Do you remember back in the early days of amiibo, when retailer exclusives started hitting shelves? For many collectors, this came as no surprise — a natural progression for any collectible on the market. But one of the main complaints, aside from the seemingly forced scarcity and inevitable scalper prices, that came alongside retail exclusives was what seemed to be an immediate focus on the United States, with other markets feeling peripheral.
One such example of this was Target exclusives, which immediately posed a problem in Canada, where Target stores had existed when amiibo first launched, but subsequently closed across the country a little over a year later. Another example, also in Canada, saw confusion surrounding GameStop exclusive amiibo, which is a company that technically did exist in the country… but with stores under a different name: EB Games.
In many of these GameStop/EB Games examples, it wasn’t always made clear that “GameStop Exclusive” covered all bases under the GameStop brand, and it inevitably left collectors confused and sometimes even under the belief that GameStop Exclusives weren’t going to be natively available to them.
All of this to say that, in a statement made earlier today, it seems as if the GameStop corporation has finally gotten itself together and made the rightful decision to rebrand its EB Games stores in Canada into GameStop stores, offering clearer and more uniform branding across its stores as a whole.
GameStop promises to have this done by the end of the year, having all EB Games physical locations, as well as the online store, assume the GameStop branding and name. According to the company, this decision comes from feedback from both customers and stockholders, and quite frankly, I’m surprised it’s taken them this long to take the leap. It’s very likely been a long time coming.
So, to EB Games in Canada: your time has come. In a way, it’s sad — there’s something nostalgic about EB Games and its own, unique branding, and it offers a really interesting look into the past as far as video games retailers go, even if it’s been over 15 years since GameStop acquired the company. I can even remember going into EB Games here in the US as a small child, and getting excited in the same way as when you’d walk into Best Buy or Toys ‘R’ Us.
While the change seems like it was inevitable, it’s impressive that the name held on this long—and while we know it’s not going away entirely (shoutouts to Australia), it certainly points to the possibility that in the coming years, we may start seeing GameStop move towards just that.