McVan's Video Games, a Fort Wayne-based chain of buy-sell-trade stores that specializes in rare and vintage titles, is closing its doors after 20 years in business, blaming a lack of interest in traditional video games.
All three McVan’s locations in Fort Wayne were selling leftover inventory at discount prices Monday and would likely close for good sometime in the next week, said operations manager Chad Guy. McVan’s Evansville store also closed May 27, and its Indianapolis location shut its doors last year.
“The whole industry is kind of shifting away from the physical media and just going to a download format,” Guy said. “A lot of kids have phones or iPods, and they’re just playing $1 apps instead of dropping $40 on a Game Boy game.”
McVan’s closure in Fort Wayne would cost about 11 employees their jobs, said Guy, who has worked for the store for 16 years. Many regular customers filtered through the three Fort Wayne stores – at 2211 Maplecrest Road, 3810 W. Jefferson Blvd. and 823 W. Washington Center Road – over the weekend to say their goodbyes, Guy said.
“Everybody is pretty bummed,” he said.
On Monday, customers browsed the Fort Wayne stores picking through games and movies offered at 50 to 75 percent off. Some of the McVan’s workers were visibly upset, and no one was answering phones at any of the three stores.
“We want to thank you for the past 20 years of business,” a McVan's worker told callers in an automated voicemail greeting. “But now we're leaving. Closing the doors. Hasta la vista.”
“We will not be buying or trading any games from here on out, nor answering our phones. Thank you,” the voicemail greeting said.
According to the voicemail greeting, McVan's would be selling recent video games at half price and older titles at 75 percent off. The store is known for carrying used titles for vintage game systems such as the original Nintendo and Sega Genesis, along with newer games for X-Box and Sony Playstation.
A handful of people browsed the West Jefferson store, including two branch managers with the Allen County Public Library. McVan's often has sold used video games to the library at deeply discounted prices, helping it grow its collection of titles, they said.
“We always felt like buying from McVan's was like buying from the local vendor,” said Deb Noggle, manager of the Tecumseh library branch. “They were always real good to us.”