Your New, Sealed Copy Of GTA4 Contains "Boyz N Da Hood" Disc

Some scammer out there has a sense of humor (and a shrink wrap machine), because when Greg opened his apparently “new” copy of Grand Theft Auto IV, he found a used copy of “Boys N Da Hood.”

It’s sort of old news by now, but I had pre ordered Grand Theft Auto 4 (for Xbox 360) and left a $8 deposit well over a year ago at the GameStop in Hicksville NY. When I arrived at the store on Thursday 5/1/08, just 2 days after the release of the game (4/29/08), I was told that they were sold out of the game. “But I reserved a copy.” I said. I was told by the goofy teenage employee that “It is GameStop policy to only hold reserved games for 48 hours.” So I immediately went into “Where is your manager mode”. After explaining that his manager wouldn’t be in for another another hour, the employee got nervous and after what can only be described as divine intervention, found “the last copy” of the game under the counter. I said great, thanked him and left with my game.

When I opened the package minutes later, untampered security seal and all, I found that the original game was replaced with a used and worn gangster rap CD. (see image attached). I quickly brought it back to the store, and after the kid giddily took a few pics with his camera phone (“Dude, holy shit, I’ve never seen anything like that.”), I was told again that I had received the last copy of the game and that he was in no position to issue me a refund. If I hadn’t foreseen this becoming a huge pain in my ass, I would had thought it was pretty damn funny – my friends certainly did! Boyz N Da Hood, really?

Now a LONG story made somewhat shorter – I made several phone calls to Take 2 Interactive, the manufacturer of the game, while I waited for the GameStop manager to arrive. While dealing with Take 2 I was given a 2 hour royal runaround, however almost everyone I spoke to had a very pleasant British accent. After speaking with everyone from the shipping department to a frustrated Scotsman in the Technical Support department, I realized this could only end with an abrupt and unsatisfying dead end. Eventually I gathered that I would have to take it up with the retailer.

After speaking with the store manager, who was no help, he told me I need to take it up with the manufacturer. Already tried that! I asked for his corporate number and his district manager’s phone number as well. I tried the corporate number first where I was told that they could do nothing for me, and I would have to get in touch with the DM. After leaving a few messages with the District Manger over several days, I finally got a hold of him. I have to say, when I did finally get a hold of him he was begrudgingly willing to get me a new copy of the game. Can’t say that he believed my story at all, but none the less I was happily carjacking on my TV later that night!

Thanks for your time, hope this is useful for your site, which I love!

Oh, we love you too, Greg. We have to say that the District Manager of that Game Stop is a nice guy. It’s always good to hear about these stories getting resolved without anyone crying and pulling their hair out.


Edit Your Comment

  1. uberbucket says:

    coz the boys in the hood are always hard
    you come talkin that trash, we’ll pull ya card
    knowin’ nutin in life but to be legit’
    dont quote me boy coz i aint said sh*t


  2. Jamie All Over says:

    I stopped buying from GameStop awhile ago. I can buy all my games at Target, where there’s no need to pre-order.

  3. When I reserved my copy, they said the same thing, 48 hours. So I picked it up within 48 hours of release, and no problem. I knew that this has was the policy though, maybe the guy who took his deposit is the one to blame, because he obviously didn’t tell him.

    Sucks that he got Boyz in da hood instead, kinda funny though.

  4. The Boyz in da Hood is always mis-understood.

  5. Frogbot says:

    There’s a difference between manufacturer shrinkwrap, and the shrinkwrap that gets put on in the backrooms of most Gamestops. The manufacturer’s stuff has those nice little folds and tucks along the top and bottom edges, like wrapping paper. Gamestop wrapped games will have a seam, and usually an ugly, non-straight one. They’ve tried to hustle me with the ‘new game’ crap before and handed me a copy with the crappy shrink wrap and no manufacturer’s seal holding it closed. ( The green stick for 360 ). I opened it right there, in front of them and hey… no game inside at all. Easy to get a refund when the clerk, and the ten waiting customers behind you can see what they’re trying to pull.

  6. Buran says:

    Ouch. Definitely do need to open small stuff like that on the spot, so if they give you any crap, you can tell them it was all within sight of the clerk, and is on the security recordings.

    I bet the idiot clerk sold you the copy the store employees were “testing” and figured he wouldn’t get called on it.

    It also does sound like he was within 48 hours. 24 hrs * 2 = 48 hrs = 2 days.

  7. JustinAche says:

    This is bullshit we are going to start having to open the game disks in the store, in front of the clerk that sold them to us, even if they are shrink wrapped. Which, btw, shrink wrapping doesn’t mean crap. All 360 games I’ve ever bought had an Xbox sticker holding the package together as well…it’d be obvious if it was opened before

  8. rmz says:

    @MessageinaBottle: Target also has less than 10% of the games that my local Gamestops do, though, unfortunately. If I want something that’s not brand-new or huge-name, chances are Target/Wal-Mart don’t have it.

  9. Natheo says:

    I hate my job. I’d never let anything that retarded happen at my store, like running out of copies of Grand Theft Auto IV from pre-orders, but god I hate my job.

  10. HeartBurnKid says:

    This is truly suck.

  11. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    … fine. Somebody has to do it so it might as well be me:

  12. Joewithay says:

    I always believe if its a big title like GTA, Halo, ect. why preorder when all the big stores are going to have a million copies of it at release.

  13. se7a7n7 says:

    Gamestop tried screw me a few years ago when the PSP first came out, I had preordered it went early in the morning to pick it up with no problem. I also bought an extended warranty to be on the safe side.

    Later that night, the thing stopped being able to read discs so I took it back. They said that I would have to wait for the next shipment to get a replacement because they didn’t have any other PSPs to replace it with… being clever, I called back with a different voice saying that I had preordered the PSP and wanted to make sure they still had it before I went, they did have it.

    So I march in with my busted PSP and demanded that they replace it for me right then. The guy says they can’t replace it. I told him I was the guy that just called about a preorder, his face drops realizing I tricked him.

    Again I demanded getting a replacement PSP then because I wasn’t going to wait for however long their next shipment would take and thought it was awful they were doing that when I even paid extra for extended warranty. They get on the phone with a manager and say that I can get a replacement if I give up my extended warranty.

    After getting home I realize they screwed me by taking the extended warranty because the 30 warranty on the receipt still applied, went back and got the manager to replace my extended warranty. FTW

  14. WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

    did they let you keep the CD?

  15. Suttin says:

    The problem with this is that the store is retarded. When I worked at EB Games, we sold someone a used copy of a game, and whoever checked it in, didn’t notice it was a paper label.

    About an hour later, he said his game wasn’t God of War, it was Mean Girls. We couldn’t believe it. We took out the dvd from the in store tv, and put in his disk, and sure enough it was mean girls.

    All we had to do was put the dvd as unplayable and give him a different disk.

  16. nonzenze says:

    Wow, I want to get two copies of the game for the price of one as well. And I have old rap CDs! I see exactly how this is going to work.

  17. randomizer9 says:

    This happened once to me years ago when the PS2 first came out, instead of Timesplitters, I got an AOL CD…ouch

  18. Shevek says:


    If it isn’t available at your big box stores, maybe try a local independent game store or go online? I realize that many people do not want to wait, but I’ve long since given up on this store.

    Remember, friends don’t let friends shop at GameStop. :P

  19. sysak says:

    Hicksville is my hometown. I know everyone in the Gamestops there(there are two), they are good people. There is a large amount of theft in Hicksville. People try and return the games after buying them and put the wrong disc in, there is is someone in the area who copies the games and movies, then re shrink wraps them. It’s a tough area to discern whose telling the truth.

  20. outinthedark says:

    People suck these days…

  21. Annie13 says:

    @DemolitionMan re: “This is bullshit we are going to start having to open the game disks in the store, in front of the clerk that sold them to us, even if they are shrink wrapped.”

    It’s definitely bullshit, but you certainly don’t have to open the game disks in the store in front of the clerk … just don’t shop there. Problem solved.

  22. rmz says:

    @Shevek: “local independent game store”

    The one local independent game store in my area is full of condescending pricks who ask me why I don’t own a 360 every time I’m there because it’s “soooo awesome and the best system ever lol!!!!”

    As far as online, I’ve tried that before, but when it comes to new releases, I find it hard to justify paying $5-10 for shipping AND having to wait a couple days when I could go into a store and get it on the release date for no extra money. Of course, for a lot of the small-release games (Atlus games aside from Trauma Center especially) it’s very hard to find them in a Target :(

  23. says:


    my thoughts exactly

  24. Shevek says:


    The last time I bought a game online, I went through Amazon; they have (at least they did) free shipping for purchases of $25 or more. Of course, I still had to wait for it, which is its own kind of pain.

  25. russdanger says:

    I work across the room from Greg, when he first opened the package he thought it was on of those Rockstar Games inside jokes. After seeing the run-around he got from Gamestop, I went and bought mine at BestBuy.
    I split the package open with my car key just enough to peer inside and verify that it wasn’t a rap CD right in front of the store.
    Hey Game Manufacturers! It’s time to start packaging these things in clear plastic cases. If I have to shell-out $60 bucks for a 360 game, I want to know that some pimple-faced dork in the stockroom isn’t ripping me off.

  26. mookiemookie says:

    This exact same thing happened to me at Best Buy a few years back with a copy of Final Fantasy X. The shrinkwrap looked pristine, but when I opened it up, it was a blank Memorex disc inside. I bullied Worst Buy into exchanging it though.

  27. gizmosprocket says:

    I have dealt with the suffolk county district manager for gamestop and previously eb and found their level of service to be very good. I am also please to say that in at least one incident I called the DM about the exemplary level of service I had gotten from an EB store…

    I am no fan of their pricing policies or their lack of training, but about 2 years ago I was headed out of town and picked up a few games at the Smithaven mall location of EB. After talking briefly with the staff I went about my business and continued shopping bag in hand.

    In one store at another part of the mall an excited EB employee tracked me down to apologize for forgetting to include some of the merchandise I bought in the bag- when he realized the error he went looking in similar stores hoping to catch me.

    I was impressed enough to let the DM know.

  28. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    @Frogbot: Exactly, on optical disc games, everyone should look for the actual factory “shrinkwrap” (which is actually not shrinkwrap, but cellophane) which is folded over on the edges with no seams. If it’s not like that, open it on the spot, otherwise, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  29. @Buran: Probably right on the store employees, but most places released the game at 12:01 am on the 29th, so he would have been past the 48 hours if he went on the 1st of May.

  30. Buran says:

    @graffiksguru: That’s overly splitting hairs and if I went in two days after release having been told that items would be held for two days, you bet I’d be demanding a manager too. I’d expect my item to be there until close of business on the second day and released for sale on the third at opening time.

  31. nutrigm says:

    :O $60 for a game!? I rather lose 20 lbs! [] LOL j/k

  32. @Buran: You don’t have to tell me, I know its splitting hairs. I’m just saying what the gamestop employee probably would have said. When I asked them how many he had left when I picked mine up on 4/30, he said none, unless you reserved one (which I did).

  33. elijah_dukes_mayonnaise says:

    This is like the time I bought an AK-47, and the only thing in the case was a “Straight Outta Compton” 7″. If only I’d checked the merchandise in the store before leaving, everything would’ve been i-ight.

  34. Osagasu says:

    Never had a problem with Gamestop. I walk in, they wave, we chat for a bit while I’m looking through the preorders and games on the rack, I buy what I want and I get out.

    Once in the last five years I’ve been going to my local store I had something similar to this happen to me, they took it back no questions asked and got me the real disc.

    It could be that I’m given preferential treatment since I’ve spent the vast majority of my “free cash” there over the last couple of years, but in my experience no amount of money spent at a store will prevent the store from being bad when everything hits the ceiling.

    All this said, when I’m buying a game for myself, I always open a game when I get to my car, just in case. You can never be too careful.

  35. @dry-roasted-peanuts: Beautiful. You win the day.

  36. Okaasan says:

    @The Count of Monte Fisto: I agree. That was refreshing. Thank you dry-roasted peanuts!

  37. kyle4 says:

    EB games does BS you with new games. I bought two and they both weren;t wrapped and were in their plastic bags. The disc had fingerprints and some slight scratches on it. I don’t know why someone would buy it new there.

    On a lighter tone, it would’ve been funnier if they had replaced San Andreas with this disc. The employee sounded like a moron though.

  38. wjmorris3 says:

    I used to be a GameStop/EB Games customer but I have found that my local GameCrazy gives a lot better service for my money. Say what you want about their parent company (Hollywood Video) but suffice it to note that my old EDGE Card is currently sitting in a jar at the GameCrazy, in four pieces.

  39. arachnophilia says:

    boyz n da hood? that would be like, ten times funnier if it were san andreas he was trying to buy.

  40. Weezil says:

    dem boyz in da hood sell anyding 4 profit

  41. Kounji says:

    THis would have been more ironic if it had been a copy of boyz in the hood and San Andreas. He might of hesitated at first.

  42. hejustlaughs says:

    I pre-ordered GTA IV and amazon mailed it out the day before it took 2 days to arrive so I actually got it the day after it came out which isn’t that bad.

  43. Tansis says:

    Oh this happened to me at Walmart. I was craving for a game for my PS3 and Kane and Lynch just got released. I purchased it and went home and right away wanted to try this (later found out it was poorly rated) game. Inside the case was a 2006 NBA PS2 disk. I felt like I was literally robbed of $60 dollars. Only 20 minutes had passed since purchasing the game and went back to return it. The return counter employees huddled around my return like I was showing them roadkill. They send me back to the electronic department. I explained to the cashier what happened and lucky for me he remembered my purchase. So with his approval, I was allowed to replace it. I only played the game two more times after that. I felt I was literally robbed of $60 dollars by the purchase of this game.

  44. soundengineer says:

    in one comic/ game store i noticed the cashier opening the game on the spot for the customer to check not only that the CD was the right game, but also for scratches and defects. sure it does hold up the queue a bit but it will avoid such situations, especially since those games do cost a pretty penny…