Video game retailer GameStop is thinking about a new way to convince people to shop at its stores instead of elsewhere. According to new reports, the retailer is considering actively involving itself earlier in the game development process (by partnering with game creators) in an effort to build gameplay experiences that would be exclusive to games sold at GameStop.
This is according to video game industry analyst Colin Sebastian of Robert W. Baird, who met with GameStop management recently. In a note sent to investors this week (obtained by GameSpot), Sebastian writes that publishers are "more enthusiastic about partnering with GameStop, for example by offering exclusive content on each major game release, and longer term, future models may include GameStop participating in development with some gameplay exclusive to the retailer."
Asked for clarification on this point, Sebastian confirmed to Venturebeat that GameStop is considering, "getting involved at the time of game development where there could be some content exclusive to [GameStop] included in the game." A GameStop representative confirmed that the company is indeed attempting to involve itself earlier in the development process to create better exclusives for shoppers, saying Sebastian's comments are "accurate."
"We are working with our [development] partners to build in a longer lead time," a GameStop public relations representative said. "And we are working with them to get both physical and digital exclusives for our customers."
There is no word yet on the specific types of physical and digital exclusives that GameStop might offer customers as part of its new campaign. And of course, GameStop already offers "exclusive" digital content to entice people to shop at its stores. Still, it's clear that GameStop is seeking to offer deeper and more meaningful--at least according to GameStop--content for shoppers as a means to secure better exclusives.
GameStop's closer relationship with developers is not without its concerns, as some people are likely to see this move as a way in which GameStop can push its own interests. But of course, the impact GameStop's involvement in game development remains to be seen. It's also unknown if the potential GameStop exclusive gameplay would actually be truly exclusive or only exclusive to GameStop for a limited time.
We will continue to monitor this story as it develops. For now, what are your thoughts on GameStop's potential partnering with developers earlier on to create exclusive content? Let us know in the comments below!
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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