GameStop opens up on digital plans

Admitting "retail is not going to last forever," GameStop details digital ambitions, including XBLA/PSN sales.


GameStop has been on a shopping spree of late. The erstwhile brick-and-mortar retailer has recently acquired flash-game provider Jolt and games portal Kongregate for significant sums of money. The firm realised it “needed to get smarter about the gaming industry outside of retail.”

One of these plans is to start selling PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade games through its online stores, according to Chris Petrovic, a senior VP and general manager at the firm with responsibility for digital operations. No timescale for this plan was offered or an indication of if discussions were underway with platform holders.

The firm wants to evolve into “a more technologically savvy company,” Petrovic said. “One of the primary drivers was to enable our company to get smarter about the emerging business models,” he said. Bringing in these entrepreneurs to teach is key to GameStop’s continuing success, with that section of the firm’s business still being “in its infancy.”

Accessing GameStop’s products on any device was also a priority, he said. Physical stores will still have relevance for some time, however. "The communal environment is still important,” he said. Also, leveraging their huge customer base, as well as an environment featuring knowledgeable staff “beyond the boxed product” meant the company would have a future beyond traditional retail.

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