parent company of EB Games, has yet to reply to Kotaku's request for comment.