Why GameStop sells in-store DLC

Retailer's director of digital content reveals in-store add-on purchases have reached 10 million; sales associates key to driving sales.

Selling downloadable content in a physical store may sound backwards to some, but for GameStop, the endeavor has been a great success. The retailer's director of digital content Brad Schliesser told GameSpot that the company has moved over 10 million pieces of DLC since it began selling add-on content through a limited pilot program in 2010.

"We had an opportunity over the last two years to prove to first-party that we can play a meaningful role in the distribution of digital content. In 2010, we started with 35 stores and five sellable DLC SKUs in a [pilot program] with Microsoft. Since then, we've added 4,500 stores and 1,800 products available for sale just on the console side," Schliesser said. "And we've sold over 10 million units of DLC in that time period. I think we've proven that retail still provides a very meaningful role, even in the digital content space."

Schliesser believes GameStop's success in this area is due in large part to its employees. He said they speak directly with consumers at the point-of-sale about additional game content, and this is crucial to sales.

"The associate that works in the store is more impactful than any marketing campaign that we could probably ever do for digital content," he said. "That is still a clear divider between what we're able to do and what our competitors are able to do. And quite frankly, what first-party is able to do."

He said though first-party console virtual marketplaces like Xbox Live are able to house heaps and heaps of content, a user is only presented with 5-10 pieces of content at any given time. And even then, he said, it's "buyer beware." The impact of GameStop's sales associates should not be overlooked, he said.

"The associate that works in the store is more impactful than any marketing campaign that we could probably ever do for digital content."

"For the consumers who are purchasing from us, it's a huge value, a huge service to have somebody there that helps them along and helps them make a better decision on what they want to purchase," he said.

Schliesser acknowledged that not everyone will buy into leaving their home to purchase DLC. He said he is OK with this, adding that a market for in-store DLC exists, despite what the "vocal minority" of Internet commenters may say.

"If there is a story that comes out of our conversation most of the people that read it are going to comment and say 'Why would I ever go to a retailer to buy content?' And I'm cool with that," he said. "If you're already transacting through a first-party, fantastic. We can't convert everybody into a GameStop customer. We don't sell sell 100 percent of the physical games now. So I think it's more understanding that there's a market that exists outside of the vocal minority that is still interested in purchasing content [in a physical store]."

To back up his claim even further, Schliesser revealed several DLC attachment rates for major games. [An attachment rate is the percentage of total software sales that also purchased DLC] He said prior to Gears of War 3, GameStop's DLC attachment percentage was less than 2 percent. Since then, however, the rates have largely increased.

Gears of War 3: 10 percent
Batman: Arkham City: 16 percent
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: 17 percent
Mass Effect 3: 50 percent
Borderlands 2: 20 percent
Assassin's Creed III: 10 percent
Halo 4: 13 percent

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Discussion

0 comments
Dark_Arcitekt
Dark_Arcitekt

Lol. I love how they take credit as "helping someone make a decision, on what to buy". While more than half the time, the employees know nothing of gaming.

ptown58
ptown58

dlc in store is great for grandma but when they make me tell them no a bunch it gets annoying, especially when the clerk looks bummed about repeating what they are forced to say. Please don't help me I know what I am doing there.(not having to deal with a CC is great too sometimes)

tgwolf
tgwolf

Too bad that the associates won't take responsibility when the DLC characteristically becomes a liability.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"The impact of GameStop's sales associates should not be overlooked" Never send a digital distributor to do a sales associates job :P. Face-to-face communication is underestimated and even in this digitalized day and age people are still people and like to ask other people, like e.g. sales associates, about products. I don't personally want/require assistance from a person face-to-face, but that's just me and my habits of doing thorugh research before buying a game (which allows me to be anti-social).

okassar
okassar

I love how he said Gamestop is performing a huge service for customers in suggesting DLC. Associates definitely get commission on DLC attachment, so their motive is not going to be to help you out but rather to get you to buy DLC that you do not need before you even play the game so they can make a couple bucks. Also, full retail price on most everything you want, lol.

 

There are suckers everywhere and Gamestop is doing a good job of harvesting them.

itchyflop
itchyflop

Game in the pre broadband era was king, now the retail giants sell games cheaper, though i have fond memories of shopping for games in towns, i think it wont be long before they fold. the giants of the gaming industry will be shutting the door on second hand games, cos they can and they corporate arse hole nanny state enforcement to  THE LOYAL GAMERS THAT KEPT YOU IN BUSINESS.

Diablo-B
Diablo-B

Im all for the digital revolution in general. Just far more convenient (when the internet is up).

But I can see buying DLC in-store being great for less informed consumers.  Core gamers like many of us keep up to date on all the happenings of our favorite games and developers.

But the average consumer doesn't follow every gaming press release. For them it is helpful to have good store clerks to inform them.

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

People aren't idiots for buying in-store DLC. People are idiots for BUYING DLC *period*

AtomicCowboy
AtomicCowboy

GameStop smells like a a bunch of videos game boxes were stuffed under a snot nosed bugger picking zit faced obese nerd's arm pit who hasn't showered since he started living in his mom's basement after his 21st birthday.....years ago.

gokulgamer
gokulgamer

I hope this service comes to India.In India students are not provided with Credit cards from banks.I also hate puting credit cards info and purchasing DLC.i wud be very thankful to the gaming industry if they outsourced DLC like GameStop in India

elanbg
elanbg

Retailer sells tons of Downloadable Content. What a joke. I wonder when the publishers will drop the act and just rename DLC to EMN (Extra money for nothing), PMN (Pay More, NOW!) or something more obvious. Imagine in 10 years when gaming is killed by such nonsense companies, this will be one of those things that nobody remember how the name was made up. People will be like "What were they thinking?!"

03469186617
03469186617

Gamespot should provide their services in pakistan also................there r alot of thing that we also want..........u know how hard is it to get a pre-order title in pakistan.........

Feedbackula
Feedbackula

Woo a ignomls! GameStop is WAY instain lol <3 I loves digitol contint.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

this also proves no ones quite in a hurry for digital only

joju_australia
joju_australia

Well when u see this type of reporting, it really supports the notion that the console platform is becoming the strongest medium for playing games. This turn would suggest companies such as microsoft n sony would support a stronger developmeent of such. PC is becoming to take a seat on the background whether u like it or not!

sebetai
sebetai

Though I like the concept since I have no credit card or feel like getting a pre paid card, I wonder how they make money of of this. Are they paid to have the cards in stock? I got a pre paid card for my 3DS a few ago and I was thinking, would it be a good idea for companies like Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Valve, etc to make their own pre paid card that can be refilled just for their system? I guess you could just get a regular pre paid card but I was thinking that.

deliman
deliman

Why do they sell in-store DLC?

 

Simple: there are plenty of idiots willing to buy it.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I can understand going to a store buy a digital download code for the purpose of conversing, input from a sales associate if your into that sort of thing, using checks or cash, and/or getting out when you have no occupational or educational obligations, but what puzzles is me is seeing download codes for PSN/XBLA/WiiWare/Steam/etc. being sold online at websites like GameStop.com. Typically it only adds a middle-person and an extra step. I bought a code to download Crash Bandicoot on PSN, but only because it was at a reduced price.

Okay, so you don't have to spend a certain amount on currency points or a minimum of five PSN dollars (the main reasons I bought download codes for Super Metroid and Super Mario Bros. 3 on Nintendo's official website) when you buy codes from online or physical codes, but otherwise indirect purchases online are pretty much pointless.

zilcher
zilcher

they sold 10,000,0000 add-ons, after requiring each employee to buy 100 pieces each.

trick_man01
trick_man01

I just want to know what the markup is that GameStop gets.

Kr0w1Nc4rNa73
Kr0w1Nc4rNa73

It's good if you're like me and want to support Gamestop. I'd rather some of my money go to them, than all of it to Microsoft. Another plus is that trades also work towards in-store DLC.

Mega_Loser
Mega_Loser

why is this article tied to halo? why must i give halo top-10 chart popularity if i am interested to read why gamestop sells in-store dlc?

in fact, that is reoccuring and happens for all big releases.

CalamityKate
CalamityKate

I was asked about purchasing a season pass when I picked up my Borderlands 2 pre-order.  I can see the appeal - you spend exactly, to the cent, what the content costs instead of buying blocks of points which may be more than the cost of the content you want.

 

At the same time, a point card is a regular purchase for me (once a month) so that I can buy online whenever I feel like it.

 

This comment seemed strange to me:  ""And we've sold over 10 million units of DLC in that time period. I think we've proven that retail still provides a very meaningful role, even in the digital content space."

 

Silly me.  I thought digital content was their main product.   All console games are already digital content.  Are there analog videogame consoles?  Have their ever been?  The Magnavox Odyssey converted the output to analog format for display, but the game itself was digital content run through a computer chip. 

 

You're not buying a physical product (save the extras in deluxe editions) when you buy a game, you're buying digital content contained on a physical product.  If this seems like quibbling or nitpicking, compare to, say a box of cereal.  Out of that four bucks you're spending, perhaps a quarter is for the box (the container), and the rest is for the cereal (the contents).  For a game, the box and disc are the containers - the game is the digital code on the disc.

 

On the subject of the story, why shouldn't a retailer sell a download code for the exact price of the content?  It makes perfect sense to me, and offers an alternative for those who want to spend only what the content they're buying right now costs, and not converting real money into digital money to spend later.

 

I find the latter method works for me, but I can understand wanting to do it the other way. 

shinmew
shinmew

@okassar They DO NOT get commission. However, if they DON'T get you to buy it they "Will find someone who will". Every week they get threats about losing their jobs from the higher ups if they don't spam the mess out of everything that throw at you. The sales they make on reserves and Rewards cards are kept on file just to see if they are meeting their goals. If they don't meet those goals then they can kiss their job goodbye. Commission would be a positive incentive, these job threats are a negative one and GameStop loves negative incentives.

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @okassar Perhaps those people like the "physical" part of purchasing retail games/DLC so much that they want more than just the game/DLC to be physical, like getting their wallets physically abused, what with the prices they have :P.

Diablo-B
Diablo-B

 @MegaPhilX2 

So you are saying all DLCs are useless rip-offs?

Don't make blanket statements

jimbo6923
jimbo6923

 @itchyflop  You still need the internet, all you buy in store is a pre-paid code.

smoothyplum26
smoothyplum26

 @itchyflop I agree with part of your statement as I once felt the same way but the codes in stores do come in handy for those who don't have cable or higher internet access plus not everyone is aware of dlc when getting a game so if your there to pick the game up and dlc is available or going to be, and you can get it ahead of time it's convenient.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

 @mariokart64fan Digital only will only have a chance in hell for consoles if stock 3 tb hard drives are the norm. Between full game data, DLC and using your ps3/360 as a media player, even 500 gb fills up way too fast. 

d3ad4ng3l
d3ad4ng3l

 @deliman so all those who dont have internet connection at home are idiots?

nu1mlock
nu1mlock

 @Gatts1978 There are Steam wallet gift cards available at your local retailer.

SsangyongKYRON
SsangyongKYRON

@Mega_Loser My guess is that its a promoted title.

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

 @Diablo-B Name me 10 DLCs that weren't quick cash grabs, weren't extra items pull out of the game before end of production and was full-fledged content that was truly developed after the game's release.People buying DLC just encourages companies to continue making pre-order bonuses and pulling content out of the games to sell them separately to milk us. I just want full games...

itchyflop
itchyflop

 @jimbo6923 i figured that, though it is a valid for those who can't get credit cards. Having never purCHASED one do you know if they charge you for the service instore, i mean someones gotta make the cards, materials etc...

itchyflop
itchyflop

 @Gatts1978 yeah i hadn't thought of those issues. i dunno ive got mixed views on dlc. I really enjoyed bf3 online and the extra maps though 12 quid a pop are great. yet i refuse to go premium on either cod or bf3, thats just taking the piss, i mean its another game entirely. i know what people will say to this, if at all, but i saved 20 quid not going premium so far.

itchyflop
itchyflop

 @smoothyplum26 ha yeah i see what you mean, over keen dads buying overpriced software from soon to be redundant stores whilst the misses is trying on her tights !! I find it hard in today's society that people are unaware of dlc. But sadly your right !! catering for all the mass's and giving people the right to a wider gaming experience has to be a good thing however. I do have fond memories (back in the day) of frequenting Game on my way home and buying a new megadrive game daily (cost me a fortune though), it will indeed be a sad day they finally close these stores, giving rise to big corporate "you will pay 50 quid for the same game as before" digital tyrannosaurus rex's !! :0

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

 @d3ad4ng3l   you still have to have internet to download the download content....hence the name....download content.....all you get is a card that has a "code" so you can download the download content....STILL NEED INTERNET!!!  and who exactly are you calling an idiot??? 

Recon19D3
Recon19D3

 @Mr_Big_Boss  @Kr0w1Nc4rNa73 Despite some of their policies, yes, support them.  They will hire people locally, and it's a great starting job for a teenager.  Brick and mortar retail is extremely important to early jobs, especially for those on work programs or going to college.

CalamityKate
CalamityKate

 @MegaPhilX2  @Diablo-B

 

"I will take that challenge!"

 

~ Olive Pendergast, Easy A

 

Borderlands:

 

1. Zombie Island of Dr. Ned

2. Secret Armory of General Knoxx

3. Claptrap's New Robot Revolution

 

Borderlands 2:

 

4. Mechromancer (free for those who pre-ordered)

 

Mass Effect 2:

 

5. Stealing Memory

6. Lair of the Shadow Broker

7. Overlord

 

Batman:  Arkham City:

 

8. Harley Quinn's Revenge

 

Dragon Age:  Origins:

 

9. Return to Ostagar

10. The Darkspawn Chronicles

11.  Leliana's Song

12. The Golems of Amgarrak

 

Fallout 3:

 

13. Operation:  Anchorage

14. The Pitt

15. Broken Steel

16. Point Lookout

17. Mothership Zeta

 

Half Life 2:

 

18.  Episode 1

19.  Episode 2

 

If you don't feel like the content is worth buying, don't buy it.  If you want it without having to pay extra, a perfectly reasonable desire, I believe all of the above are currently available for purchase with the DLC included in the purchase price.

 

Content cut from the game and then sold as "extra" sucks, I think we can agree on that.  Capcom, I'm looking at you.  DLC that is essentially an add-on campaign that offers new playable areas and story content is just expansion packs released through a different channel. 

 

The different channel allows for the content to be in smaller chunks for a smaller price, and this is a good thing - instead of having to choose whether to buy that $40 expansion pack, which may be of mixed quality, I can pick and choose which of the $5-$10 extras I'd like and ignore those that get bad reviews.

 

And if I like, I can (and very often do) just wait a year and get a version with all the extras included.  You don't have to buy new, buy at or around the time of release, or buy the extras.  If you want it all, all at the same time, and for a single price, all it takes is a little patience.

 

Read several reviews, buy what you think is worth it, don't buy what isn't, wait for complete editions if you're cheap - I don't mean this as an insult; I often describe myself as cheap and patient.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @MegaPhilX2  @Diablo-B um pick any story dlc from oblivion, or borderlands. as far as cash grabs um of course since the begining of free market no one has made somthing just for the benefit of man. nothing is made for you it made to make money. yes you have to enjoy it for this to work. but in the end everything is a cash grab not just video games.

itchyflop
itchyflop

 @Killer6b9  @d3ad4ng3l dude d3ad4ng3l was making a point not calling anyone anything,deliman made the original point of store wandering dinosuars feeding the overpriced gaming stores their money, we live in the broadband era now and i don't think too many don't have access to the internet and as  Killer6b9 so quaintly put it, you still need a connection anyway. Play nice children !!

POP-3D
POP-3D

 @Gatts1978 Yup, right, they might be limited in where they are distributed for now but Steam is willing to expand their distribution area in the future. They said so.