If you plan on buying the M-rated classic, Bad Boys: Miami Take Down from your local GameStop, you might want to make sure you bring your ID and a DNA sample to prove it’s actually you. Our sources close to the retailer tell us that the company is laying down the law on M-rated title sales to minors, Apprentice style.
In a conference call held late last week, managers were informed of the new, stricter M-rated software sales policy. Selling a game to a minor and getting caught will result in immediate termination. But it gets better — if an hourly employee sells an M-rated game to a minor, not only will he or she lose their job, but the salaried store manager will be terminated as well, even if they were not present in the store at the time of the sale. Yikes.
The company has always had a policy of not selling M-rated titles to those under the age of 17. But this bold and threatening policy is a new step, no doubt influenced by the recent waves of legislation and related media coverage.
Along with retailers like Circuit City, Best Buy, and Blockbuster Video, GameStop is a member of the ESRB Retail Council. Among efforts to enforce policies and support the ESRB ratings, members are subject to mystery shop audits in which a consumer under the age of 17 will attempt to buy mature rated titles. Results recorded as late as November of last year showed that 65% of the time, M-rated sales policies were enforced. The other 35% of the time resulted in high school shootings and teen pregnancy.