Game Over
December 5, 2009 7:43 PM   Subscribe

MagazineDistributionFilter: I used to buy the videogame magazine GameInformer at my local bookstores and magazine shops. I live in Montreal, Canada. I did this for years, going out during my lunchbreak and picking it up, then reading it on the bus home after work. Then, all of a sudden this past January, all the stores stopped getting it. I looked everywhere. All the big bookstores, all the magazine store chains. It was frankly, bizarre. The only place that still seemed to get it was EB Games, and they only got a few copies. I now subscribe to the magazine, but the question of why they would suddenly stop distributing to newsstands here has plagued me. Does anyone know?
posted by Sully to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
my guess would be that since game informer is owned by game stop/eb games - it's in their best interest to sell it to you in their stores so they can get you on their "discount card", thus collecting all your marketing information/making it easier to sell you the games they're advertising/reviewing.
posted by nadawi at 7:52 PM on December 5, 2009

My guess would be that the overall sales rate on it was so low that the magazine distributor decided to stop carrying it at the end of a contract period.

It's not uncommon for all the stores in an area to get their magazines from the same distributor.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:21 PM on December 5, 2009

I'm with Nadawi. It sounds like they may have only made it possible to get in their stores or online.. especially since they give you a discount on it if you get one of their VIP cards (which is worth it, in my opinion).
posted by june made him a gemini at 1:26 AM on December 6, 2009

I am more inclined to go with Chocolate Pickle, it would have to be a very succesful magazine for them to suddenly limit access to it like this in the expectation that every single one if its former readers would go massively out of their way to buy it.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 1:57 AM on December 6, 2009

I am also going with Chocolate Pickle. This was my favourite videogame magazine and I am unusual in that I will go to strange lengths to feed my videogame habit. Also, calling in to subscribe was actually not a charming experience. They have different deals for America and Canada, and I actually had trouble finding where to call if I was in Canada to subscribe. It also makes sense to me in terms of the timing that the contract would run out in December and right at the start of the year I start missing issues. I mean, it's not inconceivable that Gamestop shut down newsstand distribution to get people to subscribe or go to Gamestops, but it is not made clear that to still get the magazine, you should go to the store. And if that were the intended result, they should have made more copies in the store to make up the shortfall. I think maybe it's just the economics of Montreal. We're huge in terms of developers wanting to come here, but maybe not everyone plays here, or maybe they just find their videogame news on the net. Anyway, thanks everyone!
posted by Sully at 7:59 AM on December 6, 2009

Another piece of the puzzle is that magazines make *far* more if you subscribe than if you buy it at the news stand. That may be a factor here.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:23 PM on December 9, 2009

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