Game Stores With Longevity: Meta-Games Unlimited

Game stores in Springfield, Missouri, such as Meta-Games Unlimited, have been around for over two decades. Photo credit: Allan Reid

Meta-Games Unlimited is one of those game stores that’s been around a long time. It’s one of four game stores in Springfield, Missouri, according to Wizards of the Coast Store & Events Locator. In addition to running the game store, the store owner, Allan Reid, has a full-time job. His desire to open a game store stems from his previous background in competitive Magic. A competitive player from 1994-1996 had its enjoyment. However, as time went on Allan wished to be near family and friends. Overall, driving to tournaments became tiresome, he says. He would later host games at his house serving as the catalyst for opening his store in 1997. Meta-Games Unlimited, a WPN Premium store, was one of the first game stores with that title, Allan shares.

The store has been around for 27 years and counting. Allan credits his friends with whom he had played competitively for helping make the store what it is today. He initially started with a 750 sq. ft. store and would later expand to 3,200 sq. ft. However, today, the store is 10,000 sq. ft. culminating as its fourth location since opening. Moreover, Allan notes this could pass as the store’s fifth location when factoring in expansions. Even with the store’s longevity, new locations, and expansions, Allan still notes that it’s, “[hard] to be a brick-and-mortar store.”

A Dedicated Staff & An Accommodating Owner

Allan has 9 employees total and some of whom have been with him for over 20 years. Allan stresses the importance and appreciation for his well-rounded staff. They’ve been critical in building the store’s foundation. The staff’s adaptability to different games provides the flexibility necessary to assist customers, Allan says. Moreover, some employees do specialize depending upon the product category. He shares that a free place to play was always important to grow the business. Except for tournaments offering prizes, players having a place to hang out and play is a must in Allan’s eyes. However, he wishes there was more space as it fills up fast.

Sign Up For Game Store Reviews!

Sign up and receive reviews of the stores I visit in person!

I agree to have my personal information transfered to AWeber ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Additionally, the store offers pinball tournaments, Games Workshop events, RPG events, and Magic: The Gathering events. Allan provides many opportunities to accommodate customers. An example of that is running multiple events each day. Additionally, he’ll buy bulk cards and give them to a new customer getting into the game of their interest. It’s these efforts that resonate with the customer base.

“The people here are great, I love seeing old friends from Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma. The store is always fantastic.”

Greg Atkinson, an excerpt from his reflections on the store posted to his Facebook page.

A Game Stores Early Day Anchor Games To Pinball Tournaments

Allan credits both Games Workshop miniatures and Magic: The Gathering as the anchors in the early days. Even though those games were a boon, Allan says product availability was an issue during the store’s infancy. Today, board games are the most challenging to purchase. He attributes this to not knowing what will be popular for that month.

When getting the word out about the store, Allan will work with restaurants in the area. He is aware of several game stores in the area, thus the importance of working with local businesses. Furthermore, Allan hosts Queen City Pinball to run pinball tournaments under the direction of the International Flipper Pinball Association. At the time of writing, he has 13 pinball machines at his store. Allan says the machines are in rotation. Furthermore, Meta-Games Unlimited has hosted the Missouri State Championship. Aside from pinball, Allan has been a sponsor at Moon City Con.

These days Allan mostly plays board games. Professionally, he focuses on vendor relationships, stocking up on products, and providing customers with a great experience.

Follow Meta-Games Unlimited on Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like your store featured, contact us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *