GameStop selling direct-to-console DLC next year

World's largest specialty retailer will begin selling 360, PS3 add-on content in-store; acquires majority ownership in gaming portal Jolt Online.

GameStop has been vehement in its position that digital distribution of retail console games is not the future, despite increasing support from publishers and adoption by consumers. Speaking at the BMO Capital Markets 17th Annual Digital Entertainment Conference today, GameStop chief operating officer Paul Raines reaffirmed that position, saying, "A large market for full game downloads is not imminent in the short term."

A look at GameStop's possible marketing plan.

And while GameStop already sells a number of downloadable PC games through its Web site, the world's largest specialty game retailer now appears ready to give a bit of ground on the console front as well. After bemoaning the current state of broadband Internet and its inability to quickly transmit full games, Raines said that GameStop sees some current viability in bite-sized add-on sales.

"It's clear to us from our research that full game digital downloads will move slowly, but we are optimistic about the possibilities of downloadable add-on content and episodic content," he said. "We do believe...that the add-on downloadable market with smaller file sizes will grow."

Raines then laid out GameStop's new strategy for selling add-on game content to consumers at brick-and-mortar outlets. According to the executive, GameStop sales associates will begin informing consumers of DLC for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. Gamers can then purchase the add-on content in-store using any form of payment, including trade-in credits, and the content will be directly added to the consumer's Xbox Live or PlayStation Network account.

GameStop expects to begin testing this concept in-store during the first three months of 2010.

As part of the BMO Capital Markets conference, GameStop also said that it has acquired a majority interest in Jolt Online. The online gaming platform gained prominence earlier this year by reviving the classic text-based adventure game Zork. Founded last year, Jolt already operates a number of free-to-play online gaming properties, including the truck-driving-themed Trukz and the geopolitical sim NationStates 2.

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Discussion

72 comments
StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

Gamestop has always treated me right. Maybe it's because I give them a lot of my money at one particular location and post good reviews.

Vorodor21
Vorodor21

Another money grubbing move by GameStop...shocking...

MichaelChainsaw
MichaelChainsaw

I really don't like GameStop. I wish they would fade away like Blockbuster Video.

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

"Because Sony and Microsoft have to support GameStop as a middleman, just as they do with Best Buy, Wal-mart, etc. Therefore, they are willing to compromise, sometimes forced to compromise, to ultimately make a higher bottom line. As for the hostility, I work in middle management. I can't treat people the way I wish I could (and the way they deserve) so I take my frustrations out on the internet. Gotta love the internet... Don't take it personally " maybe at the moment but when you look at what steam has done to gs's pc game selection next gen ms/sony could easily kill off the game stores if they offered all new game for sale on psn/xbl from day one with great deals and letting you preload. The main thing holding it back is the miniature hdds. put in a 500gb hdd for cheap and dd on consoles could easily take off but $100 for 60gb is just to expensive.

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

so you buy it at gamestop then still have to download it? what's the point of that? gs needs to realise dd is slowly taking over and will have to to more than sell dlc that you still have to download to survive. If they really think current internet can't handle full game downloads then they need to look at what steam has done to their pc game sales. I could see the point of their system if you can buy a disk and install it like with the fallout add on pack but just buying something you have to download is pointless.

mpeg3s
mpeg3s

This makes NO sence! PSN and Live own the market. For consoles there is NO way around them!

Paul_GameFury
Paul_GameFury

The more I think about it, the more I see the use for it. Everyone that buys DLC now won't be affected by this, but it will bring new customers in. Even if Microsoft gives Gamestop a cut, they will still get some money from these people that they otherwise wouldn't be getting. If they don't give them a cut, Gamestop probably won't care because they will count in income from the used games people trade in to get the DLC. Either way, the prices for us shouldn't be affected and it won't affect those that won't use the program. The only downside I see is for Gamestop. Before, trading in a really old game for a couple bucks was kind of a waste since you couldn't get anything for it. Now that we can, Gamestop may end up with a flood of old games that they will have a really hard time reselling.

generaltom
generaltom

Maybe this is off-topic but I am getting frustrated at how corporate-tized gaming has become. Not that it wasn't before but when you can only play a game beta or demo if you preorder the game at Game Stop it's illogical. The people that might want to try before they buy get snubbed out..

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

For those who don't really understand, this isn't about lowering prices. A map on PSN/XBL that cost 5 bucks will also cost 5 bucks at Gamestop. The allure is suppose to be that you can trade in games for DLC. You know say you want RE5 DLC next year but you don't have the cash, you trade in a game at GS(obviously not RE5 lol) and buy the DLC there. The price wont be altered though, I guess this also suppose to help people who don't have credit cards and such. And when you guys say cut out the middle man, there is always a middle man, the console manafactuers are the middle man usually, now GS will just be another option. I'm sure some devs will jump on board for a chance at more consumers since DLC is not that expensive and really could be funded solely on old games.

crunchb3rry
crunchb3rry

The only thing I'd buy from them is their exclusive preorder DLC if they sold it later on the side (ie: Juggernaut in MUA2). Then I can continue to buy from Amazon, get the game cheaper, get release date shipping cheaper (or free if I'm in no hurry to play the game), pay no tax, and frequently get credit for my next game purchase or a few MP3s for free. Then spend a few bucks for the Gamespot exclusive DLC.

Triton
Triton

The great news is you get it before the launch date...

Crimson_xWolfx
Crimson_xWolfx

@mesk14 Well, video games have and always will be expensive. But, with so many people approaching gaming, I'm fully aware that it'd be unknown to someone young or just now finding an interest in video games. But, my actual point is that game developers don't produce a game with a extremely large sum of money(I.E. A million dollars), then take on the risk of ultimately losing more money than they spent to even make the game. If you can't wait for a game to lower in price, or for a used game to make an appearance, then perhaps you should look for other places to buy instead of GameStop. I'd tell you it isn't your thing, but then I'd come off as a fool. Well, besides that.. the only positive reason I'd think this idea of GameStop would make it succeed is that they'd have the DLC on the PS3's PlayStation Store, or the Xbox 360's MarketPlace in a much faster pace. Much like a delivery over night.. and I see a change for some companies developing DLC right away after they release their product, or during the making of the game(Which I just assume they'd begin making DLC during the process of creating the video game, as there is some DLC that have been released right after the game was released.). Still, I'd rather own physical media as it has value still, because you can't sell digitally distributed DLC unless you plan on selling your PS3/360 that already has the DLC. I also enjoy having the physical property in my hands, and it's rather nice to own it physically.

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

If it's cheaper, then I'm for it. If it's the same price as online, then this is totally pointless.

Sackboy_man
Sackboy_man

Coulden't we just buy PSN money cards from Gamestop...?

ColonelX24
ColonelX24

So if DLC is already available off of Live or PSN, why would we go to GameStop, when it's a button away? And why would the companies allow them to become an option...Monopoly, anyone?

mesk14
mesk14

u would think they would lower the price a little for for new,full games.as im not going to pay 60$for something i dont physically have now if new releases were,say 40-55$then it would be worth it.but then u have to think about replay value on future systems and there is a bunch of stuff that comes along with it

EtherTwilight
EtherTwilight

*Rolls eyes* What's going to sell more, people? A piece of DLC buried deeply beneath menu after menu after insipid menu, or: The piece of DLC displayed prominently on a rack in a videogame specialty store. The one the employee showed you over to. And then told you about the DLC. And then you bought it. From a BUSINESS perspective, it makes sense from all angles. GameStop benefits from increased revenue in their stores. Everyone involved on the other end (Sony/Microsoft, the developer, the publisher) benefit from increased awareness of their product (marketing, in-store stock, employees discussing the product, etc.) which will lead to increased sales and revenue. So, in real life, despite so many of you complaining about how stupid this is, I really fail to see how there are ultimately caveats to this business model. Maybe one of the naysayers can explain to me how this will ultimately hurt any party involved. I'd appreciate that!

kenerhai
kenerhai

I wish that Gamestop would offer better trade-in values, and sell used games at more affordable prices, and a portion of the profit should go to game related charities, like giving games to kids in hospitals.

KittyHeart
KittyHeart

i still prefer physcial media than dlc :)

FoxbatAlpha
FoxbatAlpha

This is a sign of the times. Retail stores are going to be a thing of the past during the next console launch. GameStop is trying to stay on top but I would rather they just quit.

krisr2005
krisr2005

Kenerhai and Tyco -You've both got some valid points. I think that buying used can actually increase the revenue of game producers in a sense. Take the following example. John likes RPG's, so he's browsing at a local store that sells used games, and comes across Mass Effect. Now he has the choice to buy it new or used, and since he can save $5 bucks for the used one, and he's not sure if he'd like it, he goes with the used copy. He goes home and plays it and falls in love. He reads everything about Mass Effect, and discovers that the company Bioware that produced Mass Effect, is planning on making a sequel, and recently released a similar RPG style game, Dragon Age. He goes up to his favorite game store, buys Dragon Age new since it just came out, and plans on buying Mass Effect 2 the day it comes out. Point I'm getting at, some consumers may be weary about buying something they are unsure of, so they are willing to save any amount of money they can. But, if they enjoy the product immensely, it will build brand loyalty, and they will be confident to buy things from the manufacturer (game producer) at full-value anyday. Case in point, I'll buy everything made by Bioware until they disappoint. I trust the company to make great products, and Im willing to spend the money for it.

Paul_GameFury
Paul_GameFury

@krisr2005 Ok it's starting to make sense, the retail DLC and the hostility. :P I won't use it, but I suppose it will be good for people that want to pay cash for their DLC.

kenerhai
kenerhai

And I don't buy cars and furniture every month or so. Those are long term financial investments. Just like movies, if a movie is good and deserves my money, I buy the DVD instead of watching it for free online. I make sure that when I spend my hard earned money, it is not only getting something that deserves my money, but the people who made that product are getting my hard earned money to continue to make the things I think deserve my money.

Jocubus
Jocubus

One reason this makes sense that people are missing: some consumers don't like to use credit cards. Thus consumers go to a store like gamestop to buy Xbox live cards and DLC. For these people it makes more sense to pay the exact cost of the DLC as opposed to having to buy a preset amount of microsoft points and having small amounts left over after the download.

krisr2005
krisr2005

@ Paul Because Sony and Microsoft have to support GameStop as a middleman, just as they do with Best Buy, Wal-mart, etc. Therefore, they are willing to compromise, sometimes forced to compromise, to ultimately make a higher bottom line. As for the hostility, I work in middle management. I can't treat people the way I wish I could (and the way they deserve) so I take my frustrations out on the internet. Gotta love the internet... Don't take it personally :)

kenerhai
kenerhai

Unlike other people, I care where my money goes when it comes to games, because it is a industry I am financially involved in. I pay what I must for games because I want to see that developers have more money to make better games. And cars cost much, much, much more than a video game . . . besides, you can haggle over the price of a car, you can't haggle over the price of a game. And when you buy a couch, it should last a long time. You're not gonna trade it in in when you decide youre done with it. You buy a new one. When it gets old and worn.

AMT6400
AMT6400

Trade ins for dlc? We'll have to see how well that works...

krisr2005
krisr2005

@ Tyco intelligent analogy. Unfortunately, people tend to think irrationally when it comes to anything regarding "financial sense". Perhaps its the cause of our current crisis? Undoubtedly.

Paul_GameFury
Paul_GameFury

@kris2005 Ok, at that rate, then why would Sony or Microsoft sell it to Gamestop at the first place when they can sell it on their online service directly to the gamer for full price. And what's with the hostility? I hope you don't treat people like this on real life or you're going to be a really lonely person.

BradHummr
BradHummr

I think Gamestop is preparing for the future. I'm not going to say when, and I certainly hope it isn't soon, but most likely things will be download-only. Maybe in 2015, maybe 2050..who knows? Maybe things will never go download only. But if it does go download, Gamestop will have their foot in the door for when physical copies start getting phased out. Now I just need to decide if this is good or bad. :P

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

Durrr. Another bone-headed move by Gamestop. The only reason I still shop there is because the people actually know what the games are and take things seriously (at least more than Toys R Us employees do, i mean, the guy didn't even know what Uncharted 2 was!) That ends my incessant rant.

krisr2005
krisr2005

actually Paul, if you'd read, which apparently you didn't, its obvious that money can be made here. The purpose of the idea is to make money for GameStop. People here are questioning why THEY don't benefit, not GameStop. GameStop will get their share, its what they do. They are buying "master" copies of the DLC at a set cost, absorbing the loss initially, and after the loss is lapsed, the make pure profit off every purchased download after. ALSO, their trade in model can benefit from this system by allowing Joe to come in and trade in his $15 worth of games to get an equivalent worth of Microsoft points, the he otherwise wouldn't be able to afford, considering the cheapest denomination on a retail front is $19.99. DUH, now shut up.

tyco_ex
tyco_ex

I don't get the whole mentality of "publishers don't get money for used games so buy them new." I would never buy a brand new car. It doesn't make financial sense. I could care less if Ford or Honda isn't getting my money, I'm not willing to pay 2x as much for the same product. When I buy a used couch or other piece of furniture for half the cost of a new one I don't consider the furniture makers. The same goes for when I buy video-games. Whether or not they get their money isn't my problem. I'm going to do what makes financial sense. This is even more true for games than the previous examples since games play /exactly/ the same whether they are new or used. Developers need to make their games have high enough replay-value that people won't want to sell them, that is how they can prevent losing money to used sales.

Waldkrieger
Waldkrieger

What is the point? You can already buy it on you PS3, X360, and online. So, this is completely pointless. Sometimes ideas like this make my head hurt.

kenerhai
kenerhai

I don't hate Gamestop, I'd rather get my games at Gamestop than Walmart. But the problem is that Gamestop rips people off on their used games and sells them back at absurd prices. Money that developers and publishers don't see. If a game is good, it deserves your money. If you don't like the idea of paying $60 for a new game then wait till it goes down in price, but when you buy used games from Gamestop, you're telling the people who make your games "Hey, I like your game, but I don't want to pay you, I'd rather pay Gamestop for it, cause I'm a cheap punk." If we want better games and more of them, we need to support the people who make our games, not Gamestop. I understand that these are tough times, but then you just need to figure out what games are more deserving of your money.

Paul_GameFury
Paul_GameFury

@krisr2005 You are the only one living ignorantly by not trying to figure out the purpose of this idea. We are questioning it because it doesn't make any sense. Gamestop is a business, so why would they sell something they stand to make no money off of? And if you would actually read the below comments, barely anyone has said anything negative about Gamestop, just that it is a confusing concept from a business perspective. But you can go about insulting people that are questioning it, because that's what cool gamers do.

krisr2005
krisr2005

tripSe7en, While GameStop is a ripoff to most consumers with common sense, it doesn't negate the fact that the business model of GameStop supports a trade-in system, and easily profits from it, because others unlike you and I don't mind trading in their games for dirt. Furthermore, GameStop is probably buying a "master" copy of these DLC's, and after lapsing their cost of the copy, are making pure profit. Ultimately, sometimes its not about how you can benefit, but how the company as a whole will benefit, and considering 90% of trade-in consumers don't think like you and I, I sense GameStop will find some success in this program.

krisr2005
krisr2005

do people dislike the truth because they wish to continue living ignorantly? btw, a consensus mentality on this forum follows: "waahhh, I dislike GameStop because they have a business model that I don't agree with. I'll complain, to no avail, while spending my money elsewhere, supporting a different type of business that shares the same fundamental concepts. Perhaps they won't screw me over on trade-in credit, but they will in some other area, but I won't mind, because hating GameStop is what the cool gamers do" If you don't like it, blow me

kenerhai
kenerhai

That still makes no sense, I can understand if you don't have internet access, so you would have to go to Gamestop to get content you otherwise wouldn't have access to, but if you have internet then why would you go through Gamestop at all? Why wouldn't you just get it off live or PSN without Gamestop?!?!?! Because you don't have a credit card to buy XBL points? Just so you can use Gamestop credit?!?!? So trade in every game you ever bought, just to get some DLC?!?!? But you can buy points on a card at any retail outlet. Or just get a pre-paid credit card. It makes no sense. Gamestop is just trying not to get left out, which is what the industry needs to do. Gamestop makes a killing on used games, which developers get no cut of.

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

@ poordude1089: MS still gets their $ as does Sony. YOu are out of the gas money and time spent to go get the "DLC"... @krisr2005 I did read that, but it still makes no sense... Why would I trade a game in for $9 when I can sell it on ebay for $20-$30 at least... Gamestop is a rip off and is basically a pawn shop for video games...

poordude1089
poordude1089

As much as I loathe Gamestop, this would be a great bypass of Microsoft Points, I support the idea.

krisr2005
krisr2005

The reason WHY is because you can use multiple payment mediums to put funds in your account, including gift cards and trade ins. If you'd read, and stop crying because you dislike GameStop, you'd have found that out.

Paul_GameFury
Paul_GameFury

@kenerhai The article says the DLC would be added directly to your Xbox Live or PSN account, meaning you would have to be online and furthering my confusion as to why there is any point for GameStop to do this.

Autolycus
Autolycus

Man I called this like 10 years ago when I was working for em. FUNNY

Paul_GameFury
Paul_GameFury

I'm a bit confused by this. Why would I go to Gamestop to buy a DLC when I can do it from my living room? And will Gamestop's DLC cost more than buying it directly from the console online? Otherwise they wouldn't make any money on it.

kenerhai
kenerhai

I thought the idea of downloadable content was to eliminate Gamestop, not put them in the middle. I can understand if you still live in the dark ages and don't have internet, so you would have to get all your DLC from a store. But really, how many people does that include?!? 5, maybe 6 people in the whole country?

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

This has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. I can go to the store to buy my DLC??? Seriously, WTF. Enjoy your last 5-10 years GreedStop...