Fresh off of controversy over the decision to stay open, a conference call from GameStop displays a stunning ignorance regarding the coronavirus.
GameStop has already come under fire due to its controversial decision to keep its stores open during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and now a leaked executive conference call has revealed the questionable mindset of this decision. This stunning conversation was leaked earlier this week, shedding light on the video game retail chain’s divisive actions (or lack thereof) regarding the recent outbreak.
As the respiratory disease known as COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, began infecting various parts of the world, many companies, schools, and non-essential businesses have closed their doors to prevent further spread of the illness, which has already caused over 8,000 fatalities in the span of the last few months. Not only that, but many major gaming events like the Game Developers Conference and E3 have been canceled this year, as the recently-declared pandemic casts a large shadow over the entertainment industry as a whole. However, despite all this, GameStop has elected to keep its stores open, ignoring national calls to close down in the face of an ongoing epidemic.
As reported by CBR, YouTuber CAMELOT331 chanced upon a conference call between GameStop executives and employees earlier this week, in which the company discussed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and provide answers to workers’ legitimate concerns regarding the outbreak – all of which are shaky at best. During the call, GameStop’s execs tell their workers to ignore major news developments regarding the outbreak in favor of getting information from the company itself, dodge the question of whether or not employees that are either too worried to come to work or are forced to take time off will be paid compensation, and take the time to mention how their business is “thriving” in the face of so many other stores closing.
GameStop has drawn appropriate criticism for its decision to remain open in the wake of the coronavirus, especially after the company made the dubious claim that their business of selling and trading video games is “essential.” Things have escalated to the point where California’s government has already stepped in, forcing GameStop to close its stores in that particular state… even though the workers there will go unpaid throughout the duration of the shutdown.
Still, the GameStop executives featured on CAMELOT331’s video display a stunning ignorance regarding the steps needed to protect their workers and customers in this uncertain time, and give the impression that they place profits over the health and well-being of GameStop’s employees. While such measures as stopping trade-ins or even outright closing their doors might not be ideal for business, the safety of the public should always take top priority, especially when it comes to a disease that has already claimed so many lives in such a short time. It’s especially irresponsible to advise workers to ignore the warnings of organizations like the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, which certainly know far more about the matter at hand than a video game retail chain. Hopefully the inevitable backlash GameStop gets from this new information causes them to finally do the right thing and close down all of their stores for the remainder of the coronavirus epidemic – or at least until things stabilize enough for everyday life to resume – but they should have known better already.