Rant on Reserves

Let me start off with my story. After a long debate, my husband and I decided to go out and reserve the collector’s edition of Starcraft 2. We first went to Best Buy and they informed us that they were not taking reserves on the collector’s. This was because they were unsure on how many units they were going to receive. This is smart but if they wanted to really capitalize on sales they should have at least allocated enough for each store and only take reserves for this amount. This is something that GameStop does. Although annoying, they had stopped taking reserves a couple weeks ago. We then tried out Block Buster. The kid at Block Buster was very excited about the game, said that they are taking reserves on the collector’s and will have it at midnight.

The night of the release we head over to get our paid off collector’s edition. The same kid was there and was surprised and unaware that Starcraft 2 was set to release that night. This was a bad sign indeed and it turns out that they didn’t get the copy in. I’m unsure on whose fault it was but if you’re going to say that a game will be out and available at a certain time it had better be available.

We then drove to GameStop in hopes that they had an extra copy. The lady behind the cash register went on about how we should have reserved it. Trust me, we tried to reserve it with GameStop but they had stopped taking reserves. Despite this, GameStop did have an extra copy and thankfully a crisis was averted.

This situation could have ended badly due to one company that didn’t send one simple game. For all we know our copy was in the back of Block Buster and the employee wanted it for himself. At any rate when a company or an employee of a company tells you that they will have your game on a certain date you will naturally think it will be there.

I’ve been on both sides of this situation. While working at Gamestop I had to make sure that everyone’s reserves were placed on the side. We did have issues where the company did not send us enough units to satisfy our customers. As an employee and a gamer I felt bad when this situation came up.

With so many games coming up with a limited amount of collector’s edition, where is the best place to reserve? Many places online offer this service but there is always the chance to not getting the game on day one. Retailers that take reserves might end up not getting enough copies, leaving you hanging dry.

Is there any one place that’s 100% guaranteed to have the game when you walk through the doors or when ordering online? Where do you go to reserve or do you think there’s no reason to do so anymore?

Case in point, the day of the release of Starcraft 2, we walked into Best Buy and they had several collector editions of Starcraft 2 on display up front. At times, it’s just a guessing game on if a retailer will have the game you want on launch day.

You have Madden and Halo that end up being sent to stores in mass quantity and in reality don’t need to be reserved and then you have collector’s edition like World of Warcraft and Bioshock that end up being harder to find.

If a retailers keep having issues with their stock, personally I might just start reserving online and I’ll deal with waiting an extra day or so to get the game but at least I’ll have it. Also, some online stores will ship the product early in order to be delivered on time.

In retrospect, I’ve never really had a problem getting a game on day one. The issue with Starcraft 2 was just a small bump and I’ll think twice before reserving a game at a place that deals with movies.

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