Story: Gamestop’s improbable run on the stock market dominated news cycles, as this wild surge for an the company was driven by an even wilder narrative. While some believed the doom and gloom seen in forecasts were inaccurate, that didn’t slow Gamestop’s gradual descent as investors and consumes all but turned their backs. But the core group of investors that saw value where others didn’t, helped spark a movement like no other in Wall Street’s history, one that would seem to pit the hedge fund kingpins against everyday people armed with trading apps. While often discussed as a “meme stock” situation or a lucky break for some Reddit users, Gamestop’s rocketing stock market ride is looked into more in depth here, to find the real answers behind the unbelievable real life events.

Entertainment Value: While this story was covered nonstop by the media and social media outlets, Rise of the Players manages to be of interest regardless of your knowledge level on the topic, as well as a terrific brisk dive in general. The piece follows the bread crumbs back to the original investors who saw the value in Gamestop, even as most everyone else mocked the video game titan, some even writing it off as a doomed brand just running out the clock. But as we see here, not everyone had given up on Gamestop and before it was a meme stock, it was interesting to investors with keen eyes, which is what lit the fuse that led to the chaos. This documentary focus on a small group of the earlier investors, so the scope can feel a little narrow at times, especially when there isn’t nearly enough time devoted to the deeper elements of the online push that followed as Gamestop shot to the moon. I wouldn’t have minded less of the news footage perhaps in order to clear space for the more important components of the story, but we still get a decent, if overly surface look into various aspects involved. In other words, I think there is still room for someone to produce that full, in depth exploration.

The deepest dive of Rise of the Players centers on those early investors that saw the potential, so a lot of the interviews are either with those folks or are linked to them somehow. I appreciated hearing the stories of these investors, but I can’t help but think focusing so much on them limited the scope, since other areas are just glossed over. I do think these first hand accounts add a lot to the documentary, as those are invaluable perspectives, but I don’t think it warrants nearly the entire duration, when so many interesting angles could be explored here. To be fair, some of those involved refused to participate, so available folks to interview played a part in that in as well. There is a quick look back at Gamestop’s history, which was a fun little jaunt, but I wish more of that corporate side was revealed here, as again we are mostly limited to the one outlook, of the early investors. In the end, this is a slick, well produced, and informative piece, I just wish it went deeper with more perspectives examined.

Use this Amazon link to check out Rise of the Players and help support my site!