GameStop: Our market share will continue to grow

President Tony Bartel confident retailer will prosper during next-gen console transition; talks Xbox One/PS4 used games, Ouya, belief in Wii U.

Retail giant GameStop will prosper and grow during the upcoming console transition, according to president Tony Bartel.

Speaking with GameSpot in a wide-ranging interview following last week's E3, Bartel said GameStop's market share stands to grow with the arrival of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Early reports suggested the new platforms from Microsoft and Sony would block, or in some way inhibit used games, but this has proven to not be the case. Both platforms will support used games without limitation, and Bartel praised the companies for this gamer-friendly stance.

This stance, of course, is encouraging for GameStop as well, a company that makes a significant portion of its revenue from secondhand sales.

The full interview, which touches on GameStop's thoughts concerning E3, the health of the Wii U, the importance of the secondhand market, and Ouya, among other topics, is below.

What products, games, or services were you most excited about from E3 last week?

The innovation coming from the two new consoles will usher in a whole new interest in console gaming. Developers seem to be further along in taking advantage of the new innovation than they were in previous launch cycles. In addition, games for the current generation continue to evolve and look fantastic. New IPs like Watch Dogs, Titanfall, and Destiny are also impressive.

How do you foresee the used-game market changing with the arrival of the Xbox One and PS4? [Ed. Note: This interview was conducted before Microsoft reversed its used-game policy for the Xbox One.]

While the Xbox One and PS4 offer consumers different approaches, both provide the ability for consumers to trade-in and sell preowned games, and we applaud Microsoft and Sony for understanding the importance of the preowned market. We also have good relationships with publishers, and know that they also recognize how the preowned market--and the $1.1 billion in trade-in credits that GameStop generates for the industry--positively impacts their business.

Numerous publishers collaborate with us on credit-driven promotions for their top titles with the goal of maximizing software sales. This in turn helps create a lower cost entry point for customers that are new to gaming or want to experience a specific series or title. It’s an ecosystem that works as evidenced by our 48 percent marketshare of PS3 and Xbox 360 software in Q1, and we see it continuing to grow in the coming years.

How do you envision Microsoft's new Xbox One secondhand policies specifically affecting your business?

We are pleased that they support the unlimited trade and re-sell of games at retail and are working closely with them to ensure a seamless trade-in process for our customers.

What do you think defines a true "next-gen" experience? What does that term really mean?

Richer, more immersive graphics is usually the first point that comes to mind, and both the Xbox One and PS4 make definite strides with visuals thanks to the systems’ improved processing power. Other elements that contribute to this next-gen experience are the increase in social gaming components, more robust multiplayer capabilities, and the growing opportunity to enhance game play with additional entertainment options.

Is GameStop expecting Xbox One and PS4 games to remain at the same price point as Xbox 360/PS3?

Our expectation is that new titles will be priced very similarly to current-generation titles.

How are you going to leverage PowerUp Rewards on the Xbox One and PS4?

With more than 30 million PowerUp Rewards members around the world, we are proud to have a very strong community of gaming customers. Just as we have done with the current-gen systems and titles, we will have a slew of trade-in offers, exclusive upgrades and related content, and more to give our PowerUp Rewards customers the premium experience they expect.

"Definitely don't count the Wii U out."

When I visited GameStop last year, [CEO Paul Raines] had high hopes for the Wii U. Clearly, it has underperformed. What are your thoughts on the device right now?

Definitely don't count the Wii U out. At E3, Nintendo announced that there will be a number of new, major first-party titles, including [Mario Kart 8], Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario 3D World, and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. They are also launching several games later this year, so we expect to see a lot of interest from consumers as we head into the holidays.

Gamers have been vocal that the used-game market is important to them. Why do you think this is?

Time and again we have heard from our customers that the preowned market is important to them for the current-generation systems, as well as a deciding factor for whether they upgrade to next-generation systems. The preowned market enables customers to try different titles, series, and systems more easily, and later upgrade to the very latest offerings. We expect to see a lot of trades in the coming months--from preowned titles and systems on up to accessories, smartphones, and tablets--to make the transition to the next-gen consoles more affordable.

Sony has announced that its older games, like PS2 and PS3 games, will be able to be streamed on the PS4. How will this affect the used-game market?

There are a lot of details to be revealed including when this service will be available and what titles will be available. Regardless, we believe that this will be a great way for people to sample new games that they don’t own and expect for there to be minimal impact on the buy/sell/trade model. Of course, if this is a subscription model, we'll sell that in our stores.

GameStop is a large company, but has been able to quickly adapt to emerging and potentially disruptive market trends. How have you been able to do this?

As we've done over the past few years, we work hard to keep a long view of the industry, while remaining agile enough to move into different markets we feel will be beneficial not only to our business, but our consumers. One excellent example is our increased push into the new and preowned mobile devices business in the past two years, and we've since been enjoying notable growth each quarter in that category. The same can be said for our efforts around DLC, with our working closely with publishers and keeping our customers informed about what’s available, especially regarding exclusive offers.

Microsoft has tested out offering consoles on a subsidized basis; the $99 Xbox 360 was even sold at GameStop. Do you think this pricing model could be a way forward for consoles?

Some customers enjoy the subsidized pricing model, while others prefer to pay full price. With that in mind, similar models could certainly be implemented with both the Xbox One and PS4 and be successful. Regardless, GameStop’s ability to offer trade credit assures gamers that we will be the most affordable place to purchase their new consoles and software.

The Ouya is launching at GameStop and other retailers this month. What are your expectations for the new platform?

We were excited when the Ouya reached (and then surpassed) its funding goals on Kickstarter, as there is a rich, growing collection of titles available in the Google Play store. As we've always said, we’re for the gamer, so we’ll continue to carry the products that the gamers want.

A lot of people believe streaming will be a major player going forward. Sony bought Gaikai for its cloud service and GameStop picked up Spawn Labs. What has become of that acquisition?

We continue to move forward with our beta testing program and are evaluating different ways that we can best leverage all of the technology that Spawn Labs can offer us and our partners.

Every Xbox One game will be available digitally on day-one, and Sony has been clear that digital will be a focus for the PS4. Is this focus on digital for next-gen a problem for GameStop?

Day-one digital offerings of titles have been available in a number of instances with current-gen systems, and while there has been interest, we also find that most customers prefer having a physical copy of a title. Regardless of how consumers decide to purchase a title, GameStop will be there to help them make as seamless a purchase as possible.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

206 comments
liandrikonflict
liandrikonflict

Bought a game from these Gamestop(EBGAMES) fu*kers the other day "NEW"....got home opened up the package with scratches all over the disc....Golly Gee...too bad I never bought that rip off of scratch disc insurance you sell for 3 dollars you scammers...

Advice...NEVER let the employees put the disc in the case without inspecting it first...and if you can...NEVER buy from Gamstop...

ZellyPoof
ZellyPoof

I really wonder if you removed the publisher from the whole process, what would games prices drop to?  You figure if you eliminate the middleman and go mostly digital download without the publishers fees, the games should almost drop in half right?

wetblanketparade
wetblanketparade

After reading all of these comments below, I have a pretty good idea where the material for the next Feedbackula is coming from.

ThereWillBeNPCs
ThereWillBeNPCs

GameStop: The place for pitied fucks who don't live near independent game stores.

orthodox1976
orthodox1976

OUYA... I just can't help laughing every time I read that word. LOL! I'll never understand how that meeting went... "OUYA? Yeah, let's call it THAT!"

As digital offerings increase, Gamestop will decrease. If only a little.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

The retailers seem to have forgot everything is in place for the publishers to turn people away from used... MS will probably just throw their drm to publishers to implement... I just hope they find a way to kill them off without screwing over the consumers or original game ideas.

last3minutes
last3minutes

This may be weird, but stop giving money to game*insult here* and instead give them to the game developers.

Yes, I mean by buying used games for some bucks cheaper. If you really need used games, just buy/sell them in the internet and meet people. Used game retailers need to go away so that  we can have more games.

Cyberjin
Cyberjin

Stupid people buy games at Gamestop

Smart people buy games at Amazon

johnritter4141
johnritter4141

u didnt want ms to block used games but u dont like a retailer who capatilisers on that market? im not sure what it is that u want?

HomieHesAKlown
HomieHesAKlown

Anyone who shops at gamestop is against the gaming industry.

RainIsMyDrug
RainIsMyDrug

Trade in game: get 0-25$

Next day: see the game you trade in for sale at 100-300% mark up from the value they told you it was worth..

frozenux
frozenux

That's their last generation of consoles....

hrst1
hrst1

If we had an HD television I would definitely buy an OUYA. 

AdrianWrz
AdrianWrz

My favorite part of article is.

"Day-one digital offerings of titles have been available in a number of instances with current-gen systems, and while there has been interest, we also find that most customers prefer having a physical copy of a title. "

>.> Just because i am all pro for "Physical" vs "Digital bits of data".  Sure takes rooms.  But i prefare to have it to take physical room instead of Hard drive.  Not to mention i enjoy it more on seeing Physical Copy on my Book Shelves along the wall instead of "Steam List" or any other list for digital copies.

hinzkunz
hinzkunz

All your base belong to us? or what?


robybaggio
robybaggio

Gamestop can die, I hope they go under. The real evil in the gaming industry!

drokmore
drokmore

Man GameStop can thank Sony for forcing a change in Microsofts used policy. they will likely live another generation of consoles.

Shimazuxi
Shimazuxi

If companies did what Square Enix has done and have their own online store to purchase games... Gamestop would be so lulzy. A Sony store, a Msoft store, a EA Store, etc etc.


I wish...

telaros
telaros

And your employees customer care and fucks they give only continue to worsen every passing day.  Woo~

Love how you released all those pre-order packages the instant MS finished their presentation at E3. I wonder who the first company on the 'specified retailers' list to resell used games would of been had MS not caved to media pressure?

YAY Jimmy Fallon's "So, I hear this is last system to play used games anymore?" said Jimmy to the PS4 exec lol

You assholes try and sell me used games at 55 freaking dollars where every other place is 34-44 bucks for those new titles? Yeah, go EAt some MicroDicks and choke on'em.


Sorry GameStop that MS didn't stick to their plans to give you an iron grip on the used games market! I hope everyone's systems bought from you BRICK :p

REBELSOULJA
REBELSOULJA

"Our market share will continue to grow"

Yeah just like your GREED! 

GameSTOP Its your fault along with microsofts that the gaming industry was almost ruined. Some imbeciles still refuse to believe it.

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

I stopped liking Gamestop for the sole reason that they have stopped selling older used games. There's only one place I can go to now that still sells used NES, SNES, N64, PS1, DC, GC, PS2, and Xbox games. I don't even know how long that store is going to be there even because the mall it is in is dying.

BelaidKL
BelaidKL

I'm from the UK.. And even I've begun to hate GameStop

Dreamcast86
Dreamcast86

Why support digital downloads? Why do you want to pay money for something you don`t own? Just stupid.

deth420
deth420

i cant believe people still go to this rip off store! this company is the only reason i would have gone along with blocking used games... I would have taken one for the team, to see them die :0

squidbilly22
squidbilly22

Amazon or craigslist  > game stop ....I quit shopping there years ago ,now I sell my old games in front of game stop .When they stop offering me $ 8.00 and selling it for $35.00-$40.00  i might sell a game to them again . Game stop = ripoff  , they have no ethics whatsoever,remind me of Microsoft.

Nergathh
Nergathh

Gamestop how about gving a share of you're used games earnings to the developers that created the games you sell. I still think the developers have rights to get paid for their work so they can create more games even though Xbox One approach was wrong. You can't close down a console so that you really dont really own it. Im happy that MS changed their policy.

liandrikonflict
liandrikonflict

@orthodox1976 OUYA is gonna chance the world....if you think the word OUYA is funny then you must have never heard of the Wii.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@last3minutes I've got a few £'s left laying about, tempted to offer people £2 per game and shuv them on ebay for £30... Then use all the "ill gotten gains" buying games as directly from the devs as possible, Kickstarter for instance... 

Just a thought, but if the *insults to game*retailers agreed to put a portion of their profits into funding new innovative game ideas, I'd be tempted to start buying used and maybe even stop thinking of them as greedy money lice.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@johnritter4141 I had no problem with it, just with the 24 hour check in... Make it a month and I'd have been fine with it... But on the other hand, I like my controller sticks to be symmetrical, so wouldn't be buying one early in it's lifecycle anyway.

RainIsMyDrug
RainIsMyDrug

@HomieHesAKlown 

I shop at Gamestop only for New game cause it doesn't matter where I buy it from it still the same price.

wetblanketparade
wetblanketparade

@AdrianWrz I can understand why someone would want to put a physical on their bookself but I cant stand physical (music, movies, books, games etc). I  much prefer the digital copy and im 35. It is just so much easier to organize and take with you.

MadMike2869
MadMike2869

@AdrianWrz Yea i agree, the other major benefit for physical vs digital in the console world is pricing. for $60 u get the actual disc that u can sell trade or lend after having beat the game where as with digital the game can only be downloaded on 5 ps3's. Not sure how it works on xbox as i have never had xbl but physical copy is best suited for me.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@Shimazuxi Install 20 different DRM's, yea... No thanks. Just tell Sony and MS to get their bloody pricing right.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@Dreamcast86 Why have a TV/radio license or netflix/other online download shizzle... Just because you can't hold something in your hands, doesn't mean it isn't real... You also only own the license with physical copys.

Aaaand with PS3 I can say downloaded titles run much smoother, most discs don't put everything on the hdd. 

On the other hand, why would I want to waste physical space/resources just for novelty?

Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

@Nergathh Both companies announced that developers can still decide whether or not their games can be re-sold and if they get some of the profit. No company would do this though because it will definitely effect their new game sales and just make them look bad. 

darlofc67
darlofc67

@Nergathh  - Develops have already been payed when the game is bought new from retail - why do they need to be paid again ?


orthodox1976
orthodox1976

@liandrikonflict I agree that the Wii is an awful name, too.

I will never buy an OUYA. I don't see how it is going to "change the world". It's just a game system.

Nergathh
Nergathh

@darlofc67 @Nergathh Because the games industry is such a harsh market. Why do you think THQ had to shutdown? 

The more money developers earns the more games they can create. I want more games and not having smaller studios shutting down. I also belive people have rights to get paid for their work. If only half of the people buys the game from retail and then half buys it used, the potential loss is huge.

What Im asking for isn't that the used games market should stop but rather that companies such as Gamestop should give some money back from what they earn on used games. They should be able to do that without raising the price on used games.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@darlofc67And everyone's happy having the devs cut the game up so they can still make some money out of pre-owned... I'd rather just buy the full game myself.

darlofc67
darlofc67

@Nergathh @darlofc67  - THQ went bust because of U-DRAW nothing to do with the preo-owned market.

Developers will be making money from dlc,microtransactions ect, How many people have bought pre-owned games & then bought map-packs,dlc,online pass,microtransactions for that game ? The platform holder & developers make enough money from pre-owned,so stop feeling sorry for them,