Y’all, nothing to worry about - all is good!
This year’s E3 was dominated by new stores, including subscription outlets such as Xbox Game Pass, EA Access and Uplay+. It was about cloud platforms, with the incoming ability for people to buy games directly via YouTube and stream them immediately.
Such has been the rapid acceleration of digital, the fact that the next Xbox will have a disc drive was deemed newsworthy.
“No, it does not concern me,” insists GameStop’s VP of merchandising Eric Bright when questioned on the increasingly digital nature of the games business.
"GameStop is focused on games and gaming culture overall. Any way that we can look at monetising overall digital sales, we will. You can be assured of that given the fact that we have 65 million members in PowerUp Rewards, we’re no more than a skateboard ride away from 80 per cent of the overall population of the United States, and we have 45,000 of the most knowledgeable game associates, which are basically the distributed sales force for the entire industry, working for us.
“Our partners know that partnering with GameStop on all the new ways of monetisation are in their best interest, so we’re engaging in conversations with everyone as new formats come out. Much like we were able to sell digital and are able to sell digital codes in every single GameStop store and online today, as new subscription models come out and evolve, GameStop will evolve right along with it.”
[… ]“Through our pre-order mechanism, through our pre-sale mechanism, we can service you with the game the fastest and most efficient of any retailer that’s out there today. Part of the evolution is how we go from being the most efficient transactional retailer, and still keep the speed of transaction, to becoming the retailer that has the best overall experience while you are having that transaction. What’s not going to go away is the fact that our gaming associates are literally the most knowledgeable associates about this industry that work in a brick and mortar retailer in the world. I don’t think there’s anybody that comes close to that.”