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He’s about kicking ass and taking names, but he wasn’t allowed to market games — so goes the report of Reggie Fils-Aimé’s time at GameStop from the man’s own lips, who discussed his tenure at the company at SXSW this past weekend. Despite GameStop’s soaring “meme stock” that rose from $5 a share to $150 by the time he left the company’s board of directors (after reaching a high of $483) due to a complex storm of Redditors trying to stick it to Wall Street hedge fund managers in a tale that’s complicated enough we can’t quite recount it here, Reggie still walked out the door. So why did Reggie leave during a time of high (if unusual) success? Well, it turns out the company just didn’t really have much for him to do — or rather, wouldn’t allow him to take charge of anything.


“I knew the business,” said Reggie. “I knew it as a consumer, I knew it as a vendor. I had pretty strong opinions on how the business needed to be pivoted, but I was rebuffed.”


As part of GameStop’s ascension, Ryan Cohen (billionaire who founded e-commerce pet food retailer Chewy and owns the largest individual share of Apple stock in the world) invested in the company and eventually seized control of the board to signal that the company was moving mostly online. By Reggie’s account, Cohen wanted to keep a small team of his own cohorts that didn’t come from the actual game industry, which Reggie took to mean that his own ideas weren’t wanted or appreciated, so he left. He slammed the company for lacking an “articulated strategy” in the talk — “You can go on the GameStop website. Try and find a strategy. There is no articulated strategy.”



GameStop’s stock has fallen below $100 per share since November, and it’s very unclear what he plans to do to salvage things. Management is opening tech offices in costly cities, getting involved in the oh-so-popular blockchain and NFT space, and is treating its retail workers like crap, none of which seems like a winning strategy economically and a heinous one morally. And while Reggie’s account is obviously going to be a little biased, are we going to trust a Wall Street billionaire and his cronies mucking around like they know everything or a man who, as far as business executives go, is one of the most beloved, memorable, and in-touch people the public can even name? The Regginator’s gonna win every time.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.