GameStop Hopes for the Best but Prepares for the Worst

brought to you by WBR Insights

America has a gun crime problem.

This is clearly not the place to get into discussions of the causes or reasons for the problem, but the existence of it is undeniable. The US has less than five percent of the world's population living within its borders, yet can claim 31 percent of all global mass shootings. In this country, we lead the way in civilian gun ownership by over twice the nearest rival, Yemen - and, according to the best available statistics, gun-related deaths account for 64% of all homicides committed here.

So what, you may reasonably ask, does all this have to do with video game retailer GameStop and a travel procurement conference?


As has become all too familiar a media cry, the news broke in August 2018 that, once again, a gunman had gone on the rampage in a public place and killed or injured multiple civilians in an act of terror.

On this occasion, the location of the attack was Jacksonville, Florida, and the target an eSports tournament for the American football game series, Madden. eSports have grown massively in scope and popularity in recent years, with some of the largest events attracting audiences and competitors numbering in the millions. An unfortunate side effect of this burgeoning popularity is that it makes these events an attractive prospect for those who wish to cause mass causalities, in the same manner as sporting events or music concerts.

"We are aware of an incident at a sanctioned Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville," said Madden publisher Electronic Arts in a statement at the time. "This is a horrible situation, and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved."

The shooter, a 24-year-old gamer from Baltimore, Maryland, was an attendee of the tournament and murdered two other competitors and injured several others with a handgun before committing suicide.


As a sponsor of the Madden tournament, GameStop representatives were on hand, and the company was immediately notified of the unfolding events.

As with any company responsible for arranging tournaments such as these, GameStop has a duty of care over those who purchase tickets and attend. "Duty of care" means these companies must take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and security of those who chose to attend their events. This can include making sure adequate insurance is in place to cover any liability for damage or injury, making sure venues are not filled past their legal capacity, and ensuring there are qualified and experienced security personnel employed to watch out for threats which may arise.

While everyone was shocked that this friendly and high-spirited video game competition had descended into violence, GameStop quickly realized a new paradigm had been set, and, according to its duty of care, it had to act.

GameStop was due to host another esports tournament in another state, but came to the immediate conclusion that the security precautions they had put in place may be of reduced efficacy in the face of the unfolding events in Jacksonville. The company's response was to immediately procure extra security precautions for the second event, which would be more appropriate given this new information.

Duty of care is of utmost importance to GameStop, and it wants the people who choose to part with their hard-earned money to attend its events to feel their safety and security is being appropriately taken care of. Nobody wants to feel they must look over their shoulder when attending large events; they just want to be able to relax and enjoy the show.

Final Thoughts

What do you do? You have an active shooter scenario. A natural disaster impacts your travelers. There's an accident that sends dozens of travelers to emergency rooms. Are you ready? What are your responsibilities?

In a special ProcureCon Travel session, you will have the opportunity to explore real-life scenarios of how to transform traditional risk & safety plans, while preserving the emotional well-being of travelers.

You can hear GameStop's Director of Meetings and Travel, Judy Payne, and Senior Manager of Meetings and Travel, Samantha Vogel speak at the session about duty of care and exactly how GameStop went about arranging the extra security in such an agile fashion at ProcureCon Travel 2019, taking place in May at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, NV.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.

Return to Blog