GameStop Might "Participate" In Game Development to Create Exclusive Gameplay

"We are working with our [development] partners to build in a longer lead time," a GameStop representative says.

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
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

74 comments
therealzorvan
therealzorvan

It is time. GameStop has reached it's end-of-life stage. We must now collectively pull it's plug.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I assume Gamestop will offer financial incentives to penetrate deeper into game development, so I am not too bothered by this. They will be a customer of sorts, and it's generally a good thing for paying customers to participate in game development at a reasonable level. I hope Gamestop help to make games that Gamestop will enjoy. If I enjoy it too, all the better, if not, well, there is no reason why every game has to be mass market.

tonytones21
tonytones21

Please don't let this be a thing. It will destroy the gaming industry.

Evil_Sidekick
Evil_Sidekick

This wouldn't be bad if companies just gave them the finger, but we all know that, the moment someone holds a check, everyone jumps.

I see every single publisher/developer that usually has Gamestop pre-order bonus to jump on this.


Even worst will be in a couple of years down the road, when other retailers start doing the same, and we will begin to have games divided by exclusivity, in the likes of


Buy the game, story missing key elements, gameplay of 12 hours

Buy the game at Gamestop, have a new character, some story missions, gameplay time of 60 hours

Buy the game at Best Buy, have a new AI character, a new ending, gameplay time of 100 hours

Buy the game at........you get the picture.


Greed, this is what will destroy this industry.

Hurvl
Hurvl

As if store-exclusive preorder bonuses weren't bad enough.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

That would really tick me off with Gamespot.  I hope game devs aren't dumb enough to get into this can of worms.  However EA probably will, they probably figure that their reputation in the market can't be much worse anyway.

grenadehh
grenadehh

Oh good jesus please don't. "Preorder now for your exclusive gamestop onry missions! Designed by gamestop!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


And they'll put in merchants in games where you buy something for 300 gold, and then if you sell it back you get 40 gold. Then they sell it for 290 gold. Merchants that will oddly enough - right - look like GameStop employees.

Scynt
Scynt

**** you Gamestop.

Pewbert
Pewbert

This is the kind of corporate b.s that makes me not want to shop at a store like this.

kvan33
kvan33

Not really worried about this. Devs/publishers aren't going to put an inferior product in one store vs another. Any exclusive content would most likely be the "plug in" variety that matters little to the game as a whole.  Having actual "meaningful" retailer exclusive content is a pipe dream.



SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Hopefully it would at least be significant exclusive content.  Not the "20 minutes of extra missions" lameness that is currently common for bonuses.

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Could you atleast use an updated picture of Gamestop?

souporman-
souporman-

GameStop certainly has its flaws as a company but I like my local store and the people who work there are cool once you get to know them and they realize they don't have to be a salesman with you. They give me loads of free stuff on a regular basis and basically let me return whatever I want. I've never had a situation at mine where they didn't go all out to let me leave satisfied. Bu yeah, I'm full aware of how annoying some GameStop's can be.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Disgusting.  No one likes content exclusive to Best Buy, Amazon, or Gamestop.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

My hope here is that Gamestop is only hoping.  This is their management saying they want to do it.  But it takes two to tango.


I'm a big fan of physical media.  I'll have mixed feelings when it dies.  But die it will, and with it will go Gamestop and Walmart bundles and all that.  


If the pubs think that the retail outlets are a dying breed, then maybe they won't get into bed with them on junk like this.  


I hope. 

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

Well hey. They don't need my money if Gamestop is buying them out right?

bernard978
bernard978

Never ordered from Gamestop and never will, stop with the exclusives :<

jer_1
jer_1

Ugh, don't do it gamestop, we already hate you as a company so don't make it worse. 


/willnotbuyfromgamestop

dominoodle
dominoodle

This is what AAA game development is turning into. Exclusive preorder content, microtransactions and season passes.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

What does this mean for people who don't pre-order, or can't pre-order from Gamestop? A big FU straight in the face, right?

Xirtahm
Xirtahm

It's already bad enough there are games with "Walmart Edition" and "Gamestop Edition" planted on the cover's artwork, with only little tidbits of exclusive stuff.  But this push?  Soon, it's going to go the way of Target, Amazon, Best Buy, etc... 


This is a terrible idea, and it only shows a desperate attempt at greed.

SuperChin
SuperChin

This sounds like an awful idea, one that's good for Gamestop's pockets but bad for gamers. I would be incredibly surprised if any good gaming content comes from this.

xcollector
xcollector

Console gaming will die off because there is too much corp greed trying to screw it up. By comparison If Gamestop tried to make an exclusive PC game it wouldn't sell because PC gamers don't go there. In conclusion, after Gamestop kills console gaming and than tries to screw up PCs, PC gamers will kill off Gamestop because they don't need to go to the store.

megakick
megakick

Exclusives are usually fairly crappy, they can't be too overpowered.

Lhomity
Lhomity

The real danger here is that publishers may feel shoehorned into taking part if it gets in the way of their ability to move shipments, or at the very least get a fair price on their shipments.


GameStop already have them by the balls with exclusive pre-order bonuses and the like, while they push used copies in front of new copies in 6,000 stores worldwide..An ever-growing number of smaller, niche titles are already becoming increasingly difficult to sell at wholesale - particularly Japanese titles, that end up going purely downloadable in places like Europe.


This is just another reminder to be grateful that there are still other retailers to choose from.

Soundaholic92
Soundaholic92

As someone who doesn't even live in the US I'm not very happy with this

smartest_gamer
smartest_gamer

I hate gamestop, they take advantage of the gamer,I wanted GTA 5 so badly , i went there with 7 games including, Last of US, COD Black Ops, COd Moder Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, GTa 4 and i dont remember the last two, for a trade in, so i gave those 7 games plus 20$! to get GTA 5! those guys deserve hell. 



spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@daikkenaurora12  That's not what Gamestop looks like anytime I go in there, normally it's very empty and not hip at all.  Normally there's like 1 or 2 employees, and like 3 customers (a mother with her child and some lonely fat guy).

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

@souporman-  Many years ago I bought the original Tenchu on Playstation from them, used.  What happened is that they had 2 used copies, one with an instruction manual and one without one, and the one without the instruction manual was like $5 cheaper.  I picked up the one without the instruction manual but yet he gave me and charged me for the one with the instruction manual.  I didn't noticed this at first b/c I was buying other stuff as well.

Before I left the store I realized what happened, and said that the more expensive copy with the instruction manual was not the one I wanted, and I wanted to exchange, refund, or to void the transaction and start over, all of which he refused.  This is despite the fact that it was his mistake and the transaction just happened like 30 seconds earlier.  All he did is offer me store credit (which I didn't want but grudgingly took).

Annoying.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@souporman- Almost every Gamestop I've been to features douchey know it all employees trying to swindle you into preorders and subscriptions and bragging about how awesome the newest bro shooter is.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@jer_1  Tecnically, that's why they're so into doing it. They're pursuing reasons for people to shop at GameStop instead of other places.


Oh the irony.

ggregd
ggregd

@xsonicchaos What does pre-ordering have to do with this?  The article doesn't mention it.  No one said only people who pre-order get the exclusive content.

PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

@SuperChin Even if any good gaming content comes from this, everyone should have the right to play it. It shouldn't be exclusive to Gamestop.


99% of all pre-order bonuses get sold later on on PSN & Marketplace anyways.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@xcollector  Technically, there are already a tonne of PC games that are exclusive to Steam, and examples of games having exclusive Steam content, bonuses, and pricing. 


The obvious major difference being that Steam don't hand out loose change for trade-ins and then shovel used Steam keys in front of new purchases, effectively cockblocking the publisher and leaving them with no ability to compete for a sale.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@Soundaholic92  They operate under names like GameStop, EB Games, or Micromania (in France) in 6,488 stores across 15 countries.


If you're not in one of those 15...  I actually envy you.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@smartest_gamer  Why did you agree to the deal?


You can say 'No', you realize this, right? Free will?


Soundaholic92
Soundaholic92

@smartest_gamer But it was still your choice. It's not like they shoved a gun down your throat forcing you to trade in your games

souporman-
souporman-

@spacecadet25 @souporman- This must have been a REALLY long time ago. Because GameStop, EB, etc. have had their 7-day return policy on used games in place for like... forever. Either that or he was violating their policy just for the sake of being a jerk to you.

souporman-
souporman-

@Thanatos2k @souporman- I'd say that's how the majority of them are. It's not exactly the employee's fault a lot of times, however. The company pushes them push all of that on their customers. GameStop employee's individual hours go by how many pre-order and subscriptions they sell. So if they want hours then they don't have much choice. They don't bother me about it because they know me, and know that I'm just gonna buy and pre-order what I want and nothing else, so they just don't bother anymore. Personally, I love the subscription; For one, because I buy a lot of games (my lifetime power up saving is a little over $1000.00) and I get coupons very regularly. And secondly, I'm old school and still carry a love for print, so I like getting the magazine. For me, it's well worth the $15. 

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@Thanatos2k @souporman- Hit or miss.  I've certainly had those, but I've had good ones.


At least it's better than WalMart.  I don't think those people know a console from potato salad.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

@ggregd 

No, only people who buy from Gamestop. Was that the point? If so, good for you for winning the argument. And what about gamers in Europe, or the ones who don't care much for Gamestop. Exclusive deals are now okay? Great then, what's next? Paying for cheats? oh, wait...

Why the hell are you trying to defend Gamestop?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@olddadgamer @Thanatos2k @souporman- At least Wal Mart is a store.  You go in, you get your product, you pay for it, you leave.


It's not "Oh well did you preorder it?  Because we only got 5 copies and they're only for people who preordered.  A store that sells video games?  What's that?  We're a place where you preorder games, we certainly don't sell them."