GameStop closes California stores despite earlier defiance

Turns out a game store isn't very essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GameStop's insistence on staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic might not have accomplished much in at least one state. Kotaku understands that GameStop is closing its stores in California "until further notice" while it waits for more information from California Governor Gavin Newsom. The leader has issued a shelter-in-place order that forbids all non-essential travel, including for businesses that aren't considered crucial.

We've asked GameStop for comment.

The retailer had maintained that it was an "essential business" as it improved the quality of life for people working from home. It reportedly went so far as to instruct stores on how to respond if police attempted to enforce closures. The company has effectively been setting up a confrontation with the law, not to mention employees who may refuse to put their health at risk just to sell consoles and games.

It's not certain just why GameStop would insist on remaining open when companies selling more vital products have remained open. However, it's well-known that GameStop is already in deep financial trouble. Mandatory closures could exacerbate those problems and leave the store chain with poorer chances of recovery.