"We found that video games have been a great outlet to not only to distract from what's going on in the world but also to bring people together to give people joy and passion," said Kevin Tyler, manager and owner of Blue Shell Gaming and Collectibles.
Blue Shell just opened its third store in northwest Fresno at Bullard and West Avenues.
Tyler said they were fortunate to secure a good deal and decided it was time to expand.
"Well, 2020 actually was like a really good year for us. We had a lot of families who wanted it to entertain their kids. They were looking for consoles. So we actually sold more this last year, I think, than we did in previous years, and then just the video game market, in general, has blown up over the last couple of years," Tyler said.
They have two stores, one in Clovis and another in Madera.
The store sells a variety of gaming systems, anime and also offers repairs.
"If we can offer someone at the chance to take their kid on a trip through their childhood and show them nostalgia through old video games, through old collectibles, so things they grew up on, that's really our heart that brings passion and joy to everybody," Tyler said.
They do local pickup and were able to stay open through the pandemic.
They hired about five employees for the new store. It's even become a family affair with their own children working at the stores.
The owners said they have 20 plus employees working in-store and online.
"We started this as a couple of guys just loving video games, and now our passion is turned into a business, which has been able to provide for other people's families as well," Tyler said.
Eight years in business and growing.
A locally based gaming store is hoping to serve its gaming population for years to come.