Now for anyone in the Maryland/Northern Virginia area the name Dropzone Games is probably familiar, even if you don't go there often. I only get around to visiting every few months in general but the Bizzaar Bazzaar's used to be one of my favorite events and I'd occasionally trek up for a game on a Saturday but lately things have seemed a bit... off at the store.
So Wednesday my friend the Chaplain called me up and said Dropzone Games up in Maryland, the former Glen Burnie Battle Bunker back when the store was owned by Gamesworkshop, and asked if I wanted to go. It had been a few months since we had gone up to Dropzone so I said sure, why not?
Of course driving up to the outskirts of Baltimore on a Wednesday afternoon was not the best of ideas. It took us about 2 and a half hours to make the normally fifty minute drive. We got there around 6 and asked about the sale, turns out, it was only for Warmachine and Infinity and was only about 10-15% off. Not at all worth the drive, not really their fault but given the store announcing they wouldn't be releasing details of the sale it meant that the only way to find out was to make the trip. That sucked.
But while that alone sucked, what was more surprising was just the general state of the store. Yea it was late on a Wednesday, not exactly prime gaming hour, but even then many stores I've been to would have at least had half a dozen or so people around, here there were just two and a couple of employees. The huge store felt very empty. Just as disconcerting was the general lack of product. Though Warhammer 40k and Fantasy stuff makes up the majority of the shelf space there were tons of holes in the stock, there just wasn't a very good selection and what was there wasn't very deep, one or two boxes on the shelf and nothing else. The place also doesn't seem to keep a stock room which means the general selection and quantity of stock was really, surprisingly lacking. This is a problem I had noted before but there had at least been other stuff around. Now there's only a handful of games on display. X-Wing, Star Trek Attack Wing, both were no longer being stocked. No board games to speak off. Not nearly as much 3rd party conversion bits and bases as they used to have, stuff from Kromlech and Scibor for instance. For the most part the best selection was for Infinity, Firestorm Armada and Warzone Resurrection. The stock at Dropzone had always been a little thin, lacking the usual card games, board games and other miniatures common to most non-GW hobby shops, but now the stock seems positively... spartan. It makes me wonder how a shop so big, can stay afloat with such limited selection. Heck the ice-cream cooler and snack shelves were also looking fairly empty.
Add to that the closed off back section and a bathroom in serious need of repair and the now closed spray booths and I'm starting to wonder if this shop is going under.
Is it just me? Am I being too harsh on the place? What's the deal here? Anyone else have a thought on the matter?