Gamestop's stubborn decision to label themselves an "essential" business amid pandemic has drawn the public ire.
It's no surprise that many self-quarantining individuals have turned to video games for comfort in this trying time. And despite the fact that the majority of current games are available for digital download from the comfort of one's own home, notorious company Gamestop has moved to declare themselves an "essential business," and thus remain open during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic -- much to the dismay of their employees.
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According to Kotaku, Gamestop's reasoning behind the controversial decision is explained by way of an in-house staff memo: “Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time."
To further complicate matters, employees have been encouraged to provide a store-mandated "documentation" to any police officer looking to enforce closure. "We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed," continues the memo. Apparently, it implores police to call GameStop's corporate headquarters directly -- a process that cares little about putting employees in potentially awkward positions.
As expected, the backlash hitting GameStop has been fierce, and it's hardly the first time. Amidst the ongoing PR nightmare, GameStop has remained vigilant in enforcing their decision, taking to Twitter in an attempt to cool the spreading flames. Our advice? Download your games digitally, if only for those forced to sell video game equipment during a pandemic.