Disc-Based Games Will Never Go Away, Says GameStop Exec

Paul Raines says digital and physical can co-exist.

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GameStop chief executive, Paul Raines, has said he believes disc-based games will always exist alongside digital delivery as a complementary business model.

In an interview to Fortune, Raines discussed the video game retailer's approach to selling non-physical products, as the industry rapidly adopts digital delivery.

"Disc-based games will be around forever," he said. "The market has seen physical music sales down 50% from its peak and physical movie sales down 60% from its peak, but even in a doomsday scenario, disc-based games will be around for a long time.

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"I see a complimentary business where we sell discs plus download like the current console mode. Virtual reality games will also likely follow this model.”

According to Raines, GameStop already has a healthy digital sales business, thanks to the sale of DLC and full game download codes, as well as points.

"We have a pretty healthy digital business," he said. "[This] includes downloadable content (DLC) for PC and console games, full game downloads, Steam points cards and currencies, and Kongregate’s online and mobile games sales. We see that as a $1 billion business this year."

In August, 2015, GameStop reported it digital business had grown by 11 percent to $199 million. This was attributed in part to "strong sales" of The Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight DLC.

GameStop recently announced plans to hire more than 28,000 employees across the country to accommodate the upcoming holiday season rush.

The company's human resources executive, Lisa Keglovitz, said hiring thousands of temporary employees means stores will be "appropriately staffed to meet our customers' needs this holiday."

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