GameStop planning midnight launches for DLC

Specialty retailer hoping gamers are as willing to wait in line for downloadable add-ons as they are for blockbuster retail releases.

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Yesterday, GameStop detailed plans to sell PlayStation Network downloadable content in its brick-and-mortar retail stores. The specialty retailer has bigger plans in store, as it will soon expand its add-on sales to its own website and begin to carry digitally distributed Xbox 360 content as well.

"Why yes, we certainly would be interested in the Rock Band 3 Billy Joel pack!"

In a presentation at the BMO Capital Markets 18th Annual Digital Entertainment Conference today, GameStop CEO J. Paul Raines said it won't stop there. Raines told analysts to look for the chain to eventually have midnight launch events surrounding DLC, much like it does for anticipated new releases.

The addition of DLC offerings won't just change the company's approach to midnight events. In a question-and-answer session after GameStop's presentation, executive chairman Daniel DeMatteo said the specialty retailer will push DLC sales for both new and used releases. Additionally, he noted that GameStop employees ringing up a used game sale will be prompted by the computer system to up-sell any map packs and other such content related to the game being purchased.

Although the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have their own online storefronts through which all game add-ons can be purchased, traditional retailers have done their best to establish a foothold. GameStop has been talking about its plan to crack the online sales market for months, while Amazon.com sells game codes for downloadable PS3 games, and previously did the same for Xbox Live Arcade titles.

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