on Aug 24, 2009
Remember the time I picked up STALKER for $3.75? Well, here is a nice birthday present:
Velvet Assassin for $6.24. I picked it up at the same Target where I got STALKER. Hmmm. This is starting to look fishy.
I’m starting to wonder what is going on here. Have I stumbled on some sort of low-level scam? Similarities:
- In both cases it was a “new-ish” game. Everywhere else it was still selling for full price, or perhaps had $10 knocked off. Yet here I find it for some ridiculously low price, lower than even bargain-bin shovelware that’s been on the shelves for years. More importantly, I think this is well below the turn-in value offered by GameStop. (Although GameStop doesn’t take PC games in trade.)
- Three mark-down stickers.
- The game is placed in some odd location. STALKER was several aisles away, mixed in with headphones and such. Velvet Assassin was mixed in with the crappy kids titles.
- PC Titles.
- The price is screwy. It’s $3.75 instead of $3.99. $6.24 instead of $6.99. Retailers don’t usually price things this way. I was able to peel back the stickers and see the previous prices were $1X.X6 (slightly unreadable) and $34.98.
I’m wondering if an employee has some sort of scam going where they will “accidentally” mark something way, way down. Then they place it in an out-of-the-way spot where it’s unlikely to be noticed by a real gamer shopping for games. Later, an accomplice comes in and buys the game. The delay would make it hard to link the rogue markdowns to a specific employee.
Perhaps the scammer will peel off the discount stickers and return the game unopened (perhaps even to another store) for full price. (Which would likely be in store credit, but still.) Or maybe they just keep it.
Or maybe it’s all just a harmless mistake.
Or maybe Target once in a while decides to get rid of a game in a hurry, and marks it down to next to nothing. Strange.
I hadn’t really planned on getting this one. Good stealth gameplay is really fun, but bad stealth gameplay is agony. Having graduated from the Thief University of Knocking People on the Head, I have really high standards for that sort of gameplay. I don’t mind playing the “so bad it’s funny” game once in a while for the sake of a comic, but I was worried this would fall into the “so bad it’s joyless and aggravating”.
I guess we’ll find out. I have to finish up my AI series first. Then the series on The Path. Then the series on procedural stuff.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.