The comic book and videogame industries are pretty similar. Both rely on niche support from big-spending, highly dedicated fans. Both are slowly expanding in the mainstream market. Both have been revolutionized by the internet and are struggling to find a business model that includes digital downloads.

Yet while independently owned specialty shops dominate the brick-and-mortar comic book business, the videogame retail space has increasingly become synonymous with one name: GameStop. The slow conglomeration of mini-chains like Babbage’s, Software Etc. and FuncoLand came to its monolithic conclusion in 2005 when GameStop’s merger with EBGames gave them a full 25 percent of the videogame market (a share that’s surely increased with the chain’s nonstop expansion in the years since). The remainder is almost entirely taken up by big box retailers that sell videogames alongside unrelated products like electronics and home supplies. For most consumers, the small, mom-and-pop game shop is a thing of the past, if it was ever a thing at all.

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