The new year has brought more changes at Gamers’ Inn, a popular spot in Mesa for collectible card gamers, tabletop roleplayers and — until now — LAN multiplayer video game enthusiasts.
The store announced on its Facebook page New Year’s Eve that its LAN system would be no more as of Jan. 1. The explanation: “The LAN needed to have a price increase to cover the costs, but the value of LAN gaming that we can provide is not worth more than $1 per hour. Also, new PC’s are cheap and powerful. Broadband is $20 now. Tablets are were this is all going. A gamer with a calculator can tell you that paying to play on a computer does not make any sense.”
According to the store, the total number of LAN hours played clocked in at a grand total of 507,303.
The Gamers’ Inn Facebook admin added: “Come check us out in 2012 to see what kind of surprises that we have in store.”
It’s not the only change the store has made in recent months. In September, Gamers’ Inn ended its longtime 24/7 access to gaming areas. November saw the removal of seldom-used courtesy lockers for “a future expansion plan,” according to the Facebook announcement. (UPDATE: On Jan. 9, the store added this update to Facebook: “It sure is fun taking down walls, and throwing stuff out. This is going to look really neat when it is done. Gamers’ Inn 3.0 beta will have release date of February 15th.”)
The store also has seen the departure of at least two employees in the last couple of weeks, including game designer, writer and occasional Nerdvana contributor Stephen Carpenter.
Gamers’ Inn responded to an email inquiry from Nerdvana:
We are scaling down to a lean mean fighting machine. Mega Game Store is not the future of this business in the Valley. It was about 24 months ago, but I have a more conservative view after watching this market twist and turn during the recession and whatever you would call what we are in right now. I am sure the economists will eventually invent a new term for it.
Our retail counter team of Tiny, Lee, and Thomas are really capable of serving up fun. They are in-line with the customer’s desires, and I am there to support them with inventory and efficient square footage. Expansion an contraction are normal in all businesses. My former boss said, “Follow the customer, and you will always be profitable.” Needless to say, 8000 square feet, and 14 employees are not needed to follow the 2012 customer here in Mesa.
Gamers’ Inn 3.0 beta should be ready on February 15th. Lots to love in this one… definitely an upgrade.