In 2009, Microsoft bid adieu to Shane Kim, VP of strategy and business development for the company's Interactive Entertainment division--which includes Microsoft Studios--when he retired from his role. Now, the man who helped launch franchises like Halo and Gears of War is working at the industry's biggest game-specific retailer.
Retail juggernaut GameStop today announced that Kim has joined the Grapevine, Texas-based company, and he will serve as a member of the board of directors. It was not expressly noted what Kim will work on at the company, but GameStop executive chairman Dan DeMatteo said, "[Kim will] bring valuable insight in supporting the advancement of GameStop's digital strategy."
As for GameStop's digital ambitions, last year the company said, "retail is not going to last forever," and soon began selling Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network games in its stores. GameStop also bought Flash game portal Kongregate last July, which is now integrated into its website.
In March of this year, GameStop acquired digital distribution service Impulse and streaming game company Spawn Labs. And in April of this year, GameStop launched a Facebook store through the social networking behemoth.
At Microsoft, Kim's near 20-year tenure had him overseeing big-time first-party franchises like Gears of War, Halo, Forza, and Fable, as well as leading the Xbox Live technology team.
As for GameStop, the company's first quarter results were rosy. The retailer earned $80.4 million in net income on a record $2.28 billion of revenue. That was a 6.9 percent increase from $75.2 million in profits and a 9.5 percent boost from the $2.08 billion in revenues GameStop took in during the same period in 2010.