A new Pokemon promo is asking players to visit GameStop stores in order to receive a shiny Pokemon. The event requires players to visit physical store locations in the US, or EB Games locations in Canada, in order to receive the promotional content.
What is being given away in this GameStop Pokemon promo?
According to Serebii by way of Reddit, GameStop, and EB Games signage has been posted online revealing the nature of the promo. This signage matches the usual way GameStop publicizes events; it looks like previous Pokemon promos held by the company. Players can visit stores to receive a shiny Toxtricity starting from February 19th. The event is intended to accompany the release of the new Shining Fates Pokemon TCG set. In order to receive the shiny Toxtricity - which can be redeemed in Pokemon Sword & Shield - you'll have to obtain a Serial Code at store locations using the Pokemon Pass mobile app. This despite the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage in both the US and Canada, with many locations under stay at home orders.
At the time of writing, there's no sign of any way to obtain the codes for the shiny Toxtricity remotely. It's worth noting that both Serebii and Reddit don't have the full details of this offer yet, so there's a chance GameStop will come up with a way for gamers not to have to visit a store to receive their Toxtricity. Mask mandates and store closures are handled at the state or provincial level rather than federally, so the store is technically within its rights to hold promotional events at locations that are still open. Still, asking lots of people to visit a store during a time when physical proximity could be dangerous is irresponsible.
This probably shouldn't come as a surprise. Back in last March, when the pandemic was in its relative infancy in the US, GameStop attempted to declare itself "essential retail" in order to remain open. Subsequent employee outcry led the company to close all physical stores. That was probably for the best, given that the store's Covid-19 prevention measures were pretty lackluster prior to the closure. Stores didn't receive packages of cleaning products and supplies on time, while employees experiencing Covid-19 symptoms were forced to use sick days to stay away from work.
Non-stop GameStop happenings
This promo event comes in the wake of a rather eventful couple of weeks for GameStop. Thanks to Redditors on the WallStreetBets subreddit, GameStop's stock skyrocketed in late January as part of a concerted effort to undermine hedge fund investors shorting the stock. Investment app Robinhood subsequently stopped individuals from purchasing GameStop shares through its app (although the aforementioned hedge fund investors weren't prevented from doing so). A few days ago, Robinhood lifted trading restrictions on all stocks, and the price of the store's shares now looks to be dropping, although at time of writing shares were still worth around $59 each.
We'll have to wait and see what the future holds for GameStop after a bizarre few weeks. We've contacted GameStop for comment on this story and will bring you more as soon as we get it.
What do you think about GameStop asking gamers to head in-store during an ongoing pandemic? Let us know in the comments below!