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To contain the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, cities and states are being proactive in closing schools and forcing non-essential retail stores to cease operation. Businesses and organizations seen as “essential” to a functional society such as pharmacies, grocery stores, and hospitals are to remain open. Believing itself to fit into that category, video game retailer GameStop announced all of its stores would remain open during the coronavirus outbreak.

GameStop is essential to society, apparently

GameStop’s official announcement stated stores would not be closing in the event of lockdowns. A staff memo to employees from GameStop management stated the following:

“Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe that GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time.”

George Sherman, Chief Executive Officer of GameStop, says the store is implementing precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its customers and employees. All stores are allegedly being provided with the “necessary supply of disinfectant materials,” but this has been disputed recently.

Employees showing any signs of illness are encouraged to stay home until medical professionals have cleared them. Additionally, Sherman stresses the importance of following recommended “self-quarantine guidelines” outlined by the government. He assures, in the event of illness, customers can still visit the store’s website or mobile app to make purchases.

GameStop announced store hours would be reduced until March 29. Trade-in services have been suspended until further notice, and all in-store events have been canceled.

Gamers are now more than ever staying home and gaming, passing the time during self-quarantine over COVID-19. Video game client Steam has shattered records, experiencing a massive surge in gamers over the last few weeks. SteamDB, which monitors the Valve marketplace, found that an estimated 6.2 million users were in-game at a single time. Furthermore, Valve’s first-person-shooter title, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, broke 1 million concurrent players on Saturday (March 14).




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