Yesterday I received an email from Electronic Arts advertising a new xbox 360 game called Army of Two. I sent the email over to my son to see if he had heard anything about the game. His response? Let’s buy it.

I went on to the Best Buy website and they had the game featured on their site. The release date was March of 2007.

What I did not know was whether the Electronic Arts email was pre-announcing the game or releasing the game. The Electronic Arts website was a bit vague as you can see here. The date on the email implied that the game was released to market August 1st. So, was the game out or was it simply being pre-announced?

We thought that we would go and find out.

I had an interesting encounter with a salesperson at EB Games. Let’s set the scene.

EB Games is owned by GameStop, a U.S. company which claims to be the world’s largest video game retailer with over 4,400 stores. From their website:

Everything that we offer our customers — from our expansive selection of new products, to our knowledgeable associates and our value-added pre-owned products — is geared to deliver customer satisfaction.

I entered the store with my son and we looked at the expansive selection of new products. The game was not there. We waited for a knowledgeable associate to help us. A mere ten minutes or so.

Knowledgeable Associate, with the I-find-customers-so-annoying tone: “What are you looking for?”
Me: “We are looking for a new xbox 360 game from Electronic Arts called Army of Two.”
Knowledgeable Associate, with this-is-my-final-answer tone: “I have never heard of it.”
Me, thinking to myself: “I did not ask this guy if he had heard about it…”
Me, out loud: “We just received notice about the game and I was wondering if you had it in stock.”
Knowledgeable Associate, with the I-find-customers-to-be-idiots tone: “I have never heard about this game and I follow ALL the xbox 360 games.”
Me, thinking to myself: “What is it with this guy? Is he telling me that I am making this stuff up?”
Me, out loud: “I received an email from Electronic Arts about the game and the game is also listed on the Best Buy website.”
Knowledgeable Associate, with the I-find-customers-have-no-clue tone: “I have never heard about it. There is no such game. I follow the xbox 360 line VERY closely.”
Me, clearly exasperated with the condescending and arrogant Knowledgeable Associate: “Then you should not broadcast your ignorance.”

As I left the store, upset with having been treated as a moron, I wondered why the Knowledgeable Associate had not said the following: “I have not heard about this game and so it probably has not been released. I’ll check our computer to see if we are carrying the title and, if not, I can arrange a pre-order or let you know when the game comes in.”

Perhaps the Knowledgeable Associate from GameStop had a different objective: to demonstrate his superior knowledge of all the xbox 360 games, pending and released, regardless of fact.

GameStop has a new meaning for me. I will stop buying games from that store. GameStop. Mission accomplished.

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