As Walmart continues to be criticized for its decision to remove violent ads and signage for the video games it sells, it seems like some stores could be taking that initiative one step further and preventing game sales entirely. This decision was made in the wake of the tragic shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas that resulted in the deaths of 31 people.
Twitter user Erik Tyler Louden posted a picture of the game display case, showing that most of the products have been removed except for sports games and others geared toward young children.
Mine is not even selling the games anymore (temporarily) and I'm seriously upset. Like where am I supposed to buy a physical copy now? The nearest GameStop is way too far away from me. pic.twitter.com/PRGSgMpEPL— Erik Tyler Louden (@TylerMayCry) August 9, 2019
Walmart reached out to IGN after their initial report and clarified that they have "not given any directive to remove video games from the shelves." They did not explain why these games were taken out of this store's display case.
Walmart's initial stance only indicated that they're going to remove the signage and advertisements for violent video games. They also deactivated demo stations for systems like the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One in the case that they had violent games playable or clips of violent games.
The memo specifically requested:
Turn off or unplug any video game consoles that show a demo of violent games, specifically PlayStation and Xbox units
Cancel any events promoting combat-style or third-person shooter games that may be scheduled in Electronics
Verify that no movies depicting violence are playing in Electronics
Turn off any hunting season videos that may be playing in Sporting Goods, and remove any monitors or displays that show the videos
Check all signing throughout the store and remove any referencing combat or third-person shooter video games.
Walmart's director of national media relations LeMia Jenkins issued a statement to IGN about why they decided to remove the imagery.
"We've taken this action out of respect for the incidents of the past week, and it does not reflect a long-term change in our video game assortment. We are focused on assisting our associates and their families, as well as supporting the community, as we continue a thoughtful and thorough review of our policies."
"Our statement stands company wide."