GameStop Won't Be Involved in Creative Process, CEO Says

Responding to rumors that GameStop was getting involved earlier in game development, the CEO promises that the company will never affect the creative side of production.

This week, controversy arose over rumors that retailer GameStop was in talks to get involved early in game development. Already, GameStop often offers exclusive items or missions for preorders of games. These reports stated that the company might begin offering exclusive gameplay in addition to missions, affecting the development of games at a much earlier point.

GameStop CEO Paul Raines recently responded to the rumors, and he attempted to put to rest concerns over the store's future involvement in game development. In an interview with Time, Raines promised that GameStop would never affect the creative process, leaving it up to the developers. "I think it’s pretty clear to me, and that’s that you won’t see us involved in the creative process," he explained. "That’s not something we do well. We love to play games, and unlike our competitors all we do is gaming. But we will not be involved in the artistic or creative process. That’s not really our domain."

He continued: "I think the day you see us in the creative side is when you can tell me we’ve officially lost our minds."

So what, exactly, is GameStop planning? The reports were well-substantiated and confirmed by several GameStop employees. Raines described GameStop's efforts as geared toward helping the publishers reach more customers. The store will be getting involved earlier in development, just apparently not creatively. "It's very early on, but I do foresee a world where we can help facilitate create great content," Raines explained. "The upside for developers will be much stronger guarantees around distribution and audience with our loyalty program and so forth."

GameStop's goal, Raines stated, is to make GameStop's loyalty programs and consumer base more compatible and more receptive to game releases. "We play a lot of indie games here, trying to find interesting ideas and concepts, and I see some great games that never get published or distributed because of the cost associated with it," he said. "So we kind of feel like it's a little bit of an emancipation of the development community if we can find a way to connect them directly with customers."

Of course, Raines' statements will still incite concerns that GameStop will affect development. The company has yet to detail what, exactly, it will be doing in the future, and how its exclusive content will change. GameStop also recently said that it was moving beyond games and looking at wireless devices to become a bigger part of its business model. Check back on GameSpot as we receive more information about this story.

What do you think of GameStop's increasing role in video game development? Let us know in the comments.

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

45 comments
Stepn2myworld
Stepn2myworld

This is an oil and water situation. Gamestop doesn't need to be involved in any part of the game development process.  Are Ford dealerships getting with the automotive engineers trying to effect vehicle design.

Gamestop should focus on the best ways to sell publishers on used games and how they can mutually benefit from the highly profitable practice.

 

DarkJedi8_basic
DarkJedi8_basic

it's obvious, they trying to get the developers to trade in all thier new releases for $15 credit.

Mengsk
Mengsk

I can't even remember the last time I went into a Gamestop. 4 maybe 5 years ago? Maybe? They were always a total rip-off.

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

I can't really blame GameStop. They are a company that is rapidly bleeding out and is all but completely obsolete. Wal-Mart now buying used games really hurt them. If that original Xbox One used game policy stayed, GameStop would be dead.

They need to find a unique offering for consumers to differentiate themselves if they have any chance of survival.

naomha1
naomha1

As a developer AND a publisher you have to be kind of scared at the absolute Godzilla-like roar Gamestop carries behind their name. If a brick and mortar store like Gamestop can and does dictate what games are sold, how they're sold and tells you exactly who to make them for it's no wonder more and more developers are releasing their games on digital platforms like GoG and Steam. It just MAKES sense. 


When Gamestop puts on their diapers and gives a hissy fit over digital platform prices and their brick and mortar stores prices and the developers CRUMBLE under their pressure maybe it's time we all take a step back and reevaluate Gamestop's stance in the gaming business.  They're a store. They shouldn't be anything more than that. If Gamestop is dictating the price of my games on Steam (digital vs hard copies debate) then maybe more and more folks should find alternate stores to shop from and NOT give Gamestop their hard earned dollars. In this day and age when millions of people (Steam-65million users for example) can see the exact same game "logo" go across their screen with the digital app of their choice on their computers and still have to pay the same price as what Gamestop is dictating for hard copies maybe Gamestop is too big for their own good and for the good of us consumers. Dig? 

guydude3412
guydude3412

They already crush creativity by offering used games that are 99% profit for gamestop. This is why we have paid dlc. The developers are losing tons of profit. I never get games used, unless you can't get them new. And I usually don't go to gamestop. Either best buy, amazon, or target

Samslayer
Samslayer

Uff dah this reeks of anti-trust issues...

AzureBonds76
AzureBonds76

Saint's Row the 3rd? Xmas 2011 by the looks of that pic...Has there been a boycott on taking pictures at gamestop for the last 2 1/2 years? Perhaps a quick google image search and that was the first pic that popped up.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"I think the day you see us in the creative side is when you can tell me we’ve officially lost our minds." We'll hold you to that promise, the internet does not forget, nor easily forgive.

frozenuxx
frozenuxx

Gamestop: Powah to da playa!

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

I haven't trusted Gamestop since.....well, ever....

Wicked869
Wicked869

This is a bad idea, a very bad idea.

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

Pre-order DLC  Exclusive: The Game. Pre-order now and get the access to the pre-order map for the pre-ordered game mode.

pork7
pork7

Gamestop is craptacular, be nice everyone.

Pewbert
Pewbert

A terrible thing for consumers. Let's hope no store goes down this route.

SkytheWiz1
SkytheWiz1

I feel like segregating the community by preventing some from getting content would be the definition of "involved in the creative process."

wookiegr
wookiegr

Gamestop should just make their own game called "Rip-off Simulator". 

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

I still don't like it.  Unless when he talks about finding more ways for games to reach their audience then he means some form of digital distribution (like Steam).  However if this leads to content that in anyway is only unlocked by buying the game specifically thru Gamespot then I hate the idea.  I already don't like the retailer exclusive content (although normally it's crap anyway), I certainly don't want to see more of it.

newhaus1994
newhaus1994 moderator moderatorstaff

@deadpen I link to that article in mine. These comments are in response.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@guydude3412 Used games help no one.  That five bucks we save means 15 more dollars added to the next in the form of DLC or whatever.  Only Gamestop wins.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@Samslayer Sadly, no.  AT is only when there's one outlet to make/sell games.  That's not happening soon.

hystavito
hystavito

@AzureBonds76 There's also AC Revelations under new releases at the back, so yeah must be Christmas 2011.  Maybe that's the latest image Gamespot has in it's media library for Gamestop, who knows.

guydude3412
guydude3412

Exactly. And you don't even save $15. 2 or 3 at max.

Samslayer
Samslayer

@olddadgamer not necessarily, any time there is an intentional decrease in a competitive market that may spark an antitrust situation.  A monopoly, which you are describing, of course is an antitrust, issue, but it is not the only way that it can happen. Just as the Sherman Act describes, "every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade".  Antitrust legislation is not only used for monopoly or oligopoly situations.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@guydude3412 I can't really agree that used-game sales are a bad thing... there are used markets for nearly every product available so I don't think games should be any different.  That being said people really need to consider buying the game new when at places like Gamestop,  where you only save less than $10 off the new retail price, and give GS $40 in pure profit for a great game they had no involvement with... and have already sold the exact copy to 2 people before you.


Another reason why Steam sales aren't so bad either,  the developers/publishers still get their cut, and they're the ones who set the sale price to begin with, so everyone wins!

guydude3412
guydude3412

Well there isn't really a used PC market because of the DRM. And used games are bad. It is ruining the gaming industry. The only thing making money is game stop. They buy it for pennies, sell it at 99% profit, and the developer gets nothing. That is not right.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@guydude3412 That's a sad point of view you have... that all used games sales are bad is only falling into the trap of believing what a publisher says.  I don't understand how it's destructive to the industry when all other industries (except arguably food) have no issue with used product sales.  Games are a hell of a lot cheaper to mass produce than physical products too, so if anything it's easy to claim many new games are over-priced and used sales are the only way some people play games at all.

guydude3412
guydude3412

You have the sad point of view. It is destructive to the industry because the cost of games isn't just making physical copies. It is production cost. Some are in the millions, and they need to regain all the money they spent. And if you can afford a $500 or $400 console, you can afford an extra $5 on getting new then used

chipface-z
chipface-z

@guydude3412 You know Gamestop isn't the only place in town where you can score used games?  Pawn shops and whatnot are a good source as well, and they sell them for a good amount cheaper that it's worth it.  I remember scoring Rainbow Six Vegas at a pawn shop for $35 when it was still full price.  It's silly to buy used at Gamestop.

Publishers can piss and moan all they want about used games, they're not entitled a single cent if someone decides to sell their copy of a game they're done with considering they've already been paid for it.  It's called the first sale doctrine.

guydude3412
guydude3412

I still think it promotes dlc. And most used sales are made at gamespot. I don't even have a pawn shop in my town. And when you go to game stop and buy a new game, they offer the used one. And it is your right. But it is destroying the game industry

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@guydude3412 If you honestly think DLC would not exist without the used games market, you're just not thinking hard enough...   honestly, you don't believe that do you..?  

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@guydude3412   You're delusional.  The only people who says used game sale are bad are the publisher.  Nine out of ten DEVELOPERS would say used games sales are fine, because they help expose their product to a larger audience and over time it grows into more revenue, while the publisher only sees short term gain, and nothing more.


Quit saying used sales destroy the industry, it's a fallacy.  GREED is destroying the industry, the greed of the publishers who feed you that BS.

guydude3412
guydude3412

Who would rather fund? The person who made the game, or a corporation that profits off of others peoples work. To me, it is more about who I think deserves my money more

guydude3412
guydude3412

I would like a source to that statistic. And the way they make money with used games is dlc. Which punishes the ones who buy it new. And it doesn't open the door to a wider audience; just people who want to save a couple of dollars. You are obviously the delusional one

nl_skipper
nl_skipper


@guydude3412   The developer obviously, but that has nothing to do with DLC practices...  they are here to stay even if the used market disappeared.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@guydude3412 "doesn't open door to wider audience, just people who want to save a few dollars"


Dude, people who want to save a few dollars... that's NEARLY FREAKIN' EVERYONE!


Seriously it's like you're TRYING to be dense...

guydude3412
guydude3412

You sound ridiculously stupid. You want to support the developer, but used games that don't help the developer are okay. You are making to points that infringe on each other

guydude3412
guydude3412

It is like you like to rectify feeding a corporation that makes money off other peoples work. It is a matter of principle with me.

guydude3412
guydude3412

Your the cheapo that tries to rectify buying games used. And you probably can't afford it. Just trying to make yourself look cool

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@guydude3412 Ever heard the saying "everything in moderation"?  Things tend to work out without going excessive with them,  the same rule can be applied to buying games used... if you're not buying ALL of them used then you're still helping the industry.  Add to that smart developers give people incentives to keep their games, and not sell them used.  Lazy developers create a culture of buying used by having yearly releases and excessive DLC.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@guydude3412 I buy all my games new... good one though... you're just wrong, that's all, I prefer to support the developer and buy new, but those who don't are NOT killing the industry FFS, wake up.

guydude3412
guydude3412

Used games in moderation. What you just said doesn't work. Most people who buy used will buy used unless there it is not available, and visa versa. And if I want to sell my game, I will sell my game. The developer has almost nothing to do with it