4 retro video game and software stores that have been deleted from malls across America

  • The rise of video games and computer software led to the founding of a number of specialty brick-and-mortar retailers in the late 20th century.
  • But selling new tech proved to be a business fraught with peril for retailers.
  • Here are a few defunct retailers that ultimately face-planted in their efforts to sell software and video games.
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Retail isn’t always about collecting golden coins and gobbling up power pellets. Sometimes, you’ve got to accept that it’s “game over” for your company.

It’s no different for video game and computer software retailers.

Read more: Inside the luxurious department store founded by one of the most important figures in Mormon history

Stores dedicated entirely to selling video games and computer software might be relatively new, compared with, say, department stores or grocers. But they’ve still got to contend with tough competition, evolving technology, and fickle consumer preferences like other retailers.

Here’s a look at a few video game stores that glitched out for good:

EGGHEAD — This computer software store chain finally cracked when Amazon bought it up its surviving assets in 2001. But Egghead had been in the frying pan for some years. After successfully operating a chain of stores from 1984 onward, the company decided to become online-only starting in 1998.

Source: The Washington Post, The Register

BABBAGE’S — Named after Charles Babbage, the mathematician and engineer who’s considered the “father of the computer,” Babbage’s was founded in 1984 and became a powerhouse software retailer. When Barnes & Noble bought up the company in 1999, the name faded from stores. But the company still lives on through its descendant, GameStop.

A shot of a Babbage’s store.

Source: GameStop

GAMECRAZY — Founded in 1998, this Oregon-based business was actually a subsidiary of film and game rental giant Movie Gallery. GameCrazy lost it once and for all in 2010, when the video game retailer and its parent company went bankrupt.

A still from a GameCrazy training video.

Source: Network World

RHINO VIDEO GAMES — GameStop bought up Rhino Video Games in 2007, effectively ending the Florida-based company’s 18-year run. The now-defunct film rental retailer Blockbuster had previously owned the video-game business.

A still from a Rhino Video Games TV spot.
John Bring/Youtube

Source: The Chronicle

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