Gamestop Network Crash Experience

On April 2, 2015 the popular retail gaming store Gamestop planned to hold an in-store-only pre-order for the much anticipated exclusive Ness Amiibo. Hundreds of hungry gamers, including myself, arrived early and planned for our pre-orders to be taken in store without any issues…… did not go as planned and a great network management software platform could have prevented this.

gamestop amiibo

Amiibo is one of the brands in the toys to life gaming genre that has been gaining in popularity as it puts a twist on DLC (downloadable content) and unlike their competitors like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, Nintendo was having problems keeping up with demand making exclusive figures hard to find and temporarily rare. Gamestop being a gaming store was aware of these issues and did everything they could to communicate an easy way for people to obtain the Ness amiibo. Everything was set to launch with people arriving at their local store at the time Gamestop tweeted and then came time for the first pre-order.

While Gamestop knew how much stock they would have and made sure to have enough employees in the stores to assist customers there for the pre-orders or other items, they did not foresee that the amount of traffic that would hit their internal systems would cause a crash nationwide. Employees were ready to help customers and customers were ready to purchase their product in an orderly fashion, but the system could not handle every store across the country signing into the web-to-store purchasing platform at the same time. They had safeguards to put their systems into maintenance mode or shut off certain features to eventually let orders to go through, but everything done was a reaction to a problem.

In my opinion had Gamestop had a networking management software platform as intuitive as Entuity, they would have been able to see any network problems they could run into before they happened and react before there was a problem until after the fact. It wasn’t the waiting that was upsetting customers who were waiting in line, but rather the fact that the employees had no knowledge of why the issue was occurring and thus had no true answers to customer questions. Had they seen that their network couldn’t handle all the traffic at the same time, or seen how to better route their traffic to prevent a crash, they could have shown exactly why people should buy from them. Most people who arrived before 3pm on that day got what they wanted in the end, but it was after waiting much longer then they wanted. Based on the mutterings of some customers, people have been turned away from this process of buying from Gamestop and still don’t understand how they could have let this happen when they knew the demand for the product and the time it would go on sale. This could have lost future customers and showed that a large business did not take every precaution they could have to prevent an issue that shouldn’t have occurred.

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